Search The Blog

Nov 20, 2006

Barcelona exploded into life after a slow start, and ran out convincing winnners against a Mallorca side who put up more than a fight.
First Half
Rijkaard started with Oleguer ahead of Zambrotta on the right, and Motta and Iniesta ahead of Edmilson and Xavi, clearly with one eye on the midweek clash against Levski Sofia.
Manzano also dished out a surprise, going with just Maxi Lopez up front, packing five across midfield with Arango in a roaming role. It worked, for it was the hosts who settled well into the game, denying Barcelona time or space.
However, they lacked bite in the final third, and could not find the goal to show for all their efforts, even as Basinas came close with a long range drive, and Arango headed just over from a corner.
Barcelona were struggling to settle in, and half an hour into the game, there were still no shots on target for either side. Just as it was beginning to look like Barcelona were not up for this one, came the kind of move that few teams other than them can put together.
Ronaldinho received a ball from Motta on the edge of the box, superbly turned his marker, slid it wide to Deco, who slipped it superbly to Gudjohnsen, and the Iceland international calmly touched it around the Prats, and slotted it into the empty net to break Mallorca's spirit on the stroke of half time.
Second Half
Manzano's half-time talk must have been inspirational, for Mallorca refused to throw in the towel after the break. Maxi Lopez had a fabulous chance ten minutes into the half, but failed to keep his composure, allowing Valdes to save easily.
They were made to pay minutes later, as a peach of a pass from Iniesta found Gudjohnsen, who touched and turned in one swift move, and calmly slotted it past Prats to make it 2-0 in the 58th minute.
Victor Casadesus came on for a clearly frustrated Maxi Lopez, and Jordi for a tiring Basinas, as Manzano looked towards fresh legs. Rijkaard's mind was already on Wednesday's trip to Levski Sofia, and he brought Zambrotta on for Puyol, with Oleguer slotting into the centre alongside Marquez.
The Mexican took it a little too easy, though, as Victor managed to win the ball from him in the Barcelona penalty area, and coolly slide it through the legs of Valdes to bring Mallorca back into the game with 20 minutes left on the clock.
That woke Barcelona up, though. Ezquerro came on for Gudjohnsen, who had done his job for the night. Mallorca tried to get the equalizer, but failed, even as Diego Tristan was thrown into the mix.
Barcelona were beginning to find spaces, and look really menacing on the break as Mallorca threw the kitchen sink at them. With ten minutes left on the clock, a pass from Gio sent Deco free up the left, but he was brought down by Varela, who picked up his second yellow of the game for his efforts.
That was the end of Mallorca's challenge, and time for Barcelona to rub it in. Rijkaard took the opportunity to bring Xavi on for Giuly.
Iniesta move to the right, with the freedom to go forward, and made it 3-1 with five minutes left on the clock after some superb work from Ronaldinho, and Ezquerro grabbed one for himself in injury time to make it a dominating 4-1 win.
Barcelona go back to the top of the table, one point ahead of Sevilla, and three ahead of Real Madrid.
Mallorca: Prats - Pereyra, Ballesteros, Nunes, Navarro - Jankovic, Ibagaza (Tristan, 80'), Basinas (Jordi, 61'), Varela - Arango - Maxi Lopez (Victor Casadesus, 61').
Barcelona: Valdes - Oleguer, Marquez, Puyol (Zambrotta, 63'), Gio - Iniesta, Motta, Deco - Giuly (Xavi, 82'), Gidjohnsen (Ezquerro, 71'), Ronaldinho.
Goals: 0-1, Gudjohnsen (42'); 0-2, Gudjohnsen (58'); 1-2, Victor (70'); 1-3, Iniesta (86'); 1-4: Ezquerro (91'+)
Goals:

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *

Random Post Script

Search

Email Subscription

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Delivered by FeedBurner

Follow of Social Media

Follow Us On Social Media

Infolinks

Link Ads