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Jan 25, 2008

Just completed watching the highlights of the game and have to admit that the match looked like having more memorable moments than I expected. But whatever a goal less draw at El Madrigal will be as good as a victory only if Barcelona can finish their good work in the return leg. I believe they can do it.

The first Barcelona attack came in the fifth minute, when Iniesta received a cross from Deco. Iniesta dribbled into the the box well and crowded by a bunch of defenders, in the mayhem the ball reached Henry who could only place the ball just wide of the post. Villareal responded in the 16th minute with Nihat shooting wide of the Goal. In the 20th minute Victor Valdez, who was Barcelona's best player on fieldtheir produced a spectacular save from a tremendous long range effort from Rossi. The majority of the first half remained with Villareal, with Barcelona attempting to break the Villareal defence with some cut through pass. In the 18th minue oone of such pass found Giovanni, who tried to curl the ball towards the far post. He did curl the ball, but never had any power to get past the Villareal Goalkeeper. In the 37th minute Valdez has to produce another magnificient save inorder to deny Villareal going one up in the tie. Pires cross was beautifully headed down and set for final assault but Nihat for my view hit too straigt to Valdez. In the next minute Cazorla attempted a long range shot on goal which went just high, but Valdez had that covered too.

Barcelona brought in Messi in place of Giovanni in the start of second half and that started changing the game in favour of Barcelona a little. In the 51st minute barcelona started producing a glimpse of the vintage quick feet attacking style with so many players getting involved with their quick touch but the Villareal defense held their fort. In the 62nd minute Iniesta was denied by a wonderful save by Villareal Goalie, Diego Lopez. Iniesta had a great evening and that one looked like going in. By this time Messi started to show a glimpse of what we were missing for sometime. As a contrast to first half, villareal never had any decent chance till the 75th minute when Valdez threw up another fine save from Senna. Subsequently Barcelona started attacking more and resulted in Iniesta and Bojan both shooting wide in a space of two minutes. Barcelona ended the game as usual with a small fright with Valdes again saving Nihat's free kick.

All in all it was a very good match and a much betetr result also. The only negative point would be Messi trying to score using his hand. The defense looked like solid, the attacking stict looks like coming back and Messi is surely coming back actually he is almost there.

Highlights Of The Match


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