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Jan 10, 2008

Thiery henry against sevillaHow valuable will be the hard earned draw against Sevilla can be said only after Jan 15th, when the two teams meet against for the second leg. But there is no denial of the fact that as of now Barcelona has gained a definite edge over Sevilla to proceed for the next round. In the preview of the match I have written - how slowly Thierry Henry is gelling into the side. I was proven right by the great striker who had a very good night. He is showing slowly but steadily, why he is regarded as a great striker.

Rijkaard against my wish again fielded Puyol as a Right Back. The only reason i can see for this stupid decision time and again - may be he needs a somewhat taller Centre Back. Giovanni found his place in starting line up along with Thierry Henry. Unfortunately Gudjonsen missed out, I always believed Iniesta is Rijkaard's favorite weapon - He can be put anywhere in the field. Iniesta joined the midfield with Edmilson.

The game started with Luis Fabiano forcing a save from Victor Valdes, who had to be on his toes to save the nest Alves free kick. Meantime Henry and Giovanni were combining well to make Barcelona presence at Sevilla Goal mouth. After an initial exchange of passes with Henry, Giovanni shot wide (I mean just wide). But the defining moment of the first half came when Puyol has to go off for treatment, Barcelona quickly shuffled the defensive line with Marquez moving into Right back role. It was Marquez as the Right Back gave that wonderful long pass to Henry, which resulted in the goal. Henry's control was exquisite, especially first touch - the beauty of the goal was that he made it look so simple. Maybe he might be returning to form as we all prayed.

As expected following the Goal, Sevilla upped the tempo, but Barcelona defense especially Marquez soaked the pressure. But just before the half time as usual Barcelona's defense started losing concentration. Capel was finding all kind of cracks in Barcelona defense. All these pressure resulted in the Goal which came from the corner (Valdes could have avoided that) by Capel (what pathetic marking).

It looked like Barcelona was ready to settle for a draw in the second half. Sevilla was constantly raiding the Barcelona Goal mouth, which forced Valdes to bring out two spectacular saves (which still become the defining moment of the tie). The chances were limited for Barcelona in the second half and the best one was Edmilson long range shot which hit the post. But for the rest of the time Barcelona defense held firm. For Barcelona the best players on the field wwere Marquez and Edmilson.

There would be a certain sense of relief from the result in the Barcelona camp. But complacency would be Barcelona's biggest enemy in the second leg. Sevilla is no ordinary team and their chances of winning in Nou Camp cannot be written off. But the point I want to mention is why Rijkaard still perceives with Puyol as RB, either put Marquez or Zambrotta there. Marquez showed how good he can be as a regular Right back. He not only is capable of orchestra defense but also offence from that position.

NB: "The secret of success is constancy to purpose." - Benjamin Disraeli

Goals of the Match


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