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Feb 17, 2008

I don't think there is anything which is more God send than this victory at Zaragoza. The second Barcelona Goal came through a penalty, which got even the most optimistic Barcelona supporters surprised. Barcelona entered the match after receiving the good news that Real Madrid has slipped in Betis. Earlier I have written a post Accepting The Inevitable in which i described how difficult is for Madrid to lose matches now. I was proven wrong in the second successive occasion when Madrid lost their second consecutive away match. In that post I have written that it is hard for this Barcelona team to win all the matches, I was again proved wrong by God this time. AnywayBarcelona successfully cut down the lead to five points as if now. Zaragoza may feel hard done by luck as they expected to take away atleast a point from this match, but then inability to convert for the second time from a string of chances might have proved their nemesis.

Barcelona started with Giovani, Henry and Messi upfront and Deco, Xavi and Edmilson in the middle. Rijkaard made another return to his trademark ploy of using Puyol as a Right Back. Why is he persisting with Deco is a mystery, he has been one of the worse players on the pitch eventhough he made the Henry Goal. As expected Zaragoza had the majority of oppurtunity in the early exchanges. In the 4th minute Marquez did really well to cut off a wonderful run from Brazilian Oliviera. In the next minute Diego Milito had the first shot of the game when he shot straight at Valdes.In the 6th minute Zaragoza should have gone one up, Oliviera rounded off the defense wonderfully and sends a cross from left side of box, but Sergio Garcia makes a mess of it by shooting high. Zaragoza were always successfully isolating Messi, whenever he gets the ball he is sorrounded by three defenders. This also has been the Deco's worst season in terms of Goal scoring for lat eight year, and he was giving a very well crafted display of why. In the 15th minute Puyol makes a wonderful run from the right, a run which is a trademark of Messi. He has seriously improved as a Right Back, but still send him back to where he belong Frank. As usual Deco wastes the free kick. In the 20th minute Messi failed to control a very good long pass from Abidal, has he been successful in doing so that would have been interesting. In the 24th minute Oliviera shoots just wide from the box, after he created a seemingly non existent angle. In the 26th minute Barcelona got the first shot at goal when Messi played a wonderful through ball to Giovani, which was well saved by Zaragoza Goal Keeper. In the 34th minute Sergio Garcia reacted very slowly to receive a wonderful cross from oliviera. In the next minute Henry finds the net from an exquisite Deco pass. The chest control of Henry was awesome and he never wasted a single second there. In the 39th minute Valdes does well to come sliding forward and collect a through ball to Diego Milito. In the 40th minute, deco saw his shot saved after an excellent exchange with Messi. In the next minute Marquez conceded a penalty which Diego shoots high. There was no doubt about the penalty claims.

Zaragoza came back from the break with a sense of purpose. In the 52 minute Diego denired by Valdes legs, the rebound was shot wide. That was an excellent save by Valdes. In the 53rd minute Oliviera scores from a great pass from Sergio Garcia. In the 58th minute Edmilson was taken out and Yaya was brough in. In the 60th minute Diego Milito heads a free header wide. In the 66th minute Barcelona almost conceded the second goal when Valdes failed to reach the ball from a free kick - Milito somehow scrambled the ball away. As in the earlier matches Barcelona passing has become somewhat like school children, actuall they will pass better. In the 73rd minute Xavi sets up Deco but he shoots wide, he should have atleast tested the Goalie from that angle. In the 74th minute Ronaldinho camein place of Giovanni. In the 75 th minute Sergio Garcia long range effort went high after Abidal gave away the ball, if it had gone in it would have been the Goal of the season. In the 79th minute Henry shoots high after Ronnie beautifully sets him up. But the most controversial decision came in the 81st minute when Barcelona was awarded the penalty after the referee somehow got convinced that Juanfran has handled the ball. Replays suggest a completely different thing, but the worst thing was there was no Barcelona players around him and none appealed also. In the confusion and mayhem which arose after that i don't knbow exactly how many zaragoza player got yellow card. Ronaldinho as cool as ice converts the penalty to take barcelona 2-1 up and five points near to leaders. But there was no doubt thet the penalty was very harsh, when considering that not even a single barcelona players was in any kind of position to use the ball. The last chance of match went to Ronnie when he shoots wide after an excellent pass from Puyol, Ronnie's control and technique was awesome.

For some game running, Valdes was the best player on the pitch. But for me the man of the match should be Oliviera, whenever he got the ball our defense simply trembled. Ronaldinho looked very sharp today as he was trying to setup other players rather than trying to score by himself. He should get a much better playing time against Celtic. In the end my conclusion was that was a very undeserving victory but a very important one.

Ronaldinho Penalty

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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