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Nov 17, 2008

Messi scores against recreativo heaulvaFC Barcelona beat Recreativo Heaulva courtesy of two second half goals from Lionnel Messi and Keita. Everyone expected FC Barcelona to ram through the Recreativo defense, but that wasn't the case to be. It took an exceptional strategy employed by the FC Barcelona players to break through the determined Recreativo defense. Doubts were raised about Barca ability to tame determined and packed defenses; the performance against Recreativo would reduce all those complaints. Lionel Messi scored from a great free kick and Seydou Keita scored in the dying moments to capture vital three points. In a weekend where all of the title contenders went off-colour Barca did well and now have a three point lead opened at the top. With Villareal drawing early on the day and Valencia and Real Madrid losing yesterday FC Barcelona was expected to increase their lead and they exactly did that. Guardiola lined up the strongest eleven available to him in the match. The defenese was formed by the combination of Alves, Marquez, Pique and Puyol playing as left back. In the midfield Busquests joined hands with Toure and Xavi. The front three remained unchanged with the mercurial Messi on the right, Eto on the centre and Henry on the left. With Xavi having being off-colour for the majority of the game; Guardiola choice of Toure and Busquests in the middle made it difficult to generate an attacking move from the middle. All the attack started and was organised by Lionel Messi. I have earlier written about the problem with having Toure and Busquests in the starting eleven. Both of them play similiar kind of role - the defensive midfielder and Guardiola should stop employing them together. With Keita only returning from injury it is understandable to have them together in this match but in the future I expect the midfield would be a choice between Busquests or Toure and Guidjonsen or Keita. This is all till Iniesta returns.

FC Barcelona struggled to find a way past the Recreativo defense early in the first half and on many occasion they were caught out on the counter. It was Recreativo who had the first shot on target with a free kick staright at Valdes in the 8th minute. In the 14th minute Barca was caught out on the counter with a great move which involved multiple Recreativo players but luckily that move only resulted in a corner. In the 20th minute Messi had the first Barca shot on target when he thundered a shot from outside the box straight at Goal Keeper Riesgo. In the 22nd minute Toure found Messi with a great pass in the box but the Recreativo goal keeper produced another brilliant save to deny Messi. In the 23rd minute Eto was denied by great defending by Bouzon after a great interchange between Messi. In the 27th minute Busquets saw his volley go high; the move started with Alves sending a great cross from the right side, Henry put that in Busquets path with a neatly cushioned header. In the 28th minute Eto shows great skill to get past defenders in the box but his shot was agains saved by Riesgo. The compact defense made Eto changing his position constantly from right to left and then center. On the other end Recreativo Player Sisi was diving all over the place getting alves booked in the process. In the 36th minute FC Barcelona was awarded their first corner and we almost conceded goal from that; it was a poorly taken corner which reached Toure at the middle of the pitch; Toure gave away the ball creating real panic but luckily the Recreativo players could not capitalise on that. In the 37th minute Messi produced his trademark run skipping past defenders and laying the ball to Henry but henry shot straight at the keeper. The first half finished with not much fanfare.

In the second half it was clear that it would take a moment of brilliance to break the Recreativo defense. In the 51st minute Barca was awarded a free kick for a foul on Eto on the right side five yards outside the box. Alves and Xavi both lined up to take the free kick; Alves's theatrics made everyone believe including the camera man that he is going to take the free kick; but instead Xavi laid the ball to Messi who by then have moved to the right behind the wall; that move put Messi one on One with Riesgo; Messi thundered a shot from the tightest of angles into the top left corner of the goal to break Recreativo defense. It is not still clear whether they used to practice something like this in the training or the players came with this tactic at that moment. Either way it was sheer brilliance. Recreativo immediately made double substitution and was rewarded with a double chance in the 62nd minute. First a great move was somehow deflected away from the post; but from the resulting corner Javier Camunas produced a great header which was denied by the bar. In the 64th minute Xavi produced a brilliant pass to Eto who was closed down by the brilliant Bouzon. In the 65th minute Eto saw another of his effort saved by Riesgo after a neat exchange between Busquets. In the 70th minute Sylvinho was brought in place of Puyol. In the 75th minute Eto shot wide after a great run by Xavi. In the 79th minute Guardiola took off Toure and brought Keita in. In the 86th minute Keita scores to make sure that FC Barcelona would lead the table by three points. Henry produced a great cross to Eto whose volley was off target but fell straight to keita who had only the job to tap it into the goal. Guardiola took off Eto and brought in Bojan. In the 2nd minute of injury time Marquez was denied by the post when his header from an Alves free kick beaten the Goal Keeper.

It was necessary for Fc Barcelona to open up some good gap between themselves and others to the build up of the toughest weeks. Now we have to face Getafe next and then Valencia the week after. The players will be leaving for International duties and hope they all return back without getting injured.

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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