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Jan 12, 2009

Barcelona players celebrate goal against OsasunaOsasuna would curse their fate not to have won against the league leaders on yesterday's cold, foggy night. It took two late goals from Xavi and Messi for FC Barcelona to overcome the bottom placed Osasuna after their side carelessly squandered the first half lead from a stunning Eto strike. The attitude shown by the team after the winter break is a cause of worry; I may be pressing the panicking button a tad early. But we have seen in the past Barca having problems with lower placed side. But this Osasuna, especially worried the Barca defense in the second half and looked more composed in atatck than Barca after the break; which resulted in they over turning the deficit. Victor Valdes was reinstated in the goal. Alves, Abidal formed the full back on either side of Pique and Puyol. The midfield had a very defensive look and that affected the tempo of the game after the initial fifteen minutes. Busquets, Keita and Xavi joined hand in the midfield. Henry, Eto and Messi once again formed the attacking trio.

With Osasuna contend to defending FC Barcelona had a huge chunk of possession inEto celebrates Goal the first half. In the 11th minute Messi sets on his copyrighted magical run skipping past defenders and almost scored an wonder goal; but his shot hit inside of post and rebounded. In the next minute it was Thierry Henry's turn to test the Osasuna Goal Keeper Roberto; Henry received the ball from Xavi, tunrs past one defender in the box but his shot from a tight angle was saved by Roberto. In the 22nd minute Roberto pulled out another save to deny Xavi from outside the box. In the 32nd minute Xavi plays a great ball to Messi in the box, it was only a last ditch intervention by Sergio prevented a certain goal. In the 41st minute Valdes made his first intervention of the match by saving a Pandianni header. Then in the last minute of normal time in first half Eto showed his class to take Barca 1-0 ahead. Messi played the ball to Eto on the edge of box; Eto who had a below average game till then fired a great shot past Roberto.

Osasuna changed their formation in the second half and came out aggressively against FC Barcelona. In the 57th minute Henry saw his shot saved by Roberto after Eto placed the ball perfectly to Henry from an Alves cross. Then in the 63rd minute Osasuna was rewarded for their positive approach. Flano head past valdes and defense from a corner to equalise for Osasuna and send the stadium into unbelivable celebrations. Guardiola immediately brought Iniesta in for Henry. In the 66th minute Eto heralds a great shot from outside the box; the goal keeper spills it and makes an excellent save to deny Messi from the rebound. Then in the 68th minute Valdes brought out a good save to deny Osasuna; if that goal would have gone in then there could have been lot of controversy. It all started with Busquets junping over a tackle and crashing to the ground; he then started his usual play acting even when Brca was in a good position to attack; Messi brought the ball to stop thinking Busquets is really injured ; but at the same time Busquets decided to end his Oscar winning performance and got up; Osasuna players stole the ball from Messi and sets up a great counter attack. There were protests from both sides and Valdes earned himself a yellow in the process. For me there was only one person to blame for the all fiasco - Busquets. Messi scorers the goalTo make matters worse for Barca Pandianni scored to take Osasuna in the front in the 73rd minute. There was panic in the Barca line-up for some time. GUardiola borught in BOjan for Keita in 76th minute. In the 77th mineute Valdes makes a brave intervention to deny Osasuna in increasing the lead. Then in the 80th minute Xavi equalises for Barca with a great getting injured in the process. Alves created the goal by cuuting past defenders in the box and passed the ball to Xavi. In the 84th minute Iniesta's shot from outside the box goes inches wide of the bar. Thenn in the 85th minute Messi scores from ouside the box with a tremendous shot after the Osasuna defense gave him space. Roberto had no chance in stopping it as the ball swing past him to the far right corner. In the 87th, minute Bojan and Messi combined with a great one-two but Bojan's shot was saved. In the 89th minute Guardiola brought in Toure for Eto.

When condiering that this victory is another of our come-from behind victory, this could be hailed as a great result. But there will be more concerns which Guardiola needs to answer. One of it is the time wasting we adopted after we went one goal ahead. It cut off our rhythm and finally it was due to the form of individual players and poor defending by Osasuna which helped us win this game. In the preview to this match I have written that a defensive minded midfield against a team which is contend to defending could be a mistake. I was proven right as Keita could not give the necessary impedus from the middle. Eventhough Iniesta has not hit his usual full flow it would be better to start with him in the middle against Deportivo at Camp Nou.

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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