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Mar 2, 2009

FC Barcelona was condemned to a second successive league defeat by Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Caledron. In a match which was played at frantic pace, which saw frequent see-sawing and which saw some of the worst defending ever, Atletico was the better team by a far margin and they deserved their 4-3 victory. FC Barcelona struggled throughout the match but was successfulu to take a 2-1 lead into the half time. But they failed to hold on to the score and finally catapulted at some great football played by the Atletico forwards. For Barca Henry scored twice and Messi once; but that didn't stand up to Atletico's effort where Forlan and Aguero both scored twice. Earlier this season we destroyed Atletico with a 6-1 margin. On that day Agueroa was overshadowed by Messi but yeterday the story was different with Aguero masterminding Barca's defeat. Courtesy of this defeat, Real Madrid are just now four points behind us. Now it is going to take a colossal effort for Barca to win this league.

Guardiola chose Alves, Puyol, Marquez and Sylvinho as the defensive line infront of Valdes. Xavi, Toure and Gudjohnsen formed the midfield. the attack line was the usual Messi-Eto-Henry formation. For a second match in succession Barca lost the battle in the midfield. The match started at frantic pace with Atletico pounding Barclona defense one after the other. In the 2nd minute Maxi's clever pass send Aguero ahead of Sylvinho but his shot hit the side netting. In the next minute Eto's shot was blocked by Leo Franco after Pablo gave the ball away. In the 4th minute Valdes failed to hold onto a shot from Maxi and Heitinga knocked the ball in. Luckily for us that was ruled offside, eventhough the replays suggested otherwise. Barcelona's defense went missing in all these times and we saw reminisence of last season's defending. To make matter worse passing was pathetic, everyone was interested in giving away the ball. Then in the 17th minute against the run of play Thierry Henry put Barca ahead with a stunning shot which curled into the far netting. Henry played the ball to Eto who failed to control it, the ball came back to Henry who curled it around a hapless Leo Franco from outside the box. That goal helped Barca to settle a bit. By this time Messi started getting involved more in the match. In the 31st minute Messi produced a magica moment which took Barca 2-0 ahead. Messi receive the ball outside the box, turned around and accelerated past defender and place the ball perfectly into the far corner. In the next minute Forlan pulled one back for Atletico with a stunning long range effort from 30 yards. Victor Valdes had no chance in stopping that, but our defense were the culprit giving him space to do that. In the 37th minute Valdes produced a great save to deny Aguero after he tricked past Marquez. In the 38th minute Maxi Rodriguez wasted another chance to equalise. In the 39th minute Barca should have scored once more when Xavi sent in great pass which put Gudjohnsen through, but he blasted it wide. In the 41st minute Messi missed another chance to put Barca further ahead when he slipped after controlling the ball well. Then in the 43rd minute Messi accelerates into the box exactly like his first goal but this time he placed it wide of goal.

The second half started with Barca controlling the possesion well. But slowly we started losing focus and again was subjected to a abarage of attacks. In the 55th minute Gudjohnsen played Eto on with a great pass but the Cameroonian international shot wide of goal. We were made to pay for that miss immediately as Aguero scored in the next minute to equalise the proceedings. Agueroa rounded of Marquez and ran past Puyol before shooting low past Valdes to find the far corner. In the 60th minute Eto wasted another chance from a great Messi pass. In the 73rd minute Forlan wasted a great chance when he missed a simple header infront of goal. In the next minute Eto picks Gudjohnsen run, who looked offside to me; Gudjohnsen passed the ball to henry who scored his second of the night. In the 75th minute Gudjohnsen picks up Eto run with a great pass; Leo Franco blocked the initial Eto shot; the rebound fell to Messi who shot wide. In the 77th minute Henry bundled into Sinama in the box while defending a cross from the left; the linesman called for the penalty. Forlan converted the penalty to make it 3-3. Meantime Caceres was brought in for Sylvinho. In the 87th minute Valdes came off his line to prevent Aguero from scoring. But eventually Aguero scored in the next minute after he easily got past Alves and Puyol.

Atletico is a place we have struggled in the past. But that is not an excuse for such pathetic showing. Atletico controlled the game from the word go and we were left chasing the game. Xavi and Toure failed to win the ball in the midfield eventhough Xavi send in some delicous passes. The defense looked like non-existing. Puyol who was supposed to lead by example was pathetic so was his partner. Messi played well in the first half but went quiet because of lack of support. But the real culprit for me was Pep Guardiola; Can you believe that he made only one substitution througout the match. Eto had a pathetic match but he never thought of bringing in Bojan or Pedro in place of him. Now it will require a real show of character to stay ahead of a rampant Real Madrid. If we are going to produce performance like these then this season also we would be without any silverware. It's time for Pep to give his players piece of his mind. Players from reserve team might play better that this.

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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