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Jan 14, 2010

A solitary goal victory was not good enough for Barca as the two home goals they conceded proved crucial. Xavi's strike in the second half had given Barca a deserving lead, but some poor finishing from strikers and some great goal keeping by Sevilla custodian Palop made sure that Barca never got the all important second goal. This lose is the first of its kind after Guardiola took over as coach. Guardiola started his impressive campaign of 100 percent success with six trophies with the Copa Del Rey and it is ironic that it ended at the same competition. Guardiola made his intention clear with selcecting the best eleven available to him. Pinto was the only non-regualr. The defense had Alves, Pique, Puyol and Abidal. The midfield did saw Iniesta and Xavi partnering Busquets. The attack line was back to its normal formation of Messi, Ibra and Henry.

As expected Sevilla started the match better than Barca. In the 3rd minute Sevilla had their first shot on target with Pinto pulling out a save to deny Romaric header from a corner. In the 13th minute Renato saw his header going high over the bar. Barca's first shot on target came with Henry trying a long shot but it never had the power to trouble Palop. In the 28th minute Barca had their first real chance of the match. Messi chipped the ball into the box, the defense tried to clear but the rebound feel to Ibra who hit it wide. He could have played it back to Xavi who moved into a great position. In the 30th minute Messi saw his shot from outsie box comfortably blocked by Palop.

Barca Came Out More Determined in Second Half

Barca looked more determined in the second half. In the 46th minute Messi slips in a great pass to Iniesta butr Palop rushed off his line to claim it. In the 52nd minute Palop produced a magnificient save to deny Ibra's header from a Messi free kick. In the 53rd minute Navas put the ball past Pinto but he was incorrectly judged offside. In the 64th minute Barca went ahead with Xavi's great strike. Xavi played the ball to Iniesta on the left, Iniesta was crowded out and tried to return the ball back to Xavi; the defender intervened by the clearance hit Xavi and fell in a good position for him just outside the box and he then sent in a great shot onto the far corner of the goal. In the 67th minute Messi sets off on the left and scooped the ball over Palop but it went wide. Then in the 69th minute Messi received the ball on the right and sets off into the box , dummies to creat the space and sends in a curling shot but it hit the post. Any other day both these chances would have gone in. In the 85th minute Palop produced another blinder to deny Messi from close range.

Barca has to put the dissappointment of this exit behind them as soon as possible. The tie was lost in the first leg. We will be facing Sevilla again in this weekend in La Liga. The performance of the team was average overall. The three little giants - Messi, Iniesta and Xavi had a good match. Especially Messi and Iniesta. Iniesta has been good in last three matches and that is a great news. Xavi was below his normal brilliance was stll good. The dissappointment were bot Henry and Ibrahmovic. They both put in a lot of effort but was poor overall especially with their finishing and crosses. Guardiola should have replace Henry with Bojan or Pedro earlier than he did. Busquets for me was poor. He may not have made any mistake, but there is no doubt that he failed to take charge of the midfield they way Toure used to do. That would have given more room for Iniesta and Xavi.

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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