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Jan 24, 2010

FC Barcelona has moved eight points clear on top with an emphatic 3-0 victory at Valladoid. Now the pressure will be on Real Madrid to reduce the lead tonight. Valladoid did trouble Barca early on, but two goals in the span of 90 seconds from Xavi and Alves in the first half made Barca's life easy. Messi then scored the third in the second half to round off the tally. With this victory Barca has completed the first half of the season undefeated, which in itself is a club record. Guardiola decided to include Keita as the defensive midfielder alongside the attacking options of Xavi and Iniesta. The forward line-up bore a regular look-up with Messi, Henry and Ibra. The defense had Alves, Puyol, Pique and Abidal infront of Valdes.

The final result may not be an ideal indication to how the game started. The games started with Valladoid dominating the play slightly. The first shot of the match fell to Valladoid from a free kick in the fifth minute; Canobbio fired a powerful left foot shot but Valdes was alert to punch the ball away. Barca's first chance came in the 8th minute when Keita headed over from a Xavi corner. In the 11th minute Alves laid back the ball to Messi's path with a superb back-heel but Messi's curling shot was saved by goal keeper Villar . In the 18th minute Valdes produced a good one hand save to deny Diego Costa after Pique gave the ball away. In the 20th minute Messi set Alves off down the right, Alves sent in a great cross into the box, which was superbly volleyed into goal by Xavi to give Barca the lead. Within two minutes Barca extended the lead when Alves's supposed cross to the centre went straight into the far corner. The smile at Alves face proved that he really intended to cross the ball to Ibrahmovic, but no one was complaining. That two goals took the fizz out of the early Valladoid challenge. In the 44th minute Borja slammed great free kick staright at Valdes who did well to block and Barca were able to clear any danger off the rebound.

The second half saw Barca take full control of the proceeding. In the 55th minute Iniesta showed great skill get away from his marker but he shot straight at Villar. In the 56th minute Iniesta played the ball to Alves on the right whose cross into the middle was met with a spectacular bi-cycle kick from Henry. But Villar was able to produce the save to deny henry. In the same minte Messi made it 3-0 with a neat finish from a Ibrahmovic pass. With that goal Messi has moved one goal ahead of Villa in pichichi list. In the 59th minute Valdes did well to save a downward header and preserve Barca's three goal advantage. In the 62nd minute Gaurdiola replaced Pique with Milito. In the 64th minute Iniesta played the ball to Henry who drove forward and shot. but Villar was able to catch the ball. The next minute it was Messi who broke down the left but his shot went wide. In the 70th minute Messi fought off the ball from three Valladoid playes and rushed forward before playing the ball to Ibra on the right but his shot was saved by Villar. Towards the end Guardiola brought in Chygrynskiy for keita and Bojan for Henry.

The game might not have started brightly for Barca but they did well to take control of the game and make it look easy. Valdes produced three fine save and totally deserved the clean sheet. He has been looking fine in last couple of matches. This is Barca's third consecutive victory with a margin of three goals or more. The best thing is that we have been able to do it without Henry and Ibrahmovic coming into any kind of form. Both of their performance has been average. The player of the match was Dani Alves, who had his hand in all the goals. He was simply unstoppable from that right flank. Puyol was also in top form diving everywhere and cutting all the dangers. Messi is continuing his great form and was again the driving force in all Barca moves. The midfield duo of Iniesta and Xavi performed well throughout the match. The team looks good and we have to hit top form before Champions League commences.

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1 comments:

quophi said...

nice match overall but then ibra hasn't still showed signs of improving.. if he won't improve why doesn't pep use bojan instead cuz sitting him on the bench will make him rot plus now there is no del-rey for us. he is too much concentrated on stylish passes which don't even get thru to the receipient.. we can't rely on him in big matches. he just needs to sit on the bench and learn...

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