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Jan 31, 2010

A solitary goal from Pedro helped Barca register another victory in the League and hold on to the five point lead at the top. The scoreline might suggest an equal contest but in reality a rather wasteful Barca side never managed the second goal they deserved. The 1-0 lead meant that the last ten minutes had it share of uncertainity. Barca altogether had 22 shots but managed only one goal. The big question of the night was who would Guardiola prefer Toure or Busquets - and the answer saw where Yaya's future lies, outside teh starting eleven. No any time in my recent history a player has been deliberately kept out of the starting eleven not on merit. Valdes saw a new comination of defense in front of him. Marquez and Pique made the centre of defense whereas Abidal and Puyol played the full-backs. The midfield saw Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets and the attack line had Messi, Ibra and Pedro, who replaced Henry and did well too. It was as I said in the preview, the trio of Iniesta, Messi and Xavi who ran the show.

The game started in a dull way. In the 6th minute Sporting appealed for a penalty after Marquez seemed to have blocked off Billic, but the referee called it right. In the 12th minute Messi played the ball to xavi whol slipped it forward for Iniesta, Iniesta got into area but his shot was blocked by goal keeper, Pablo. In the next minute Iniesta sent in a great cross from the right, Ibrahmovic's header hit the post and the rebound recocheted off a defender into goal. But the goal was disallowed as Ibra was adjudged offside. In the 18th minute Miguel played in a great ball to Billic but he panics and shot wide from a really dangerous position. In the 27th minute Moran sent in a great ball from left but Billic's header was close to Valdes. Then in the 29th minute Pedro put Barca in the front. Barca took a quick free kick , Iniesta releases Pedro with a great pass, Pedro with a great run finished the ball cooly into the near corner.

The second half saw Barca rigorously pushing for a second goal. In the 52nd minute Iniesta saw his shot from outside the box go just wide after Pedro has pulled back the ball. In the 55th minute Iniesta sent another great pass putting Ibra ahead but he was crowded out in the box. In the 65th minute Messi saw his shot go agaonisingly close of the wide post after Pedro has pulled the ball back. In the 73rd minute Xavi caught the defense sleeping with a great ball which released Messi on right; Messi pulle dthe ball into the centre for Ibra, who was denied by Pable but the rebound fell to Pedro who only could blast the shot over. Next minute Xavi send in another great ball this time to Ibra in the centre, Ibra held off the defender and fired in on goal, it went in Pedro's path but Lora hurled himself at it conceding a corner. The 1-0 lead meant Sporting showing some intention to get the goal back in the last ten minutes, but they weren't good enough.

FC Barcelona would have hoped for a bigger victory here. But the overall performance of the team was satisfactory. Messi, Iniesta and Xavi were too hot to handle. It is goog to see Iniesta back in his usual form tearing opposition. Ibrahmovic was very poor throughout the match. He looked low on confidence. Guardiola's decision not to replace him with Bojan is quite surprising. He brought in Bojan in the 90th minute as if to make fun of him. I always have spoken against Guardiola's tactic of seeing substitution as a time ewasting tactic only. Bojan should have been brought in earlier, when Ibra was struggling infront of goal. The only message Guardiola manages to send to Bojan is "Whatever is the situation, you are not good enough".

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8 comments:

quophi said...

i agree with you with yaya and ibra points raised. i am tired of pep for some decisions he makes these days. how much time does pep intend to give kirkic this season? he is actually killing his confidence and sooner or later he will be like ibrahimovic(he has no vision and instinct for goal scoring). not giving yaya a place these days comes as a shock to me. all things being equal yaya should always start ahead of busquets. but then only pep knows best.
lastly to comment on ibra's poor form, the more times he wastes chances the more pep and ibra kills morale in team. pep should know better.

Bibin said...

The problem with Guardiola is that he sees substituition as a mere time wasting oppurtunity

Unknown said...

Again about Ibra he need time & we should give all the time Bojan can do nothing .. at leats Ibra doing "some" good passes which Bojan can't do & he is taking position , again it's not about scoring all the time as Henry's case..

About Yaya i don't know how Pep thinking!! with out Yaya we could'nt win the triple last season & now he is ignoring him to the bone ..Yaya is a grat player that can replace bousquets easily & bousquets can be used in the central midfield to rest Xavi then what about not resting Dani Alves all the season!! he is playing every single game , again giving Caseres to Juvintus was a mistake he could cover Dani easily " he is fast tough & skilled"!

About the subs the problem that Pep don't have that faith & self confidance with the rest of the squad & he don't have enough tactics to hold the games some times it's a truth & we should accept it ... if we are ahead for two goals it's fine we can keep on passing but if it's criical as Gijon's game we can see clearly the Pep out of Imagination ...
By the way I'm a big Barca fan but it's some facts about our current squad & situation ..

Forza Barcaaaa ...

Bibin said...

Ghassan:

Ibrahmovic is a great player, no one doubts that. But I never considered him to be the ideal player for Barca. He is one of the best roaming striker ( playing behind a pure centre forward) in the world. But Barca need a opure CF. Our system needs it badly.

Many times we see Ibrahmovic trying that non-sense flick when he should have taken the shot as a pure CF. But then he is not that kind of player. That's what I wrote in my post - http://www.allaboutfcbarcelona.com/2010/01/ibrahmovic-has-to-keep-it-simple.html

Unknown said...

I got it & i read ur post but what im saying that he can adapt shortly to our system , then if he is not pure CF then we can get Via or Rooney & he can move to Henry's place...

Bibin said...

Ghassan :

Again I am not sure moving him to left is a good choice. If in a 4-3-3 position he has to prove, he has to do it in the center forward postition only. I always agree that he should be given some time to settle, no doubt abt that. But I hate seeing Guardiola not using Bojan at all. He could have given him atleast 30 minutes of time in the last match.

I would love to see Rooney in Barca. He would be ideal. Good in air, brings strength to the front three and will defend like hell. But will ManU ever let him go?

Unknown said...

I don't think that ManU will let him go at all..

Bibin .. please I want u to discuss Pep's tactics & imagination on the pitch & the comparison between Yaya & Bosquets & if he really deserve this shit treatment from Pep .. with all respect to Guardiola ...

Bibin said...

Ghassan:

I had earlier wrote about Guardiola's tactics - have a look http://www.allaboutfcbarcelona.com/2009/07/is-guardiola-that-good-manager.html

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