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Mar 25, 2010

FC Barcelona moved to the top of the table with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Osasuna at the Camp Nou. Second half goals from Ibrahmovic and Bojan Krkic was enough to see Barca through a very tricky match. A very well organised Osasuna side made it very difficult for Barca and this match definitely was a good test for the Barca side ahead of the Arsenal clash. Everyone was expecting Lionel Messi to be rested after his recent heroics but that was not to be. Guardiola lined-up his regular attacking line against Osasuna with Messi pairing Ibrahimovic and Henry. The midfield had the expected look with Iniesta, Busquets and Toure paired together. Maxwell, Puyol, Milito and Alves formed the defense infront of Valdes.

FC Barcelona Struggles Against a Determined Osasuna Defense

The match was an open one in the early exchanges. Fc barcelona had their first shot on target in the 2nd minute. Messi fed Ibrahimovic, who cut inside but his final shot was saved by Osasuna custodian, Ricardo. Osasuna immediately responded with Vadocz breaking the offside trap and forcing Valdes to make an excellent stop. Osasuan then started piling up the pressure causing quite an amount of panic in the Barca backline. In the 15th minute Ricardo scrambles to deny after he initially failed to deal with the corner. The tempo of the game dropped drastically from then on. Iniesta made some surging runs but was either crowded out by an organised defense or the final ball wasn't dealt properly by Barca players. Osasuna made sure that they double marked Messi whenever he got hold of the ball and was very successful in containing him.


Fc Barcelona Shows More Intent in the Second Half


Guardiola introduced Pedro in place of Henry and that resulted in changing the tempo of the game. In the 53rd minute Pedro spotted Messi's run and tried to loft the ball over the defense but it was just out of reach for Messi. In the 63rd minute Iniesta sent in a good cross into the centre but Toure could only head wide. In the 68th minute Busquets was taken off and Keita was introduced. In the 71st minute Keita had a great chance but could only head straight at Ricardo from an Alves cross; the rebound fell to Ibra but was denied by a last gasp Flano intervention. Finally in the 72nd minute Barca managed to break through Osasuna defense with Ibra scoring. Pedro played the ball to Iniesta on the left, who then drove the ball low into the centre and Ibrahimovic did well to slot it home. That was the last touch of Swede as he was replaced by Bojan in the next minute. Barca kept on looking for the second goal and most of the move came through Iniesta on the left. In the 88th Bojan sealed the match for Barca when he tapped in a cross from Iniesta at the near post in a move started by himself in the middle.

FC Barcelona performance was very sloppy in this match. The first half performance was very poor and the main reason should be Guardiola's crazy idea to use a 4-3-1-2 formation. That cut the use of width of the pitch and Henry was left starnded throughout the half. The second half saw Guardiola using the traditional formation and that resulted in creating more chances. Iniesta's performance in the second half was good, so was Toure's. Messi had an off day by his standard and it was good to see the team winning with Messi not firing. Valdes and Milito was very consistent throughout the match. With this win we have gone three points clear on top. Real Madrid visit Getafe tomorrow and will be looking to re-gain the top spot.

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8 comments:

Monch said...

I salute the writer´s good understanding of the game where he criticizes Pep's faulty arrangement of the team in the first half. He says:
The first half performance was very poor and the main reason should be Guardiola's crazy idea to use a 4-3-1-2 formation.
Well, after the game Pep said:
"I wanted to try something and it didn't go well. I have not made the right decision and we were not good, we played very poorly in the first half.
The elimination of the team from the Spanish cup tournament was also due to his wrong selection of players. He is who he is, Young and revolutionary. Read it Crazy and bold. Sometimes unbelievable achievements, other times....
He is learning and luckily for us, he is honest and self critical. Thanks for the article.

quophi said...

i think yaya and sergio should not start together again.i was ok with ibra's performance yesterday. he should keep it up. he is doing it at the right time. you see how crucial it is when messi is not firing?

Bibin said...

Yaya looks like more commanding in the DM role and he should start at the Emirates.

quophi said...

bibin u had it wrong with the first goal. it was maxwell who made the cross not iniesta.

Monch said...

I defiantly believe that Yaya should start in any critical occasion. He is a fighter with a heart as great as his body. Not playing him often, would harm both him and the team. And in Zlatan´s case, if he locates himself more often where he was located when he scored last night, He will score far more often. Henry is probably finished. He has reached all his goals as a player and is not motivated enough for big tasks. I see a bright future in Pedro. And I don´t know what should be done with Bojan. Indeed a great talent is being burned in front of my eyes and I am sorry for that.

Bibin said...

Nana: I definitely missed that. It was Maxwell who made the cross.

If you have watched Toure he is using his long legs to great use in recent matches. He is no express but with big strides he is compensating for that.

As far as Henry is concerned, he has still more to offer. Watch the Stuttgart match. But he needs his space to work with. There is a mis-conception that Henry works well in a CF position, it's wrong. He works well whenever he is provided space to run. The first half formation wasn't helpful to him in that aspect. But looking forward we definitely need a replacement for Henry, Arshavin would have been a great buy if we had gone for him. Other wise Silva is the best option.

quophi said...

henry surely can rise up to the occasion when needed. so bad pep has played him in unfavourable positions this season. pep has done the same to bojan and i don't know what he is thinking of. one funny thing i've just realiazed is ibra has scored 2 in the last two so has bojan but ibra has played more match time in these matches. so who should be given the start in our matches.?

Bibin said...

Guardiola surely will start with Ibra, but he should bring on Bojan as early as possible if Ibra is not efefctive.

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