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Apr 4, 2010

FC Barcelona moved back to the top of La Liga witha 4-1 win against Athletic Bilbao and will remain there for atleast 24 hours. Bojan who started in place of Ibrahimovic, who got injured in warm-up scored twice and Messi and Jeffren scored one each for Barca. Susaeta scored the consolation goal for Athletic Bilbao. This victory is more sweet considering that many of the regular starters were rested for this encounter and still Barca was able to dominate the game. I have criticised Guardiola's strange tactics many times and this match also I was clueless when I saw Chygrynskiy and Pique in the centre of defense. Not that they did a bad job, but with Chygrynskiy unavailable for Europe, it was stupidity not to give Marquez some playing time. Puyol and Abidal as expected played the full back roles. Guardiola once again adopted the 4-2-3-1 formation, which was very efefctive against Athletic. Toure and Busquets played the pivot roles behind the midfield made up of Jeffren, Messi and Maxwell. That was the first time Maxwell played in midfield and showed his use as a utility player. Bojan played as the striker infront of Messi.

FC Barcelona Dominates from the start

The match started in a pretty open fashion contrary to the scoreline. The opening efforts were mostly shot which went wide of the post. The first real chance fell to Messi in the 21st minute. Busquest played the ball to Bojan on the right who played in a low cross in to Messi in centre, who spectacularly shot high from just three yards out. In the 27th minute Barca took the lead via Jeffren. Messi played the ball to an overlapping Abidal who then sent in a cross to the far wide post which was slotted in by a sliding Jeffren. Athletci Bilbao had a great chance to equalise in the 37th minute but Llorente shot high from a pormising position. Athletci was made to pay for that miss in the 40th minute. Puyol played a great ball to Bojan who slotted it cooly into the left corner. After the half, Athletic came out strongly attacking us. Guardiol brought in Xavi to control he midfield. In the 59th minute Messi played the ball to Abidal who pulled the ball back to Bojan on the edge of the box, who blasted the ball into the top left corner. Messi completed the tally for Barac in the 67th minute when he got ahead of defense and met a pedro cross.

As expected this match didn't have the intensity of the mid-week encounter. Bojan and Jeffren played really well pressing really hard. I was so happy to see Bojan scoring those two goals. Both those finishes were world class and his confidence looks is on the rise. It's a good thing for Barca ,especially with Ibra injured and doubtful for Arsenal clash. I would have liked to see the centre back pairing of Marquez and Milito at sometime, but it looks like Guardiola was not taking any risks on them. Toure had another solid game but was lucky not getting sent off for a kind of head-butt. Messi by his standard had an average game but that should be good news as he will be ready to fire against Arsenal. Maxwell performed well in his position and should give more options to Guardiola in the future.

1 comments:

nana said...

i missed the match though but looking at the new tactics from pep. it's never really favoured messi that much. but i hope pep plays our normal game against arsenal.

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