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Nov 25, 2010

FC Barcelona has secured the safe passage to the second round of Champions League with a brilliant 3-0 victory against Greek side Pananathanaikos. This one was a rare away victory for Barca in Europe. I would say that this victory was brilliant than the 8-0 demolishing of Almeria. Messi scored his 150th goal for Barca inbetween a brace by Pedro to secure Barca the top spot in Group D. Guardiola made two changes to the team which murdered Almeria. Adriano came in for Maxwell and Pique in for Fontas. Puyol and Alves completed the defense. The midfield remained the same with Iniesta, Xavi and Mascherano. Messi, Villa and Pedro formed the attacking trio.

FC Barcelona struggled to impose themselves in the start of the match with a crowded Pananthanaikos back line and midfield. We struggled to crearte any meaningful attack in the first 25 minutes. We had a real scare in the 20th minute when Cisse was played onside by Pique, with Puyol completely lost. But Valdes pulled out a smart save one on one on Cisse. In the 26th minute we had our fist shot on target with Adriano trying his luck from outside the box, but the keeper punched it away for a corner. From the resulting corner Pedro scored for Barca with a brilliant finish. Xavi's corner was cleared as far as Alves by Pananthanaikos defesnse, Alves played the ball to Pedro playing him on in the box, who clamly slotted the ball past the goal keepr to the far left corner. In the 44th minute David Villa's decent effort was saved by the keeper. Towards the end of the first half we looked better with a bit of pace induced suddenly.

Barca tried to be a bit more imposing in the second half. In the 53rd minute the Panathanaikos did really weel to deny Adriano curling effort. In the 62nd minute Messi scored for Barca to take the match beyond Pananthananikos. This was Messi's 150th goal for Barca. It was a classic Barca move, with so many one touch pass. Messi started the move by giving the ball to Xavi, who passed to Iniesta, who played a clever reverse ball to Adriano, who unselfishly squared ito Messi, who by then moved into the middle of box and finished it easily. In the 68th minute Adriano forced another save from the keeper. In the next minute Pedro scored his second after another great move. Iniesta played the ball to Alves in the middle, great movement to receive the ball again from Alves, without any doubt unselfishly square it to Pedro in the bo; its that simple. In the 71st minute Guardiola took off both Xavi and Pique for Abidal and Keita. In the 76th minute Adriano, who had his best game since his transfer was taken off for Maxwell. The home fans got something to cheer when some guy ran onto the pitch in the 80th minute, he did make sure that he was on TV and also probably would have got himself banned for life from the stadium. Next we had a small hold up, when the referee held the game spotting some bursting of fire crackers in the stadium.

As I wrote earlier this was a really brilliant victory. Panathanaikos looked like a really tough side to break down but we sticked to our task and disected them with some beautiful, really beautiful classic Barca move. The side may have looked a bit slow and unresponsive in first half. But that looked like a preparation for the second half. Adriano who did really looked terrible till yesterday had a brilliant game creating more troubles for Pananthanaikos. The rest of the team did gave a good account of themselves. Messi continued with his goal scoring spree and looks destined for more against Real Madrid on Monday. Now all the focus shifts to that job.

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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