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Apr 21, 2011

Cristiano Ronaldo's goal secured Copa del Rey triumph over FC Barcelona

Guardiola had the first taste of defeat in an El Clasico match and a cup final with a 1-0 defeat against arch-rival Real Madrid. In a toughly contested final it was a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo which secured the first trophy available in Spain to Real madrid. Has to admit that pretty sloppy performance in the first half was responsible for giving the initiative to Real madrid and losing this match. With this win the initiative has gone to Madrid based side and now Real Madrid definitely has the initiative going into Champions League tie. Guardiola as said in the pre-match press conference went with Pinto in the goal. Puyol missed out of the starting eleven, that means Mascherano came into the side after the one match suspension. The defense had Alves, Pique, Mascherano and Adriano. The midfield had the usual formation of Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta. The front trio remain unchanged with Pedro, Messi and Villa. Mourinho as expected moved Ramos to centre back and brought in Arbeloa. The other change from Saturday were Ozil coming in for Benzema, that meant Ronaldo was playing in the centre forward role.

We looked a bit nervous at the start and Real Madrid was once again looking to cut us open on counter. The approach was to hold tight on the midfield and make sure Barca have less area to work with. Real Madrid had a early free kick in the 2nd minute on the right, but Alonso made a mess of it. We had our first shot in the 7th minute from Xavi but it was too wide to trouble anyone. In the early exchanges Real madrid looked absolutely threatening and in the 12th minute Ronaldo had a great chance to put them ahead, luckily Adriano pulled another goal line clearence. We were struggling everytime an aerial ball is played into the middle and was uncharacteristically struggling with our passing. Messi was getting a bit frustrated with the constant kicking especially from Pepe. In the 30th minute Ozil sent in a great chipped ball spotting Ronaldo's run, but luckily for us he never managed to get a decent touch on the ball. Once again our central defense was outsmarted by Ronaldo's run. In the 36th minute Pique lost the ball in the midfield and the ball breaks Ronaldo through, Pinto had to make an excellent save to deny him. Around the 40th minute we were putting a bit of pressure winning three corners in succession but couldn't manage to make anything out of it. In the 44th minute we were lucky not to go behind when Pepe's fantastic header hit the post. Pinto stood beaten there. We were extremely lucky to reach the half time without conceding a goal. Our midfield was getting over-run by Madrid's and our midfield masters were nowehere to be seen. Pedro was the biggest disappointment, as a matter of fact none of his colleagues did any better. We never managed to shift from first gear and was very sloppy with our passing.

We looked more determined in the second half with iniesta showing a bit of glimpse of what he can do. In the 51st minute Iniesta slipped the ball onto Pedro on left but his shot hit the side netting. Guardiola did a nice switch by moving Pedro into the left and he was using his pace against Arbeloa to good effect, Messi also moved to the right and that was creating space. In the 57th minute David Villa hit the side netting from a very tight angle. In the 65th minute a poor clearence fell to Messi outsid ethe box, but he shot high over the bar. We were comfortably controlling most of the possession in the second half and was looking a huge improvement from the first half. In the 69th minute we thought we went into the lead after Messi went in a great run and slipped Pedro through and he finished well, but Pedro was leaning offside. Mourinho immediately took off Ozil and brought in Adebayor. That change means more long balls will be played into Barca box. In the 75th minute Busquets released Alves with a great ball, Alves cut back to Messi but the defense somehow blocked everything. The very next minute Casillas has to make yet another save to deny Pedro this time. IN the 81st minute Iker made another save off Iniesta after a nice one-two between Messi and Iniesta. In the 88th minute Alves made an absolute wonder of a tackle to prevent Ronaldo from scoring. In the 90th minute Pinto made a flying save to deny Maria.

FC Barcelona was looking to keep the intensity shown in second half into the extra time. In the 98th minute Xavi lost the ball in the midfield and the counter started with Ronaldo on the right, but luckily his shot went slightly wide of the far post. In the 103rd minute on another break Cristiano Ronaldo put Real Madrid ahead with a great header. That looked to have sealed the match for Real Madrid. Mourinho took a tired Khedira and brought in Granero to keep the lead intact. Guardiola brought in Afellay in the start of second half for David Villa. Next in was Keita in for Busquets. In the 119th minute Pinto and Alves denied Ronaldo putting Madrid 2-0 up. In the injury time Mari was sent off after being shown the second yellow card of the night.

We were very poor in the first half and that was the real reason why we went down. The second half and the extra time saw the real Barca, but it has to be admitted that we brought Real madrid unnecessarily into the match.The performance of all teh players in the first half was pathetic. Messi was the shining light but all alone was being crowded by Real madrid midfield and defense.The second half saw the real Barca performance and we should consider ourseleves unlucky to have been punsihed on the counter. Leading into that goal we were a bit sloppy and that really paved way into that goal. Credit has to be given where it's due and Real madrid really did well with their tactics and plans. They had a great first half and could have gone atleast a goal ahead by half time. Mourinho once again got better off this Barca side and would be extatic going into the Champions League semi-final tie. Now its all back to drawing board for Barca. Now with the first trophy of the season gone, its time to get the focus back on the Champions League and the League.

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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