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Apr 24, 2011

FC Barcelona secured three precious point tonight at the Camp Nou with a not so inspiring performance against Osasuna. Goals from David Villa and Lionel Messi maintained Barca's eight point lead on top ahead of the big away leg of Champions League this Wednesday. Real Madrid who played earlier at Valencia, has cut the lead back to five points with a spectacular 6-3 thrashing. Valencia players were so focussed on giving that Guard of Honour, that they were all over the pitch once that match started. So our effort naturally was to have the lead restore to eleven ahead of the crucial Champiosn league encounter with Real Madrid. Osasuna were lying at sixteenth position and that meant they will fight tooth and nails to stay afloat. Guardiola rested Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and Pedro for this match, actually they started on the bench. Puyol and Pique were ommitted from the squad. The defense had Alves, Mascherano, Milito and Maxwell infront of Valdes. The midfield had Busquets, Thiago and Keita formed the midfield. Jeffren, Villa and Afellay made the front trio.

We started to pile up the pressure from the word go. In the 2nd minute David Villa had a shot which went a bit high of the goal. In the 6th minute Afellay send in a thunder strike which brushed the upper netting of the goal. In the 18th minute David Villa was brought down at the edge of the box and was awarded a free kick, but for some stupid reason Alves took the free kick and hit the wall. I still don't understand why Guardiola allows Alves to take free kicks, especially from that close range. In the 24th minute David Villa put Barca ahead from a Jeffren cross. That was a massive relief for all fo us, the club and ofcourse for Villa. That washis first La Liga goal since February 26th. Jeffren did well to create the oppurtunity, his first touch took the ball away but with his pace he made up for that and without any delay send in a cross which superbly found past three defenders. In the 32nd minute Jeffren received a long pass from Afellay on the left, got past Nelson but could only find Villa in a tight angle, his shot was blocked. In the 40th minute Osasuna had a decent chance from a corner but the header came staright to Valdes. In the 44th minute Valdes pulled out a goal line clearence to deny Osasuna the equaliser, the attacker on that occasion got past Maxwell with east to fin himself infront of the goal. That nervous finish actually exposed the problem in defending a 1-0 score.

Guardiola brought in Iniesta at the start of the second half in place of Jeffren. In the 51st minute Valdes had to make another tough save to deny a freekick. We were not able to control the match to any degree and in the 58th minute Guardiola brought in Messi in place of the goal scorer Villa. Messi's introduction saw an immediate change in the speed and atleast we were controlling possession more effectively. In the 64th minute Milito got injured and has to be taken off. Xavi replaced him that put Busquets and Mascerano in the centre of defense. In the 75th minute Alves cut back the ball to Iniesta in the box but his shot went high over the bar. In the 88th minute Lionel Messi put the game to bed when he latched on to a fine pass from Alves.

There is nothing much to say about this match. It was a boring as it can get and it was definitely not something you want to see after the set-back in Copa final. The positives were Villa finally ending his goal droiught and definitely we managing to keep the lead at eight points. One will be spoilt with choices to pick the worst player on the pitch. Alves was horrible, Busquets at times was ridiculous but the most worrying performance was from Maxwell. In my opinion he was better than the before-mentioned two but he seriously damaged his chance of featuring in the Champions League semi-final. The sensible choice now would be to play Puyol as left back and have Mascherano and Pique in centre of defense. The midfield trio of Thiago, Busquets and Keita had an off day. You would struggle to count the number of times they gave away the ball.The best player of the night was Mascherano who at times looked the only guy in the defense. Valdes was good and Milito was decent and the sad thing is that ends the good performance list. Apart from the goals and one or two decent chances we never managed to create anything significant in the final third. We definitely struggled to get into teh Osasuna final third for most of the time and that has been a sad pattern in the recent games.

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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