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Sep 10, 2011

Visiting Anoeta stadium is becoming a head-ache for Guardiola. Last season we ended losing well after we secured the title, this season it was an improvement with a 2-2 draw. By doing this Guardiola has continued the glorified tradition of dropping point of the second league match, last time we lost to Hercules. As Sid Lowe of Guardian said, draws in this League are the new defeat and in the end this result could have some impact how the league ends. Followers of Barca will argue that it's a familiar sight after an international break but this time it all has to come down to complacency. Guardiola started with Fontas and Busquets in centre of defense flanked by Adriano and Alves on both side. The midfield had Cesc, Keita and Xavi. Pedro, Thiago and Sanchez formed the front three. Messi, Abidal, Villa, Puyol, Pinto, Mascherano, Villa and Iniesta found place only on the bench. Once again it showed clearly that playing Keita as the holding midfielder could take us out of some important competition and it's a ridiculous exercise.

We had our first real chance came in 7th minute when a lofted ball from Xavi picked Cesc Fabregas run but the newly signed player failed to get any contact on that. Anyways we opened the score line after two minutes through Xavi. Cesc Fabregas played a great ball spotting Alexis run who squared the ball to Xavi. In the 11th minute we went 2-0 up when Cesc Fabregas finished off a move in which he played very much the creative role. This time Xavi sent in a great ball spotting Fabregas' run who squared the ball to pedro for a simple finish, who surprisingly shot at the keeper but Cesc Fabregas was at hand to put int the rebound. In the 31st minute Alexis had to be sustituted after he appeared to have suffered an harmstring injury and David Villa came as the replacement. Many football fans have huge difficulty in understanding the offside rule. In the 40th minute the lines man also showed that he had no clue of the same. It was quite funny. Soceidad played a lofted ball above our defense, one of the player, Greizmann maybe have been in an offise position, so he decided not to chase it. Adriano went and collected the ball just before it crosses the touchline so Greizmann went to challenge him and was flagged offisde, absolute stupididty!

The match started slowly after the break with Barca in no need to force anything happening. In the 54th minute Pedro shot straight at the keeper from outside the box which mainly was a shot in hope. In the 59th minute Sociedad pulled one back through a Agirretxe header. In the next minute Sociedad equalised from a starnge piece of play with Villa sending a long back pass putting Socided player, through on goal. Guardiola immediately brought in Messi in place of Thiago. The curse of international break was staring us on the face. In the 71st minute Pedro flashes his shot high after Dani Alves did well to square the ball to him in a promising position. In the 76th minute Real Soceidad did well to force a save off Messi from a tight angle. With just ten minutes on the clock left Guardiola brought in Iniesta on for Fontas, which meant we didn't have a single proper central defender in the last ten minutes. In the 90th minute Dani Alves had to do really well to clear a good cross. The final minutes saw immense pressure from Real Sociedad winning three corners back to back. The frustration of the scoreline was clearly showed by Messi doing a blatant dive and got rightly booked for that.

It was a shocking second half display by the Champions and the way whole match shifted shocked everyone. The two early goals meant we reduced the tempo and switched off at hafl time. Real Sociedad picked their rhythm in the second half and to be honest looked like the only team which could win the match. We were too complacent with many of the players playing below par. Pedro was absolutely poor throughout the match, that back pass which set up the equaliser summed Villa's night. We missed Iniesta for the majority of the match. We missed a bloody proper holding midfielder for the majority of the match. Keita is no good in that task once the pressure start building. Everytime he goes for a challenge it's a definite foul and too often he gives the ball back to the wrong player. For that pretty reason, Guardiola has to take the majority of the blame for the two points dropped here. His substitution came too late. The moment we saw Real Sociedad scored the equaliser, we should have iNiesta alkso along with Messi in there. And also when you are playing you definitely need to have a proper formation. We never looked like having a centre forward or false 9 in the second half. The only positive here is that this draw came pretty early and we will definitely have chance to correct the course in coming weeks. I don't think Real Madrid will drop much points this season, hence this two points dropped could become quite tricky for us. This plays the early advantage into Mourinho's hand.

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