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Sep 18, 2011

FC Barcelona shaken off their recent poor result with an absolute 8-0 mauling of Osasuna at Camp Nou. After the two rather unfortunate draws, somebody had to pay and unfortunately Osasuna was on the fire line. And they did pretty bad. Messi scored three goal, Villa two goal, Cesc and Xavi scored one each and also there was an unfortunate own goal from Roversio.Have to admit everyone looked a bit nervous approaching the start. Two consecutive draws made this encounter a must win encounter for us. Guardiola went in with the strongest available defense lining up Alves, Puyol, Mascherano and Abidal. The midfield had Busquets back in the holding midfielder role with Xavi and Fabregas to keep him company. Thiago, Messi and Villa made up the attacking trio.


The nervousness was pretty evident in the opening minutes with Abidal giving away the ball cheaply in our box which resulted in the corner. Osasuna was pressing pretty high up the pitch and that was also not helping our defense. But that didn't prevent us going in front in the 5th minute when Messi dived onto divert a great headed cross from Alves. Also credit has to be given to Busquets for picking out Alves in the box. In the 7th minute Villa forced a very good low save from Osasuna keeper, Andres. Within seconds Messi danced inside the box before forcing yet another save from Andres. In the 13th minute Cesc Fabregas scored to make the scoreline 2-0. The move was started by Cesc himself when he chested down the ball from Thiago and send it to Messi continuing his run into box, Messi not surprisingly chipped the ball above the defense into the path of Cesc who volleyed the ball first hand into the far corner. In the 25th minute Messi threaded in a beautiful through ball putting Cesc straight on goal but once again was denied by Osasuna keeper, Andres. In the 26th minute Messi spotted a clever Abidal run into the box and send in a great cross which Abidal could only head onto the bar. The fans would have gone crazy if he has scored.

In the 30th minute Xavi send in a long diagonal cross picking Alves out on right wide, Alves send in a great cross which caught the entire Osasuna defense out but Messi's header hit the inside of the post and stayed out. In the 34th minute David Villa finally broke Andres' brave defense which put us 3-0 ahead. Abidal brilliantly picked out an unmarked Villa in the box, who easily got around the keeper and finished the move. In the 40th minute an own goal from Osasuna defender, Robercia made the scoreline 4-0. David Villa was released with a great ball from the halfline, who ran like a bullet and only had to beat the keeper, But Andres who was in a super man mode blocked it but unfortunately the ball richocheted of his defender and into the goal. In the very next minute Messi scored his second of the night to make the scoreline 5-0. This was a brilliant Barca themed goal, Xavi played the ball into Cesc path in the box, Cesc calmly turned inside 180 degree to lose his marker and slipped the ball to Messi, who only had to slot the ball home.

The game was very much over by halftime and it was only to be seen whether we will add any more goals. The first half statistics were like from some fantasy land. We had 85% of possession, 9 shots out of that all 9 were on target and importantly we scored from five of them and also hit the bar and post from two of the rest. With the match firmly wrapped in the bags Barca was expected to cool it off in the second half. But cooling off was the last thing on our players mind. Guardiola brought in Adriano for Abidal which definitely was a more attacking substitution. In the 50th minute Alves from right put Messi through but Messi's glorious chip hit the wood work. In between this chance Messi and Fabregas had two glorious chances but their first touch let them down. In the 54the minute Puyol was taken off for Maxwell. In the 57th minute Xaqvi made the scoreline 6-0 when he was brilliantly picked out in the box by once again Lionel Messi and Xavi cleverly lobbed the ball past a on-rushing Andres. In the 60th minute Alves sent in a great cross which looked a bit over hit for Messi, but Messi stretched and took the ball under control but couldn't beat Andres Fernandez.

Guardiola took off Xavi and brough in Afellay soon after. With Xavi gone we lost a bit of control in midfield and that resulted in a great counter from Osasuna, but Nino could only flash wide off the post. In the 71st minute Messi found Villa on the left in the box, who cut inside but his attempt to curl into far corner was deflected for a corner. In the 76th minute David Villa made the score 7-0. Cesc fabregas tried to dribble past three defenders but was blocked but the ball somehow fell to Cesc again who very unselfishly slipped it to Villa taking the keeper out of equation. In the 79th minute Lionel Messi completed the hat-trick with an absolute peach of a goal. It was all Messi in that goal, who played a neat one two with Cesc Fabregas, skipped into the box as if the entire defense wasn't there and finally beat Andres Fernandez for the third time on the night. In the 86th minute Andres made another decent save off Lionel Messi.

Picking a Man of The Match after this game is a big injustice to the entire team. There was not even a single player who didn't put his best in the match. But if you have to pick one , not surprisingly it has to be Lione Messi. Three Goals, two assists and three times hitting the bar, that definitely have to make you the best on that Stadium. The finals statistics said everything about the match - we had 18 shots out of which 14 were on target. The final possesion statistics in 82% to 18% in Barca's favour. Osasuna was no match for this Barca side on that pitch and the final scoreline was an understatement, courtesy of an absolutely brilliant goal keeping effort from, Andres Fernandez. It was a be-fitting answer to the Barca haters who suddenly ridiculed this great team, and also assured the fans. Only one request to Guardiola - don't tinker with the line-up until we hit fifth gear constantly.

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