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Sep 14, 2011

FC Barcelona for the second time in four days failed to kill off a game which they dominated, and ended sharing points in the first match of Champions League this season. AC Milan took a shock lead within 25 second of start through Pato. Barca over turned it from through goals from Pedro and Villa, but then in the dying moments Thiago Silva equalised from the corner for AC Milan. Despite the last week's stumble. Guardiola went in again Keita as the holding midfielder but this time having Xavi and Iniesta to keep company. The defense had Albves, Mascherano, Busquets and Abidal. The front trio was reinstated to the usual MVP - Messi, Villa and Pedro. It is becoming very clear that Guardiola is going to continue with this experiment of Keita as holding midfielder throughout this season. Milan lined up with Pato, Cassano, Boateng, Noecerino, Seedorf, van Bommel, Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta and Abbiati.

Within 23 seconds of the start Alexandro Pato went in a great run exposing all our defense putting AC Milan ahead in a shock start. Busquets was beaten blatantly by the pace of Pato. That one definitely will end up as one of the goal of the season and is the 5th fastest goal scored in Champions League history. After the really early shock we started to take control of possession and Abiati was forced to deflect a Alves shot for a corner in the 9th minute. In the 12th minute David Villa hit the side-netteing from a corner which flicked on by Keita to him. In the 13th minute Messi tested Abiate with a low driven shot which the keeper deflect for a corner. The combination of Seedorf and Pato was giving our defense really a tough time, which was very much assisted by Busquets indecisiveness as the last man in defense. In the 17th minute Pato found himself once again through on goal and it took a hell of a challenge from Keita to prevent Milan going 2-0 up.

Abidal was constantly forced to come to centre to cover for our centre back pair. In the 19th minute Messi saw his wonderfully taken free kick hit the post. In the 28th minute Villa tried an extra ordinary volley to equalise but the shot went high over the bar. In the 30th minute Messi once again forced a save from Abiati from a very tight angle. In the 36th minute Pedro equalised with a simple tap-in. The goal was simply because of Messi's persistence who darted into the box, skipped past two defenders and some how got past the last one and found the time and space to square the ball to Pedro, who incidently is the best poacher in the side. In the 40th minute Iniesta was taken off for Cesc Fabregas. The half ended with Xavi sending a strong shot wide off the post.

In the 48th minute Xavi fored a decent save from a long range effort. In the 50th minute David Villa put Barca ahead with a great free kick which swirled over the wall into the top right corner. In the 55th minute an absolute splendid tackle from Nesta denied Messi chance to get his name on the scoresheet. Messi had three oppurtunities to get the shot off, but he waited a bit longer. In the 67th minute Keita who had a brilliant second half was taken off for Puyol. That meant Busquets could move forward. In the 69th minute Xavi saw his freekick from just outside the box going high over the bar. In the 84th minute Afellay came in for David Villa. At 2-1 the match was all up for Milan to grab but we were keeping the lion share of possession and looked like the only team capable of scoring. In the 92nd minute against all odds Thiago Silva scored from a header from a corner, which actually should have been a free kick for us.

Guardiola definitely have a big job in his hand to shake the players out of their comfort zone. This is the second time it happened in that many matches and not killing matches could hunt us in every competition this season. Lionel Messi definitely was the best attacking player on the pitch tonight and there was only one reason which prevented him from getting on the scoresheet. That reason's name is Alessandro Nesta, for me the Man of the Match of tonight'clash. Eric Abidal was the overall best Barca player on the pitch.The shock goal from Pato shook everyone apart and it was surprising to see Abidal remaining calm and assured even at that time. The worst player definitely was Busquets who at times decided to shocase his passing skill even when he is the last man in the defense. he was extremely lucky that he didn't pay too much of a price for it. He was caught out in both the goals and with Puyol back will see less playing time in central defense. The match also ask some interesting questions about Guardiola's tactics this season. It looks like he is rotating his players a bit too much with everyone lacking in match fitness. Atleast this early in the season we should give the first eleven a constant playing time. To make matters worse Iniesta has been ruled out for 4 weeks due to a muscle tear.

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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