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Nov 24, 2011

FC Barcelona secured the top spot of Group H in Champions League with a high tempo thrilling 3-2 victory against AC Milan. An own goal from Van Bommel, a penalty from Messi and another beautiful goal from xavi completed Barca's socreline, whereas Ibrahimovic and Boateng scored for AC Milan. In a match which put to practice the Galacticos principle (that is we will outscore you, no matter what), Barca emerged victorious. It was a tough place to test the three man defense but the team pulled out a brilliant win. Barca fans wanted to shore up the defense everytime we took the lead, as we were getting stretched in the defense. But guardiola was throwing attackers after attackers. He was proven right by him team. With this victory Barcelona has secured the top spot. That means we can relax for Bate Borisove visit to Camp Nou on Decen=mber 7th. That should give Guardiola enough chance to rest his major players ahead of the first Clasico on December 11th. Guardiola lined up with Valdes, Puyol, Mascherano, BUsquets, Abidal, Keita, Xavi, Thiago, Fabregas, Messi and Villa. AC Milan mean while lined up in a normal 4-3-3 formation with, Abbiati, Zambrotta, Silva, Nesta, Abate, Van Bommel, Seedorf, Aquilani, Boateng, Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

Nov 22, 2011

With both teams already qualified, tomorrow night's clash at San Siro between AC Milan and FC Barcelona is all about claiming the top spot in Group H. With 10 points Barca is at the top of the group ahead of AC Milan by two points. Usually two draws from now should see us stay at top, but the problem for Barca is the thei last Group match will take place days ahead of the first Clasico. Guardiola would want to give his boys some rest ahead of that Clasico, and hence the clash at San Siro becomes crucial. A win will secure our top place. He have to do without the service of Iniesta at San Siro, who has been ruled out due to a slight injury. That may not be a cause of hge concern for Guardiola, as he got Cesc Fabregas at his disposal. Our last visit to san Siro wasn't a pleasant one losing 3-1 to Inter Milan in the Champions League semi-final. Our recent away form in Champions league is not quite good, struggling to win against major team. So there are some issue Guardiola needs to tackle tomorrow. Meanwhile AC Milan who shocked us with a last minute draw at Camp Nou, will be vying for us at their own back yard. And they would have the service of Zlatan Ibrahimovic for tomorrow night's game.

Nov 20, 2011

FC Barcelona made shot work of the visiting Zaragoza side with a brilliant 4-0 victory at the Camp Nou. With this win, Barca had briefly moved to the top of standing, equalising with Real Madrid, who will be playing Valencia shortly. In a night after the international break, Pique, Messi, Puyol, Villa all scored for Barca. Not only they managed to win the game comfortably, they ensured that the clean sheet at home this season has been stretched to yet another week. We haven't conceded at the Camp Nou in La Liga this season. It was a mismatch from the begining and had it not been the performance of their keeper, the deficit would have been much bigger for Zaragoza. With AC Milan on mind, Guardiola rested a number of players. The defense had Alves, Puyol, Pique and Maxwell. Xavi, Keita and Cesc made the midfield trio. Cuenca got yet another start at the top along with Messi and Sanchez. Ideally Messi would have been rested but with already trailing Real Madrid by three points, Guardiola needed Messi to start the match.

Nov 15, 2011

For the past two to three weeks, this story has been the most followed in footballing circle, especially related to La Liga. We heard about how Villa feels that he is being hard done by Messi, we also heard about Liverpool and Chelsea already waiting to land the unsettled Spanish national hero and the story goes on. For those who didn't hear about any of these, let me summarize the latest activity in the rumour field. Apparently two weeks before a Valencia based media house reported a story that David Villa and Lionel Messi does not see eye to eye. As expectedly the Madrid based media houses jumped on to story to add more tasty twists and the English based one contributed to the whole situation assuring that Liverpool and Chelsea are waiting in the wings to get the striker. The rumours did force Guardiola to personally assure the fans that there is no rift between Messi and Villa, his explanation was that no one can ever fall out with such a nice guy like Villa (pretty true). It was strange that these rumours suddenly appeared after some excerpts from Ibrahimovic's book were made public In those Ibra accused Messi of taking his favoured center forward position at Barca. Hence Barca fans rightly suspected it was yet another attempt by certain clubs to create tensions at Barca, remember the doping charge against Barca players.

Nov 7, 2011

It took an injury time goal from Lionel Messi to salvage a point for Barca at San Mames. With this draw Barca found themselves trailing leaders Real Madrid by three points. This is the first time Guardiola's team is trailing their arch rivals by more than two points. This result has put the emphasis in the league back to Real madrid as they could aproach the home match against us on December 10 with a bit of ease. For us that tie has already become a must win match, until and unless Real drops point in the build up to the Clasico. Even though in the final analysis we have dropped two vital points, a draw at San Mames is not a bad thing for the team. Especially considering the conditions out there. Many places in the field resembled a swimming pool and that completely negated our tiki-taka style of play. Especially in the second half the Bilbao box was clearly full of water and that at times prevented our midfield maestros from attampting through balls which woul have split the defense. Even Messi and Iniesta found it difficult to dribble and continue on their mesmirising runs.

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