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Dec 18, 2011

FC Barcelona were crowned the 2011 World Club Champions following a brilliant 4-0 victory against South American Champions Santos. The battle between the Champiosn of Europe and Champiosn of South America were a mismatch with Barca controlling the proceedings for the majority of match. First half goals from Messi, Xavi and Fabregas put Santos out of the final, Messi completed the tally with another goal in the second half. This is Guardiola's 13th cup victory as the FC Barcelona first team manager, all coming in four seasons. Barcelona have now won three titles this season - UEFA Super Cup, La Liga Super Cup and World Club Championship. With Villa out with injury and Sanchez also unavailable due to a knock, Guardiola went in for a revamped formation. The defense had Alves, Pique, Puyol and Abidal. The midfield had Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets. Thiago, Cesc and Messi made the attacking trio. The presence of 5 midfielders made it very clear that the formation of choice was the 3-4-3.

Barcelona was very early into their possesion football. In the 12th minute Messi sets in a mesmerising run and shoot from outside the box, but the Santos keeper made a very good save to his right. In the 13th minute Iniesta tried an ambitious shot from outside the box, but saw his effort go well wide of the goal. In the 17th minute Lionel Messi put Barca ahead with a wonderfully taken goal to make it 1-0 for Barca. Messi latched on to a through ball from Xavi, lofted the ball over the on rushing keeper to score his first in this year's club world cup. In the 21st minute Thiago shot high from a brilliantly organised counter attack. In the 24th minute Xavi Hernandez made it 2-0 with a move and finish which is too difficult to describe. Alves played a low cross into box trying to find Messi, but the defender deflected it to Xavi, who with a side flick took the defender out of picture and finished perfecty. In the 26th minute Messi almost came close to doubling his tally but the defender did well to intercept with a last gasp challenge. In the 27th minute Valdes did well to block and hold on to a decent strike from a tight angle. In the 29th minute Xavi played a wonderful lofted through ball spotting Fabregas run but Cesc could only hit the post. In the 45th minute Fabregas made it 3-0 after he latched on to a scramble inside the box and finished off the rebound. Messi was played through a by a great ball, but he couldn't bring the ball into control with his first touch, by the time he did that Santos defenders surrounded him, he managed to play Alves through on the right who shot was blocked by keeper. Thiago tried to head the rebound to goal but was blocked on goal line, but the rebound fell to Fabregas who made no mistake.

It was total domination by Barca in the first half. Three goals, 9 shots, 6 on target and 74% possession was the stat after the first half. Immediately after the break Cesc almost scored yet another goal, when Messi latecjed on to a lose ball and set Fabregas up, but the keeper produced a brilliant save. In the 54th minute the keeper did really well to deny Messi from scoring with a brilliant stop. In the very next minute Santos showed their attacki powers with a brilliant counter attack but Valdes was upto the task pulling a one on one save. In the 56th minute Inietsa and Fabregas combined well in box, but Iniesta's final shot was well wide of target. Guardiola took Pique out and brought Mascherano in. In the 57th minute Victor Valdes showed why he is the best when it come to one on one situation, pulling a brilliant save to deny Neymar who was through on goal. In the 78th minute Guardiola brought in Pedro for Thiago. In the 82nd minute Messi scored the second of the night putting us 4-0 ahead. There was a touch of class when it come to the finish. He lifted the ball ahead the on rushing keeper and finished easily. In the 85th minute Guardiola decided to give Puyol some rest and brought in Fontas.

Once again this was yet another brilliant performance by this magnificient team. This team have given us so much that we never have the right to ask for more, but still they keep on delivering more presents for us, Barca fans. Definitely this victory will be dedicated to Villa as Puyol said after the match. I would say we had near total domination over Santos with everyone performing their role to perfection. In one or two occasion were were caught out by Santos attacking pace, but Valdes was brilliant pulling out two one on one saves. This match was once again pitted as a clash between Messi and Neymar. That proved to be a mismatch from the onset as Messi was controlling all the proceeding. In spite of this , Neymar showed glimpses of why he could become a great footballer. Carles Puyol who was immense dealing with Neymar's pace won the fair play award. I wonder why people says that he has lost some pace, as he never showed any lose of pace against Ronaldo or Neymar today. The rest of the midfield were brilliant with xavi pulling the strings throughout the match. Neymar won the Bronze Ball Award, Xavi won the Silver Ball award and Messi won the Golden Ball Award.

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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