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Feb 2, 2012

FC Barcelona took a good step towards proceeding to Copa Del Rey final with a 1-1 draw at Mestella. Considering how tough we have found recently in Valencia, this draw is as good as a win - especially because of the away goal. In the 27th minute Jonas put Valencia ahead, but Carles Puyol equalised for Barca in the 36th minute. It was a on-off perfromance from barca. To be fair, Valencia was the better of the two team in overall play, but we were able to create more scoring chances - but we never took any of that. We were anyway lucky not to have Pinto seen a red card for handling the ball outside the box. Lionel Messi continued with his goal scoring drought(three match is not a big deal) , missing a penalty in the match. Now with the away leg over, we have to finish the job at home. Pinto as in all Copa games occupied his position under the bar. Pique, Mascherano, Puyol and Abidal formed the defense. Thiago, Busquets and Fabregas made up the midfield. Cuenca, Messi and Sanchez formed the attacking trio.

In the 6th minute Messi won a free kick outside the box after he was pulled back deliberately by Valencia player. The free kick from Messi went just wide of post. In the 11th minute Valencia launched a perfect counter with a ball over the top catching our defense off-guard, but a combination of Puyol and Mascherano somehow managed to see off the danger. In the 17th minute Messi latched onto a poor clearance near Valencia box, danced into the box, but his shot was deflected to keeper's hand. In the 18th minute Pinto came off the box and handled the ball at the border of the box, luckily the linesman thought it was on the line. That was a clear sending off as the contact was an inch outside the box. In the 22nd minute Fabregas played Alexis through on goal but he flashed his shot wide from a very promising position. Valencia was dominating the match it wasn't much of a surprise when they managed to score in the 27th minute through Jonas. In the 35th minute Cuenca slipped in a great ball to Sanchez but his shot was saved. But it didn't hurt much as from the resulting cornerour Captain Puyol scored to equalise with a good header. We went into the break at level terms. valencia should consider themselves unlucky not to have taken a lead into the break, as they were the better team. Meanwhile we were lucky not to have our Goal Keeper sent off.

In the 48th minute Sanchez had the ball in the back off net but was over ruled for offside. Messi did really well creating that chance. In the 55th minute Barcelona was awarded a penalty when Thiago was brought down in the box, looked a bit soft. BUt Messi's penalty was well saved by the Alves keeping the tally at 1-1. In the 62nd minute Guardiola brought in Alves for Sanchez. In the 65th minute Abidal forced a good save from Diego Alves from the left. the resulting corner produced another golden chance but this time Pique headed high. In the 73rd minute Dani Alves' shot hit the far post, the rebound fell to Thiago but his shot was blocked by the defense. In the 80th minute Guardiola brought in Dos Santos for Thiago. The last 15 minutes of the match was played in frantic pace with both teams launching attacks after attacks. In the 87th minute Cuenca was taken off for Tello.

The major plus from this match was that we were able to rest Xavi and still come unhurt from the match. Pinto was really lucky not to have been send off, had that happened the entire script could have been changed. Like the away leg of our QF leg, it was our defender who had to get the goal. The forwards wasted plenty of chances. Messi was uncharacteristically selfish and squandered a number of goal creating chances. The midfield was getting over run at time with Thiago giving away possession too cheaply in many occasion. It looked like the players weren't comfortable with the pitch, as everyone struggled with the touch and was slipping constantly. Man of the Match for me was Pique, who shrugged off his recent poor performance with an almight performance. Also Cuenca did well. He has been poor in recent matchs, but this one he did really well, even tracking back to help the defense in mor ethan one occasion. So with the away goal we do have a slight advantage, but still there is a huge job to be finished at Camp Nou.

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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