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Mar 12, 2012

FC Bracelona made short work of a physical Racing Santander side with a comfortable 2-0 victory at the El Sardinero stadium. Two goals from Lionel Messi, the second coming from a penalty was enough to help Barca fetch all three points and reduce the lead on top to ten points. With a 72% possession statistics this game was as comfortable as it can get, barring the constant kicking and hacking down our players have to go through. Racing under their new coach did take a leaf out of Mourinho's and Pepe's playing style in trying to stop Barca. BUt that all ended in vain with we rounding off a decennt performance with a two goal victory. It also saw us winning our first penalty away from home, a rarity for us this season. Guardiola picked the best available eleven - Valdes, Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Busquets, Fabregas, Iniesta, Xavi, Cuenca, Pedro and Messi. The formation of choice was a 3-4-3 one.

We were quickly into our possession style of football. BUt there were instances, where the three man defense were getting caught out on the flanks. In the 6th minute Pedro got inside the box, cut inside to his favourite right foot and tried to curl the ball into the far right corner, but just missed. In the 15th minute Lionel Messi won a free kick just outside the box after Racing defender pulled his shgirt to stop a marauding Messi run. Messi forced a corner from the resulting free kick. In the 22nd minute Andres Iniesta hit the cross bar with a sublime effort from inside the box. In the 25th minute Cesc Fabregas forced a brilliant save from the keeper after he did so well to take a Messi pass into his path. In the 29th minute Lionel Messi put Barca 1-0 ahead with a neat tap in. Xavi danced into the box and lifted the ball above the defense into Cesc path, who had a chance of striking on the goal but wisely decided to square it to Messi in the centre. In the 31st minute Pedro hit the side netting after Iniesta slipped him through on the left. We once again had the majority of possession in the first half, but going into the break at 1-0 we were in a tricky situation. Especially considering we had conceded just after the break in our two previous La Liga outing.

In the 51st minute Cesc Fabregas forced a save from the keeper from a very tight angle. In the 55th minute Iniesta lifetd a brilliant ball to Cuenca but the keeper forced yet another stop to deny the youngster. BUt Barcelona won a penalty from the rebound after Cesc Fabregas went down after Cisma pushed him down. Lionel Messi made no mistake from the penalty taking us 2-0 ahead. In the 60th minute Xavi Hernandez played Cuenca on in the box, Cuenca held up some challenge but could only hit the bar. In the 65th minute Lionel Messi was denied again by the keeper after a brilliant dummy by Xavi set the Argentinian up. In the 73rd minute Guardiola brought in Tello for Cuenca. In the 80th minute Iniesta played Messi through on goal from Barca ha;f, but Messi couldn't finish it off. In the 83rd minute Xavi came off from Seydou Keita. In the 85th minute Pedro was played on by Messi but once again the keeper denied the goal scoring chance, this time from pedro. In the 88th minute Pedro was taken off for Adriano.

Even though it was a normal 2-0 victroy, it was much bigger than that. Racing Santander came to play a very ugly game - kicking and pulling blatant fouls on our players. Not only that, since they left the pitch dry it was very difficult for our players to control the ball at times. That along with a brilliant performance from their keeper, Mario helped them in keeping the scoreline to a respectable level. Lionel Messi once again continued in his hot streak of scoring goals for fun. He has now scored 50 goals this season, of which 30 are in the league. He is just 2 goals behind Cristiano Ronaldo. But the best player for Barca was not Messi, it had to be Busquets. He was brilliant throughout tyhe night. Playing the 3 man defense had it's drawback but he did really well to cover that draw back. The most positive news of tonight's performance was Pedro's performance. He was struggling in recent matches, but tonight he showed straits of returning back to his best.

All About FC Barcelona


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