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Aug 27, 2012


  • Barca scored the first away victory against Osasuna.
  • Tito Vilanova was sent off meanwhile Messi scored two for FC Barcelona


Lionel Messi against Osasuna

Going to Pamplona was the most difficult task for Pep guardiola's Barca. And it looks like it is going to remain the same with tito's Barca also. We turned around a one goal deficit to win the match 2-1 at the Reyno de Navarra stadium. Lionel Messi who had a very quite night, scored both the goals in the match in a span of five minutes. Osasuna would have felt really unfortunate not to have won the match after dominating Barca for the majority of the game. In the FC Barcelona vs Osasuna Preview, I wrote how tough this match could get, that was proven to be an understatement. Tito Vilanova started with Valdes, Alves, pique, Puyol, Alba, Busquets, Fabregas, Iniesta, Sanchez, Messi and Tello. Pinto, Mascherano, Xavi, Adriano, Song, Pedro and Villa started on the bench. Osasuna lined up with Fernandez, Betran, Arribas, Damia, Flano, Punal, Sisi, Cejudo, Lamah, Cedric Loe and Llorente.


Just 30 seconds into the game Victor Valdes had to make a brilliant save after Cejudo skipped past Barca defenders as if they were non-existing. Osasuna was pressing us real badly in the opeining minutes and our defense and midfield had little time to control the possession. In the 5th minute Iniesta skipped in the midsdle and slipped a ball into Sanchez, whose shot was well saved by the keeper. In the 12th minute Iniesta flashed a shot wide off the far post. In the 15th minute Tello skipped inside the box and thundered a shot at goal, but unfortunately it could only hit the post. In the 17th minute Osasuna went ahead LLorente met a brilliant cross Lamah cross from left. We responded immediately with Tello forcing a blinder off a save from the keeper after put in by Messi. In the 25th minute Sanchez squared the ball into Iniesta in middle, who simply had to put the ball into the goal but hit high over the bar. That should have been our first goal. In the 33rd minute there was an almighty scrapping on our goal line with Pique twice blocking the shot on goal with everyone else beaten. In the 37th minute Iniesta played in a beautiful pass spotting Messi run inside the box, once again the keepr made a stunning save. In the 44th minute Messi forced another save from the keeper, who made another save from Iniesta on the rebound.


We were struggling to create anything meaningful in the second half. In the 59th minute Messi forced a save from keeper, going by the keeper's form on the night it was pretty easy.In the 61st minute Victor Valdes had to stretch full strength to cut out a goal bound shot after Pique and Puyol suffered a nervous breakdown. In the 62nd minute Pedro came in for Cesc Fabregas in a strange move which saw us having four offensive player and two midfielders. In 69th minute Xavi replaced Iniesta. In the very next minute we were extremely lucky not to concede the second goal after Nino simply was put on goal with Busquets making a huge mistake. In the 72nd minute the Osasuna keeper made another brilliant save this time off Sanchez. In the 75th minute David Villa came in for Tello. In the 76th minute Lionel Messi equalised for us after a bit of over-playing the pass. Messi skipped past two in the middle of Osasuna half and squered the ball to Sanchez, who held it a bit long that took his chance off squared it to pedro who somehow put it into the middle. In the 80th minute Lionel messi scored the second after he beautifully finished a cross from Jordi Alba.


This one has to be one of the worst performances I have seen from this Barca side for sometime. Last time when we visited here we had the excuse of a bad pitch and a hostile climate. This time around we were getting over-run, bossed in the midfield till the time Cesc Fabregas was taken off. That was the problem - Cesc fabregas, the worst player on the pitch. He was slotted to play the Xavi role (a big mistake by Tito) and he made the life of Alves and Busquets to a living hell. He was never available for defensive duties and that resulted in we getting overrun on the right every few minutes. The only one to be blamed in Vilanova who gave Cesc the duties which he could never fulfil. He is not a deep lying play maker. Even Tito's substitution was confusing. In the end it didn't matter as a non-existent Lionel Messi socred twice to give us a totally undeserving victory. For the record our equaliser had a clear offside in the build up.

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