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Apr 15, 2013

Christian Tello celebrating Scoring against Real Zaragoza

FC Barcelona stretched their lead on top of la Liga to sixteen points after a 3-0 away victory against Real Zaragoza. Real Madrid who are yet to play this week will have a chance to reduce it. Two goals from Tello and an splendid opener from Thiago gave us the three points in a match where a lot of our stars were rested or not available. On top of a comfortable victory against a team which is fighting a regulation battle, Victor Valdes would be over joyed by the fact that he gets to keep a clean sheet. Above that we got to watch Eric Abidal playing on the field, which is a miracle considering what he have gone through. In a match where majority of stars were unavailable because of various injuries, everyone's eye was on the kind of starting line-up Tito will sent. The attack was an unchanged one from the one which started at home against Mallorca - Alexis, Cesc and Tello. The midfield had Xavi, Song and Thiago, that was quite a surprise as everyone was expecting Xavi to start from bench. Alves, Batra, Adriano and Montoya formed the back four and Valdes was back after serving four match suspension. The bench had Oier, pique, Abidal, Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto, Pedro and Villa.

The match started in quite a contrast from last week's encounter against Mallorca. We were not able to create any seriously attacking move in the first ten minutes. Meanwhile Zaragoza were successful in troubling our defense especially Adriano with a series of over the top ball. But soon we were getting into the match and we saw the result in the 20th minute with a fine goal from Thiago. Thiago collected the ball in midfield moved forward played the ball to Alexis in the box, who held it back and placed it back into Thiago's path, whose finish hit the post and went in putting us 1-0 ahead. In the 39th minute Tello made it 2-0 with a spectacular finish after Thiago's brilliant laid off pass put him through on the left in the box. Despite the two goals we scored, one have to admit that the home team was giving us serious trouble in terms of controlling the match. What our boys were good in scoring from the chances they created and that actually mattered as we went into the break with a 2-0 lead.


In the very first minute of second half Alexis came close to scoring the third after a stupendous piece of individual skill, but like his season that effort came back after hitting the bar. In the 43rd minute Tello made it 3-0 after getting into the box from left, leaving the defender and finished into the far corner from a very tight angle. In the 62nd minute Zaragoza had a great chance to reduce the margin after Alves failed to clear his line, luckily Valdes was at hand to make the stop. In the 75th minute Rochina had a rare shot on our goal, and it went just high over the bar. In the 78th minute Vilanova brought in Abidal for Adriano, the Zaragoza fans gave him a huge applause which was kind of great. In the 82nd minute Xavi came off for Sergi Roberto. In the 84th minute Vilanova completed the third substitution with Villa coming in for Tello. In the 88th minute Alexis forced the keeper to make a good save after Sergi Roberto slipped the ball into his path brilliantly.


The match was an interesting one with us once again have to start with a new defensive pairing especially at the center. The good news was Adriano didn't get injured even though he was replaced by Abidal for the last 12 minutes. That was to give Abidal some playing time and he did really well when asked to. last week he looked a tad nervous, but tonight in the last ten minutes he was much assured. The first half was a very tricky affair with our boys struggling to assert our control on the game. The home side came out with a strategy of trying over the top ball over our defense and they were pretty good at that. Only some last ditch defending kept them away from testing Valdes. But it appeared at that time that we would concede goals against such a strategy. But things changed completely with two brilliant goals both coming from counter-attacking moves. The timings of those goals took the spirit out off the Zaragoza players and hence the second half was an easy affair. I know may of you will be worried about the way our central defenders, especially Adriano defended. It was pretty risky, but that was bound to happen when we make changes like this. The most important fact is that they got the job done and a clean sheet even against a bottom placed team is a rarity for Valdes. In attack Telllo and Thiago's understanding worked really well. Tello showed that apart from the speed he got some more trickery in his arsenal. For me he was the Man of The Match.

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