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Aug 26, 2013

It took a rather sensational strike from Barca's Brazilian full back, Adriano to see off the threat of Malaga in Barca's first away match of the season. There was no logic for this match to have become a nervy, hard fought and gritty affair. As I wrote in my preview - Malaga vs Barca Match Preview, this was supposed to be a walk in the park for our boys. Malaga has lost most of their best players, almost all of their highest earners, almost all of those who made a difference in the previous season; but still we struggled. Looks like I was guilty of over looking a rather small fact of life; the grit and resolve of a group of players. Regardless of all their problems, they had something to prove as players with honor - that they will not simply roll down. And prove they did. In fact one had to admit that they were rather unfortunate last night, first to concede a goal in that fashion, second not to have scored the equaliser by the time whistle was blown.

After the sensational start to the League, Barca has encountered two matches were they were a shadow of what we saw against Levante. The credit only goes to the quality of oppositions. With Lionel Messi absent, everyone expected Tata Martino to give Neymar his first start of the season. But that was not to be the case. Neymar started from the bench, meanwhile a rather familiar front of line of Pedro, Cesc and Sanchez took the field. Busquets was ommited from the starting line-up keeping an eye on the mid-week Super Copa return leg, but Xavi and Iniesta duly started in midfield along with Song. The defense saw Adriano playing as right back, Pique and Mascherano as center-backs and Alba as left-back.

We started extremely well in the first half with Cesc Fabregas being at the center of everything which was being created. Malaga but never looked awed by our pressure as they were prepared for it and was looking to hit on counter. Cesc Fabregas was playing like a dream at time in the first half and was creating semi-decent chances for our forwards, especially Sanchez. Sanchez was guilty of taking a touch or two more at times; something he has been guilty of all his Barca career. The best chance fell to the Chilean himself when Alba fired a brilliant low cross into the box, but the Sanchez was not able to make contact. The initial period were extremely tough on Malaga as they couldn't force the issue into our half. Despite all the possession, which amounted to 75% at times, we were creating practically nothing apart from a few half chances. The situation should have remained the same while going into the break, but Adriano had another plans. In the 43rd minute he received the ball in the middle of Malaga half and unleashed a viciour curler onto the away corner to make it 1-0. There was no doubt that Malaga didn't deserve to go to the break with a goal down, but the Adriano has a habit of scoring those sensational goals.

Those who were thanking God for keeping Adriano injury free since the start of the season were disappointed when the team emerged from the break. Alves has to be slotted in place of Adriano who looked to have picked up another injury. The second half saw us once again probbing from the start to add to our lead. But Malaga was standing firm even though they were not creating anything. The best chance fell to Pique who struck the cross bar from a Xavi free kick. But soon we faded out, even with the introduction of Neymar. But at the same time Malaga was growing into the match. In the 73rd minute Malaga should have scored after brilliant work from Santa Cruz, but we were lucky that Fabrice could only hit the post with Valdes truly beaten. The game then proceeded with some half chances but yet again no one was able to force the issue. In the last minute of stoppage time Valdes had to make a brilliant save to secure all three points for us.

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AllAboutFCBarcelona.com 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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