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Showing posts with label Real Madrid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Real Madrid. Show all posts

Apr 11, 2010

Yesterday's 2-0 victory over Real Madrid is Barca's fourth consecutive Clasico win following the 4-1 disappointment at Bernebeu two seasons ago. That statistics alone shows the difference in quality between these two sides at this moment. This FC Barcelona is considered as one of the best in the history, made up of stars coming out of Barca's youth academy. It is ironic that yesterday's two goal scorers were product of Barca's youth academy and the assist to both the goals came from Xavi, another La Masia veteran. In contrast Real Madrid was trying to buy their way into greatness. This Real Madrid, one of the most talented side in recent past has been assembled at a cost of over 300 million dollars. Florentino Pérez's neo-Galactico policy has failed to guarantee victory over their arch-rivals and also demands a bit of introspection from the Chairman about his methods. But as we all know Perez is not a man who is going to change due to pressure. What we will see this summer is another spending spree, already there are a number of big names in which Madrid is interested - Rooney, Gerrard etc. Returning back to yesterday's game, what we saw was nowhere near a classic Clasico. It resembled at times a clash between two top English teams rather with chances at premium. In the end the quality of talents Barca possess and the fact that their team looked a more compact was the difference in the game.

Feb 3, 2008

Its strange how Hope chose to resurrect itself from its deep slumber now and then. Barcelona's title hopes were revived yesterday by the most unlikeliest source of it all - Almeria. Almeria are currently at the seventh spot but nobody expected to beat Real Madrid - and that too by a 2-0 margin. Juanito Gutierrez put the hosts ahead after 18 minutes through a goal which might be put on question about its validity. Alvaro Negredo doubled the lead just after half-time from the penalty spot after he had been brought down by Fabio Cannavaro. It didn't come as a surprise that they kept another clean sheet, five in a row.

Almeria buyoed by their excellent defensive record faced the with a defensive mind set up. They were clinical in defense and when they got the window of oppurtunity, they made Madrid pay. But the real beneficiary would be Barcelona which may find themselves reducing the lead to six points, provided they win. With last week draw with Athletic every hope seemed to lose. But this unexpected turn of events have changed the complete scenario around on its axis. Rijkaard is expected to pick his strongest side. A side without Puyol, who is out with injury. But that should not trouble Rijkaard as Milito and Maruez combined well early this season. Marquez should be expected to move to the back with Edmilson taking up the Defensive Midfielder role.

But the real trouble might be finding goals. Osasuna cannot be taken lightly and Barcelona should make sure that they kill the game off well in advance. Any lapse in concentration may shut this wind of oppurtunity completely. Its essential that they win this match well so that they make a strong statement to the leaders.

As a Bulgarian Proverb says - " Seize the opportunity by the beard, for it is bald behind."
Second Goal By Almeria

Jan 9, 2008

Many consider him as the sole survivor of the dreaded Galacticos era. But the way he plays, he resembles more of Hierro rather than Zidane's and Figo's - Gritty, Hardworking, Sensible and Extremely Talented. It should come as no surprise that he shares birthday with another gifted Goalkeepr - Peter Cech. Madrid's victory against Zaragoza laid rest (temporarily) my hopes of Barcelona cutting down the Madrid lead to five points or better three points. I downloaded the goals from the match and didn't care much about the rest of the match. Accidently I got a chance to see the highlights of the match yesterday.

Boy O Boy, if it was not for this gifted player Barcelona would have cut down the lead to three points. The final 2-0 result does no justice for the way Zaragoza played. The irony was Zaragoza played with Madrdid's attacking style in Madrid. If it was not for the talented Iker the score line would have been some thing like 2-4 or maybe worse 2-8. Iker Casillas was stringing up saves one after other and when he was beaten (the only time), the post came for his rescue.

Madrid has been saved numerous time by the numero uno of Spain. For this precise reason I don't see Madrid winning the Champions League this season. With such a fragile defensive line, they may not match up to the powers of Milan or Arsenal. Niether do Barcelona. If it was not for him, Barcelona would have escaped with a draw at Nou Camp. And he may be big factor which will keep Barcelona's hope of regaining the Championship at bay

Dec 27, 2007

There were too many records that were at stake when Barcelona took on the challenge from Madrid in Clasico at Nou Camp. Madrid never won a match in Nou Camp for some years. Barcelona last home loss came thirty one matches before, Madrid never lost a match when that referee officiated. Some records stayed and some shattered – but it’s disappointing that all those shattered records belong to Barcelona. The match was lost before the first whistle. Rijkaard was at his worst with the preparation for the match. One thing this Barcelona side and management lack is respect for the opponents. If we see the away record of Madrid then it’s pretty obvious that they have the best away record this season. Indeed this match was best away side taking on the best home side. But Barcelona showed utter disrespect for their opponents and perished. The biggest culprit for this failure is Frank Rijkaard. He better admit it.

Am I being too harsh on Frank, I didn’t asked him to be sacked. I am simply telling him to own the mistakes he made. His game plan wrecked the team. For some time I have been critical about his choice of Puyol as a Right-Back. I was unfortunately proven right this day. When you are a goal down and you want to introduce more attacking options, what did Frank do – he brought Zambrotta instead of Puyol. Puyol is a great Centre Back (maybe the best in Europe) but Barcelona’s attacking style requires their full backs to give that wing runs and Puyol can’t do it (it’s not his mistake). I can understand the helplessness of a regular coach when his regular RB is injured, but cannot understand Rijkaard’s tactic when he has an accomplished RB in the form of Marquez with him. I will not criticize him for the choice of Ronaldinho, I though he was playing well in home matches. But to pick Deco with no match practice in place of a inform Gudjonsen was disaster. Eidur was linking well with Iniesta and Xavi in the early matches and he should have been rewarded him with a starting place.

Sometimes you can’t change destiny – that’s the only explanation I have for the way Abidal, Milito and Toure played. Maybe they were overwhelmed by the occasion, but remember these guys are the best players we have and once in a while they are supposed to have a bad day. Now comes the main man- the man on which the entire pre match talk revolved - Ronaldo de Assís Moreira. What a pathetic match he had. He looked totally out of place. I am a big Ronaldinho fan and it’s devastating to see him dive all over the place to get free kicks. Throughout the match he never noticed the wonderful runs made by Abidal to his left, there was a particular incident when Iniesta after making a great run was looking Ronnie make a forward run. But Ronnie never made one he stood behind Iniesta guarding the empty space ahead of him. Ronnie has lost his ball control; he hardly can go past one defender. In between he showed some brilliance but those were too few in between. He is holding the ball for more time; in the first half Eto’o looked completely stranded. There are rumors that he doesn’t train intensively, if that is the case then ship him out of the team. I remember Geoffrey Boycott saying that if you are having tough time batting, the best thing to do is get off the strike. Ronaldinho should understand that the best option he has now is to pass to another player as quickly as possible. The best Barca players on the pitch were Iniesta, Bojan and Giovanni. Its time for Rijkaard to take some tough decision. Every player in the team needs to earn their places.

How can I stop without praising the Madrid side, they were the deservedly winners. They came with a purpose (which Barcelona players lacked) and played as a unit. They all supported each other upfront and way back. They defended well, attacked in pairs and made Barcelona pay for their attitude. They have a comfortable seven point lead and I believe that’s only going to increase now. They may falter at some matches, but I don’t think this Barcelona side (with their current attitude) will be able to catch them (for that they have to start winning away from home.

NB: My suggestion to Rijkaard drop Ronaldinho from the regular squad, ask him to prove his worth in Copa Del Rey and earn his place back. Otherwise by the time Messi comes back we will be out of Champions League, Copa Del Rey and La Liga title race(or are we already out).

Sep 4, 2007

Its quite strange to write a Real Madrid appreciation thread in a Barcelona Blog, that too by an ardent Barca supporter. So what's the excuse I have got. May be because they are having three players from my favorite international team - Argentina. Ok let's cut the crap, the reason why I am writing this is because of their last week performance. Simply put that performance can be described as awesome. It overshadowed and rightly so, the performance of Barca at Camp Nou. It was a gritty performance by a team which seems to be lost forever in transition.

With the last of the famous Galacticos gone, the only step Madrid can take now is forward. They look more compact, aggressive and more and more determined in the start of this season. Got to admit the fact that of all the title contenders, they look the solid. Have to admire the brain of schuster, after a pretty long time Madrid bought players to fit into a system. This by itself is a sharp contrast to the Madrid Galacticos policy where star players made the system. Don't misunderstand me, last season Barcelona lost the title rather than Madrid winning it. But this season will be a far outcry compared to that. They look more solid and compact, so if we have to win the league we have to be the same and this time we have to snatch it from them. We cannot wait for them to slip( which looks rather unlikely), so we have to raise our game.

Match Compilation

If you go by the early signs that La Liga is throwing at, then we will be tempted to say that La Liga is going to be a little crowded this season. There is no certainity here. Real Madrid has set the tempo for the rest of season, now Barca has to raise it. And don't forget the ever dangerous Sevilla, they might be tempted to win everything as a tribute to Antonio Puerta. In his memoirs let me stop with a hope to see the best football this season.

Mar 11, 2007

An outstanding Lionel Messi saved the El-Classico for the catalans and most importantly made sure that the difference between Sevilla and the defending champions will be only 3 points. Don't be surprised if yesterday's El-Classico will be remembered as Lionel Messi's ElClassico. At last Messi started giving justification to El Diego's comments of making his successor. He has been showing flashes of his brilliance till yesterday, but yesterday he just released the first part of a hopefully long film called "Messi Unleashed". Yesterday's match was a battle between the collective determinations of the mardid players and individual brilliance of Barcelona players. As usual Barcelona defence played havoc and was responsible for their entire problems. But Barca players were not helped properly by a team management which was as confused as the players. First of all I never understood the formation played by Barca yesterday, but I am lucky that I am not the only one. It looked like the players also never had any idea and moreover they were not at all confident with the defence. Otherwise its not easy to explain the number of reckless challenges thrown by players.

The first Goal came from a defensive lapse from the most unlikely player, Thuram. But this has been the story of Barcelona this season. The faults are coming from the most unlikely players of all. Last season Edmillson looked like one of the best defensive midfielder, this season it gives me nightmares thinking about he playing in the side. So is the case with Marquez. Hopefully there are some goodnews coming and most probably we will sign Abidal and Frings this summer. These two guys surely should solve our aerial defence problem. But then when Thuram and Zam came everyone said this, you cannot guess anything in Barcelona.
The Goals scored by Barca were brilliant. Beautiful teamwork and individual skills. Iniesta looked like he was playing Polo when he was put in the Back. But the moment he came forward he was back to his best. Gudjonsen looks like he will give us a more physical option infront of the goal. The defence........mmmmmmmmmm... Did we have one? I don't know... deco didn't look at his best. Ronnie showed flashes of brilliance. But the real stars of night were Messi, Iker Cassilas and Victor Valdes. They were just simply awsome.

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