Barcelona vs Malaga (Game Analysis)

After a somewhat quiet clasico, most likely for fear of his life at the scythes of Pepe and Ramos, Messi came out and completely dominated this game.

With Xavi on the bench Messi took over as play maker and goalscorer in the first half, leaving no doubt that he is the engine of this team and undoubtedly the best player in the world. His header was aimed precisely at his critics, with a perfect airborne finish into the side net. His passes were creative, precise, and mind bogglingly quick, appearing sometimes to have premonitions as he created plays that no one else on the field even saw developing. Sometimes he was so quick that his teammates were caught off guard and squandered what could have been incredible goals. Which brings me to my next point…

The Messi-Abidal Connection. After the wondergoal at Real Madrid, Messi and Abidal seem to be firing on all cylinders, with Messi supplying no less than 5 balls into the box to Abidal in just the first half (one which released him completely free on goal). While this is a great addition to the attack, my question is why does it seem that, other than Messi, Barcelona is relying on their defenders now to generate goals. In watching Abidal try to deal with these clear cut chances, its apparent that he does not have the deftness of a true attacker and even when released on goal it is still a low percentage chance that he will score. Releasing him 1v1 with the goalie like setting up your center in basketball with a wide open 3. The crowd jumps to their feet, but odds are it’s not going in. Why has Barcelona NOT been able to consistently set up their forwards with goalscoring chances? Sanchez has played great but is being used as a holding player for most of the game and a relentless pest to the central defenders. Adriano is in a makeshift forward role but is more comfortable from the outside, and is also very unlikely to finish on a piercing run into the box. Bottom line, I miss Villa and Pedro.

Yet Barcelona has managed this season with a ‘goals by committee’ approach, but to win championships you tend to need some great individual efforts in front of goal as well. Let’s hope Messi’s form does not waver as this season draws towards its climax.

Advertisements

Barcelona Vs Osasuna – Jan 12 4pm EST

Osasuna FC Barcelona

Osasuna – FC Barcelona

Reyno de Navarra 01-12-2012 22:00 or 4pm EST

Tune in for the second leg of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey match tomorrow. With a comfortable lead, and Iniesta and Alves out, Barca will likely try to come out strong and put the game away early in order to pull some starters and coast to victory.

This sets up another set of Clasicos next round as Barcelona will face Real Madrid in a battle for the only trophy they did not win last year. VAMOS BARCA!!!

FC Barcelona vs Espanyol

Lionel Messi will be looking for his first ever away goal at Espanyol as Barca takes on that “other” team from Barcelona. Espanyol is a very difficult team to beat at home, but Barcelona should have everyone available for the game except Villa. Regardless this will be one of the most difficult games for Barca until they meet Real Madrid again, and if they let Espanyol hang around the game could get very complicated. Look for Messi and Fabregas to try to combine in the first 25 minutes to put the game at ease.

Espanyol vs FC Barcelona  (1-28-2012 at 330 EST)

Barcelona 9 – L’Hospitalet 0 (Game analysis and new record!)

Here are the highlights from this game

After Pedro’s penalty goal, Barca never looked back and tallied 9 goals in a total rout of L’hospitalet, spreading the ball around and allowing several B team players to jump in on the scoring action.

The score sheet as it looked at the end, with newcomers Thiago, Cuenca, and Tello getting a brace. But the game was more than just that.

Important points

Cuenca again proved to be a monster from the winger spot. He had 2 goals, at least 2 assists, was involved in even more goals and created even more chances that others squandered. They had no answer for him on the wing and his quick step and decisive crosses are going to be deadly, especially with people like Messi and Fabregas who are surgeons in tight spaces in the box. Notably though, Cuenca’s amazing performance came on the heels of him refusing to sign a contract extension with Barca, a move to get more money. Fortunately for him (or unfortunately for Barca) it seemed to work, with him proving during this game to be indispensable, and outright disastrous if he were to get swooped up by Madrid. More on Cuenca’s contract situation:

http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/885422-isaac-cuencas-contract-stand-off-with-barcelona-alerts-arsenal-and-united

Barcelona held onto yet another record over Madrid

It seems like in the last two years Barca has redefined all of the La Liga records, including most wins, most games without conceding, and last night they held onto the record of most goals in a year with an astounding 170. Barca had the record with 154 in 2010, but this year Real Madrid broke it with 167. That stood for 1 day until Barcelona got the last word, and with one fell swoop crushed the record and reset it at 170. Toma Madridistas!!

FC Barcelona – L┬┤Hospitalet 22-12-2011 4:00 pm EST

Barcelona go into this game with almost the entire first team on holidays already. With a 1-0 lead coming in Barca will need to get at least one goal to relax everyone. Expect Pedro, Thiago, Cuenca, Pinto, and some of the other B team players that have been getting time like Fontas to carry the load in this game.

Hilarious satirical article about Messi

I try not to review Messi’s play because he is currently redefining football greatness, and because it’s pointless to defend him against his haters as their arguments tend to be poorly thought out and hopelessly irrational. So much so that at first glance I honestly thought this blog was legitimately trying to trash Messi. Until I went to the website that posted it and realized that it is a humor site. Then I saw the genius in the article.

The reason it slipped past me was that this is the same garbage that I always hear from Madridistas/Man U fans, just even more irrational (if that’s possible).

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story/_/id/990327/alexander-netherton:-talk-of-messi%27s-genius-is-flawed?cc=5901

My favorite part of the article:

The unexplainable fixation on the fact that at AGE 24 Messi hasn’t won the world cup, and that he’ll never be better than Maradona.

Honestly, who cares? World Cup football sucks. Imagine taking the NFL and then making the players divide up onto teams depending on which state they were born in. It kills the skill level and it should never be used as a barometer for a player’s greatness. And enough about Maradona.

If that fat cokehead tried to play in this day and age he would get destroyed. I have a hard time seeing him being able to blaze through Real Madrid’s defense.

Pepe would knock his fat ass to the ground as Sergio Ramos charged in to punt his greasy mullet right off his head.

Some good lines

“How did Lionel Messi [do] in 1986? He didn’t even play.”

“This year, he’s scored 26 goals in just 22 games. The traits of egotism reflected in the fact that only he believes he is worthy of scoring?”

And to finish it off, like every real Barca/Messi hater, you have to throw in some ridiculous comment that has no bearing like “yeah but he’s no good in the air” or “yeah but his hair looks like an 80’s gym teacher.” Netherton’s choice: Also, he’s no use in a wall. Hilarious.

Barcelona vs Levante (5-0)

As Ray Hudson said, welcome to the Palace of football. An absolutely magnificent show by a Barcelona team that is running on all cylinders heading into El Clasico. The 3-4-3 is leading to an amoeba of attacking players putting the goal under siege and the finishing has been spectacular. Fabregas, Messi, Cuenca, and Sanchez all score amazing goals as Levante (who has only let in 12 goals all year) gets crushed.