For Another Trophy! Barcelona vs Porto LiveBlog

It’s the usual procedure, y’all. (For newcomers, liveblog starts in half an hour i.e. 30 minutes). Since it’s an official match, regular rules will be in effect. Keep the swearing to a minimum, por favor.

Official Barça lineup (via @barcastuff): Valdes – Alves Mascherano Abidal Adriano – Xavi Keita Iniesta – Pedro Messi Villa

Barcelona bench(via @barcastuff): Oier, Fontas, Busquets, Dos Santos, Thiago, Cesc, Alexis

We’re Busi-less! Barça, don’t make Michele (nzm) cry on her happy birthday! (See what I did there? Eh? Eh? Yeah…)

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic

141 comments

  1. Oh no, Drogba just took a sickeningly horrible hit to the head. Don’t like Chelsea but I do like Drogba. Hope he’s OK.

    1. Drogba was already out cold before landing, it seems. Not the greatest way for Mata to start his Chelsea career; I also hope Drogba’s OK.

    2. Drogba’s hurt. Mata’s in. This may be the first time I’ve ever rooted for Chelsea(and the last).

    3. Yeah, and then consider Romeu’s eventual inclusion on the team and it’ll be 3 Spaniards playing for Chelsea. Crazy!

  2. I’m really amazed at how King Kenny has built this Liverpool team. He’s given himself a nice array of different talents and there is a lot of tactical flexibility in the team. Wenger could take a lesson from him in the transfer market too – he hasn’t spent way over the odds on anyone (except maybe Carroll), but when he wants a signing he is willing to spend the money required.

    I hope they end top 4 this season

  3. Rumour is that Adriano is out for the Villarreal game with a calf injury.

    Medical: Adriano has a muscle injury at the back of his left thigh and is out for the game against Villarreal on Monday

    via @barcastuff and @BarcaTheOffside.

    1. So it would be a backline of: Abidal Busquets Masche Alves or Abidal Fontas Masche Alves and Busquets on midfield?

  4. dani alves misses game against villareal due to suspension (got 5th yellow in last match of last season)

    so, our back line?

    montoya/dos santos – masch – fontas – abidal??

    1. That sucks. I didn’t watch the Barca B game but I think Montoya probably played the full 90, so I’d rule him out. Maybe Bartra?

      Poor dos Santos. He’s the new Jeffren. I’m sad now.

      Who’s watching Racing vs Valencia? I can’t believe the Cantabrians are up 3-2.

  5. On Valdes and Mascherano’s miscommunication:

    Valdes did have a share of responsibility in that play when Mascherano tried to head the ball back to him. However, if we did concede a goal out of that, Mascherano is to blame. Because a backward header to the keeper is the worst thing to do no matter how confident you are and how much trust you have for your teammates.

    If it wasn’t a backward header, I’d accept, and the keeper should see that coming. However, no keeper could see that intention given the defender is not seeing his face, and it’s impossible to predict that one. UNLESS Mascherano yelled his lung off to signal that backward header to him. Otherwise, it’s Mascherano’s fault.

    In my opinion, Valdes is not the kind of keeper who wouldn’t yell as some suggested, but rather he has a lot of confidence in his team and thus he doesn’t yell easy to create confusions. Yelling during plays is only when one has a lot of confidence of how that play will be and if u fail, it hurts the team a lot. So, I think Valdes is right in not yelling a lot. But sometimes, he does it to cheer the team up.

  6. For those wondering, the review of the Porto match is coming. Euler’s just finishing up. 😉

    Also, happy birthday to Maxwell! He’s the big three-oh (30 years old), which in football, and athletics in general, terms means he’s about 60 years old. (Beasts like Paolo Maldini are in a class of their own). HBD, Max!

  7. That wasn’t the way I saw it, Clivee. Imo, it was Mascherano’s ball all the way. No keeper should be five yards outside their box coming for something that is definitely going to be handled by his CB. Mascherano’s header would’ve been easy for VV if he’d come out to about the penalty spot. Anyway, at best, VV was going to have to header a slow bouncing ball way outside his box – never a great idea.

    I would agree that Mascherano misjudged the direction of the ball – notice he gets caught facing and running one way while the man he is marking is running the other and he has to turn which put him under pressure – and he didn’t really put a great header on it.

    However, I’m tempted to excuse both of them as the incident only happened because Xavi lost possession – and how often does that happen ? 🙂

  8. Adriano is great, but he is horribly injury prone. He can start three matches in a row without getting injured. I hope the medical team works some Messiesta injury-prevention magic on him.

    Against Villareal, I am assuming that Pep will play this defense: Abidal-Fontas-Mascherano-Maxwell. Villareal like to play with inverted wingers, so Maxwell shouldn’t struggle too much on the right. My only worry is Fontas. I trust him, but Nilmar is a sprinter. If Fontas lets him turn around, he will be roasted. Rossi’s movement is terrific, Mascherano will have to focus mostly on him.

    Also, I think we should consider resting Iniesta. I know he is, along with Messi, our most in form player, but he has started most of the games this summer, and he looked exausted by the end of the Porto game. Before I wouldn’t have considered resting him, but this is what Cesc is for. Also, I have a feeling that Cesc’s runs into the box can destroy Villareal’s back line.

  9. I’m not losing my mind, am I? There was a post up by Luke a while ago that seems to have vanished.

    1. Yes! Yes you are! 😀

      No, actually, you aren’t. I posted his post a little while ago, to give Euler some time to work on his review, but Euler’s good now. You’ll read Luke’s tomorrow and Isaiah(!)’s season preview tomorrow as well. As for the Villarreal preview….we’ll see.

    1. We’re Dani less against Villarreal?! *$)(*@()3)(@ Thanks a lot, LFP. That makes a lot of sense. 🙄

      That’s most likely why Bartra wasn’t called up to the B-team eh? We could see some Bartra – Mascherano – Abidal – Maxwell. Or Bartra – Mascherano – Fontas – Abidal. Or, uh, JDS – Mascherano – Abidal – Fontas?… Yeah, we’re screwed. We’ll need some Messi and Xaviniestabregasanchez to save us.

    2. Pep will probably give Fontas and Maxwell a start before JDS and Bartra, but yeah, we are out of luck…

      With Nilmar’s speed, I really want Abidal to play in the middle. If not, then I would like to see Bartra there, as he is pretty fast. I am afraid of Fontas facing fast forwards.

      Maxwell-Mascherano-Fontas-Abidal is what I see Pep going with.

  10. Messi officially the new Argentina NT captain. Am I the only one that thinks that is a really bad idea? And terribly unfair to Mascherano, who is an excellent captain.

    1. Seems like a political move IMO and trying to get Messi to be more vocal, but everyone knows Mascherano is the leader on the field. Not really a big deal, but yeah, I don’t see why Mascherano couldn’t stay as captain.

    2. Really unfair to Mascherano. But I’m curious to see how this works out. It might give Messi more support among Albiceleste fans. Also, I am sure this means a great deal to Messi, and I am wondering whether this develops Messi in any way. It will force out a different side to Messi, and if it works out, Barcelona can benefit from it as well.

    3. Nooooo! He’s out of his mind. Like there isn’t enough pressure on Messi. Masche has been the perfect captain for them. Let Messi concentrate on his football(although I have noticed, and I could be imagining it, that Messi tends to do more directing on the field with the NT.)

    4. It is a very bad idea. As much as I love Messi and Masch, the only person IMO who should be captain is Zanetti.

    1. If he only would score more regularly he would be a serious contender for the Ballon d’Or…

  11. My line-up would be :

    Montoya-Bartra-Fontas-Abidal
    ——-JDS———-
    Thiago—–S.Roberto
    Tello–Carmona–Deulofeu

  12. Quick notes :

    -VV’s fault not Masch, The ball is 5 yards outside and two steps away from Masch, No need to rush out.

    -Pep is willing to use Juve players instead of buying a new defender *sigh* .. I think He’ll work something out, It depends whether He’ll go with JDS/Bartra at RB, or Fontas at CB.

    -This should be the match where Our AWESOME ATTACK bails out our weakened defence. 3-2 ? I don’t care as long as it’s a win.

    -Messi, Iniesta, and Cesc are awesome.

  13. Dear Sergio Batista,

    ( Otamendi-Masch-Burdisso-Zanetti
    ————-Cambiasso——
    ——-Banega—Pastore—
    Aguero—-Higauin—Messi) could have saved your job.

    Sincerely,
    Not even a football coach.

    1. I really thought that if Batista was going to try to copy Barca he was going to put Masch at CB… *shrug*

  14. Cumulative yellow cards from last season keeping Alves out. Are you freakin’ kidding me?
    OMgosh we have to defend Rossi!!!
    JDS, Masche, Abi, Maxwell (trying hard to keep Busi as DM, work with me here, Pep!)
    Praying for a miracle cure for the capita!

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