Barça – Almería Liveblog: Bring your Body Armor

Kaboom, it’s time to liveblog another match. Check out Kevin’s news of the day while you’re waiting for this partay to kick off.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. Marca seems to think that we’re going to start Messi on the left and Iniesta on the right. They also have Maxwell as a CB and Pique as our left back. Okay…yeah…what? Maybe they should check up on whoever they’ve got putting up these “unconfirmed” lineups…

    Marca also seems to think that Almeria will start with a 4-5-1. That I can’t respond to because I don’t know; it would make more sense than a 4-3-3, which is basically suicide, in my opinion.

  2. Rafa returns to the starting lineup: Valdés, Alves, Márquez, Puyol, Maxwell, Xavi, Busi, Iniesta; Messi, Ibra, Pedro!

  3. Valdés
    Alves, Márquez, Puyol, Maxwell
    Sergio Busquets
    Xavi, Iniesta
    Pedro, Ibrahimovic y Messi.

    xavi iniesta for the first time this season!!!! woooo!

  4. Quite an attacking left side we have there. Ghostface in midfield, all is well in the universe 😀

  5. Every time I see Busquets in the starting line up I get a freaking heartattack. Let’s see how he does this time, I’m really getting the feeling that there’s something with the Yaya..

  6. awww Ibra’s streak is over. Here’s to you, Hugo Sanchez, a coach who couldn’t give a shit about winning, you have not found a way to beat us and you are a bastard. I’m glad Pep got Busi out of there before the last 10-15 mins because I wouldn’t have been surprised if he gave away a draw. Did anyone see the confounded look on Pep’s face when Busi dribbled the ball out of play? Like WTF?

  7. Gawrsh. That was the most boring match I’ve seen in some time.

    Some thoughts:

    -Do we have an answer for teams that man-mark Xavi? Honestly the way he was treated, when he had NO touches (none!) in twenty-minute chunks, I thought it would be a good time to rest him and have Iniesta dictate things with Keita and Yaya.

    -For my money, nobody looked less sharp than Messi. I don’t want to talk about fatigue this early for anyone, but while the whole team was committing bad giveaways, Messi’s were the most outstanding (take it with a grain of salt…he is, after all, the star). Execution was what was lacking, throughout the field.

    -I don’t think we’ll see Marquez playing DM anytime soon.

    -Pique showed flashes of overconfidence, anyone notice?

    -Iniesta is getting heated up, and soon he’ll be the dynamo he was.

    -Except for a five minute stretch with two “trying-too-hard” giveaways, a very solid, if unimpressive per-se, performance for Sergio Busquets.

    -Ibra turns 29 (30?), and ends his brilliant streak of scoring a goal per-game en La Liga, with a very invisible performance from him.

    Again, I think the key to having Pedro get us out of jail was the man-marking of Xavi. If we’re thinking with numbers, it’s like this: Xavi is worth more than one man for us, but it only takes one man on the opponent’s side to take him out of the game. This may turn out to be a huge problem for us, and it puts a lot of pressure on Iniesta to get great, fast.

    Speaking of Pedro, my boy! Two good games in a row. I said it in the liveblog: Henry-esque. Who knows…

    1. 29? Ibra’s 28 now..

      I felt that the 2nd half was one of the most boring halves I ever witnessed.. First half was only exciting as I was searching for a good stream while Pedro banged that awesome goal.. He’s scored 4 already?? Can he reach 15 goals?

      It seems that we have two quality reserves in Pedro and Bojan.. I wonder who would be chosen if only one spot was open in the team..

    2. Iniesta for the few minutes that was on left wing (and the first half of kyev match) was far more impressive than he was in midfield,we need keita’s force and his defensive-tactical works to run midfield smoothly with xavi.our midfield was weak and we were pushed off the ball too often,and that changed when YAYA and keita were subbed in.
      busi IMO was very unimpressive and useless,he just dont have what it take to start a attack from the back,every time he touched the ball,he quickly pass it to someone to get rid of it.he made no contribution in attack.
      ahhh,and messi is playing too selfish in recent matches,maybe it’s because of that he wants to have more goals than TB..he ignored ibra and pedro! a lot of times and just drible and drible and then lose the ball.

  8. Think of it this way, WCQ are next week. That’s probably why Messi faded so bad in the second half (conserving energy) and maybe some of the other players played half-speed. Despite already qualifying, we know that Xavi and either Pique, Puyol, or Iniesta know that they’re going to play the full 90 for Spain.

  9. I don’t understand all the hype with P! today. Yes, he made a spectacular goal, but overall he struggled just as much as the rest of our offense. I was throwing my hands into the air every time he had the ball in the first half other than the goal. He kept holding it too long, trying to perform too many tricks, and made too many bad passes (as did EVERYONE else). I know some will say Almeria parked the bus and its hard to break a bus but we have to find a way through. Every side we play against from here on is going to park the bus and whatever else they have in front of goal, playing solely for the counter. So depressing…We can’t afford so many bad touches or passes when we have 80% possession: it is very strange. I have to say though, Maxwell, Busi, and the absence of Keita and Henry probably contributed to much of our problems. How many corners is Maxwell going to concede this year?? Over/under 100 times the number of penalties we are awarded. There. I hope Maradumma can entertain us during this two week break. We kicked ass coming back after the last one.

  10. Chico did not get off Xavi all game.With them man marking both iniesta and xavi, this would have been a good game for yaya, as we saw how we improved with him pushing forward. Hopefully we have our A game for the mestalla in 2 weeks, im not worried though as we always do well in the big games.My policy about criticizing leo is , i dont, fate has a funny way of showing us how much we miss things we take for granted and id rather have him sucking for a few games than being out for 4 months, id rather not live 2007 again.

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