Sociedad – Barcelona Liveblog

The big news is that Puyol has been cleared by the medical team and is on the bench. Guardiola doesn’t like being upstaged, so he has rolled out an interesting lineup:

Valdes – Alves Busquets Fontas Adriano – Xavi Keita Thiago – Pedro Fabregas Sanchez

Bench: Pinto, Puyol, Mascherano, Abidal, Iniesta, Messi, Villa


Join me a couple of minutes before the game, which is at 12:00 pm EST.


  1. I’ll also add this – once the score got to 2-1 and the team was playing lousy, Pep should have changed the dynamics of the match and secured the lead.

    He should have inserted Abidal or Mascherano into the back line, pushed Busquets up to DM and had keita play in a more advanced position.

    That would have given the club more defensive solidity while allowing them to retain possession.

    He also should have inserted Iniesta immediately into the match after the equalizer. Instead he waited far too long.

    That all said – this match still isn’t primarily on Pep. I understand what he was thinking. We have 7 matches coming up in 3 weeks and a CL match at home in three days. I should be able to win at Sociedad with the line up I put out.

    1. Diego’s one of my favorite players. He and Arda already have some chemistry, both substitutes today. I’m digging it. I hope they can pull Atletico back into this match.

    2. I’ve also had one eye on the US Open but I definitely noticed the game seemed to shift when they came on. Also, Arda is my peeps, so I’m especially rooting for him.

    3. Turkish, eh? And on the east coast? I have to admit I don’t know much about Arda, bar the hype, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far.

    4. Yup–he’s rad. Happy to see the growing number of Turkish players in La Liga–too bad 3 of them play for the enemy.

    5. WHAT’S UP!?
      I think we’ve discussed this before? Maybe?
      Half-Turkish Half-Chinese here (both parents are immigrants).
      When I watch Real Madrid play with my father, we have mixed feelings about Ozil. We like seeing people of Turkish descent play well and Ozil may very well be the greatest ethnic Turk to ever kick a soccer ball but neither of us want to see Real Madrid win in La Liga. So the way it usually winds out working is we hope he has a good game but the rest of them fall apart and the referee murders them to boot.
      I suppose we’ll feel the same about Sahin?
      My father’s never liked either of the Altintop brothers much.

    6. Xingxian I did not know that about you–that’s cool! I feel the same way about Ozil–he broke my heart twice: first when he decided to play for Germany, and then for RM. Can’t really blame him on either decision, but boy would I have been proud to have him on a team that I support.

      The Turks who are trained in Germany are turning out to be great hybrids–Turkish players have great passion but often lack discipline and fitness–the German system provides this.

      It will be interesting to see how the growing presence of Turks in the bigger European leagues affects the quality of the national team…

    7. Because I wasn’t born in Turkey I’m actually quite happy to root for German nationals who are Turks, sometimes I feel like I’m actually closer to them than actual Turks themselves 🙂 Ozil may be German and I may be from the US but both of us will always be considered ‘not normal’ by our parent countries and that’s a bonding point.

      Also, I’ve long suspected Germany would start fielding more and more Turkish players. Most Turks in Germany don’t have the best pathways to economic/academic success and ethnic minorities can become wildly overrepresented in athletics. Levent Aycicek, Samed Yesil, and Emre Can all seem to be playing so well for Die Mannschaft’s youth sides.

  2. “The team had 74% possession and scored only two goals. That is not efficient play – especially when you score those two goals within the first 11 minutes of the match.”

    Imo, two should be enough to win any game. This has been a weakness of ours in the last couple of seasons. With a two goal lead we should be able to withstand any team in the league ( maybe apart from Madrid).

    However, we rely on keeping our opponents away from our defence. If we’re going to be under pressure we need decent CBs like Puyol and Pique imo. The goals we lose in these situations are not usually good ones where the opposition force us back and eventually break through. They are almost always down to individual errors and that makes it a little irritating.

    Where I would agree with Euler is that by taking our foot off (and you can see it happening) we encourage others onto us and I didn’t feel the attack/midfield was able to do that today.

    Still, I expect normal service to resume midweek.

  3. This was the first leg against Arsenal all over again. Arrogance and Complaceny make our life very difficult. The last time it was our way to the CL finale that we nearly blocked ourselves, this time the leagus is already so tight that we can not let an othter game slip. Like it stands 2 draws would be enought for the EE in the classicos.

    Thiago and Cesc got Peps confidence, but in particular in the 2nd half did not pay it back
    Te less said about El Guaje the better

  4. That was a disappointing match from us so I went outside of my residence on campus and saw a girl sitting on the bench. She was wearing a Xavi shirt and smoking. Probably because Villa assisted the wrong team today.

    Anyway, I’m quite surprised to see a Barcelona fan here in Toronto and in my uni.

    1. Really? I see people wearing Barcelona shirts in Toronto all the time.

      Last May I went to watch the Champion’s League final with some friends downtown, and I was amazed by how many Barca shirts I saw people wearing in the subway. There were more Barcelona shirts than United!

    2. Do you live in Toronto too Lou? I only arrived here since last year so I’m pleasantly surprised to hear that we have many fans here. Still the first time in my uni though(York).

      Their two goals were sooo stupid, especially the second. Damn it Villa!

    3. Yes, I’m a grad student at UofT.

      I don’t know if I ever would have started watching football if I hadn’t moved here. The first time I ever watched any sort of soccer/football was Euro2008 because I have a lot of international student friends. It was a pretty great introduction!

  5. As a coach and a player for FC Barcelona, Pep Guardiola has visited Real Sociedad’s Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian on 10 separate occasions. His record so far: 1 victory, 5 draws and 4 defeats. Totalbarca

    Boogie team I surely say so.

  6. I blame the uniforms. Have we won even ONE game in these all black uniforms? NO. The answer is clear. We need to ask Nike and Qatar Foundation to come up with something else.

  7. The Sanchez injury sucks and he has fit in remarkably well but we can’t complain too much, we are so much deeper this year that Pep still has a bevvy of line-up options. This should give us no excuses.

    Pep’s one fault, in my opinion, is he will try and play players through their stuggles to build back their confidence, much longer than he should. (hey, he’s a nice guy). With the depth the team has secured this year, and the options our payroll has provided, this should no longer be the case. Pedro could truly not hit the broad side of an aircraft carrier right now. And you all know how I feel about Keita.

    Villa was terrible but on multiple occasions Keita ignored, and I truly mean I don’t think he every recognized, Villa’s runs. This is unacceptable for the way our team plays tika and the skill Villa has.

    Really disappointing as our next few matches are MUCH more difficult than EE’s to open the year, so our first real challenge is upon us, much earlier than planned. But hey, we’re Barca. Visca!!

Comments are closed.