Valencia – Barcelona LiveBlog (That could become a Match Comments post)

So if everything works out, a Barca and true Cule hero (otherwise known as Ryan) will run the Liveblog. If not, well, you’ll just have to blab here.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic

109 Comments

  1. September 21, 2011

    Whether they beat Racing or not, it is safe to say Madrid are playing like crap. Lucky for them their schedule is very easy the next couple weeks.

    • blitzen
      September 21, 2011

      Don’t get your hopes up, RM aren’t going to lose twice in a row. Nice to hear they look bad, though!

      • September 21, 2011

        I agree that they’ll probably win but I’m talking about the quality of play rather than the result, they’re just not looking very good.

  2. Ryan
    September 21, 2011

    I’ll try not to blow up the Live Blog while you’re gone!

  3. Ryan
    September 21, 2011

    I’m thinking about starting this thing 30 minutes before kickoff, just so I can get a feel for things.

    • blitzen
      September 21, 2011

      You should. It takes a little while to get comfortable with it and you won’t have a ton of people banging on the door to be let in all at once.

  4. blitzen
    September 21, 2011

    Barรงa startingXI: Valdรฉs; Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Abidal; Keita, Sergio, Xavi; Messi, Cesc, Pedro

    yay for Pedro starting! I hope he has a great game. I like this lineup a lot. Villa and Adriano can come in off the bench with fresh legs and mix things up in the 2nd half.

    • mom4
      September 21, 2011

      Pep means business!!! Almost a fully operational death-star-like lineup!

      Love how P and Villa are getting rests.

      Can’t LB today; kids have soccer practice. Good luck, Ryan!

      The Mestalla scares me…must start praying…

  5. Nav
    September 21, 2011

    Starting lineup:

    @BarcaTheOffside
    OFFICIAL: Barรงa starting XI: VV, Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Abidal, Xavi, Busquets, Keita, Messi, Pedro and Cesc.

  6. Ryan
    September 21, 2011

    Looking at the Atleti match, we are going to have to watch out for Falcao – he’s a beast in the air.

  7. footballfan
    September 21, 2011

    I’d like to see more of us playing 3 at the back with Cesc Messi upfront!

  8. adopted cule
    September 21, 2011

    Look for Alves to play the right wing again.

  9. mega_tajh
    September 21, 2011

    So far so good in the Madrid game….

    • adopted cule
      September 21, 2011

      Interesting that Jose started a ‘B’ squad after a bad loss.

      • chaospheory
        September 21, 2011

        It doesn’t look so different than their starting lineup, no? I think everyone was indeed expecting that they would come out breathing fire and wrecking the pitch with their need to prove themselves. They look tired, for some reason.

        • adopted cule
          September 21, 2011

          Arbeloa, Varane, Diarra, Callejon. No Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao, or DiMaria. Nearly half their outfield players are not starting XI.

      • Jackieboy
        September 21, 2011

        0:0, crappy, boring game. Racing might’ve even had more chances. Some 20 minutes to go.

  10. Eklavya
    September 21, 2011

    Can I hope for EE to tie now?!

    Cant LB today. Nor watch. Match is being played too late.

  11. footballfan
    September 21, 2011

    Only injury time left. Come on Racing.

  12. nzm
    September 21, 2011

    Yay for the little Racing Club that could!!!!

    Almost scored a goal too!

  13. mega_tajh
    September 21, 2011

    ItS official when I don’t watch Madrid play they drop points…now I know!!!

  14. blaunero
    September 21, 2011

    Real dropped points, once again to a super defensive team. It isn’t only we who suffer against catenaccio. Good to know. Nobody will be calling Racing’s performance as ‘tactically brillian.” It’s that only when Mou-Mou or the English do it.

  15. footballfan
    September 21, 2011

    And we can top the table if we win! Though we’ll be second if Betis win too.

  16. Jackieboy
    September 21, 2011

    Real looked really bad. 1 point in 2 games, I’m so happy for Mourinho ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. hammeronmessi
    September 21, 2011

    Our left side of attack is nonexistent and our right side of defence is breached over n over again

  18. blaunero
    September 21, 2011

    They’re hammering us on our right flank.

  19. footballfan
    September 21, 2011

    What a match. Kudos to Valencia.

  20. mega_tajh
    September 21, 2011

    WOW what a game quite entertaining…I will certainly take this game as a draw, not at all upset. All I have to say is that we played wonderfully better when Busi came back in midfield.

    • mega_tajh
      September 21, 2011

      BTW I think I missed it but why did Jordi Alba get a red card?

      • Vj
        September 21, 2011

        Insulting the official acc. to rumors on twitter. (@fcblive)

        • Ryan
          September 21, 2011

          Ah, that would explain why there wasn’t anything physical to see. I wonder what he said to get a red over a yellow?

          • Chiu
            September 21, 2011

            this kind of cracking match is good for the la liga. Credit for Valencia.

  21. blaunero
    September 21, 2011

    Bravo to Valencia. That Villa chance at the end though…

    PS Messi got two assists but played really quite badly.

    • Ryan
      September 21, 2011

      It’s not his fault that fouls on him aren’t called when in the box. though.

      • blaunero
        September 21, 2011

        Let’s not complain about refs. Their job is hard as it is.

        • Ryan
          September 21, 2011

          I’m not in particular complaining about them, but just saying that it’s something to consider when you say that he played quite badly. Maybe the red card was a way of compensating for those missed calls? I sure didn’t see anything that Jordi did wrong!

    • Vj
      September 21, 2011

      Yeah. Not to his usual level tbh. Too many misplaced passes..

  22. y2k156
    September 21, 2011

    Excellent match. Both the teams played very well. Valencia showed why they are top of the tree, really difficult team to defeat.

    Guess we are not as bad in tactics considering one thing all wanted was for Alves to play at back and he did after half time. Sid Lowe was blaming Masch for the goals and my respect for his tactical understanding dropped a notch. Masch was again immense in second half.

    Messi should have scored on his 1 on 1 but he was excellent otherwise. I think our guys played well mostly. This new goalkeeper of Valencia seems quite a good keeper. Wonder where they find all these guys.

  23. Vj
    September 21, 2011

    THAT GAME WAS AWESOME! Brilliant ad for La Liga..

    EPL FANBOYS, THIS IS WHAT YOU CALL A GAME! Stop with the SPL BS already..

    Super strong ending to the game. Could’ve nicked it. Though Soldado would’ve made it pretty hard if he’d scored that sitter..

    Its not a penalty if you foul Messi huh? Miguel absolutely clattered into him. And the ref. ending things 1 min early? smh..

    Draw fair result. Valencia and especially Banega was excellent..

    • adopted cule
      September 21, 2011

      Barcelona should have won. Awful decision to end things early. I know we aren’t going to get the call on Messi, but it was a penalty. Great save on Villa. Brilliant game by Valencia. Hats off, but it should have been 3 points. They were dead on their feet by the 80 minute mark.

  24. y2k156
    September 21, 2011

    For those saying Messi played bad match, i have no answer. As they say, one can take cow to the lake but cannot make it drink the water.

    Btw, there were lot of passes from our side that were falling short of intended players. I do not think our players became bad passers suddenly so there must be something wrong with the pitch (more grass, less water?). On the other hand, Valencia’s passes were mostly ok.

    • Vj
      September 21, 2011

      Didn’t play to his the standards set by himself. He is to blame if his game is out-of-this-world usually :P..

    • Miguel
      September 21, 2011

      I think the saying is, “lead a ‘horse’ to water.” My friend was making fun of his sister-in-law, a chick who works at a flower shop and takes horticulture classes, and said, “you can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make it drink.” Guy’s a horrible person.

  25. K_legit
    September 21, 2011

    What
    A
    Game!

    Real were dire and dour

    We should have had at least a penalty

    Refereeing, as usual, farcical

    on the balance of it a fair result

    Masche was fucking boss..if he’d scored, I’d have screamed my fool head off

    Cesc just can’t stop scoring..Messi should have buried his one on one

    Great advert for the League though

    Hay La Liga!

  26. Triplo Volanti (formerly Cesc Pistol)
    September 21, 2011

    A draw was fair I think. In last minutes we played to win and could have. The ref was BS! ending at 3:30 for 4 min added time with a red in between? WTF?

    The starting formation and the players to execute it hurt us in the beginning. It might be more of the same against Atleti, we must be cautious. it’s better to start out slow risking less and controlling the tempo I think. Should allow us to get into the flow better.

    There was definite lack in movement in the team for alot of the game. Was it tiredness? Maybe we should’ve stepped of the gas in the Osasuna game? (cules are never happy ๐Ÿ˜› )

    • blaunero
      September 21, 2011

      A number of players looked drained, Messi in primis. Valencia were fantastic and credit must go to their work.

  27. K_legit
    September 21, 2011

    Atleti next…we need to win that one for sure..cant drop any more points

    so for now its

    Valencia 10
    Betis 9 (having played 3)
    Malaga 9
    Barรงa 8

    woah!

    • Ryan
      September 21, 2011

      And I think their last two games they won 4-0, so we’re playing yet again another team in roaring form. Should make for an exciting game eh?

      • K_legit
        September 21, 2011

        sheesh..this can’t be good for my heart..

        I think I am spotting a few gray hairs on my noggin’ now!

      • Helge
        September 21, 2011

        It’s not another team, it’s the darned Colchoneros !!!

        Away from home, they are our worst bogey team. I’m not happy that they are on a good run right now. Because contrary to the dropped points today, I will be pissed if we don’t beat Atleti on Saturday ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Helge
      September 21, 2011

      Yay!

      Valencia and Malaga are my favourites for the CL spots since before the season started.
      Kind a sad that the prediciton game doesn’t exist anymore ๐Ÿ™

  28. Srini
    September 21, 2011

    Brilliant game. Absolutely Brilliant game.

    * Valencia were tactically superior in the first half. You have to give it to Unai Emery. He had Pep’s number by overloading the left wing and getting Dani Alves in no-man’s land. Mathieu was fantastic in the first half and so were Jordi Alba, Pablo and Ever Banega. The Valencia midfield was superb in the first 30 minutes.

    * Pep showed that he can rectify a mess of his own creation by doing the right thing in the second half. Getting Adriano and dropping back Dani Alves was both owning up and retaining the ideas he had before. Great adjustment and it paid off with some typical Barca domination in the second half.

    * Messi was surprisingly wasteful with the decisive pass but for the assist to Pedro in the first half, but was far better in the second one, except for his miss when nearly one-on-one with the goalkeeper. To be fair, he should have got a penalty in the first half off a foul from Adil Rami, but I wasn’t so upset that he didn’t get it. Rami had just been booked unfairly and I suppose, the referee took it for a 50 50 moment.

    * Fabregas is brilliant. He is Messiesque in his finishing and his integration into the Barca squad so quickly is amazing.

    * Thiago was superb in spells in the second half.

    * Valencia’s positional defense was awesome as well.

    * Abidal and Keita had very so-so games. Mascherano will get the blame, but it was not exactly his fault.

    * It was not a penalty in the final minute either..the ball was far away from Messi and he had no chance of scoring, so the referee played the percentages again.

    * Terrific advertisement for the “crap” that is La Liga. This, my friends, *is* the *BEST LEAGUE IN THE WORLD*. Tactically, Skill-wise, excitement wise and now with Valencia’s early peaking, even parity wise to some extent. Lets hope the Ches and Betis continue their good form and keeps us on our toes. Maybe even knock EE from their *expected second place* perch.

    • K_legit
      September 21, 2011

      This overloading the left thing is what Valencia do all the time against us so its not like it was unexpected or anything…
      If only Abidal had let that ball go..Valdes had it covered!

    • The__K__Man
      September 21, 2011

      It was a penalty dude..Miguel wasn’t even close to touching the ball.
      And if AS, the most anti-cule magazine/website, says Barca deserved 2 penalty kicks, then you can take their word on that.
      I’m not blaming the ref for the draw but I still think both were penalties.

  29. I did write about a comprision between the three man defense in a post on my blog , http://www.allaboutfcbarcelona.com/2011/08/4-3-3-versus-3-4-3-formation.html
    In that I have pointed out why it will be foolish to play such a formation against a team.which presses well in midfield and can exploit on the wings. Guardoola did the mistake of playing wiyh a three man defense. Can.t blame him as such a formation is the best way to have cesc in degense. Everytime we lost the ball we were facing a real goal conceding oppurtunity. We were pretty lucky that the game didn.t get over by half time. Guardiola should not try these kind of tavtics at our main rivals home. He took Valencia too lightly.

  30. mega_tajh
    September 21, 2011

    It could’ve so easily been a win for them or for us. That Soldado miss with the open net when it was 2-1 was crucial IMO. Also why do Refs refuse to award Messi pks, he was fouled at-least 3 times in the box and got nothing.

    p.s-LOL @ Real in 7th.

  31. Vj
    September 21, 2011

    Also, leads don’t really matter at this stage. What’s important is that we keep playing like in those last minutes..

    Also, Thiago and Cesc can play together/at the same time. What this game has shown is that a surplus of good players is never a bad thing.

    Someone should give an award to Xavi for all his work he put in in this match..

    Lastly, Hay Liga!

  32. Helge
    September 21, 2011

    A draw was the best result for us, a win would have been unfair.

    Let’s hope Real Betis wins tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜€

    • K_legit
      September 21, 2011

      hell no!…i don’t want a 4 point game this early to the top…a draw/defeat would do them Beticos some good!

  33. Barcaleya
    September 21, 2011

    Oh my – just saw the last 15mins or so. Absolutely riveting and heartstopping.

    Jan_theOptimist : Unfortunately, you have to eat your socks, my dear ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anyway, good game. Not so bad in light of EE also dropping pointss.

    I want to watch the whole match. Hope I have time. Looking forward to all the reviews!

    • Vj
      September 21, 2011

      You just watched the best part ๐Ÿ˜›

  34. Barcathegreatestever
    September 21, 2011

    What a game!. I love the 3 back system but Puyol can’t get sucked out wide and Xavi and Keita weren’t controlling the flanks. Abidal just unlucky on the first and not even at fault on the second goal. When Alves dropped back in the second half problem solved. Keita again not looking good at all he played scared, especially with the ball at his feet, unacceptable. We need Thiago with the 3 back system, he is just better. If he had started I think the game would have turned.

  35. Diego
    September 21, 2011

    A Win would’ve been unfair ? Football is unfair.

    We could have killed the match multiple times after the 2nd goal, with Villa, Adriano and Messi all missing.

    3 at the back costs us a lot.

    Why wasn’t Messi given a penalty ? The First one was very clear, The ball was far and Rami was going in full speed.

    • Helge
      September 21, 2011

      And it would have been a second yellow for Rami…

      Anyway, Valencia also had their chances, Soldada even missed the biggest chance of the match (for both sides).

  36. Kariyanna
    September 21, 2011

    I wonder whats Sir Alex secret as ManU is the only League Champion from last season to be on top and flowing. On other note we are better points-wise than we were this stage last year.

    • Helge
      September 21, 2011

      No, 9 > 8

      But last season, Real was on 10 points after 4 matches. So at least compared to them, we are better ๐Ÿ˜€

  37. Diego
    September 21, 2011

    Goal.com coverage had many cheap shots against Barcelona.

    I don’t blame Abidal, Keita or any player. I’ll blame Pep.

  38. blitzen
    September 21, 2011

    Good game, was it? I’m happy with a draw against Valencia, although it takes a bit of the joy out of RM’s result for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Poor Abidal with the own goal. ๐Ÿ™

    • Kariyanna
      September 21, 2011

      He was due for a goal in the league some time no ๐Ÿ˜‰

  39. ciaran
    September 21, 2011

    It was a good game, but only because Valencia played great, especially in the first and we were awful at the same time.
    Pep rectified an incredibly obvious mistake which saved the match but he made the mistake in the first place.

    Part of the problem of how exposed we were in the first half is that Dani Alves didn’t understand his role. What part of our game ever involves a winger, staying forward and never tracking back? Alves has the energy to get up and down the wing and unlike Osasuna, have pace and skill on the left wing so it was always going to backfire.

    The match significantly changed when Thiago entered. Unfortunately Keita’s skillset was completely wrong in comparison to Thiago’s when trying to dominate a packed midfield.
    Thiago gave Xavi immense support and his defense splitting pass for Messi should’ve been rewarded by a better finish.

  40. adopted cule
    September 21, 2011

    This is not the result we wanted but over all Barcelona are in great shape. Valencia is not exactly decimating the league, as fine as they are playing. In the end it will be Madrid and Barcelona, unless EE implodes, which they might. Starting Thiago over Keita and Villa over Pedro probably would have changed this result, but that’s the lineup I expected, so I’m biased. I am a huge Keita fan, but I didn’t feel good about the starting midfield. It wasn’t until Keita was replaced that the worm started to turn and Barcelona began to really dominate the midfield. Thiago coming in only solidified this change and it would have been enough if Messi or Villa had buried their chances.

    Keita is getting too much flak from fans. He has an important place on this team, but I still think Thiago in the starting lineup would have provided the link to the attack we were missing in the first half.

    • Barcathegreatestever
      September 21, 2011

      I Agree about Alves not defending as a winger, seems a funny thing to say, maybe thats why he was made a defender in the first place.

      Also I want to applaud Peps courage in testing this new Barca look. Maybe it will or won’t work in the long run but it is a fantastic system designed to bring out the best in our players. Tweak it here and there is hopefully all it needs.

      Last, the harshness of the fouls not given against Messi is absurd. Its becoming a tactic almost to chop him down, knowing the refs won’t call anything in the box. Him getting pissed just plays in their favor. There is nothing more outrageous than these non calls and Madrids red card fouls in stoppage time

  41. ciaran
    September 21, 2011

    By the way, did anyone see Falcao for Atletico again?
    2 goals and he forced the own goal as well as the hattrick at the weekend. We’ll have to be careful on Sat

  42. Blau-Grenade
    September 21, 2011

    What a match!!!

    Valencia should have really won the match with the advantage they had in the first half. They played an unbelievable first half, and they deserved the lead. Kudos to Unai Emery for the tactics, and Valencia for their intensity, and the way they played. They did the Barca against Barca.

    Kudos to Pep to changing and adapting the team to come back from behind in the second half.

    I would not single out or blame a single player for any faults in the Barca system. That Valencia played better in the first half was purely tactical. Also, that, Barca came back from the dead in the second half was also purely tactical.

    All the players played their heart out. But if I would have to pick one player for his outstanding contribution to the match it would be Xavi. When he was on the right wing in the first half, he had a non existent game. But from the first whistle of the second half, it was all Xavi command and control. This is the best game I have seen him play in many years. He had two players on him all the time. And he still managed to find time and space to make passes and dictate the game.

    From the Valencia side, I have to give particular praise to Ever Banega from Valencia team for working tirelessly in the midfield and keeping the Messi Cesc partnership from taking over. Also, lot of praise to Soldado for taking Busi out for large parts of the game. Also Alves had a monster game after he dropped back in to the defence. Dude is a real engine. He did two halves worth of work in one half. He shut the right wing down for Valencia. This was Barca’s weakest point in the first half.

    Here is a short summary of where Barca got smoked in the first half:

    Valencia were playing with 4 forwards, and Barca were defending with 3 defenders. When the ball was passed to the right wing, sMash would track back to the right wing. Puyol would be busy marking Soldado. Abidal was left alone to mark two attackers. It was with this numerical advantage that Valencia made Barca pay. Keita and Busi were leaving too much space between the Barca defense and midfield to be effective. They would usually be caught in no man’s land. Also Valencia played a very high tempo game in the middle nullifying Barca’s midfield dominance in the middle. They closed down every ball in the middle of the park now allowing Barca to play from there. This countered the Barca superiority in numbers in the midfield.

    Here is a short summary of where Barca smoked Valencia in the second half:

    Alves moved back to right back. This effectively nullified the advantage Valencia were having in the front line. It also helped with the circulation of the ball, and went a long way in getting the control of the match back. Second, Villa replaced Pedro, which gave Barca width on the left wing. Pedro was playing a little too much towards the middle of the pitch in my mind. Villa was definitely hugging the left wing, and had the attention of a defender with him all the time. This opened up the pitch quite a bit. Next Pep replaced Keita with Thiago. Thiago was effectively playing as a second holding midfielder next to Busi, as opposed to Keita who was playing as the left part of a diamond. This added more shield to the defense. With Messi and Fab playing in the middle there was no width on the right. Now the last substitution was a gamble by Pep, replacing Puyol in the back with Adriano as a right forward. Barca were already down at that moment and Pep had to make a gamble. And it worked out for him.

    What an amazing match. This was the best match I have seen this year so far. It was a true footballing spectacle for me because it involved two teams that came out to play football. It was also a spectacle for me to see how, a great team like Barca can be made to look very ordinary with the right tactics(Unai Emery) and a team that comes out to play football(Valencia), and how a brilliant mastermind like Pep can turn the game around with tactical substitutions.

    • adopted cule
      September 21, 2011

      Adriano replaced Keita, so for a short time Barcelona played a 4-3-3. Thiago replaced Puyol, converting back to the 3-4-3 against tired Valencia legs. Barcelona dominated the match from that point forward.

      • Blau-Grenade
        September 21, 2011

        Thanks for the correction. The substitutions happened in quick succession. But we get the intent of what Pep wanted to do with how the match played out.

        • adopted cule
          September 21, 2011

          Agreed, didn’t mean to undermine your point, which was spot on, just crossing t’s and dotting i’s.

        • Barcathegreatestever
          September 21, 2011

          As much as you credit Xavi, that flank has to be his responsibility with only 3 backs. His and Alves. Cesc can rotate there in support also but that leaves the other flank more exposed. Thiago did it singlehandedly against Osasuna, while Villa, Xavi and Cesc controlled the left. Today a very strong flank attack showed us that before we go against last years Arsenal or the 09 Inter we’d better fix it good.

          • Blau-Grenade
            September 21, 2011

            Yes, as a player playing to the right of the diamond, the right wing should have been covered a little bit more by Xavi.

            But he is, and has always been the midfield maestro of Barca, and he was pinching in leaving the right wing wide open.

            Is it Xavi’s fault that he tries to get into the middle of pitch, or, should Pep have thought better. Was he to leave Xavi on the bench and play Thiago as a starter so the right of the diamond, so it would be covered better. Or, was it that Valencia showed up and played a game that caused Xavi to be useless to the right of the diamond. I think it was a combination of all these factors.

          • Barcathegreatestever
            September 22, 2011

            This new system raises a lot of questions of how to stay wide , allow Cesc and Messi to get way forward AND defend the exposed flanks. I said earlier that I thought Thiago goes way up on the strength chart because he has a great balance of youth, range, size and mastery on the ball. Winning back the ball in the middle is the key to not exposing the back corners. Xavi, Alves and Masch were pretty well ripped to shreds; once Puyol gets sucked out there its checkmate. I totally agree Xavi shouldn’t be doing both. Alexis did a lot better closing down the space behind him not that Alves couldn’t learn, and Villa totally gets it. Thiago should get the right while Cesc and Xavi support each other on the left. Big question is how Iniesta does when he comes back . He’s fantastic at winning balls I really think Pep is going to fine tune things into a freakin crescendo. This team will be a masterpiece

    • Blau-Grenade
      September 21, 2011

      One last point, can you imagine any team in the world, coming up against Barca with 4 forwards?

      It goes against every rule in the book for playing against Barca.

      I think this bold thinking is what took Barca/Pep by surprise in the first half.

      No team has every done it in my past recollection, and I have been watching most of the Barca matches since Rijkaard took over.

      I think people will look at this match as an example of how to counter the Barca 3 4 3 diamond formation for a long time to come.

    • Vj
      September 21, 2011

      Ghost of Robinho’s Potential. Win!

  43. Diego
    September 21, 2011

    Pep didn’t want to buy a defender because He had the 3 defence system in head all along.

    • adopted cule
      September 21, 2011

      He really had the 4 midfield in mind all along. Barcelona is short on defenders and attackers (Bojan and Jeffren exits, only Sanchez brought in, but he’s versatile), but long on midfielders. Defense is the natural spot to sacrifice players as he needs two wide players up front to create space in the middle.

  44. mega_tajh
    September 21, 2011

    “Zubizarreta, Barcelona’s sports director, was run over by a car with three bags and suffered the impact in one of his ankles”

    Ouch Hope he’s alright.

  45. The__K__Man
    September 21, 2011

    I feel it’s kind of strange no one commented on this yet but I read multiple times before the game how Emery will play 2 LBs on Alves’ side like he did last year, one to defend and one to go forward (Alba&Mathieu) and instead of Pep closing that down, he opened it up more by making Alves a winger and making us play with no RB. They scored 2 (of course 2 horror mistakes from Abidal, although Valdes should have communicated on the 1st goal with him) and they could have had another 2 at least.

    The minute Pep put in Adriano, he and Dani closed that right flank forever. Also Thiago’s sub was great, he played really well. Xavi was trying to hold the midfield almost alone in the 1st half and Keita wasn’t really helping him.

    After last game Pep said he wasn’t sure he could use the 3-4-3 at Osasuna next match, well, then how the hell do you use it against Valencia whose main attacking threat are the wings?

    As much as I think his tactics were way off the 1st half as much as I acknowledge the fact that he was great in rectifying them.

    • Blau-Grenade
      September 21, 2011

      The guy on Zonalmarking makes exactly your point.
      *http://www.zonalmarking.net/2011/09/22/valencia-2-2-guardiola-emery-gets-the-better-of-guardiola-early-on-but-barca-fight-back/

  46. Miguel
    September 21, 2011

    I punched the wall at least a couple times during this match. I need some spackle.

  47. Jnice
    September 21, 2011

    Gotta say, I was disappointed with how Pep put the team out. Emery basically told everyone his game plan in the press conference before the match. Pep had to know he would use Alba and Mathieu on the left. He had to. They caused us so much damage last season, it would’ve been silly for Emery to do anything different.

    Valencia were excellent, but we could have diminished a lot of the damage they caused us if Pep put the right team out there (with the right tactics). I’m never really disappointed in Pep, but this game I was.

    Still, glad we got the point. We could’ve nicked it in the end, but…oh well. At least we didn’t lose.

    We have another tough match coming up on the weekend.

    • Jnice
      September 21, 2011

      I should add… good on Pep for rectifying the situation in the second half, but it was obvious, no?

      • can_we_go_Xalvies
        September 21, 2011

        Alves wasn’t the only problem, it was our midfield that struggled both offense and Defence, everytime Valencia won the ball they managed to find easy passes to players who were open in dangerous positions. If our midfield players + Fabregas were better positioned and pressed the ball better, the Valencia wouldn’t be able to pull off Passes to those players.

    • Miguel
      September 21, 2011

      Yeah, dude. That’s always Emery’s move, playing two left backs and overloading the space left behind by Dani. Valencia matches are always fun. Maybe not the prettiest to watch, though.

    • September 22, 2011

      Hey guys, I’ve been a lurker at BFB for quite a while now, but I decided to break my duck and finally post some of my thoughts. I’ve talked with a few of you on Twitter too, mostly Jnice and Kari on Barรงa B games.

      Anyway, I fully agree with Jnice. I rarely blame Pep for our shortcomings in a match, but this one is mostly on him. Playing a 343 against one striker left us outnumbered on the right flank where Mathieu was alone time and time again. Mathieu is, frankly, an average player, but even an average player will make most of every chance if he has no one marking him at all.

      As soon as we switched back to 433, Valencia didn’t have a sniff. They weren’t even close. So the only thing that irks me is that going into the final minutes (where our domination was clearest), we were chasing a draw and not the win. Had we gone into HT level, I have no doubt we’d be congratulating ourselves for a well earned 3 points.

      I criticize this team just as much as I praise them, but I feel Valencia got the result here purely from our own mistakes than their amazing play. Yes, they pressed and fought, but they always do. If we had the done right thing and played 433 from the start, they most probably never would have gotten the chances they did.

      Ah well, it is what it is. I still don’t think we’re 100% fit and our pressing game suffers for it. Teams also get better at reading us every year, but our offensive game works as well as ever. Not something the EE can really boast about atm, ey? ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Chiu
        September 22, 2011

        In recent matches, Pep keep trying Busi in CB position. Maybe he want to prepare Busi to be ready to step in as CB whenever our 3-4-3 need another CB depending on situation going on the match. So Busi will hv 2 function as DM and CB. just as back up plan if our defence is outnumbered by the opponent. Just non-expert tought.

  48. mega_tajh
    September 21, 2011

    I think Pep acknowledged his mistake in the press conference after the game saying that “We’re leaving with the lesson learned and we will wait for them when they come to barca”

  49. can_we_go_Xalvies
    September 21, 2011

    What a game! really entertaining

    I just like to start by saying that its extremely difficult to get 3 points at a stadium like the Mestalla. We were beaten in the first half and we copped two goals that our defence really couldn’t do anything to stop. I don’t blame the defence, Abidal was a bit off colour but really any defender in the world you put in our backline will struggle in this situation. I was questioning why Pep didn’t react quick enough to bringing back Alves into a conservative role. But again that wasn’t our biggest problem, our problem was the lack of composure in our midfield and forward line. Fabregas really hindered us defensively because we were always out of shape when pressing/defending Valencia. You give Valencia a plate full of the ball and they will make something of it, no doubt about that. But really there is no doubt on this team to perform. If Messi was a little bit sharper on the ball or if Fabregas was a little bit better with his positioning we could have taken the 3 points from this game. There is a lot of positives that came out of this game however, it is evident we have not lost OUR HUNGER TO WIN GAMES, and I know Pep and the team have learnt a lot of lessons this game.

  50. September 21, 2011

    I’m actually kinda happy today. Real also drew (and looked awful, apparently) so we didn’t give up any points advantage to them.

    As for Valencia they’ve been my second favorite side since the Villa days, and previous seasons they’d start on fire until they played us, put up a great fight but eventually lose, and then tail off rapidly. Valencia have generally always had the sort of mean air or swagger or screw-with-us-and-you’ll-face-the-consequences vibe that all dominating teams have (United, Real, us, etc- Arsenal now, us 2007 etc didn’t have it) but the past few years they’ve lacked that and losing to Barca always seemed to take the wind out of their sails. Now they’ve gotten their mean aura back, have a decent defense for the first time in ages, and matched us in a game, so I have high hopes for them to keep up the strong form.

    As for us, we’re still a point ahead of Madrid who, unless they implode, will still be our main title contender. So not worried.

      • Chiu
        September 23, 2011

        Kari, where’s the real Hector now? Why he dont write any longer or comment at least. Is he live in place with no internet at all? or is he changing team, gosh dont EE?? haha

Leave a Reply