Bring the A Team: Barcelona – Atletico Madrid LiveBlog

After the B-game, I need some A Team. Though we’re treated to Busi at CB…

Lineup:Valdés , Alves, Mascherano, Busi, Abidal; Xavi, Thiago, Fabregas; Pedro, Messi, Villa

On the bench: Pinto, Maxwell, Fontàs, Adriano, Keita, Puyol and Piqué

Atleti lineup: Courtois, Perea, Godín, Miranda, Antonio López, Mario, Thiago, Gabi, Reyes, Diego, Falcao

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


  1. 3-4-3, against a team with two wingers?? Or 4-3-3, without a DM, against Diego?? I’m not looking forward to this.

    1. I think it’s a 3-4-3. Looks like with Alexis and Iniesta out, Pep has put all his cards on this system to maximise the Cesc-Messi partnership.

  2. Touch Ronaldo, that’s a penalty!

    Lol, 2 penalties for his second hattrick. What a weak call — if that’s the standard then Messi should have gotten 3 of those last game.

  3. Jeez, another Pep-crazy lineup, I love that man! It’s supposed to be a 3-4-3 from what I’ve read.

  4. We’re pretty consistent. Last results have gone like so: 5-0 -> 2-2 -> 8-0 -> 2-2 -> 5-0. We need to make sure we draw 2-2 before the Clasico.

  5. Well, this was the most important part of the season to get through at least on parallel vs. EE (other than the Clasicos). We had a much tougher first five matches. To be one point up on the Real is great place to be, despite not playing to our potential (and one goal up on thong boy:)

    Hopefully with Pique healthy we have a stable enough line-up to solidify into Barca form full-time. All eyes on Sevilla on 10/23.

    I will say the Liga is looking alot more fun that last year with Betis, Malaga, Sevilla, Valencia playing well. Falcao should be fascinating to watch for Atl despite his performance today.

    Good for Soldado, I love to see him scoring goals for anyone other than EE.

  6. Okay….i will love to see a wayne rooney bleaching,or a blind-deaf man preaching,or a computer engineer asking “what is caps lock…VISCA EL BARCA TILL I GO SIX FEET!!

  7. Best way to negate a lethal fox in the box like Falcao is to make sure that well… he never gets to the box. Which is exactly what we did today.

    Despite scoring 5 goals, our defensive game won us this game today. Our pressing, I thought, was really, really good and the slight adjustments to the formation made us cruise this game instead of shaking after that early scare from Tiago’s crossbar shot.

    I thought Abidal had a huge redemption for the poopie one he had at Mestalla, immense performance against an always tricky, although out of form Reyes.

    sMasch and Dani get my plaudits as well, those 3 would probably make my top 3. I realize I’m being a bastard to Leo here, the man scored another hattrick (like twitter folk is saying, should just call it hatMessi by now :D), but someone else has to get more credit sometime, surely?! I mean come on Leo, let others a piece of the MOTM cake as well.

    Busi had one of his better games in a while and Xavi was as brilliant as he has been in practically every game this season. The arrival of Cesc has really seemed to spark a new light in him.

    Cesc seemed tired, but he worked hard and that’s all that matters. He’s still clunky in his positioning and the defensive part of the game, but that’ll come around. I’ll just mention his audacious chip which would’ve been a real definition of the world GOLAZO.

    Villa got the finish that mattered most right, although he should’ve had at least 2, but I think he’s starting this year on good goalscoring form. More competition and bigger depth should motivate him more and leave him more rested for the second half of the season unlike last year where he was huffing and puffing around minute 50. Pedro was as hardworking as I’ve seen him in a while, but offensively he’s still missing sharpness.

    Thiago was studly, filling in everywhere and being a constant outlet. He had chances to score, ones he should take, but I’ll just attribute that to his youthly exuberence.

    Good to see Geri again too. We’re gonna need that often bleeding man a lot this season.

  8. Pep is a rockstar:

    Pep: “The previous board suffered a lot. This trial isn’t worth it, I hope it won’t come ’til end of season because it’s bad for the club.”

    Via @fcblive.

  9. Very impressive game. Incredibly dominant against a CL team in reality.
    Valdes had little to do and his only save came out of pride of his clean sheet.
    Alves as a right centre back was interesting, solid game and made good interceptions.
    Mascherano completely negated Falcao and has to be considered a first choice centreback alongside Pique.
    Abidal owned the whole left side and was safe in possession.
    Busquets had a return to form in his preferred position. Very good game.
    Xavi was fantastic, as usual.
    Cesc has fitted in very nicely and everyone was hoping that chip went in.
    Thiago was great, tactically was very disciplined before Keita came on and going forward was a tricky customer.
    Pedro’s first touch has left the building but his workrate is top notch and when he burst through two Atletico attackers to win the ball only for it to be called back for Pique’s yellow card.
    Messi was Messi. 3 goals, one assist and should have had a few more but held the ball too long on a few occasions.
    Villa’s got his shooting boots back which is dangerous for rivals.

    Good match and great performances all round.

    1. Villa’s got his shooting boots back which is dangerous for rivals.

      Nah, he just lost his hair gel. Infinitely more dangerous — even causes Anti-Offside Syndrome.

      Thiago was great, tactically was very disciplined

      Yep. When Busi came off, he was playing DM!

  10. Does anyone know the result of the voting on the Qatar Foundation sponsorship?

    I do not understand why in a league where Valencia, Villarreal, Sevilla, Athletico Madrid, and several other teams do not have a shirt sponsorship, the best team finds it absolutely necessary to have a paying shirt sponsorship. I don’t understand this especially, because this Barça team has been successful without needing a shirt sponsorship. Barça will continue to be the world number one, whether it has a shirt sponsorship or not.

    That being said, the very idea of a shirt sponsorship also goes against the identity of the club. The image of the club has always been a non-profit organization whose goal was to not only bring football and joy to the people of Catalonia (and now the world as well), but to represent the Catalan people. Putting “Qatar Foundation” goes against that Barça values. It has never been a matter of success or winning. What was important was the way in which the team won. Surely, we don’t “need” a shirt sponsor, as Mr. Rosell claims?

    1. They voted overwhelmingly in support of the Qatar shirt sponsorship. I don’t know about the other votes.

    2. The socios also voted in favor of the “youth section” and the “no-smoking” in the Camp Nou.

  11. I’m about to say something really inappropriate, so please bare with me.

    Messi 3 goals = Orgasm.

    The backline was pretty solid but then again the midfield’s workrate was OFF THE CHAIN! Not to mention superPedro running all over the place, pressuring everyone, even his own teammates! lol!


    Can anyone please tell me if Falcao played? Saw his name in the line-up and I watched the game but never saw him.

  12. What a nice little after work treat( a bigger treat would have been to watch it live but as a wise man once sang, you can’t always get what you want). It was so Messi!

  13. just noticed why Mascherano didnt join the celebratory huddle in any goals last night, and very rare in other matches. was he hugging with Valdes? or it’s just not appear in my screen?

    1. Pep calls him over to get (very animated) directions. Euler shows a screencap of this in his Osasuna review.

      I’ve also noticed the replays of our goals often happen as: first angle of goal, second angle of goal, third angle of goal, shot of an entity with eighteen legs, then cut to Pep, arm around Masch, words tumbling out.

  14. Did anyone else notice how fluid the midfield was in terms of position in the first half? The diamond formation almost always had Busquets at the base, but Xavi, Cesc, and Thiago were moving all over the field. Messi was dropping deeper with more regularity than I remember. The camera kept moving to the Atletico manager who looked stunned. I think Pep, in a game against an extremely confident and in form team, experimented more than ever, instructing his midfield and forward players to be as amorphous as possible, and they produced three goals against a good team. I really thought that what Barcelona was doing in the first half was only semi-effective as it only produced 4 shots, but it was impossible to pin down.

    Many were saying that the three man back line suffered when Alves was back there, but he is a great defender. Mascherano played the sole center back and Barcelona almost completely shut down a dangerous team, due to the incredible work rate of the midfield.

    I thought Pep would go 4-3-3 in this game to stabilize possession, but instead he put his 4 best healthy midfielders in the game and had Messi drop very deep to support them and Atletico had no answers.

    In the second half, Pep put in Pique, for Busquets, and moved to a 4-3-3 which he stayed with the remainder of the game. I think he did this to get Pique to work off the rust and stayed with the 4-3-3 to provide him with support. It took the genius of Messi, which we always have in our back pocket, to produce the final two goals.

  15. What a game. All that falcao nonsense was thrown out of the window. Pep is one stubborn bastard but I support him in the view that when you have a surfeit of riches of playmakers, you can compromise on defence a little bit.

    Messi was determined to get a hat trick to trump cr7. Cam somebody say what % of cr7 s goals are from undeserved penalties.

    Well I am going to hammer about it again. Did anyone notice how good we were without Keita in lineup. When he came in, it was the right time and context to come in where he could act as a injury shield to our subbed maestros. he has to be used only as a sub and that too not as a 1 goal lead protector or where we are trailing. Only in matches where 3 goaleqd exists and we have to save players from injuries.

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