Confirmed Alien Landing: BATE – Barcelona Liveblog

After a draw against Milan in their first group stage game, Guardiola has impressed upon his players the importance of this match, saying “if we don’t win here we will have to wait till the last day to guarantee qualification”. With this in mind he has rolled out with:

Starting XI* Valdes Alves Puyol Mascherano Abidal Xavi Keita Thiago Pedro Messi Villa

Bench Pinto Pique Fontas Maxwell Busquets Fabregas Adriano


* – I have no idea if they are in proper-formation order

Join me shortly before kickoff at 2:45 EST.




  1. For the record I think we’re going to see a 4-3-3 with this lineup, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the 3-4-3 makes an appearance.

  2. why does Pep do this to us…i understand him dropping yaya for a promising upcoming youngster in Busi.. why does he drop busi so early in the season for a no hoper non expert at DM (keita) who is an irrelevance and always reduces one more Midfielder from our playmaker numbers in order to support him…

    1. You’re wrong. Keita is a hell of a player and essential to this team for his hard work and good nature.

    2. I almost never comment on this blog because everything I feel compelled to chime in with has already been nicely expressed. This is in no way a bad thing.

    3. ^ This!

      (I seem to be doing this a lot lately… Probably because everything I feel compelled to chime in with has been nicely expressed. :mrgreen: )

    4. Don’t mean to be rude but that is really mean. After everything Pep and the team have achieved don’t you think they maybe know what they are doing. You seem to always complain about Keita and never compliment him even when he plays well.

  3. I don’t see a 3-4-3 coming out of this unless you had Masch at DM and Thiago playing the Cesc-role. (I guess he gets a role named after him now after just a few games.)

    Or maybe Alves on the wing, Villa as a true-9, and Messi playing just behind him.

    But otherwise, this looks like a classic 4-3-3, Messi as false-9, Alves bombing forward, Pedro and his windmills formation.

    1. And as I say that @BarcaTheOffside reports:

      “Heh. Says @EduPolo that UEFA has Barça’s formation as 3-4-3, with Alves-Puyol-Abidal on defence, and Masche as DM.”

    2. That’s what I was thinking it could be, but with this set of players on the field I think I’d rather see the 4-3-3. Although that does mean Keita at DM, so maybe the 3-4-3 will be better

  4. Every time I see Keita instead of Busi I ask why pep, why? And suddenly that one strange yet endearing comment he made during a press conference comes to mind. “Son mis niñitas, no me los toquéis”(They’re my little girls..don’t touch them).

    Besides that..the line up looks decent. Hope all goes well for us. No fights, no dives, no red cards, and no injuries is all I want..maybe even a golazo fiesta.

    In pep we trust.

  5. I don’t know if BATE was the game to prove this, but in the 3-4-3, Masch might be a better fit for DM than Busquets, because of his speed, he can cover the flanks.

    It’s like playing two sweepers, almost. Masch sweeping up behind the midfield, then Puyol behind the defense.

  6. For some reason, I’ve been boxed out of the loveblob for a while..towards the end it was sorta lagging for me..

    Great game guys..

    a classic clinic on breaking the bus by us!

  7. btw, Tevez has been suspended (pending a review) for 2 weeks by Man City..well deserved..they should rot him in the reserves!

    1. I’m not sure if that is the right way to approach the situation with Tevez.

      He told he didn’t feel good mentally and thus decided it was better not to play. Or that he felt his soul was not alright.
      In times of modern football, the pressure is incredible high, not only for the players, but also for the coaches. If you have a sensible character, that might lead to a burnout syndrome or other forms of depression. In case of Robert Enke, it even ended in a suicide. And just about one week ago, Rangnick officially confessed suffering from burnout and retired from his coaching role at Schalke 04. Breno, once the most promising defender from South America, has been sent to a psychiatric ward from his club Bayern Munich (that was months ago). And now he allegedly burned down his own house and is in investigative custody.
      I think I remember some interviews where Tevez talked about missing his family, his homecountry etc. Then, after he failed to convert the penalty for Argentina in the Copa America quarterfinal, he even felt some antipathy from the Argentine media and people, who seemed to love him unconditionally prior to the Copa.
      Tevez seems to be a very tough guy from his looks, but maybe a mentally weak, hurt person is hidden underneath it. In the interview where he mentioned his soul / mental confusion, he seemed very honest and despondent.
      Plus, I’ve heard that he has apologized to the team and coach the morning after.

      Of course it might also be that Tevez is not suffering from any psychic problems, but given his interview and the recently upcoming reports about depression etc. in professional football, I think your reaction is a bit overdone. City’s reaction is more reserved, I’m glad that they didn’t fire him or send him to the reserves for the rest of the season (yet).

  8. Messi only has 41 goals to go to make him the top Barcelona scorer of all time. There is a clear possibility that he could even do it this season.


    He is 24 years old.
    I’m frightened. @@

    1. For me, the scariest thing about Messi is that he really didn’t play very well today.

      And he scored twice.

    2. Messi has yet to play well this entire season, I think. Several times he could have passed the ball to Villa and didn’t and he missed easy passes. He’s not in top shape either, but with the 3-4-3 he doesn’t need to be. I feel Messi is much much better as the false nine in the 4-3-3 rather than the point of the spear in he 3-4-3, even though he might score way more goals in the latter rather than the former. It’s nice to know though that he can fit in both systems and not lose his goal scoring touch.

    3. That’s really interesting, Blaunero.

      That he’s scoring more in the 3-4-3 even though he’s playing worse seems to me a benefit of the system rather than a detriment.

      It’s almost like more output with less effort. For someone that insists on playing every minute in every competition, I don’t think that’s a problem.

    4. Its like that Crackovia episode following the Osasuna travelling fiasco:

      Messi’s character: “All this running has made me so tired, I’ll only score twice today”..

  9. Chapeau to the home support who did not stop chanting their team’s name even in the 93′ minute at five goals down.
    As for us. Unfortunately we didn’t learn much from this game. Tougher opponents will come. The important thing is that both Pedro and Villa scored and that Thiago is getting CL experience.

    1. Don’t forget Puyol’s minutes either, it was the first time in a long while that he hadn’t been subbed out around the 60th minute.

    2. That was lovely. They chanted for a while even after the match had finished. Such passion. They are just happy their team got to play champions league and playing Barca was a bonus.

    1. Usually up on here.

      It hasn’t been uploaded yet, and if Pakman doesn’t get to it, try this one from

      UEFA Champions League, Matchday#2: BATE Borisov vs. Barcelona [1200 kbps], 9-28-2011, courtesy of MSG+. Links below:

      1st Half:

      2nd Half:

      [credit: wigan88 on fbtz]

      I haven’t tried the links above yet, so I’m not sure quality wise. wigan88 usually has good ones.

      I’d wait for Pakman though. He’s by far the best on the Net. Never fails to deliver.

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