And We’re Back: Barca v Racing LiveBlog

Starting right now, people. Come one, come all! (And bring the starting XIs with you, yeah?)

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


  1. Good game. Shame about Pique’s injury. Seems like whenever we get a player back, another one goes down with a hamstring injury. I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE LONELY CESC, STOP IT.

    Thiago was amazing at DM today. So, so wonderful. Who thought he was going be marginalized because of Cesc’s signing again? Me, before he signed the contract extension.

    Sorry about the next mini-rant, I don’t like talking about refs because we should take care of the opposition regardless, but these non-pens, especially on Messi, are getting freakin’ ridiculous. Leo gets blatantly tripped right in front of the referee and no call? Bullsh*t. I know I said it’s a given that when Messi gets fouled there won’t be a penalty, but I was (partly) joking ffs.

    And no, I don’t care that we won, I’m still going to complain because it’s getting annoying and I need to get it off my chest.

    Now, moving on, good thing we have Iniesta back, I missed him. Awesome match and that move for Messi’s second goal… no puedo. Love you, Ghostface.

    Xavi was … [insert adjective here]. That header. 8)

    Pedro’s getting his groove back, slowly. Brilliant cross for Xavi’s goal.

    Abi, that chilena attempt… God, I love this team. :mrgreen:

    In any case, we’re back to the top of the table. And Fabregas and Alexis are making their way back. I like, I like.

    1. And if you think about all the cheap or even faked penalties that Real Madrid got last season (I’m especially looking at you, Dive Maria!), I could go even more ballistic.

      This season, Crynaldo has already 3 penalties (scored, I don’t think that all of them were fouls on him), so if Messi also got his penalties (which were all crystal clear!), he would already be 7 goals clear ahead of Crynaldo.
      I know the Pichichi actually does not count, but I’m still furious about CRs goal haul at the end of last season, because some dumb*ss use it as an argument for CR being the best player ever *argh*

  2. These injuries are worrying. It’s like we’re cursed. Did Fabregas bring the plague with him from Arsenal?
    Game was so-so. Racing didn’t want to play and I felt Barca could always go up two or three gears if they wanted.

  3. I just wanted to say something about this match.
    Who’s cool as a cucumber?
    Abidal is cool as a cucumber.

  4. I just saw this on Puyol’s Facebook:

    “Hola a todos, nueva victoria que nos mantiene en la parte alta de la tabla. Hoy ha quedado claro que esto de marcar goles no es lo mío. Ahora a descansar.”

    ~ Hello everybody, a new victory that keeps us on top of the table. Today it was made clear that I’m not about scoring goals. Now to rest.

    He might not be about scoring goals, but the ones he does score (Germany, EE, Valencia) are usually so awesome! He can leave the tap ins to the others. 🙂

    1. 😆

      I still remember when he casually came in during the UEFA draw in Monaco, and his excuse for not wearing a suit. Ah, Puyi. Never change.

    2. HAHAHAHA!!!! That made me LOL. It would have been awesome if he had scored, but how many teams would have had a CB in the box running onto the ball like that anyway? 😆

  5. Go to the 60th minute and rewatch Messi catching the long pass with his foot and then 2 more touches before bringing the ball to ground, then he dribbled through 4 guys. Then watch it in slow motion. I’ve watched it 10 times already and I’m amazed every time.

    1. And that long pass was amazing from Maxwell!

      There was also another Magic, Majestical, Messi Moment in midfield when he flicked the ball backwards somehow – feinting with his left foot and raking it back with his right.

      I’ve only seen it twice, and I’m still not sure how he did it. Must see if I can watch it again.

    1. Not a problem. Thanks for coming.

      (Also, I forgot to say this earlier, but sorry it was late. Last minute grocery shopping)

  6. Off topic, but anyone know where I can find a download/torrent of the 1st leg against Madrid in the CL semis last yr? I’ve looked around a bit but nothing reliable…

    1. I’d look around fbtz for you, but I can’t open the site right now.

      Maybe I should make a universal BFB fbtz account for people to use…

  7. this is the game which opened my eyes bout leos trickery.

    never saw these kinds of tricks from him,(i always thought those r alloted only for iniesta) just proved that he has those tricks,but he uses it when it is required.just brilliant.

    @nzm,that was not a pass from maxwell,it was a hoof,but what control from messi.

    the through balls from messi for the first goal and villa chance was so precise.

    1. It was an accurate hoof – Messi didn’t have to move for it and just expertly brought it down. 🙂

    1. Yeah, that move was magic! Do you have a clip of it? Have to see it again, it was sick!

  8. I am always amazed at the tactical variations that Pep comes up with.

    In yesterdays match there was no holding midfielder. And as the match progressed I realized that Barca did not need one for the way that Racing were playing.

    Iniesta – wow – no words, it is unbelievable the skill and vision this man possesses on the ball.

    So good to see the Messi Xavi Iniesta Alves triangles and one-two’s. I have missed them. Glad to have you back ghost face. The Barca midfield is so much more fluid with Xavi and Iniesta running the midfield.

    One last word on Racing. They did not play their game – or take it to the Barca plalyers at any point in the match. The match was over after the 2nd goal.

    1. I think Thiago was intended to be the DM in the first 70 minutes but he was not very tactically disciplined. He made up for this with generally being very good whenever he was near or on the ball. I still believe he would be a liability at DM. His defensive skill set is not as strong as a ball stopper as it is as a presser. Racing’s complete incompetence in attack was the only reason Thiago’s ability at DM wasn’t tested more.

    2. however, what if he played there against teams where we are going to dominate possession, perhaps paring him with keita too add the steel that we lose in midfield?

    3. I generally found that Thiago has improved his game defensively a lot recently – compared to what it was last season. He slide tackles, his passing from the back is much better. There was a couple of games in which Pep used Thiago to the left of a diamond formation. And I was very impressed with his work defensively.

      Obviously any soccer player in the world will look good playing sandwitched between Alves Pique Puyol Maxwell behind him, and Xavi and Iniesta in front. But Thiago instead of doing showboating and running into a wall of defenders has improved his game significantly. He was able to find passes to the players around him a lot.

      I still do not think he was playing as a DM yesterday. It was a straignt forward 4 3 3 formation. I do not think Pep intended a DM. Pep has Busi and Keita for that. He could have used them. I think he chose Thiago for his creativity and passing skills, rather than firefighting skills.

  9. Armando gets beat – again – 1 vs. 1 in the box. Anibal puts in a beautiful chip over Oier – but the defending was just horrendous.

    Armando just gets skinned in close space as he’s unable to close down the ball.

    Earlier in the match he was literally bundled over by an attacker near the byline that generated a very dangerous opportunity that should have been a goal for Guadalajara.

    No Espinosa. No Deulofeu. There’s no continuity in attack.

    All there is is Eusebio sporting his hipster blue jeans and white shirt with rolled up sleeves look on the side line.

    And on that goal, once the awful Armando gets beat there is no support help from the rest of the defense. Just awful.

    The B team is in real trouble. They must turn this around and it’s unclear if Eusebio can do that.

    1. Euler I know you exaggerate things out of your love for BB sometimes but you’re making a cule really worried here 🙁 unable to catch any BB games for a month now due to horrible scheduling/study, but from the scores/liveblogs/comments it seems that we’re always on a verge of winning/have a lot of moments of brilliance however always give the match away… What 3 major changes do you think Eusebio must do in order to improve the team? Who can replace Armando? Should Deulefeu start every game along with Espinosa? Why do the boys have so much trouble finding the back of the net?

    2. Artur,

      I am exaggerating. But I am also growing more concerned. The B team is just not playing well.

      A major factor in that is the absence of Soriano. There were many times last season when Soriano really bailed them out with his scoring. They simply don’t have any players of that caliber now in front of goal.

      The older players they’ve brought in are having adjustment difficulties (e.g. Kiko) or its unclear how good they are (Rodri).

      I really don’t care how much the B team wins. I only care that they win enough to avoid relegation. And that’s really important. They should not even get close to relegation – that’s going to be awful for the kids to have to play with that much pressure.

      What concerns me most is that the goal of the team is to develop talent. That’s not even happening. Kids who need to play are just sitting on the bench while older players are simply playing because they are older and more experienced. And they are playing badly.

      I’m not sure what we’re accomplishing right now with the B team.

  10. Rafinha draws a penalty through a dangerous run in the box.

    Sergi Roberto takes the penalty and chips it in very calmly to take the lead. Sergi had scored earlier in the half to equalize.

    However – that second goal is disallowed. I only saw one replay – it looked like it may have been a wrong call.

    But I believe the reason why it was disallowed was that Armando burst past the ball before Sergi took the penalty. I believe that was the call.

    It may not have been Armando – but I believe it was. I’m pretty sure that’s who it was encroaching on goal.

    Just mind boggling. Even if it was a bad call it is a complete lack of discipline for a player to try to crash the goal that aggressively on a PK.

    Reflects very poorly on the coach.

    And now Sergi Roberto is taken off for …. Carmona.

  11. Also – finally around minute 60 eusebio finally noticed that the team lacked fluency in midfield and cutting edge in the final third and subbed in Gerard and Espinosa. The team since has played better.

    And Gerard skins the defender on the edge and centers the ball for what should have been the second goal but no one is crashing the box.

    JDS just completely loses his cool and pushes a Guadalajara player to pick up a yellow.

  12. Levante DAMN! They’re leading Malaga 3-0 at 87 minutes now and with this win would be level top of the league with us on 17 points, only behind on goal difference and a point ahead of Madrid.

    It really would be a wonder and a miracle if they even keep up half of this form for the whole campaign. They are a side I’m rooting for from now on, after my usual sides of Barca and Valencia. I even liked the Facebook page for Levante. The ultimate underdog.

    1. Yeah, I keep waiting for when they start losing steam like Betis, but they’re really doing well. They were the third best team in terms of pointed gained during the second half of last season and they’ve managed to keep that momentum this season.

  13. And completely on cue – as expected, Barca B concede late in match – this time in injury time off a set play.

    Down 1-2 with two minutes to play.

    This has happened now again and again – conceding goal late in matches and halves.

    Something needs to be done.

  14. Armando got beat for both of Guadalajara’s goals.

    And I believe he was the reason why Barca B’s second goal was disallowed.

    Man of the match for Guadalajara. His impact on the game was enormous.

    1. Yes and he did it twice.Why was he the one following up a penalty kick in the first place?

      The thing with Eusebio is his initial lineups handicap the team, then he throws on kids(and Carmona) to save the day and make something happen.There’s nothing wrong with that occasionally, but no one interested in developing youngsters throws them(and Carmona) into a self created fire every…single..week.

    2. Why was he the one following up a penalty kick in the first place?

      He’s a defender and the least skilled player on the ball on the entire pitch.

      I don’t know what would be worse – if Armando was the player designated to crash the box on the PK and it was intentional (which I can’t imagine) or if Eusebio has drilled the squad in an organized fashion so that there’s no clear way to run the PK so Armando just thinks to himself – someone has to follow the play, might as well be me.

  15. Barca Babies once again got hurt on dead ball situations… there are actually some more issues:

    1) As of now, the team does not have anyone who can provide half of Soriano’s danger in the box. Rodri is having his low for quite a long time and there is no other 9 on the team
    2) Romeu’s departure to Chelsea hurts the team in every single way possible. Not only did he provide aerial threat, he also broke up plenty of dangerous counter-attacks. JDS is doing alright but he is not a holder and once the opponents get past the first prerssing wave, things get dangerous
    3) Eusebio really took his most dangerous player out and subbed Carmona in. Nothing else to say

    1. Romeu was out injured for most of last season and Barca B wound up doing ok. I liked JDS in a more advanced role alongside Thiago and in front of Fontas, but dos Santos has done more than adequately as a pivote(didn’t watch this game.) Like Euler mentioned earlier, Soriano bailed them out a lot last year. Nolito, even more so. I’d love for Deulofeu to be that guy this year but it doesn’t sound like he’s getting any minutes from Eusebio.

      OT: You guys see that pass from Pjanic?

    2. When Romeu was injured, Barca B actually suffered quite a bit even with Ilie as direct replacement.

      I’m not saying JDS is not cut to be a pivote, but his skill set is certainly different from what Romeu could offer. And I cant help but think that some of the conceded goals wouldnt have happened with a designated holder.

      Nolito certainly did bail the team out times and times again. However, with Cuenca and Deulofeu there are two players who could play his role if given enough/constant playing time. the injury of Soriano is imo the bigger problem in the attacking department.

  16. Guadalajara did not play well. They really did as little as possible for a team to win a match.

    This is terrible for young players and their confidence. They aren’t getting playing time and their team can’t win.

    Eusebio is reminding me more and more of a national team coach who keeps “trusting” players from a club team he’s managed before regardless of how good they are.

    He just “trusts” them so they play.

    How do you take Sergi Roberto out of the game and bring on Carmona?

    How many mistakes can Armando be allowed to make?

    I know Pep has enough to do with the first team, but someone in the club needs to fix this.

    1. “How do you take Sergi Roberto out of the game and bring on Carmona?”

      When you took off the best attacking midfielder (Espinosa) for Carmona, then take off your best defender for a player you’ve kept on the bench for no real reason (Deulofeu) in the last game, it’d be pretty easy I’d image.

      Eusebio almost took Celta Vigo down, didn’t he? What possessed the management to hire him given his track record?

      He’s probably a nice guy, but it’s obvious he doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Do people up top at Barca really expect him to fix anything when he doesn’t even know what’s wrong?

      Intervention is needed. Desperately.

  17. I really don’t know what to say right now.

    Missed the match, but that’s a blessing in disguise it seems. I think I would have actually gone crazy watching that game. Currently, the B-team is like a really bad car crash in slow motion. Carmona for Sergi Roberto (who I bet was the best player on the pitch)? ^%*@%!( hell, man.

    Look, I’m not expecting the B-team to do as well as they did last season (3rd) but that they are in the relegation zone and have been on a death spiral for weeks now, with young players who need to play on the bench in favor of truly sh&t ‘experienced’ players like Armando, is totally unacceptable.

    Eusebio FUERA. It’s like Inter and Gaspirini, someone please cut this off before it gets any worse. For the good of the B-team and player confidence.

    1. I missed the game too, but from the sound of it I should be thankful. What was the final score?

      I swear, if this coach gets the B team relegated after all the hard work Pep and Lucho put in to bring them up to the Segunda, I may do something I will regret. 👿

      I am really fearing for the confidence of these young boys right now. They need a coach who believes in them and can put some fire in their bellies. And Eusebio ain’t him.

    1. Pretty sure he had tears in his eyes after that. 🙁

      But this shows he absolutely must continue. Not his fault re: stupid Kjaer red. You can see the influence in the way Roma is playing. Much, much better. Totti Complexity will be an ongoing issue; I’d hate to say this because injury is never a good thing, but it was lucky that Totti was injured for this match…

  18. Sigh. This sucks. B-team and Roma both concede late goals and lose 2-1. (In Roma’s case, (almost literally) last second Klose goal in injury time.

    Hernanes is a total boss. Indicative of how bad it is in Brazil that he isn’t a regular fixture, only 4(!) caps. Wow.

    Bojangles played really, really well today. It was a hard fought (read: extremely dirty) game but he held his own and had Diaz’s number for the ~75 minutes he was on. Too bad that Roma went down to 10 (Kjaer off; Lazio’s equalizing penalty scored by Hernanes) or he would have stayed on longer methinks, though he did look exhausted. You can really see the talent he has, and more than once the commentator on my TV remarked, “Bojan, you can really tell he’s a Barca product.” Keep it up, Bobo!

    Also, Daniele De Rossi is half man half beast. What a match from him for Roma.

    But it really is too bad about the result, a win would have put Roma top. Le sigh.

    Oh well, Viktoria Plzen is next for us on Wednesday. Probably won’t be able to Liveblog that…

    1. At one point of time, during the squad rebuilding when Pep took over in ’08, we were really interested in him. Wonder how that move would’ve worked out..

    2. Roma’s problem looked like they don’t have a creative midfielder in teh middle. They need to get hold of someone. When Gago looks like the most creative of your midfielder, then definitely you are short of talent there.

  19. I have been reminded, by Crackovia, no less, that one of the first goals Xavi ever scored with the first team was a header against Real Valladolid in 1998. So he has form. 😀

  20. Whoa! According to La Vanguardia, Pique’s played more minutes with Spain (225) than with Barca (198) this season. Snap.

    For those wondering, there’s going to be a review of Euler proportions for the Racing match. No worries.

    I’m more worried about these hamstring problems we’re having. Who knew a non-preseason could be so bad?

  21. Watching the match again this time with RayRay commenting, I’d pay double just to hear him comment all Barca games.

    If you can’t download the match this place has a few choice quotes from him:!/liverayhudson

    “So quick he could catch his own reflection in a mirror, Phil. Tipping toe through the tulips, patting the defenders on the top of the head.As lively as a cheerleader on a trampoline is Lionel.” 😆

  22. The brilliance of Iniesta and Thiago shouldn’t get lost in all of this. 2 or 3 times, Thiago bailed out the defense by nipping in to kill a Racing attack. And Iniesta …. glory be! Between give/gos for Messi to that absurd move for the shot of the post/Messi putback, dude was astonishing. He isn’t as flashy as some other players, hence the Illusionista nickname, but don’t let that lack of flash fool you: he’s better now than I’ve seen him in a long, long time.

    1. Something really interesting I found about Spanish regarding Don Andres’ ‘el Ilusionista’ moniker:

      ‘Ilusión’ carries meanings in Spanish that ‘illusion’ doesn’t in English. While ‘ilusión óptica’ means “optical illusion” and ‘falsas ilusiones’ as “false illusions”, ‘no te hagas ilusiones’ is “Don’t get your hopes up.” ‘Su ilusión desde pequeña era ser actriz en Broadway’ can be translated as “Her dream since she was little was to be an actress on Broadway.” And ‘Cuando pierdes la ilusión…’ can be translated as “When you lose heart…”

      I had thought that ‘Ilusionista’ was purely a reference to his tricky play, but perhaps it’s also used because his play is dream-like, and/or that it inspires hope?

  23. Iniesta was brilliant. I always felt that the World never recognise his brilliance, eventhough he is not complaining. The first goal against Arsenal in Camp Nou was the prime example. Everyone discusses the Fabregas ill-timed back heel, Brilliant Messi finish, but never heard anyone really appreciating the assist of Iniesta. For me it was one of the Top 10 assist I have seen in UCL for last 5-6 years. Still apart from the Barca fans, nobody seems to appreciate it.

    He is our Samwise Gamgee.

    1. love the LOTR reference. Iniesta is brilliant and when I saw the ball come off the post (after that brilliant move) I was wishing that Iniesta had scored instead of a simple rebound shot from messi. I’ll have to watch Iniesta’s assist again. I’m guessing you mean THE goal against arsenal where messi chips to himself.

  24. From Sid Lowe’s post:

    According to the club doctor, the secret to Levante’s success this season is even more simple and somehow even more appropriate: pizza and beer.


    1. …and abidal gave a presser today, on the official site, saying he was in perfect health and that his agent has a meeting with the club in two days, on thursday. he said he wants to sign for 2 more years. he is optimistic.


  25. THAT was a fun game to watch (minus the whole Pique thing)!
    How fantastic are Xaviniesta? How lucky are we to have them both?!
    Are we still worried about Leo’s form?
    I think the whole neighborhood would have heard me screaming if Abi’s shot had gone in.
    I love this team!

    Oh…and…hooray Ravens!

    1. It was so nice to see Xaviniesta Messi Alves triangles and one-two’s.

      No I am not worried about Leo’s form.

      Ditto, regarding Abidal. I guess the gods wanted to save the earth from a few screams, was the only reason I could conjure up for Abidal not being able to score that goal.

      Love the team. Amen!

    2. Ditto here… I would have gone crazy if Abidal scored that…. Felt a bit sad when the keeper clutched to that….

      I have a feeling he will score very soon…. For the last two to three matches he is getting into scoring position and had some brilliant chances too… His pace is still frightening for a defender….

  26. barcastuff
    The first Liga game against Madrid this season (away) is likely to be played on Sunday 11 December at noon, 12pm #fcblive #elclasico [punto]

    In the sunlight…weird! Tito can wear sunglasses for protection against the sun and rabid coaches.

    Well, at least I won’t miss the game being played live due to work. 6AM kickoff here (EST). Mimosas (must make them with cava) will replace my traditional sangria, and a tortilla española will replace the paella(I hope the menu change doesn’t jinx us. I’ve made the same thing every clasico, but the idea of paella at 6am…yuck). Gonna suck for the people on the left coast.

    1. In the “sunlight makes yoh happy” theory, the hope is that the light of day will make the players much less ornery. 😀

    2. Screw you. I’ll have to wake up at, or more likely stay up til, 3am. Although, the game may not be broadcast live on ‘ma tv in which case I’ll just watch it whenever it’s on.

    3. Well I get up at 6 am every day anyway (although I usually get to go back to bed on weekends after feeding the cat), so it will make no difference to me. A nice cup of tea followed by a delicious Caesar will be my order of the day. Might not be quite so lively in the LoveBlob, assuming there is one.

  27. So….are we going to have a review for this match? Not that there’s much to say but maybe Kxevin’s ratings could inspire some discussion 😉

    The thing about noon matches is that it’s going to be quite hot though it’s in the winter so maybe not that much. But I do wonder, will the heat effect us more (unable to do constant pressing) and Madrid (chasing the ball hard and fast) ?

    1. wrong, it will effect me the most as it requires that I wake up at 5 am on a sunday after going out the night before.

      but i think the effect should in theory be harder on them, as we will posses more (hopefully) and therefore they will have to chase more.

    2. Well, I suggest you simply do not go to bed, it’s better to stay up all night than to sleep for just 2 or 3 hours 🙂

  28. Currently watching the last “training” at Camp Nou before tomorrow’s match which is being broadcast live (directe!) on Barca TV.

    Cesc and Alexis are back in regular training. 🙂

    Only missing Pique and, of course, Afellay who’ll be out for a while.

    Dos Santos and Cuenca are there from Barca B too.

    They turned the camera on Pep just as he was having a dig for his undies. Nice to know that he is human! 😀

    1. Once Mediapro get their paws on Barca TV, who knows what will happen, so we’re making the most of it!

      Another of Rosell’s cost-cutting measures: save Eur6 million by out-sourcing Barca TV, thereby losing total control of content and quality.

      At the moment, there is a dedicated team working for Barca TV for FCB. They know the club inside and out.

      I realise that overseas content will probably improve, but I doubt that we’ll see the local quality maintained.

      Mediapro also does Real Madrid TV. ‘Nuff said.

  29. Since I kinda got lost in the shuffle a few articles back, I am re-stating that I am gonna be moving down under to Australia soon..any Cules down there in the BFB family?

    1. Hi K_Legit..

      I’m currently in Australia…yet moving to Barcelona middle of next year…

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