Viktoria – Barça Match Comments Post

Life has caught up to the BFB team and we’re all unavailable to run the liveblog today. I blame Hleb. We apologize profusely and suggest that you enjoy a match comments post here throughout the game. Open threads are totally sweet, you know.


Viktoria: 4-4-2; Pavlic, Lmbersky, Bystron, Cisovsky, Rajtoral, Horvath, Jiracek, Pilar, Kolar, Ptrezela, Bakos
Bench:  Tichacek, Duris, Fillo, Reznik, Hora, Darida, Sevinsky

Barça: 4-3-Messi-2; Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Abidal, Busquets, Thiago, Cesc, Adriano, Messi, Cuenca.
Bench: Pinto, Keita, Sánchez, Iniesta, Xavi, Mascherano, Maxwell

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. Kimcelona
    November 1, 2011

    Thiago’s first CL START! Wooohoo!!
    Line up is interesting..

  2. mom4
    November 1, 2011

    4-3-Messi-2 😆

    This lineup is sweet (with the possible exception of not having Iniesta, wonder what’s up with that?). In the home fixture we had possession but suffered from lack of width. Pep says today, “You like to park a narrow bus? Behold this lineup and fear us!”

    Please win this guys!

  3. November 1, 2011

    hmm I think links require moderation?? ooga aga try rojadirecta

  4. November 1, 2011

    I give up. All ports for streams are blocked by the college proxy. No stream, no fun..

  5. Miguel
    November 1, 2011

    Chest bump to the ref and then a quick counter. Sneaky sneaky.

  6. November 1, 2011

    Victor Valdes – arguably the best shot stopper in the world. What a fantastic save.

    The central midfield play so far is lacking. And that’s putting too much pressure on an off form Pique-Puyol partnership.

  7. November 1, 2011

    Plzen guys look like they’ve got a home goal or two in them. Crowd in my stream is deafening.

  8. November 1, 2011

    …and we have 3 or 4 in us. Or 6 if they keep fouling loosing players!

  9. Miguel
    November 1, 2011

    Red card? This game’s over. Is the Valencia v Leverkuesen game any good?

  10. Barka
    November 1, 2011

    GOOOOAAALLL! Messi still made me nervous with his shot though.

  11. November 1, 2011

    Messi earns the PK and the red card in the box.

    And calmly goes against patter and takes the ball left on the PK as the keeper again guesses right.

    But make no mistake about it – that entire play was set up by the fantastic defense of Thiago.

    He’s the one who aggressively dispossessed Plzen of the ball high up the pitch. Barca didn’t even have numbers on the press there. Thiago dispossessed the ball largely through his own effort.

    And then Thiago calmly slid a perfect ball to Messi in a dangerous position.

    Just fantastic advanced midfield play from the youngster.

  12. November 1, 2011

    Viktoria is losing their composure and fouling over aggressively. They look frustrated by the sending off.

    They are at risk for having another player sent off if they don’t put calm down.

  13. Dani_el
    November 1, 2011

    Somebody please have a decent stream? I’m having trouble picking one up from rojadirecta…

  14. Eklavya
    November 1, 2011

    Euler Jnice says you’re a boss just because you’re praising Thiago. Clearly he’s biased!

    • November 1, 2011

      Loved Thiago coming into this season. He was just so obviously talented.

      But even last season on the B team – there were clearly major parts of his game that needed to improve.

      Defense in particular. He just wasn’t a good defensive player – for whatever reason.

      This season – I just can’t get over how good he’s been defensively and how complete his game looks at his age.

      • Jnice
        November 1, 2011

        It’s as if Pep sat down with him before the season and told him that in order to get a run in the team, he was going to have to make sacrifices and work harder than he ever has before (on both sides of the ball).

        • Eklavya
          November 1, 2011

          He clearly has been given instructions , yes, it seems. Good to see. His defense is very good. Who would have thought..

      • Ryan
        November 1, 2011

        Do you think his time with the Spanish u21 and now NT has contributed at all? I’m not sure if his added defensive tenacity came before or after those tournaments and his la Roja debut. In any case, it seems like he’s taking up every responsibility give to him and passing any test given to him…isn’t he only 20? :O

    • Eklavya
      November 1, 2011

      Links aren’t moderated anymore (since registration)…

  15. November 1, 2011

    Abidal has saved the high backline Puyol and Pique have been playing several times already.

    His pace and defensive skills are just so impressive. He’s really bailed out Puyol several times on that left side as Viktoria look to break at speed.

  16. Eklavya
    November 1, 2011

    Abidal seems to have moved more towards CB now

  17. Eklavya
    November 1, 2011


    Unbeaten for 825 minutes in official games, Victor Valdes sets a new club record beating Miguel Reina’s 1972-73 record of 824 min #fcblive


  18. ooga aga
    November 1, 2011


  19. November 1, 2011

    Barcelona have a man advantage… and continue to insist on playing the ball through the middle.

    And the middle of course is the place Viktoria have continued to fortify after the sending off.

    Their distribution in advanced midfield has not been taking advantage of being up a man.

  20. November 1, 2011

    Abidal comes all the way over to the right side of the pitch to shut down Viktoria’s break at speed.

    He’s a beast.

  21. culegirl3
    November 1, 2011

    Wow! What a goal! That was so Messi.

  22. Miguel
    November 1, 2011


  23. November 1, 2011

    Messi finally utilizes Adriano on the left hand side of the pitch.

    Beautiful one-two combination play to score that killer second goal just before half.

    That second goal always had a much higher chance of getting done through play from wider positions.

    Adriano was pinched in on that play – but again it’s those players from wide that are hardest for Viktoria to try to mark out of the game down a man.

    Adriano is really such a wonderful player. So versatile and skilled at the same time. On top of that he’s a terrific athlete.

  24. November 1, 2011

    With Milan drawing earlier – this match is just about winning a tough battle on the road. Winning this match really puts Barca in good position to come out on top of the group.

    That said – barcelona hasn’t had an effective point of reference for play in midfield today so far.

    After experimenting with the 3-4-3 against teams playing a 4-4-2, Pep has again chosen to utilize a 4-3-3.

    As brilliant as Fabergas has been in a free, advance role in the 3-4-3 – he hasn’t been as effective in the 4-3-3.

    The team needs more from him than they got that first half. Against a 10 man Viktoria team barcelona should be absolutely dictating midfield play. But so far they haven’t.

    On the road in the CL – its Fabergas – not Thiago who should be stepping up for Xavi and Iniesta. This is a major reason for why he was brought in.

    I’d like to see him dictate this game the second half.

    • November 1, 2011

      Absolutely agree about Fabregas playing further back. He’s been very slow circulating the ball and a bit late on passes. So far this season he has looked world class as a ‘False 10’ and mediocre as a ‘Barça midfielder’ as he provides nothing close to Iniesta’s dribbling or Xavi’s passing. On the other hand Thiago has looked solid when playing in both those positions…

  25. Eklavya
    November 1, 2011

    Alves gets a yellow and will miss the Milan match.

  26. Eklavya
    November 1, 2011

    Thiago with an awesome pass for Cesc who passes to Messi who almost taps it in. Good by Thiago

  27. Eklavya
    November 1, 2011

    Messi’s been in “ooooh-almost there!” in free kicks in CL since a while now.

  28. November 1, 2011

    Not having Dani against a Milan team that plays narrow is very unfortunate.

    Real loss. And on a poor call.

    • Eklavya
      November 1, 2011

      I guess we should play Adriano at his place,

      • November 1, 2011

        Yes. It just would have been nice to have Dani and have the option to play Dani on the right and Adriano on the left to really maximize width.

        In addition – it would have been nice to be able to play Abidal at CB against Ibrahimovic’s physicality.

        The squad is so thin to begin with – missing another starter – especially Alves against the way milan defends hurts.

  29. Eklavya
    November 1, 2011

    Bojan should learn from Cuenca on how to do well when you get chances.

  30. November 1, 2011

    Viktoria is getting fatigued. They are now playing deeper and with less pressure.

    Score that third goal and the match is done.

  31. mom4
    November 1, 2011

    Can we give Cuenca a provisional “!”?

    • November 1, 2011

      That was really impressive.

      He has wonderful touch and close control.

      It’s interesting – his skill set reflects the characteristics Pedro isn’t as strong at.

      Neither Pedro nor Villa could have pulled off that kind of penetration in closed space.

  32. Eklavya
    November 1, 2011

    Did anyone see Keita coming on for Busi? I didn’t 😯

    Alexis warming up…

  33. November 1, 2011

    The team is not controlling midfield they way they should be doing – especially up a man.

    Thiago comes very close to finishing the game. What a header. He really is good with balls in the air.

  34. Miguel
    November 1, 2011

    Virgen santa! Cross bar so unforgiving. Thiago deserved that goal. 🙁

    I should have slept in ’til 5pm today. Why am I watching Barca play vs a ten man Plzn?

    • mom4
      November 1, 2011

      Because your a good cule. Now shut up and enjoy the game darnit!

  35. November 1, 2011

    Cuenca – what can you say.

    He has been unbelievable this game.

    He is skinning his defender at will off that right flank.

    Cuenca has that gift that so hard to find – he has very fast feet. And that’s a product of his physical skills and close control of the ball.

    Just a remarkable game in the CL on the road in a very hostile setting.

    And now we get to see one of the most interesting Barca front lines we’ve seen in quite some time – Messi, Cuenca and Sanchez.

    That’s three players with close control and the ability to beat defenders 1 vs. 1.

    • November 1, 2011

      Should also add – great run from Fabergas and terrific finish. Cesc is really fantastic around goal.

      What a cross from Cuenca. Good to see a barca player finally anticipate Cuenca would cross the ball and make an attacking run to the goal mouth.

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        November 1, 2011

        FABERGAS.. sorry, can’t hold it… X)

        Cuenca and Thiago are such a joy to watch, eh?

        maybe we should play more with Alexis – Messi – Cuenca from now on…

    • Miguel
      November 1, 2011

      That’s three players with close control and the ability to beat defenders 1 vs. 1.

      I miss Dinho and his gummy smile so much.

      • November 1, 2011

        Across the frontline. Iniesta doesn’t play in the front three.

        But yeah this could potentially be a real handful. All three forwards are really young too. 24, 22 and 20.

  36. mom4
    November 1, 2011

    I can’t wait to watch this game on TV tonight. This stream is driving me crazy. For some reason FSC isn’t showing it until 8:00 and thinks that Genk v Chelsea should be shown live. 🙁

      • mom4
        November 1, 2011

        Not included in my sports package and I refuse to pay more money on cable when I watch only about 7 channels with any regularity.

        • Ryan
          November 1, 2011

          I’m with you on that. Apparently Fox Deportes and the new Fox Soccer Plus don’t come with the Comcast soccer package. Greedy punks, I say!

  37. November 1, 2011

    Nice diagonal run from Sanchez reading Messi’s run into the box.

    Nice combination play – close to a goal there.

  38. November 1, 2011

    Viktoria really can’t defend Cuenca off that flank – especially now that they are tiring.

    He can beat whatever defender they run at him consistently.

    Pep’s eye for young talent – and how to let it patiently develop is phenomenal.

  39. November 1, 2011

    Fantastic combination play from Cesc, Alexis and Messi.

    Great pass from Cesc to Alexis and then great cross from Alexis to hit Messi in stride. Bit too hard to fully control but given the tight space the pass had to have pace to get through.

    Messi scores that more times than not. Just missed.

  40. Miguel
    November 1, 2011

    Was that Pique with a back-heel? WOW.

  41. mom4
    November 1, 2011

    That was NICE. That Messi kid is really quite good, aint he?

  42. BarcaGirl_Indo
    November 1, 2011

    THAT backheel from Piqué,
    he made the same backheel for Messi’s second goal on 2nd Super Copa, right?

    great moves by a CB!

  43. November 1, 2011

    What an outlandish back heel pass from Pique to set up Messi’s third goal.

    How is a defense possibly supposed to defend a CB that far up the pitch who can execute a perfect back heel like that to hit a striker perfectly in stride.

    I did not think this result would be so lopsided coming into this game. Viktoria is a good squad – well drilled and disciplined. The sending off changed the match – but they still defended very well for much of the match.

    Great day for barca. They are once again fully in control of winning the group.

    Even a tie away at Milan is ok now. You want to win of course. But just don’t lose and that’s good enough.

  44. Eklavya
    November 1, 2011

    So that’s Guardiola: 200 games, 500 goals, right?

  45. footballfan
    November 1, 2011

    Last match is at home against BATE right? I’d like us to win the Milan match so Pep can rest any players for the meaningless last group match. A high scoring draw would do the trick too.

    Also, terrific performance 🙂

  46. y2k156
    November 1, 2011

    Fantastic win! Also great running analysis by Euler.

    Well played by Victoria though they were bit too physical at times. They could easily have had 2 or 3 goals. I think that the final score is misleading.

    Cuenca has been real find. Remember watching him in pre-season but he was ok and not great. All eyes were on Thiago and Thiago has turned up great. Cuenca has really impressed in last couple of games though. He really gives us excellent alternative to Pedro.

    Messi really is a natural goal scorer.

    • Jnice
      November 1, 2011

      I thought Cuenca was great during preseason. I and several others were consistently impressed. Didn’t think he would make his debut this early, though.

  47. November 1, 2011

    So what are we gonna do now?

    Cuenca progressing well. Alexis finally back! Cesc and his hair is back too. Pique y Puyol seem to be back on track. Mascherano on fire, Soriano close to returning, Afellay back in a few months.

    We are loaded with talent! this will be Pep’s toughest season to rotate players! So who will join Fontas to ride not the bench, but the stands ?

    Defense: Alves Pique Puyol Adriano Maxwell Fontas Abidal (Mascherano, Busquets)

    Midfield: Xavi Iniesta Cesc Thiago Busquets Mascherano Keita (Adriano, Maxwell)

    Forward: Messi Villa Pedro Sanchez Cuenca Afellay

    • mom4
      November 1, 2011

      Oh, but our squad(hence Pep’s headache) is much more versatile than that!

      Defense: Alves Pique Puyol Adriano Maxwell Fontas Abidal (Mascherano, Busquets)

      Midfield: Xavi Iniesta Cesc Thiago Busquets Mascherano Keita (Adriano, Maxwell)
      **add Messi and Afellay and possibly Alves**

      Forward: Messi Villa Pedro Sanchez Cuenca Afellay
      **add Adriano and Cesc**

      happy us!

    • November 1, 2011

      Though, I vote we call him FTB (Feed That Boy…or Feed That Boss).

      • Helge
        November 1, 2011

        I don’t like FTB, it reminds me too much of a certain TB from EE …^^

        • blitzen
          November 1, 2011

          Slash Slash Slash Slash//////


    • Ryan
      November 1, 2011

      He has this problem… where he can’t help kicking balls into nets. Pobrecito!

  48. Kimcelona
    November 1, 2011

    That was a great game to watch. Some of the play combinations between Cesc, Alexis, Cuenca, Thiago and Messi in the last 10 mins was sumptuous. I was squeeling like a schoolgirl. I know its Viktoria Plzen but they played rather well, even after the sending off..though at times we looked as if we were playing around with them. Abidal was a BEAST in this game. His speed at that age. I love him. Pique is definately BACK…and the partnership is once again solid between he and Capitan. Adriano was in and out of the game. I was pissed with the card Dani got. I DID NOT want him to miss the Milan match. Darn it.

    I think Cuenca deserves an “!” Very good dribble, close control, combination play and great crosses (that I wish people would get more on the end of). The boy has been brilliant so far.
    Alexis ofcourse looked lively in the time he was on. It almost looked like he was never injured 😀

  49. Kimcelona
    November 1, 2011

    Oh and VV!! RECORD! 9 games without conceding!

  50. mom4
    November 1, 2011

    Please Kxevin, can Cuenca get a provisional “!”?

    • blitzen
      November 1, 2011

      NO! He gets a Slash! / A Slash, I say!

  51. Helge
    November 1, 2011

    And I predicted a 4-0 on Barca.TheOffside with Messi scoring, just because of all the records it would result in 😀

  52. blitzen
    November 1, 2011

    Guardiola: “Isaac (Cuenca) will stay with the first team.”

    Wow. Fastest promotion ever?


    • Dani_el
      November 1, 2011

      Really?! That’s the fastest promotion in Pep’s time, I believe.

      • blitzen
        November 1, 2011

        Well, it’s not an “official” promotion, but he will be playing with the first team until Pep says otherwise, the same way Thiago & Fontas did last season.

  53. barcastyle0
    November 1, 2011

    Stupid announcers keep saying barcelona can’t walk it in. It drives me crazy. It is quality of shots, not the number of shots that matter. You have so many teams who waste chances shooting from long distances your odds of scoring that way are so slim. Almost every team I was on except in college will say during halftime we have to test the keeper by shooting. I will chim in no we have to pass the ball.

    The reason barca is the best team because of possession. Every country should train their players for possession.

  54. barcastyle0
    November 1, 2011

    One more stupid opinion I see on soccer sites is messi is not the best player in the world without iniesta or xavi. Xavi is a great player, but he rarely makes the last pass for the goal as much as he controls the game. Iniesta can take players off the dribble. In short, messi is so much better than any player in the world.

    Messi will win a world cup with argentina. Argentina needs possesion players and emulate barcelona’s passing style, and defend better. With better coaching in argentina 8involving choosing the right players , strategy, and utilizing messi better…argentina will win just like barcelona. Also, luck helps argentina lost to germany who lost to spain.

    • Ryan
      November 1, 2011

      I don’t know about that, with a Pique/Ramos backline, the young Barcelona midfield, and take your pick of Muniain, Deulofeu, Adrian, Cuenca, etc, I think Spain is going to just keep winning. Messi’s going to have it tough unless some decent defenders step up for Argentina.

  55. Dani_el
    November 1, 2011

    “And now we get to see one of the most interesting Barca front lines we’ve seen in quite some time – Messi, Cuenca and Sanchez.” Euler.

    This is something to think about.

    Is Cuenca really promoted? or will he be training with the first team from now on until Ibi gets back? Something like Thiago last year..?

    • November 2, 2011

      Doubtful. He’ll stay up until Pedro comes back for sure, but he needs playing time, and the B team needs him, so I imagine he’ll be back and forth all season.

  56. November 1, 2011

    Cuenca is a masterpiece unraveling. The kid has insane talent, patience and skill with the ball, and might i say our best crosser. The boy gives us width we have been desperately missing since 2009, and he’s not afraid to play with the ball near the flag and whip in a perfect ball. Now that our guys know about that, you’ll be seeing him play ALOT more. What this does for our passing game is IMMENSE, DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THAT! Us having that width and aerial threat to go with our tiki taka through the middle will force defenses to play more spread out and allow us to pick them apart. Its might i say our real PLAN B. CUENCA!!!!!!
    p.s. that shout out by Ray on gol tv about kevins post made me smile from ear to ear = D Visca Barca!!!!

    • Reaper
      November 2, 2011

      There was another shout out? can someone post video clips of them?

      I agree with the Cuenca comment too.. He reminds me of Di Maria in his early days, thin, lanky, quick, likes to hug the touch line, and a phenomenal crosser. Pep is really a genius at knowing which talent to bring up. Funnily, the players he does decide to promote (barring Thiago) have all been relative unknowns (even for us who follow the barca babies)- first Busquets and Cuenca!


      • chop
        November 2, 2011

        hmm, kind of. di maria is faster, more energetic. cuenca has a better touch and passing. i’m stilly not sure if he has the pace to be a consistent winger. we’ll see how he does against big teams.

  57. Blau-Grenade
    November 2, 2011

    And Alexis is back!!!
    Good times ahead!!!

  58. Gogah
    November 2, 2011

    Cuenca is wow! the kid can play. watch out villa..
    and now that our lexus is back, watch out pedro!
    What an insane transition for the last goal.
    Pique’s backheel and vision was as good as any forward you’d see.
    and if i remember right, messi latched onto a pique backheel in a crowded box and left iker embarrassed and TB kneeling.
    if you look at pique’s goals and assists he has amazing composure and good feet for a defender. since pep is experimenting with formations and positions these days, it’d be worth his while to test Pique in a forward role in some games, also considering how mascha is so good at the back. It’d be a good way to field puyol, pique, mascha and busquets in the same lineup with some added aerial threat up top. go pique!

    • Gogah
      November 2, 2011

      i am absolutely salivating at the multitude of tactical prospects we have in the current team. The current group is more fluid and talented than ever to tackle any position.
      Sextuple year anyone? 😀 \m/

  59. Helge
    November 2, 2011

    The first 5 articles on the left side of are about Messi and his record.
    I guess this is also a new record 🙂

    What an absolutely terrific team we have!!! Even without Xaviniesta, Villa, Pedro and Mascherano, this is still probably the best team in the world, at least the 2nd-best!

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