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.

Lineups!

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

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.

137 comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

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

    1. 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.

    2. 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).

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

    4. 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

  7. 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.

  8. @barcastuff

    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

    Yay

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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…

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

    1. 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.

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