Evil Empire 1, Barca 3, aka “What say ye now, doubting world?”

You all are getting a Eulertastic review, so stand back for that one. But just some quick thoughts from me, and let’s share some joy:

 

–I tuned in at 1-0, and was oddly calm. It looked like they had played their best, and we hadn’t.

–I have NO idea how we are going to replace Puyol.

–Fabregas was invisible most of the match, popped up at the right time.

–Happy 600th for Xavi, way to celebrate with a goal. Next time, lay off the hair gel, and you could have a brace.

–Messi was erratic, but enormous at a few crucial times.

–Sanchez is worth every penny. He seems to have said “The hell with it,” and is playing his game. Amazing stuff.

–Valdes needs to work on passing out of the back, man-style.

–The return of Iniesta to the midfield saw the surge of our dominance.

–Keita is. He just is. I predicted he would come on about ’75, for those in-the-way qualities, and so he did. Brilliant.

–Abidal, when players weren’t getting full-speed runs at him, was enormous.

–Best of all, there is absolutely NOTHING they can say about this match. No refs, no diving, no nothing. We walked into their house, and whipped their asses.

 

That’s all it got for now, folks, but let’s have some FUUUUUNNNNN!

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

157 Comments

  1. Barcaleya
    December 10, 2011

    Wooohoooo!!!! I am sooooo happy!

  2. December 10, 2011

    Best of all, there is absolutely NOTHING they can say about this match. No refs, no diving, no nothing. We walked into their house, and whipped their asses.

    THIS! M’F’ING THIS!

    • swamidigital
      December 10, 2011

      Yes, this made me happiest!

  3. December 10, 2011

    Brilliant, brilliant result. We kicked their asses playing in third gear. In many ways, reminded me of the April 2010 Clasico. Clinical, professional, killers. God I love this team.

  4. jordi™
    December 10, 2011

    End of an era.Feels good man.

    I loved iniesta, alexis was good, leo is leo, but puyi and busquets were my men of the match, without them we would have surely concede more .

  5. December 10, 2011

    This, more than any other Barcelona Clásico performance since the Manita, was one to shut the doubters up, because as you said, no controversy. We came in, went down in the first minute, and stormed back with three goals and near complete dominance. It’s humiliating for Madrid, beautiful for us and is so so important to defining this team’s character, its ability to overcome adversity. Further down in the table than we’ve ever been under Pep, conceding earlier than we ever had before, in the Bernabeu, and we still won, with no help from a referee or anyone except Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Love this club, love this result. Visca el Barça!

  6. December 10, 2011

    also, maybe finally pep will get his credit for being an amazing coach.

  7. Ron Mexico
    December 10, 2011

    Great selection by Pep in that it gave the team an incredible amount of flexibility. For example, I’m not sure when it was, but early in the first half when he switched Alves up to a wide midfield role, brought Cesc back into the midfield, dropped Xavi deeper, had Busquets play as a stopper, Pique as Cover, and Puyol as right back-that was when Barca shook off the jitters and started to play their game.

    In the same vein, its worth mentioning that the two players Pep bought in the summer were preferred, probably partly for form, but I think their versatility adds a tremendous amount of flexibility and fluidity to the team.

  8. Goo
    December 10, 2011

    Did I really see Mou shake Tito’s hand? Was I dreaming? Was I in clasico-induced delirium?

    • ak
      December 10, 2011

      No, I don’t think that was Tito. He seemingly came in with the intention, but couldn’t find Tito, and ended up shaking up someone else’s hand. Was funny.

    • nzm
      December 10, 2011

      Yeah – he did. Tito came up later and Mou went over and shook his hand also.

    • nzm
      December 10, 2011

      Actually – it was at the end of the match that they shook hands, according to later reports.

  9. Ron Mexico
    December 10, 2011

    And, it’s been said before, but Alexis’ ability to beat players off the dribble adds another dimension. He looked like Messi-lite on occasions out there.

  10. Srini
    December 10, 2011

    – Messi was quite erratic, but boy was Crynaldo a total waste!

    – Iniesta was huge in the second half, but somehow shied away when close to goal.

    – Sanchez is superb. What a signing. Imagine us having Bojan in the squad. Whoa!

    – Puyol, my friends, was what I predicted he will be – the Rock.

    • G6O
      December 10, 2011

      Alexis was huge, had we played with the squad from the spring, we lose this one. Messi looked very slow for some reason most of the time and didn’t press much.

      • messi_fan
        December 10, 2011

        He was pressing a ton before the yellow card. And immediately afterwards. Not so much after half time. Pep probably sat him down and told him to be careful out there.

    • Chiu
      December 10, 2011

      Yeah for Puyol. I said last threads, I prefer Masch over Puyol to start. After saw Puyol today, perhaps Masch dont have such heroic performance yet. Absolute ROCK, as Srini said.

  11. G6O
    December 10, 2011

    This was a really tough one, we didn’t control the game at all in the first 30 minutes, their pressing was a real problem. Good that Cristiano missed that chance. And that second goal was a very lucky one but so was their first so it kind of evens itself out with respect to being lucky.

    We are spoiled at this point, but it would have been really helpful if we had scored a 4th and a 5th, we didn’t really go for it and nevertheless had chances to score more. Assuming we win the second game in the spring, we would be on top if both teams drop the same number of points in the other games, but a bigger scoreline may have hurt their confidence more and caused them to drop some more points in their coming games.

    • Chiu
      December 10, 2011

      At some point, I think EE pressing was less intense compare with last season clasicos. I think its consequences they dont play defensive trivote in the midfield. They use Xabi and Lass only. Or perhaps its because formation flexibility that Pep apply throughout the game to chock the mid area. Wait for the expert tactical preview to understand it better

  12. This proves one more fact. Madrid cannot sustain their high intensity pressing for the full 90 minutes. Actually they were pretty tired by the half time. We should use that fact into account next time and plan a slowly evolving agme. The away fans rocked.

    Cesc was invisible, Xavi was below par. But both of them scored. that’s it. Iniesta was a beast in teh second half.

    • G6O
      December 10, 2011

      They can’t indeed, but usually they don’t have to – they can kill the game long before they get tired. And they weren’t that far off from scoring a second one today.

      • That’s why prepare for the early onslaught. By the way they had only one chance in the first half – the Ronaldo one. The goal was gifted to them.

        • G6O
          December 10, 2011

          I know. But had he scored, the game would have become really difficult

        • Chiu
          December 10, 2011

          Glad that Ronaldo was so selfish at that moment. He have free mate at the right side i think.

  13. ak
    December 10, 2011

    Brilliant win. Can’t wait for the tactical analysis by Euler.

    Also, a little credit to Mou and EE for coming out with their A game. There was still a lot of tactical fouling in the match but they’ve definitely come a long way from what we saw in CDR.

  14. blitzen
    December 10, 2011

    –I have NO idea how we are going to replace Puyol.

    We can’t. He is irreplaceable. I watch the youth teams way more than you do, and frankly I don’t see anyone there who has the same characteristics as Puyol. Bartra comes closest–he is a born leader with a noble character and a disregard for his own well-being over that of the team. It helps that Puyol is his idol.

    But there never will be nor can be a “replacement” for Puyi. A poor substitute at best.

    • Srini
      December 10, 2011

      You said it. Carles Puyol – the gentle lionheart. Once in a generation player for Barcelona. Hope he carries on for a couple more years and wins all the trophies his team plays for.

      When was the last time we lost when Puyol was in the team? Anyone?

      • messi_fan
        December 10, 2011

        I know we didn’t lose at at last season with him in the lineup. So sometime before then 🙂

    • nzm
      December 10, 2011

      Did you see that stop that Puyol did on the attempted cross from Kaka? I swear that he stopped it with his balls. That’s our capita – he lays his balls on the line for the team. What a great match from him!

    • Ben
      December 10, 2011

      Puyol was incredible tonight. I don’t think anyone can deny it, but I do think that Mascherano has a lot of the same characteristics as Puyol and will be an admirable successor.

    • Chiu
      December 10, 2011

      Agree with everything said here about Puyol.

  15. Gogah
    December 10, 2011

    ABSOLUTE HAPPINESS.
    ABSOLUTE BLISS.
    ABSOLUTE RESPECT.
    ABSOLUTE LOVE.

    • Chiu
      December 10, 2011

      hooooorayyyy..yupikayyy..

      What a great morning today? (asia time)

  16. Jackieboy
    December 10, 2011

    Actually, both Marca and As are already saying that Messi should have been booked and sent off for that foul on Alonso. Who cares?

    Not me xD

    • Ryan
      December 10, 2011

      His cleats were down, definitely not a yellow. How Pepe didn’t get a card before his eventual yellow is beyond me.

    • Chiu
      December 10, 2011

      Pretty good performance from the referee. Nothing to complaint and fair for both sides.

  17. mom4
    December 10, 2011

    And the hobbits beat the Mouron’s orcs in Mourdor.

    Iniesta was sooooo much fun to watch.

    Messi showed up HUGE when he had to.

    Puyi is an absolute beast. I’m so glad Pep played him. 50% skill, 50% tough, and 100% heart (yes, when you are as great as our capita your numbers can add up to 200%).

    Tito!

    Now let’s go win a trophy in Japan!

    • geraldpep
      December 11, 2011

      The alveses and iniestases, the keitees and fabrepasses! the valdeses and sanchezes.. messis + busis.! we fried the orcs and evil mouron! did you see alonsorc whine at goal 3? or marcelorc eat himself up at goal 2? hahahaha! take me to the mines of Moria any day!

  18. Momo
    December 10, 2011

    I’ve been grinning like an idiot for the past 20 minutes…
    Visca Barca!

    • December 10, 2011

      Better than leaving your home ground as idiots..

  19. Momo
    December 10, 2011

    I am soooo watching Revisita this week to see what those idiots have to say now…
    “Madrid are looking confident”
    “Barca lacking identity…”

    WHAT NOW?

    Wonder if Mou is gna let Karanka do his post match press conference… LOL

    • Ryan
      December 10, 2011

      MouMou is giving it right now. “Barcelona won on luck,” pretty much.

      • nzm
        December 10, 2011

        Yeah – he was still a very subdued Mou though, in comparison to other press conferences.

        In some ways, I do agree with the “luck” bit, if you call RM missing some huge opportunities bad luck – or good luck for Barca!

        • Ryan
          December 10, 2011

          They got a free goal before the first minute ended – the luck was certainly flowing for both sides!

  20. Srini
    December 10, 2011

    Wasn’t everyone’s only concern about Alexis was that he wasn’t quite the clinical finisher that Villa and certainly Messi was or as opportunistic as Pedro?

    Alexis just took half a dozen games to address that. Phenomenal.

      • G6O
        December 10, 2011

        Yes. And I also doubted that he would fit within the passing game. Both concerns proven totally wrong

  21. December 10, 2011

    And think about this: We didn’t play well for all that long. Yes, we came into the match, but Fabregas was mostly MIA, and Messi was as well for long stretches. Iniesta wasted a half on the wing, as well. There is still improvement in this bunch. #holycrap

    • messi_fan
      December 10, 2011

      True. As someone said, we never really got out of 3rd gear.

    • nzm
      December 10, 2011

      And I’m not quite sure where Pique is right now. Physically he was on the pitch, but mentally he was away with the fairies.

  22. I still believe that Guardiola should have started with Villa as Fabregas was invisible. then he made me shut up by suddenly appearing out of his invisible cloak and scoring.

  23. Ryan
    December 10, 2011

    We defended ALL the corners! Visca!!

  24. can_we_go_Xalvies
    December 10, 2011

    I’d like to mention a few days back when Kari on that Podcast where she mention about Cesc and his ability to add heading to our arsenal, you were exactly on the ball with that. Add all others on that podcast doubted that statement LOL.

  25. December 10, 2011

    Just so proud of this tea. Outside of the first minute – they played such a brave, composed game at the Bernabeu.

    Again – no they didn’t play perfectly. There were reasons for that.

    However, at this point we’re kind of forgetting that these matches are being played at Bernabeu.

    The team has become so good that its easy to lose sight of that. This is at their house. And we won comfortably – not perfectly – but comfortably – after falling behind in the first season.

    This is just an amazing team.

    And I’m just speechless at Pep. He truly is a genius. His understanding of the game is unbelievable. I watch these matches – outline problems the team will face.

    And time and time again – Pep figures out solutions to the problems.

    He’s just a masterclass.

    • Blau-Grenade
      December 10, 2011

      Eagerly awaiting your masterclass on tactics.

  26. DumbOx
    December 10, 2011

    Absolutely brave showing from our team! They came into the nemesis’ house with do much bravery and faith in themselves. That keep Barca apart from the rest. Our captain Puyi is indeed our lionheart.
    OT: Porqueno’s deconstructing Barca’s win and keeps saying “Not to take away the credit from our rivals, but I think it’s luck.” He also thinks Messi should have been red carded. (Oh shut up, already!). Sure, luck maybe on our side perhaps, but Barca showed skills and spirit and team play. And that makes them the best team on earth. Off to Japan to win another trophy.

    • Chiu
      December 10, 2011

      Just ignore it. Some pathetic just try find excuses to take the merit away from us. Fair decision from referee to keep the match balance throughout

    • Momo
      December 10, 2011

      Coulda sworn EE were playing with 10 men.
      He’s a liability in these games…

      • Chiu
        December 10, 2011

        haha, yeah..he’s so generous to us 🙂

  27. y2k156
    December 10, 2011

    Really happy with the result.

    I do agree with Mou(which i hate) that we were lucky. Madrid really competed well and if Ronaldo had brought his A game (or even average game), it would have been a tie. Madrid has improved in leaps and bounds. They do not have as good players as Barca and that was the difference today.

    This victory shows how good our guys are individually. This year, Barca still does not have identity yet and that is worrying. I still give Madrid advantage in Liga. Though i think we are favs for CL.

    Coming to Mourinho, he has really learned from last year. Very reasonable in his comments and behavior. On other hand, some of the tackles by RM players were simply aweful. Ramos at least should definitely have been off.

    If i am being honest, Messi was lucky not to get second yellow. Even his first one was soft and if he had second one, this would be among the softest red ever but he could have been easily given second yellow. Before we say more though Ref also let EE players off more then few times so it was evens.

    As for performances ,Messi, Iniesta, Puyol, Pique, Iniesta were immense. For the first 30 mins, Messi was more or less our best player and was involved in two of three goals. Puyol is a lion and i cannot imagine the day when he is off.

    Though we won today, i have to say i feel sad for Masch. He is still our best defender for me.

    • messi_fan
      December 10, 2011

      “This victory shows how good our guys are individually. This year, Barca still does not have identity yet and that is worrying. I still give Madrid advantage in Liga.”

      I have to disagree here. With this win, and Madrid still to play at Camp Nou, we’re now in pole position. And I don’t think that not having a starting lineup or style of play that is set in stone is such a bad thing. It makes it harder for opposing teams to prepare for us. Last year, everybody and their grandma knew what team was going to play and how we were going to play. This year we have more variety and as the pieces start to gel, we’re only going to get more dangerous

    • Momo
      December 10, 2011

      Absolute bull. Anyone can credit any result a team acheives to luck the way Mou is stating it.

      Had Ronaldo finished they would have scored more? Sure.

      At the same time had Valdes not been uncharacteristically brain dead in the first 10 min they wouldnt have scored. Had we finished off the tremendous chances we had at their end the margin would have been greater than 3-1.

      We won because we were better mentally, technically and tactically . End of story…

      • December 10, 2011

        Disagree. TB has his misses, but Casillas also had some incredible luck in his box, as well. Both sides capitalized on opportunities that quality play present. If Mourinho wants to lay it at the feet of “luck,” that’s how he will be able to sleep tonight.

        But quality created the moves, quality got us to the doorstep, quality closed out the match. And what of the luck that came from our keeper crapping it up on a clearance, then having the ball bounce for them? Luck, or opportunities created by pressure and presence?

        • Momo
          December 10, 2011

          Luck is a strange word. I just want credit to be given where its due.

          • justsayin
            December 10, 2011

            What is all this talk about luck? Ronaldo misses because the pressure is intense, Puyol, Pique, Abidal are pressuring him and his team mates. So, Ronaldo has less time to take a good shot or make a good pass. Ronaldo has better games against teams that aren’t as good as Barca.
            Forget luck.
            What Mou is calling “luck” I call hard work and diligence.

    • Chiu
      December 10, 2011

      No, that second foul from Messi was pretty soft. Other EE players did it and the referee just give warning before taking card (Pepe tackle on Alexis, eg)

      Mou just so frustrated the he cant win against us and saying “luck”

      Oh dear looked at your first goal, if its not Valdes mistake that gave suicidal friendly pass to Di Maria. Learn some respect to your opponent. Dont live in imagiantion that you are the special one forever

    • I beg to disagree… What is luck got to do with it. If we were really that lucky then after the second block by Busquets, who was for me the MOTM Valdes would have been to prevent the first goal. RM is playing a high velocity game. They will miss a host of chances due to that, because teh timeframe to react is very less. It happened in the Super Clasico.

  28. Ryan
    December 10, 2011

    So let’s see, we’ve had Ibra score in his Clasico 2 years ago, Villa score in his last year, and now Sanchez and Cesc! Can Pep call them or what? 😀

  29. Srini
    December 10, 2011

    Mourinho might squeal (in a subdued or Por Que manner or whatever) about Barca’s “luck” today.. But the facts are staring at his Machiavellian face –

    Mourinho’s Madrid vs Guardiola’s Genius Barcelona –

    Played – 8
    Won – 1
    Lost – 4
    Drawn – 3

    That, my fellow cules, considering the amount of money used to construct the EE side – is what is called a Smackdown. A true victory of Good over Evil 🙂

    • Momo
      December 10, 2011

      Thank you. Anyone mentioning the word luck looking at these stats is just ignorant. One team deserved to win and outclassed the other, and its reflected in the scoreline.

    • Chiu
      December 10, 2011

      Yup, please somebody in EE board of director gave him the bill of billion euro spending to construct this team. and he said “luck”

      oh pathetic

  30. nzm
    December 10, 2011

    Huge party at the Font de Canaletes tonight – just showing it on Barca TV!

  31. Gogah
    December 10, 2011

    I simply dont get it.
    I mean, it feels like we didnt play all that well barring Puyol and Abidal.
    There was the valdes howler. Xavi was uncharacteristically misplacing passes. Fabregas was virtually invisible. Messi woke up for that assist and went to sleep again. We looked sort of passive in defense and iniesta was also not that direct for me. But after all that and a gifted goal we still beat the hell out of madrid in their home. was madrid bad? i dont think so. they were a little unlucky but this speaks volumes of barca’s quality and ability to carry on with an undeterred sense of professionalism, even after going down in 20 seconds. simply f%^&*ing brilliant.
    Madrid must be wondering what it must do to overcome this team. a half a billion euros and a special one later, this is what they get. Thanks TB for bottling it again against us.

    • Jim
      December 10, 2011

      Disagree with most of what you say, Gogah. There’s no other midfielder in the world could have kept possession the way Xavi did under huge, constant pressure tonight. They pressed him really well. Messi was a danger every time he picked up the ball and accelerated. He destabilised them for the third as well as his brilliant assist for the first and this is with them upending him every time they could.

      I also thought that Iniesta was possibly our best player ( apart from Puyol?) in the second half. We were in trouble until he moved back from the wing to midfield. After that, we ruled. He takes the ball in a tricky situation, turns and runs with the ball at his feet destabilising the defence. He’ll never be the best finisher but without him we go down a notch.

      finally, I’m not sure how the defence was passive. I thought they played their hearts out. Apart from CR7’s missed header and one VV save I wasn’t really worried at all whereas we could have scored another three.

      A brilliant display in their house 🙂

      • Jim
        December 10, 2011

        Meant to say there was a gorgeous move by Iniesta on the left touchline in the second half. Did anyone notice it?

        • Chiu
          December 10, 2011

          There’s a lot Jim. Absolute joy to watch Iniesta movement. See the Khedira face when he hv no idea how to mark Ini.

      • Gogah
        December 11, 2011

        it doesnt matter. all i was trying to establish is the fact that a barca in 3rd gear is still enough to overcome a pumped up EE int heir house. thats all. its a great day for all cules. love you all.

  32. justsayin
    December 10, 2011

    What? We’re not lucky because Ronaldo didn’t play a good game or because Madrid’s goals didn’t go in. Don’t buy Mou’s hype! Not being lucky would be if a bird flew in and deflected a goal scoring shot by Madrid. If Ronaldo doesn’t play a good game, if Kaka misses sitters – that’s either because they are being pressured or they just are not that good. Period.

    • Momo
      December 10, 2011

      They can keep talking about what if and what could have been all they want. Truth is they got their overpriced (300 mill euros to be exact) asses handed to them on a plate in their own stadium in front of their own fans (who started to leave with over 10 min to go, something that I can’t understand).

  33. Calvin
    December 10, 2011

    I think the reason Fabregas seemed invisible was that he wasn’t really playing as a forward for much of the match, but was filling in space left by his teammates as we probed for space and goals.

  34. December 10, 2011

    To Srs. Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol, from Pep Guardiola:

    oh yes

  35. tutomate
    December 10, 2011

    Hi all, congrats to all of us for this team.

  36. And it also solves one more issue. This team has got characters and can play from the heart. Messi was immense in the first half. If you look carefully he dropped into midfield and was instrumental in pushing Madrid defenders a bit back. In these games those kind of small thing matter a lot. I thought Sanchez was struggling in the opeing exchanges, then he decided to stop complaining and started to give Madrid guys back. I thought his impact was similar to Keita’s in first leg of UCL clasico last season.

  37. December 10, 2011

    Barca didn’t win because of any kind of unusual luck.

    The old saw of “taking chances” doesn’t hold here. One could say that about any match.

    There are substantive reasons for why C.Ronaldo played so poorly. There are likely multiple reasons.

    But RM have a structural problem that Mourinho does not address.

    Xabi Alonso is often described as the “heartbeat” or “metronome” of RM.

    This simply is not true. When RM are at their best their critical player is Oezil. He is the true “heartbeat” of their attack.

    Madrid’s problem however is that while Oezil does certain things truly brilliantly – such as his vision – he needs space to operate. It is the lifeblood of his game. And he’s not a player who can create space for himself. That’s what separates Iniesta from Oezil.

    The problem when madrid play barca is that Oezil can be pressed out of matches. That happens over and over to him. And once he’s pressed out of a match – the RM frontline gets isolated.

    Until RM solves this problem they are going to struggle to fully express themselves against Barca.

    But the only way to truly fix this problem is to drop Xabi Alonso from midfield. And that’s likely unacceptable in Madrid.

    • I thought Kaka was brilliant when he came on. But his problem was that we completely owned the game by that point. I think the biggest problem with Ozil is that he is not comfortable that much with this hugely pressing game of Real Madrid. He is forced to play balls early and he ii not getting any time to think on feet. He has to flow with the rhythm.

    • Momo
      December 10, 2011

      This^
      Been trying to say this from the start.

    • blitzen
      December 11, 2011

      The problem when madrid play barca is that Oezil can be pressed out of matches. That happens over and over to him. And once he’s pressed out of a match – the RM frontline gets isolated.

      Exactly right. Oezil is a terrific player, but he relies on his team to make space for him in a way Iniesta doesn’t. This is why Iniesta will go down in history as one of the best midfielders ever, and Oezil still has a long way to go to get there.

      Yesterday Oezil started strongly, but once Barça had regrouped after the first goal, Busquets and Abidal just got his number and sat on him.

    • Ryan
      December 10, 2011

      May he forever cast us aside as we win silverware!

    • Momo
      December 10, 2011

      Eat those words Sid. Eat those words…

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        December 10, 2011

        I hope he will never predict a win for us. ever. 😛

    • Chiu
      December 10, 2011

      Thanks Sid you dont jinx us by predicting Barca win LOL 🙂

  38. BarcaGirl_Indo
    December 10, 2011

    luck?

    this team went to Bernaboo, with 3 (+3) points deficit, conceded a very stupid early goal.. against a very on form team, worth about 300million euros, with their self-proclaim Special One coach.

    if Thong Boy played his best, EE would bla bla bla, etc etc etc.
    then what if we, FC Barcelona played our top gear? what if Lionel Messi played his best game?

    perspective, guys.

  39. December 10, 2011

    I wish I was a fly in the dressing room because Iniesta and Puyol came out as Super Saiyans (lvl 4) after HT!

  40. BarcaGirl_Indo
    December 10, 2011

    it’s amazing under Guardiola the ‘new boy’ always scored in El Clasico.

    Pique (2008/2009), Ibra (2009/2010), Villa (2010/2011), Cesc and Alexis (2011/2012).

    welcome to FC Barcelona! 😀

    • Ryan
      December 10, 2011

      I said the same thing, although I hadn’t mentioned Mr. Waka Waka 😆

      And people say Pep is horrible in signings!

  41. angelobenito
    December 10, 2011

    Mourinho has internalized his team’s limitations since the beginning. There is not a team strategy just individual success.

    • December 10, 2011

      Links please. I wanna download as much as possible!

    • BarcaOwl
      December 10, 2011

      Nice concept. i think I’d substitute food coloring for blueberries and strawberries though. It’s tastier.

  42. Ryan
    December 10, 2011

    Wow, and the guys are already on a plane headed to Japan. So busy!

    • Chiu
      December 10, 2011

      Have a safe flight guys and win the club world cup for cules 🙂

  43. mani
    December 10, 2011

    Wa wa wee waa. What an amazing team. They’ve made us so proud and immensely happy. A joy.

  44. December 10, 2011

    I just wanna say how proud I am of this team…
    Not playing at their best and still being brilliant despite being a goal down in your archrival’s
    turf… That composure, our capitan playing his heart out, taking our chances, being true to their style, supporting each other as a team…
    T’estimo Barça…T’estimo Pep.
    Gràcies!

  45. BarcaOwl
    December 10, 2011

    Now I know why Pep warned us to have our seatbelts fastened. That match would give any rollercoaster ride a run for their money.

  46. Calvin
    December 10, 2011

    On this fantastic night I keep thinking that Pep will never get enough credit. The players got the result but they were able to largely because Pep has infused the team with his own spirit.

    A manager who didn’t know the club as well as he does might have started Mascherano over Puyol today. Recent form and Puyols fitness troubles would have made this an understandable decision. But Pep knows and bleeds the club, and he knew Puyol had to be on the pitch today. Puyol played like a lion today, and his heart spurred the team on. Mascherano may have played as well, but wouldn’t have given the team the psychological advantage Puyol did.

    It’s no surprise players we’ve bought always seem to score in the Clasico. It’s a testament to Pep’s ability to discern the needs of the team and address them in the market. His reputation as a manager means that players want to play under him. Fabregas may have had more personal reasons for coming(including his relationship with Pep), but there’s no denying Sanchez moved in part because he wanted to play under Pep.

    It’s a privilege to witness this team, and I don’t think its possible to overstate how important Pep has been to this team.

  47. I know They will all praise Iniesta in tomorrow’s paper. After few days they will go back to their old self, saying he is not good enough.

      • BTTFCule
        December 11, 2011

        I will smack\eye poke anyone who says Iniesta is not good enough. What more he has to do ? Score hatt tricks @ World cup final ?

  48. Momo
    December 10, 2011

    Iniesta was pure sex in the second half. How he’s not up for Ballon Dor is beyond me.

  49. December 10, 2011

    Once again I am left feeling like an absolute idiot for ever doubting this team even for one second.

    Pep is a tactical genius, if anyone is special it is him. He has completely revolutionised the way football is played. The way he changed this game using the flexibility of the players on the pitch was remarkable to witness as the game played out. He is constantly molding the team, even while they are playing, it truly is remarkable. Granted he has an exceptional selection of extremely talented and versatile players but he is able to take full advantage of that. I really feel like we are witnessing another evolution in the Barca style.

    Keep trying MouMou.

    Oh and Ronaldo was pants today, absolute pants.

    Iniesta is now officially my favourite player and Sanchez is the real deal. Big players show up in the big games.

  50. jordi™
    December 10, 2011

    So I watched the replay of the Madrid goal, I noticed Puyi as always is the one animating the players when we conceded.That’s why we win so many games with him, he never lets anyone’s head drop.True legend.

  51. nzm
    December 10, 2011

    I just watched the game again – this time in a more relaxed state of mind. 🙂

    Puyol, Busquets and Abidal (the latter had 1 scary moment) were beasts in this game, and it was all credit to them that the defence stood firm. Puyol was indescribable with his performance, and Busquets got the team out of jail on quite a few occasions. So excellent to see him play as he is more than capable of doing, without the theatrics.

    Pique made some good clearances, but most times he just didn’t look like he was in the game. Bit worried about our Gerard – recently he’s not to be seen in the stands at matches when he doesn’t play, like the rest of our guys.

    Alves was so-so, but his cross into Cesc for the goal went some way to redeeming his performance.

    Xavi did extremely well, given that RM were all over him whenever he did get the ball.

    Iniesta (on the wing in the first half), improved greatly when he came into midfield in the second. A great game from him when he had the space to move.

    Cesc looked invisible and gave away some silly balls, but he actually took on a more Villa-like role tonight of unsettling RM and drawing away defenders. His header was sublime.

    Messi was sublime in the first half. That jinking run to assist Sanchez was such a key point in getting the game back on track for Barca. He quietened down a little after getting the yellow.

    Sanchez was amazing. He is such an intelligent player. He’s supremely aware of his positioning. His little look up to gauge where he was before he shot the goal was beautiful.

    After that disastrous start, VV was great in goal. His 84 min save against Kaka was pure reflex.

    It’s as well that Cristiano didn’t make the most of his 2 clear oppotunities, otherwise we’d have been looking at a different ballgame. Di Maria also blew a op that would have been dangerous if he had crossed into the middle instead of shooting for goal.

    Watching for the second time made me aware of the pressure that the team was under from RM. Although their intensity dropped as the game got longer, they were still so dangerous with their attacks.

    Pep – what a superstar. If he doesn’t win best manager this year, I’m not sure what else the guy has to do to get it. Compared to Mourinho (Copa del Rey) and Ferguson (Premier League), Pep is streets ahead.

    In other news – Levante beat Seville 1-0, and Betis came from behind to beat Valencia 2-1! And Hercules is leading the Liga Adelante with 1 game in hand!

    • Ryan
      December 10, 2011

      Betis scored 2 goals in extra time to beat Valencia, ouch. Was really hoping Valencia would win to cut the distance between the big two. Always great to see Levante win though!

  52. BarcaGirl_Indo
    December 10, 2011

    I just love how Madridistas ‘hate’ Thong Boy today.

    The Egoistic King.
    Big Match Bottler/Flop.

    those words come from them.

    • Momo
      December 10, 2011

      Never got the feeling they really liked him. As far as I’ve seen Madrid fans and “CR7 is the bestest plyer in the world FTW” fans are completely separate.

    • culegirl3
      December 10, 2011

      Yup..I’ve been seeing a lot of TB bashing on various EE sites.

      I find it funny and fascinating how quickly they turn on him…some go so far as to ask that he be benched for the next clasico.

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        December 10, 2011

        some go so far as to ask that he be benched for the next clasico.

        true. they said Callejon (EE youth product) will be better because he has “El Clasico soul” more than TB.

        • culegirl3
          December 10, 2011

          Having “clasico soul” is irrelevant.

          Their problem is that not all players play as a team..it’s like someone creating a boy band instead of a bunch of guys creating their own group. I feel TB is more of an individualistic/showoff type player than someone who can really reign in their ego for the good of the team.

          And honestly Callejon is IMO a mediocre player in comparison to TB(can’t believe I’m saying this)

    • Chiu
      December 10, 2011

      Poor cryronaldo. He is always drown in big stages

  53. culegirl3
    December 10, 2011

    I wonder what is more painful for EE: Last year’s manita or today’s clasico.

    IMO I would say today must be more painful given the fact that mad-cow Mou has had a whole year to turn his “project” around and yet after having made the proper adjustments and having a cohesive team EE still cannot beat Barcelona(particularly when they’re not at their best).

    • Nik
      December 10, 2011

      Agreed. The 5-0 was at the Camp Nou with Barça playing at an unbelievable level; this beatdown was at home in front of all their fans with us playing in 3rd gear for the majority of the match. Not to mention the fact they couldn’t hang onto the lead after we gifted them a goal in the first 20 seconds of the match. Their confidence has to be shot.

  54. December 10, 2011

    By far the craziest thing I’ve seen is (unwarranted) Casillas bashing. Unbelievable. Without him, they’d have conceded at least two or three more.

  55. just listenin
    December 10, 2011

    Cheers to all, hope you’re enjoying a great victory…what a match, what. a. match.

    Can you imagine the psychological blow to EE from these matches? They will make excuses and invoke curses of bad luck… But it was a pure and simple outplaying, great squad selection, brilliant tactical adjustment, and a handful of amazing performances, Puyol, Busquests, Iniesta especially… Phenomenal.

    If there is anyone lucky it is us, for having the sensibilities that give us an affinity for being cules

  56. adopted cule
    December 10, 2011

    Bravest manager of all time: Pep. Played a 3-4-3 in the Bernabeu and won against a great Real side. So overjoyed by this display. What a team!

  57. Chiu
    December 10, 2011

    Anyone know what’s the cause of last minute brawl involving keita? Any report about it?

  58. lyd
    December 10, 2011

    Proud of the system! Respect for Pep increased so much more yet remains infinity.

    I turned dyslexic at the 22nd second. And cured by Mes-lexis. Then whatever happened was X-Cesc 😛

    Great comeback ..the ease with which we made movements. Not the perfect game but played with the purest soul.

    What a feeling!

  59. Anonymous_69
    December 10, 2011

    I thought Pique actually played well. Besides falling asleep on 22 seconds, he didn’t make any mistakes. His passing was great for relieving pressure (even though he did mishit a couple of them). He wasn’t required to make as many last ditch tackles as Puyol and Abidal, but he was rarely beat.

    Like Alves, I don’t think Pique has been at the top this season. But they both stepped it up big time for El Clasico. Just like Barcelona as a whole: I don’t think we’ve been our best this season, but we stepped it up and played very well today. We did a lot of things that have overall been missing this season, and although it wasn’t nearly as perfect as the Manita, it showed signs that we our reaching our best.

  60. pr17
    December 10, 2011

    What a win. Brilliant. Saved me a week of depression if we had lost. Not a vintage performance but it was all character. I frankly thought alexis n cesc didn’t contribute that much apart from goals but I will take goals anyday.
    Among the lesser lights, puyol was played just to keep pique at his best. Still think masche would have been equally good but piqué wouldn’t have been.
    Busi was sensational. Shielded the ball in high press situations and his high risk turns usually took 2-3 ee players out of equation. Don’t think either masche or Keita could do that at def mid. Any Tom dick n Harry can stand at def mid and make few tackles but busi’s role here was immense.
    Alves for once was amazing. Very few bad passes. Cut off Marcelo from attack and laid some good balls to alexis n messi in centre and made good dribbles too.
    And finally a word about valdes. He has balls man. adherence to system was one thing we showed today. And pep – always changes system if it isn’t working.

  61. Kimcelona
    December 11, 2011

    I’m so proud of this team. This victory really hit home how lucky we are to be watching this generation. Far from our best ever but still a brilliant match as soon as we got back into the game.

    Messi was great in the first half. How he can ride challenges/hacks like that and still be able to let off a perfect pass is beyond me and his tracking back before the card was superb! I saw Messi in DM at one point! But he disappeared in patches in the second..maybe for fear of not gettig another booking. Alexis started off slow but then came into the game as his own and then scored one of the coolest finishes under pressure you can ever hope for. Cesc was invisible for a lot of the match, especially in the first half. I wondered if we decided not to start with him afterall..and then he popped up, stole the ball in our half fed it to someone (I dont remember)then sprinted upfield to finish off that glorious Dani cross with a diving header. Then he disappeared for a bit again, popping up a few times in which he gave the ball away cheaply sometimes. Xavi did well under pressure. I really didnt expect him to have a perfect game cause I knew about RM’s pressuring. And I was so glad he SHOT! I still see it as his goal! I think it was goalward bound even if Marcelo had not deflected it. Iniesta was letting me down in the first half. But then he BLEW ME AWAY in the second half when he went back to where he belonged- midfield. Definately my third fave player EVER behind Messi and Ronnie. Busquets was perfect! He is one of my MOTM along with Puyol. What can you say about our Capita? BEAST. Abi was pretty solid as well. Dani had a good game to me..a few misplaced passes and poor decisions but overall good game.
    Keita coming on was like a security blanket for me. When he came on and started cleaning stuff up in midfield I stopped shivering a little.Pique had a so-so game but he wasnt that bad as people are making him out to be.

    And lastly, Pep–what a freakin’ GENIUS. I’ll always trust this man.

    Tears. That is all.

  62. puchanamano
    December 11, 2011

    i came home from drinking all night at around 3am, went to sleep for a wee bit and woke up at 5am to watch the game. the first goal made me nervous. but these are the situations that test a team’s mettle. our team kicked ass. at the bernabooo. i think i woke up a few people at my house from all the yelling haha

    tots units fem forca!

  63. Manish
    December 11, 2011

    I want to give a big HUG to Iniesta right now and say THANK YOU.. he’s right there with the best.. lucky me..lucky me..

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