Liga Liveblog: Barça-Zaragoza

Hey everyone, it’s Barça hosting Zaragoza. We’ve got a liveblog planned, but personal life calls and I may not be able to make it back in time for kickoff. Anyone want to run the liveblog for me? If you do, please email me at team[at]barcelonafootballblog[dot]com and I can set you up with a handy-dandy email explaining everything you’ll need to know to run a successful liveblog.

Visca el Barça!

By Isaiah

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


  1. torres!!!

    i might be able to run it, i’ll let you know an hour before the game (if that’s not too late) i gotta hit the gym and i don’t know if i’ll be back in time. other people should volunteer but i’ll be the last min resort 🙂

    1. i used to have a friend here named corinne that i played soccer with, i thought she was a liverpool fan, she moved to california like 8 years ago. cant remember where you’re at, but anyway… it was a long shot

    2. oooh i see. yeah i’m all the way up near toronto lol but that woulda been cool to run into an old mate via the internet

  2. Lineup

    Valdes, Puyol, Pique, Txigrynski, Maxwell, Busquets, Xavi, Keita, Iniesta, Ibra, Messi

    1. There may be something wrong with me but I never seem to like having Iniesta and Messi on the two wings. I think it makes us predictable.
      I can’t believe I said that but it just seems to be the way that we play, when we have those two on the wings, is just a little repetitive, but maybe with Ibra in the middle things will be better

  3. It appears that I will be able to run the liveblog after all! Yay me and whatnot. Thanks to those of you who volunteered; I’m sure I’ll be calling on you again soon.

  4. Valdés,
    Puyol, Piqué, Chygrynskiy, Maxwell,
    Xavi, Keita,
    Messi, Ibrahimovich e Iniesta

  5. Well ain’t that cute,
    Marca: Barcelona was Barcelona, nothing more..
    AS: Barcelona has returned

  6. Yea Barca was Barca and EE was EE…
    A few observations:

    1) We conceded in yet another game featuring Marquez, although it did not appear to be his fault. (I think he still sucked though)
    2) Even before this game, Keita has been holding down the LCM position VERY WELL. Iniesta became very dangerous at the height of the game so it will be interesting to see what Pep does in the coming games.
    3) Txignasty had no bite whatsoever today. Come on Kxevin, we know u love some Txignasty but you have to admit he was wayyy too casual today.
    4) Puyol was sufficient today at RB, despite one turnover I noticed, likewise for Maxwell, who only conceded 1 corner I remember. I expect that stat to have been much higher if we didn’t have the ball for 90% of the first half and like 80% overall.

    Whoever predicted the Ibra free kick goal: PROPS. What would RayRay say about that strike?

    1. Okay, I didn’t have net till now & also couldn’t watch the match… so thank you for the good news, came directly to this page & not for the news 😛
      Well, I also predicted a brace for Ibra, now what’s up with that!?

  7. Now, if Arsenal also had won, this weekend would have been perfect. But I’m already completely satisfied with our 3 points and +4 GD over Real Madrid 😀

    Seeing ManUtd lose to Liverpool was another highlight…”and I think to myself, what a wonderful world!”.

  8. – Great that we avoided injuries. It was risky but now that we have the whole week to refresh, we are almost out of emergency room. Specially with Henry coming back.

    – It was better to play Abidal beside either Chig or Pique as the two are too identical to play together. Which bring the same old question: had we bought the Ukrainian to play beside pique or in front of him as a DM? Only time and ACN can tell.

    – Barcelona third goal demonstrates Keita performance when he plays. While the Zaragozas were trying to build up offense, and even though we had a defensive superiority 5 vs 3, He made a transition beating Busquets to the DM role, winning back the ball, handing it to Xavi before making a run slicing through two rows of Zaragoza defenders into the box, making himself available for Ibra cross.

    – Maxwell was not as fragile as commonly expected, keeping in mind that he faced the most threatening player for Zaragoza, and he kept him in bed. Yet he still cam contribute more offense wise.

    – Ibra…Any more doubts?

    – Is it illegal for a Catalan Keeper to play for Spain? Thats the only explanation I can think of.

  9. Quick question, is Zaragoza part of cataluyna or anything? because i saw their captain (gabi) wearing the catalan’s red/yellow armband.

  10. According to, Maxwell was our best defender (even highter than Valdes who was rated a 6), Keita scored a 9.5 (!), and Pennant was a 3. Not that I care about Pennant or biases towards him but this is what Paul Madden (guy who did the ratings and obv. English) had to say:

    Jermaine Pennant – 3: Spoke beforehand of how much he was looking forward to playing at Camp Nou. He didn’t.

    Whilst the rest were rated 4.5, 5, or 6 lol. I think they collectively all looked bad. But enough about Zaragoza, we owned the pitch today. I’ve said that fatigue was a major issue and with more than 3 days to think about the Rubin defeat (slip up, lapse in concentration, or whatever else you want to call it) , the team was always going to come out firing on all cylinders. There was some missed passes here and there, but we’re so spoiled 😛

    1. forget about the lame brits, they only support man u and chelsky. vv is superb. he deserves to get 8+

  11. Valdes is not even called up which is mental. Reina is a good keeper, as is Casillas but surely Valdes is better than the likes of Diego Lopez.
    Puyol was solid at right back without being spectacular. It’s always nice having him in the XI.
    Pique was very solid except for one little blunder and nothing will stop me thinking that we would have another clean sheet had he still been on the pitch.
    Chygrynskiy is very similar to Pique, as you said Ramzi, and if you look at the previous posts, I have been calling for Abidal at centre back for a while now.
    Maxwell was very very solid and had a few good moments going forward. He’ll be a very good weapon when he builds rapport with his teammates.

    Busquets still doesn’t inspire confidence but didn’t do too much wrong.
    Xavi ran the midfield very smoothly but gave away the ball in midfield to cost us the goal.
    Keita was unstoppable and pretty much cemented himself as our first choice 3rd midfielder… with no disrespect to Iniesta.

    Messi needed that goal and could have had a load of goals. Very nice seeing his partnership with Ibra progress.
    Ibrahimovic was absolutely awesome and completely unplayable. He is a different threat to anything our opposition has faced and was dangerous throughout.
    Iniesta was closer to his best but is looking lucky that he has no Henry to compete with because he is being outplayed by Keita.

    1. I think it was more of a bad pass from Maxwell than Xavi losing the pass. But, Busquets gave away another pass late on.

    2. Not too sure jnelson, my first reaction was bad control from Xavi but I did only see it once.

    3. Busquets gave away the ball a lot which shows he is not at the same level as the others. He is sometimes too eager to show off his ball controlling skills while at the same time quite fancy. he almost gave away another goal threatening ball in midfield by flicking the ball backward without looking. he annoys me most, not Chryrigxyzsksday, not Maxwell, not Marquez either. Because Marquezzz, I will give him some more chances before i completely decide to take my support away.

    4. Did ibra have any shots off target? all of them seemed to have gone in were it not for the offside he wouldve had 4.I love his agression. You can tell hes hungry for success.

  12. Victor Valdes deserves to go to South Africa, even if he’ll sit the entire tournament out. I mean, what MORE can he do?

  13. Ok im gonna be the one to ask this essential question please share your thoughts. Take this hypothetical situation. Champions League Final Everybody fit Who is in the starting lineup? My main point here really is when it is a big game and henry ibra messi is a fixture while the defense is set WHAT o WHAT do we do in midfield some would say obviously YAYA iniesta XAVI but comin be honest would u not want this new and improved keiteee starting. I think its a very important question that really bothers me we all know Iniesta isn’t awesome in LW but he is amazing in CMF but Come on you’ve got red hot keita playin it up week in and week out.

    Plz share your thoughts I want other ideas about this 😀

    1. It depend whom you are playing against. And that will decide who will be starting at the midfield and also the offense.

    2. Xavi-Yaya-Keita is definitely our best line-up at the minute.
      Iniesta is still a little off. I dunno but maybe as Henry is not at 100% then Iniesta is going to play more and more as the LW in the bigger matches

    3. I agree with Ramzi and Ciaran. Xavi-Yaya-Keita is definitely kicking ass at the moment, but hypothetically, if we reached the final and had everyone available I think it would in fact depend on who we play and how they play. Keita and Iniesta are too very different CMs, Keita being a tall, box-to-box mid and excellent set piece threat. Iniesta, on the other hand, is an creative, attacking mid covering the defensive responsibilities of a center mid. Keita would be used more effectively against buses and for defensive purposes, yet I think the odds are that Iniesta-Yaya-Xavi would be the lineup in a final with Keita coming on to add some “steel” or box crashing.

    4. thats a hard question to answer.
      We haven’t seen much of Henry Ibra Messi, so i cant really tell how successful is that.. although it is quite letal.
      But yeah, keita gives me a great comfort in the midfield.

      I’ve got to say Chygrinsky wasn’t that bad, people wrote that he wasn’t at his best but he wsn’t baad either, that first long pass to Ibra was exquisite too bad it didn’t end as goal.

    5. I think we should take this dilemma as a luxury. The fact that we have 4 very awesome Midfielders, and 1 (Busquets) up and coming youngster, is something that any team would die for. To answer your question, I’d alway pick the player that’s in form…but, sometimes you need to take the opposition’s tactics into consideration. If speed and finesse is what’s needed then Iniesta…if size and tenacity then Keita.

  14. ya i see what you guys are going with but I still don’t think Keita has reached the point where say there was crusial CL semi followed by important liga fixture he would play both at the expense of iniesta a bit more rotation I think. Last year I remember this exact situation occured with the clasico and A CL tie the same week where the starting lineup was unchanged for 3 or 4 games in the business end of the season especially in offense and midfield maybe 1 or 2 changes in defense but you get my point

  15. kevo, Chygrinsky was solid but not spectacular a la pique where he just rocks some games but I can’t say Pique outshown him today They were both solid yet unspectacular then again with Barca its more your passing skill as a CB that matters rather then ur actual defensive duties in games such as these where the ball is in barca’s 18 yard boc only 3 or 4 times

    1. Yes, Txignasty was overzealous with a few passes. Several times he made errors on ground passes, allowing the sitting defenders to read them and easily pick them off. He reminded me of Gijon’s backline in the second half against EE, yet his crosses were good, if that’s any consolation.

  16. It’s a luxury any team would love to have. 4 great Midfielders and 1 up and coming youngster (Busquets). To answer your question I’d pick the in form player…but you also have to take the opposition’s tactics into consideration. If speed and finesse is needed then i’d pick Iniesta…if size and tenacity is needed then i’d go with Keita.

  17. Well Botia is part of Gijon’s backline and maybe it was the Barca DNA present in botia which made u make the connection 😀

    But seriously Dima’s only weak point that worried me because his passing aint too shabby is his Pace. He has been beaten in Pace time and time and you never know when that can hurt you thats y puyol Pique works you have 1 ditrabutor and 1 speedy defender well in Puyol’s case its more heart rather then actual speed but his heart and determination beats speed any day of the week…

    Quick q : Who is faster abidal or maxwell

    1. Yes, I thought Dima was brought in to replace Puyol, but where’s the aggression???

      I think its pretty clear cut that Abidal is faster. That’s why Maxwell is always conceding corners while Abidal is instead recovering the ball and playing it back up the field.

    2. i agree, Dima is a bit slow and reacts a bit slow, but i love his confidence to move forward and push our lines front. I’d like Pep to try him as a DM, behind Xavi and/or Iniesta (Keitee doesn’t need a bodyguard) just to keep and eye on our Xaviniesta and help with the ball distribution.

      Just finished watching the game and i’ve got three words for you: Keiteee, Keiteee, Keiteeeeeee!!

  18. Typical Camp Nou Performance, loved it…Maxwell had a pretty good game as such with Busquets.But wow Keita has really stepped up this season.

    BTW whats with all the no-penalty calls we get.NO penalty for the season so far.

    1. Yeah! I’ve noticed that too,. but whatever. Messi’s gonna take the all the pens this season, so it’s better this way. He won’t score all his goals from pk like a certain Thong Boy we wish we didn’t know.

  19. When I said, it’s for our own good that Alves got injured, you guys must have laughed it off… But all the pros I cited out have come true. 1) Maxwell had a good game. With 2 more fixtures for him until CL match against Rubin, I think he will gain good confidence. 2) We’ll get to see some Txygnasty & Marquez without losing out on Puyi & in fact it is quite good because Puyi definitely makes up for the few mistakes that the other 2 might commit 😛 3) Ibra scoring from FK, yay! 4) Alves hopefully returns as a better player with all his guns reloaded

    1. 2) I agree, getting Puyol experience at RB is actually important. If he can continue to get reps filling in for Alves, it means more playing time for our captain in the future seasons.

      3) I dig Ibra taking all free kicks from the center, Messi/Xavi from short wings and Alves from far wings. Let’s not forget that Alves has already scored from one free kick this season even with less chances than last. I think he is still a great option from deeper angles.

    2. And hopefully it will keep Dani from catching the suck at the end of the year the way he did last year. There was speculation that he was burnt out, so maybe with the extra rest now, he’ll be fresher then (and yes, I realize that calling Dani “burnt out” is like calling His Yayaness “tired”, or pretty much any other non-worshipful adjective…)

  20. Stats so far this season

    Goals :

    Messi 9
    Ibra 8
    Keita 5
    Pedro 4
    Bojan 2
    Pique 2
    Xavi 1
    Alves 1

    Assists :

    Xavi 5
    Messi 5
    Ibra 5
    Alves 4
    Keita 2
    Iniesta 2
    Pedro 1
    Busquets 1
    Maxwell 1

    P.S. Congrats to Iniesta for entering into the chart for the first time & Keite for his first hat-trick in Bluered jersey 🙂
    Ibra’s goal for me was the best, nice pass by Keite and very good finish by the BANGS, Messi’s comes closest and what a powerful strike for the FK!!!

    1. 9 Goals for Messi. WTF are commentators saying he is off form for the “season.” He has 9 goals, 6 of which are in 7 league games. Can anyone explain to me how he is “struggling” this season?!

    2. probably the same reason why folks were blaming him for argentina’s woes during the WCQ, when he was practically carrying the cokehead’s team on his own. i think people are just losing their minds.

  21. I’ve maintained for a while that with the arrival of Ibra (a true but very versatile 9), Barca should subtly change its formation to either a 4-1-4-1 or a 4-4-1-1 (depending on how you count Messi and Yaya). But the basic point is that Messi should play behind Ibra, Henry is too old this year (even when he’s been fit, he falls over and can’t maintain his balance and has generally been ineffective) and Keita should take his place in the lineup. You cannot — I repeat, cannot — keep Iniesta on the bench. During the last 6-7 weeks of last season, he was the best player in the world. So my team, when everyone’s fit, is Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal, Yaya, Xavi, Keita, Iniesta, Messi, Ibra. Supersubs: Henry, Bojan, Pedro, Busquets, Marquez, Chygryinski, Maxwell.

    1. So basically, our wings would move to the midfield? I think that’s very close to what we played today. Iniesta and Messi both spent a lot of time in the midfield, occasionally moving into the wings, but also allowing overlaps with Keita and once or twice with Puyol. I think it worked well. 6 goals= no argument.

  22. And one other advantage with having Keita in place of Henry is set pieces. Keita is simply much more of a threat in the air (three headed goals today!) than Henry has ever been. Teams foul us WAY too much, but with Keita and Ibra in the team, they will think twice before bringing the Messi types down 10 yards outside the area.

  23. Some body was not so impressed with Suarez yesterday although he scored a brace, I think it’s Reagan… But in his excuse I’d say it’s one of his off-days that you watched him play. And I guess there was some scout, apart from you, watching him as well! Adds to the pressure 😛
    ‘Wonderwall’ scored a wonderful goal and did a wonderful trick to provide an assist for Suarez

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