Someone Will Get Hlebbed: Barcelona vs Real Sociedad Liveblog

Win, lose, or draw.

I’m excited for the game today. You should be too.

Kick off is at 4pm EST, 6am in Tokyo, 11pm in Beirut, 3pm in Tegucigalpa, and midnight in Minsk HLEB CITY. Liveblog starts whenever I feel like it. (Probably half an hour before)

FCB Lineup: Valdés, Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano; Fàbregas, Dos Santos, Thiago; Messi, Cuenca Tello

Bench: Pinto, Xavi, Alexis, Pique, Busi, Abidal, Sergi Roberto

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Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic

117 Comments

    • February 4, 2012

      I love it.

      Though what I love most, and find most interesting, is how it’s not necessarily the most talented that will get into the first team. Like, there are ‘better’ players than Tello and Cuenca, but it’s not them who are starting for the Best Team in the World(tm).

    • Ryan
      February 4, 2012

      And with Messi and Cesc crashing the box, hopefully we can use the width that Cuenca and Tello provide. The youngsters’ energy might help lift the team too.

  1. Miguel
    February 4, 2012

    Oh my Pep! A dos Santos start? In the Liga? Proudest day of my life!

    My OCD and I would like very much for our plans to fall through so we can watch this live.

  2. February 4, 2012

    Oh look. Getafe dont get a penalty given that should be. What a suprise!

    • jordi™
      February 4, 2012

      the handball or the ramos smash? no surprises either way.

      • Judas Pissed
        February 4, 2012

        From goal.com – ‘Getafe really have been poor this evening, showing limited ambition.’

        No surprise there either – always the same whenever a team plays EE…

    • Ryan
      February 4, 2012

      No Penaldo braces at least – moral victory!

  3. Judas Pissed
    February 4, 2012

    Does tonights line up suggest we have given up on La Liga – resting players for CDR & CL?

  4. mega_tajh
    February 4, 2012

    Clear as day penalty not given. Refs are to afraid to blowagainst Madrid it seems.

  5. barca96
    February 4, 2012

    It does look like he’s throwing in the towel.

    No matter what he should find a way to rest Messi later.

  6. barca96
    February 4, 2012

    This line up is able to hande R. Sociedad.
    But please rest Messi. He is the key to our success.

  7. Helge
    February 4, 2012

    Just prayin’ for Busquets that he’ll be okay. It looked terrible, and Cesc’s face reminded me of his expression after Shawcross broke Ramsey’s(?) leg.
    Anims, Sergio!

    • jordi™
      February 4, 2012

      Yea, its the 3rd time hes seen a team-mate’s bone in the last few years on a football field.

    • mega_tajh
      February 4, 2012

      Yeah Cesc knows those type of injuries all to well. His mind had to flash back Ramsey.

  8. Nik
    February 4, 2012

    Pyrrhic victory for us (as with most of the season, to be honest). I’m hoping Busi makes a fast recovery. Anims, Busi!

    Good game by the youngsters. I liked what I saw out of all of them. Messi desperately needs a rest, but I don’t think Barca can afford to let him rest. Cesc….smh.It’s unfortunate for him that the team is relying on him so heavily in his first season back. Hopefully, he gets back into his groove soon.

  9. zitux
    February 4, 2012

    i dont understand why Tello seccond goal disallowed, i think Alves doesnt in active play,

  10. mega_tajh
    February 4, 2012

    This probably went unnoticed but before the game I heard Dongou was promoted to the B-team till end of the season. Good news for us guys who never saw him play.

  11. jaymin
    February 4, 2012

    hopefully it is just a bad laceration w/ exposed bone, and not an actual break or fracture. didn’t look as though the limb was split, just the skin split open. let’s hope.

    • February 4, 2012

      Agreed.

      News circling that it’ll just need stitches. Nothing official however.

  12. Jim
    February 4, 2012

    Just stitches required acc to Barcastuff. Thank goodness for that.

  13. mega_tajh
    February 4, 2012

    First medical report: Busquets has a lacerated contused wound. Busquets would only need stitches.

    jaymin called it spot on.thank god

    • Ryan
      February 4, 2012

      Whew. Good thing to know that Cesc’s horror was misplaced!

  14. flyzowee
    February 4, 2012

    Cuenca was pretty poor 2nite. Dos Santos was a bit too anxious and gave the ball away too many times. Tello ate his fullback all night long. He should take Henrys no.14 jersey if its free.

  15. ElJefe
    February 4, 2012

    Good for Pep for giving the youth a shot. Tello nearly best man on the field twice now, like it! Liked having him and Cuenca on each wing, that’s alot of pace and crossing ability for teams to have to deal with. Add to that Dani & Adriano crosses and big men tracking through the middle like Puyol should have lots of goals.

    We have GOT to put people away though.

  16. K_legit in Oz
    February 4, 2012

    Any doctors/med guys in the house explain why there was little/no blood for such a deep cut?

    • Megster
      February 4, 2012

      Maybe because the laceration isn’t that deep. Because if it’s is, there would be massive or prolonged bleeding. His prognosis might be worst or his recovery time might be prolonged. If he only needs to be stitched, then the exposed part we’ve seen wasn’t the bone but only the skin.

        • Megster
          February 7, 2012

          No. But I’m a non-practicing physical therapist. 🙂

  17. Humphrey Bogart
    February 4, 2012

    Good new is that Busi’s injury is not that serious, bad news is that Alexis joined the injury bench

  18. kinukinu
    February 4, 2012

    It was a scary ending for many reasons but there are some things to feel encouraged about after this match. This was a lot of pressure for the babies and they handled it with great composure.

    The fresh legs also helped to bring up the overall workrate and you could see the difference in the pressing.

    Tello scored his goal with instinct and finesse–lots of players could have easily flubbed that chance but he didn’t. He’s damn pacey, too!

    Puyol is from another planet!! He’d be within his right to be the most fatigued of all, yet he’s been an absolute lion the last few matches and today he was EVERYWHERE.

    • Chiu
      February 6, 2012

      Credit for Pep to keep believe in younguns. It’s essential for youngsters to have the believe and faith from the coach. When you take their mental up, the self belief is increased and they would perform better. Make them feel equal, not inferior among the first teamers. That mental boost would surely result them to play better or at least their best game would come out.

  19. mega_tajh
    February 4, 2012

    Ps. Man I just love the emotion Cesc shows in the shirt. Definitely a future captain.

    And gotta love the Camp Nou crowd, kept cheering on the team and specifically Messi. Glad we don’t have any boo boys in the crowd, unlike a certain white team.

    • Nav
      February 4, 2012

      Hell yeah crowd was awesome. We chanted Messi every time he decided to miss, heh.

    • Chiu
      February 6, 2012

      Besides, I remember in some matches, when opposition scored, the crown was chanting “BARCA! BARCA! BARCA! till the visiting fans roar sounds diluted. I love it. It really help the team emotionally and boost their confidence to restart the game and win it.

  20. Anonymous_69
    February 4, 2012

    Pep has an interesting job trying to figure out the best lineup for Wednesday. Puyol, Busquets, Xavi, and Sanchez are all uncertain. Pedro might not make it in time.

    Puyol is apparently exhausted. So is Xavi. Sanchez has a new calf problem to go along with his shoulder injury, and there’s obviously Busquets…

    There are hopes that Busquets will be fit for Wednesday, but I wouldn’t risk him. I mean, I know know bones were cracked, but there’s a whole area of torn tissue that will take some time to heal, even with stitches.

    Assuming that Xavi and Sanchez will make a sacrifice and play, this is my preferred lineup:

    Valdes
    Alves-Puyol/Mascherano-Pique-Abidal
    Xavi-Mascherano/Busquets-Thiago
    Sanchez-Messi-Tello

    Cuenca would be more obvious to choose ahead of Tello, but I feel a little uncomfortable with him trying to guard our right flank against Valencia’s left wing. Cuenca’s biggest weakness it seems is that he doesn’t track his marker consistently (although he did that better today). Plus, Tello deserves another start.

    Now, I’m not too sure about which forward should play where. If Messi plays false 9, then I don’t know which wing Sanchez should play on. He can definitely track back the best, which is needed on our right wing. Plus, he seemed to struggle against the faster and more aggressive Miguel. Tello is faster, and Miguel struggled against him last week.

    Or Pep might opt for Sanchez as a striker again. That would give us some advantages, but Messi seems extremely tired. So while he can still score and provide brilliance, he would offer Alves much less protection against the Alba-Mathieu duo. Thiago will probably drift wide right a lot though, with Xavi back on the field… My preferred option is Messi in the middle and Tello left, Sanchez/Cesc/Pedro right.

    • Chiu
      February 6, 2012

      I think Xavi would certainly play in Valencia game,as Pep have rest him for two games in a row. Perhaps Pep really prepare Xavi to be fit for the semis and help us secure the final spot. Hope Xavi back with fresher legs and we would see the real Xavi again.

  21. Megster
    February 4, 2012

    It’s good that Pep has used players from the B-team. It’s a great challenge and he handles it very well. He’s a good motivator, tactician and inspiration to his players.

    Thank goodness Busi’s condition isn’t as serious as his other injured teammates have. Hopefully he can play on Wednesday.

  22. Laurentiu88
    February 5, 2012

    apparently Sanchez was injured and is a serious doubt for the next game with Valencia!

    in case one wonders there was not even a yellow card for the stomp on Busi’s knee.

    wonderful game last night; loved the energy of the young players but most of all loved the public support for Messi helping him with his relatively bad pass; and not only them all teammates came to him after his goal… it is in this situations that the team spirit is evident.

    and to sum up the night of la liga: in the absurd universe of RM, now Ramos says there should be less talk of referees!

    Pepe’s theatrics again… even sport commentators were disgusted…

  23. TITO
    February 5, 2012

    I know we have all these problems with injuries and Pep got no choice but sometimes (this season quite often) to use the youngsters. But using them too much just brings confidence to the teams we are facing.
    I mean, imagine how would you feel if you have to face Villa, Alexis, Iniesta, Xavi, Pique, Abidal… or in the other hand Cuenca, JDS, Tello or whoever.
    Automatically you are boosted with confidence and you think that you have a chance to get something from this game, and especially if you are playing at home.
    No doubt that Messi needs rest, but i think that it has more to do wit the others helping this case. For the moment the whole burden is on Messi’s shoulders, and partly in Puyol’s in defense. For Messi to feel more relieved and play freely he needs the players i mentioned above at their best. This is missing.
    And when he doesn’t have his buddies beside him you could see that his confidence was at his career low. Some of the misses in the last games were ridiculous for a player of his caliber.
    Anyway, Tello should start the next game ahead of Cuenca, he just looks more brave than him to take the opposition player.
    At this moment we are in the same position RM was in the previous seasons, trying to catch us, but only seeing how we don’t lose at all and they were left frustrated. That’s how are players are feeling right now, frustrated. Almost like they cannot catch RM, no matter what they do, because it’s all down to them to beat them, and that’s not enough to win the title.

    • Oil_Can
      February 5, 2012

      Yes but there are also positives in using a lot of youngsters. Never underestimate the hunger and enthusiasm youngsters show on the field, they are fresher and usually fitter and faster then our usual suspects. The opponents might feel more confident but they have to work harder and run further in order to match what our youngsters give on the field.

      Plus, I don’t know what it is but unlike most high prized coaches out there Pep seems to have some kind of special understanding with young players, he knows how to get the most out of them and he knows how to use them in the best way in order to hurt our opponents. It is one of those traits that very few coaches have in the industry.

      Given that we have very little choices due to injury. The question is, why Pep chose Youngsters over signing new players? the youngsters already know the system, there is no integration needed, we don’t need back up later down the track, we need them now, and we don’t have the time to wait for new players to integrate, we have very little room for error.

      As for Cuenca, He had a good game at the Mestalla last week, I don’t see why he shouldn’t play.

    • Jim
      February 5, 2012

      As far as expectations are concerned with Messi I’d argue that some of his goals are ridiculous and at some point he has to start missing “easy” chances. Ronaldo’s shooting is currently awful and he wouldn’t be near Messi apart from penalties. Messi was also our only threat on the field last night. His confidence isn’t low. Time and again he attempted to take on five or six defenders. You don’t do that with low confidence. You don’t score that goal with low confidence. What we need to do is value what we have in Messi, support him and look to some of the others to take some of the burden which would allow Pep to rest him.

      On another note, is anyone else as concerned as me by how easily Sanchez seems to get injured?

      • Chiu
        February 6, 2012

        I share same concern about Alexis. And Pedro too, prone to injury this season. I almost forgot how many times he got in and out from the injury list. Something need to be corrected by our physios

  24. kinukinu
    February 5, 2012

    On another note, Roma beat Inter 4-0 and Bojan scored! And he stayed on his feet the whole time!

  25. TITO
    February 5, 2012

    I’m saying that Tello should be ahead of Cuenca in the picking order. Though if Alexis is not playing we will probably see them both in the starting line-up.

    • Chiu
      February 6, 2012

      Tello impressive performance remind me about the beginning of Cuenca raise. I hope he don’t get burdened with all the praise and phasing off the performance like Cuenca did. Cuenca not lookeed so good recently and have little contribution for team, instead plugging the injured spot. And i think it’s too hurry for first team promotion. I hope am wrong and Cuenca could prove his worth

  26. Helge
    February 5, 2012

    Damn, I was already happy to see Athletic Bilbao on a CL qualification spot. And now I just realized that Espanyol equalized in the 92. min. Imagine Espanyol would play the CL *argh*

    And thank God Busquets is not seriously injured!

    • Ryan
      February 5, 2012

      Recall that the Pericos were in a CL spot for a long while last year, for all the good it did them in the end!

    • Chiu
      February 6, 2012

      Talking about Bilbao – EE last liga match would be away to San Mames and it would be the last Bilbao match there before moving to new stadium (someone mentioned this before too). That would be hell of a match to farewell the amazing San Mames. I sense if we could keep the liga race mathematically open till the last day, there’s big chance Bilbao could make EE drop some points there. Keep hope

  27. Srini
    February 5, 2012

    The finish by Tello was something David Villa would have been proud of.

    Seriously, if we weren’t expecting Barca to win every trophy under the sun, I would have paid more attention to the fact that Guardiola is building a team for the future keeping up the flag of the philosophy quite high.

    Tello’s performance yesterday seamlessly fitted Villa’s vacancy.

    • Chiu
      February 6, 2012

      that finish was Henry-esque. it’s been a while we’re not seeing such execution type from Barca

    • mom4
      February 5, 2012

      When I rule the world I’ll plant flowers…

  28. mom4
    February 5, 2012

    Minus the Busi injury I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Scrappy, nervous game where we showed we can fight for result. The babies played well in the first half. That was good to see. The game got a bit beyond them in the second half but they held on well.

    Messi had an off day. He was only terrific and not his magesterial best. Could’ve had 4 yesterday. He’ll get his rest when Xavi and Ini are back behind him. He has to work so hard right now.

    It’s good that we have B players of this quality. What a resource! By the time any January signing figured out our system, they’d no longer be needed. Just wish we didn’t have to use them so much.

    Oh, and how ’bout my Gunners 7-1? Anyone want Van Persie this summer? Certainly we’ve saved enough money forgoing colored toner by now. 🙂

    • Chiu
      February 6, 2012

      I vote for Van Persie this summer. I love his skill set and it would perfectly fit with our style. He posses complete skill set for strikers/target man position, could be one of the best besides Benz or Ibra. Poacher, good dribbling, fast, great in the air, so physical but at the same his technique is awesome too. But not sure about his attitude.

  29. February 5, 2012

    Just interrupting my unpacking to say one thing:

    TELLO!

    Thank you. That is all.

  30. bhed
    February 5, 2012

    Forgive me for just chiming in with something negative, but am I the only one who thinks we would have been better off without Dani yesterday? Not even counting his horrible pass that led to the goal, and his positioning that negated Tello’s second goal, he was just awful – slow and inaccurate (although his cross to no one across the face of goal was very nice). This was one of his poorer games in the colors, but he hasn’t been that great all year. I hope its a temporary psychological dip in form, rather than what we can expect with an older, slower Alves. Thoughts?

    • Jim
      February 5, 2012

      His touch was certainly way off. Adds a lot of energy to the team though and he did deliver the pass for Messi’s goal.

    • Ryan
      February 5, 2012

      That’s a very nice, physically-demanding goal from Bojangles!

  31. Ryan
    February 5, 2012

    Hoo boy, United are down 3-0 vs. Chelsea.

  32. barca96
    February 5, 2012

    -@Laurentiu88

    It was an accident. The R. Sociedad player clearly didn’t try to stomp Busi.

    What happened with Pepe?

    S. Ramos, pot calling kettle black.

    -@TITO

    Why can’t a player of Messi’s caliber miss a chance?
    It’s not like it was an open goal with no pressure.

    -Pep seriously needs to find a way to rest Alves & Messi.

    -I still think that Cuenca is a one-trick pony. He does the same thing over and over again. So easily to get fooled by a marker like what happened last night. The defender faked moving inwards and Cuenca went to the right (wing) and the defender just had to a minor shoulder to shoulder challenge and Cuenca was on the ground.

    Messi is small too but he is strong, Cuenca on the other hand is very weak. NZM, please go to the training ground and give him some food.

    -I was watching the Busquets incident on youtube, on multiple videos, 99% of the commenters were enjoying the injury to Busquets. Many said that he deserved it.
    Some said it was karma.
    Some even said that he was faking the injury (maybe that was a joke but still, it is not a great time to make a joke like that when he just suffered a nasty injury).
    Someone said that Ronaldo had a cut too and he was still able to play. My goodness, Ronaldo’s cut was a pen sized cut.

    I really don’t understand. What has Busi done besides the peek-a-boo and milking some challenges for him to deserve such level of hate?
    He never intentionally hurt another player (Ramos, Pepe, Keane etc. ).
    Why do so many people hate him?

    I am still so enraged after reading those comments and it’s been at least 12 hours and my heart is still burning. F*cking barbarians. Animals. No, even animals have feelings.

    • Huckleberry
      February 5, 2012

      It is not that easy to hate a Barcelona player. So Buscets with his otherwise stupid playacting is collecting all hate…

      • Laurentiu88
        February 5, 2012

        i still believe a yellow card could have been shown; yellow cards are given for dangerous play; intention is not necessary. (btw, the sociedad player is on the ground afterwords, this is usually a tactic to avoided a card, in hard challenges i remember we all rolled a bit too, simply to hide that the other was first on ball)

        Pepe, after stopping the ball with his hand, was on the ground trying to argue that is was due to the ball hitting his chest! Some English speaking commentator was laughing so badly 🙂 even I wondered if it wasn’t too partisan 🙂

        The reactions to Busi’s injury are horrible; i totally agree with your point – we can mention that other player are even better at diving (see DiMaria)… shows how hard changing reputation is; I blame mostly the England commentators with their purist view on diving vs a ‘physical’ game!

    • Kimcelona
      February 5, 2012

      “-I was watching the Busquets incident on youtube, on multiple videos, 99% of the commenters were enjoying the injury to Busquets. Many said that he deserved it.
      Some said it was karma.
      Some even said that he was faking the injury (maybe that was a joke but still, it is not a great time to make a joke like that when he just suffered a nasty injury).
      Someone said that Ronaldo had a cut too and he was still able to play. My goodness, Ronaldo’s cut was a pen sized cut.

      I really don’t understand. What has Busi done besides the peek-a-boo and milking some challenges for him to deserve such level of hate?
      He never intentionally hurt another player (Ramos, Pepe, Keane etc. ).
      Why do so many people hate him?

      I am still so enraged after reading those comments and it’s been at least 12 hours and my heart is still burning. F*cking barbarians. Animals. No, even animals have feelings.”

      Word.

      I am just as enraged. I really don’t get it. Why so much hatred? I mean Inter went on to win the damn CL..so its not like he actually hurt them..in fact he prob hurt Barca and himself more for that silly, silly peek-a-boo thing. Hey, forget the fact that he ACTUALLY got shoved in the neck by that pig Thiago Motta and he was already on a yellow!! Last I checked shoving someone in the neck with no intention to play the ball is a bookable offense.

      I will never understand how violence can be tolerated but embellishing/playacting/diving is looked at as the greatest sin in football..violence is just as much “cheating” (if not more, IMO).And its disgusting and it makes me feel sick to my stomach. In all my years of watching football (quite a long time..since 1994) I have never heard of milking fouls hurting anyone but the player who did the milking (only cause they make a fool of themselves). But injuries affect the player’s LIVELYHOOD! This is what they do for a living..Sigh..I mean I dislike embellishing/play-acting/diving and players like Dive Maria, Dani do that alot but I really don’t hate the players..especially so much that I would wish injury or worse death on them.

    • blitzen
      February 5, 2012

      It disgusts me too. Yes, Busquets has been guilty of diving and embellishing on some occasions. But so have many other players and I have never seen this level of hatred directed towards them, to the point where their actual abilities as footballers are disregarded.

      One thing I have noticed is that if you watch games with Sky English commentary, they literally cannot get through a Barça game without making a snide comment on Busi–even if he is not actually on the field! It makes no difference to them if he is having a fantastic game, if he has been horribly fouled, if he has taken an elbow to the face (Ramos)–he is a terrible cheater and symbolizes all that is bad about Spanish football. It is as though criticizing Busi allows them to feel better about the EPL (because everyone knows that English players never dive, only dirty foreigners do that).

      Would you like to join my Busquets Fairness Committee? We have snacks!

    • Lou
      February 5, 2012

      Busi is a terrible diver. By that I mean he is a really bad actor.

      The strange thing about the Busi hate is that most of the rage seems to be because he is really bad and obvious when he does try to feign injury (which isn’t actually all that often). If he was actually a good actor it wouldn’t be that much of an issue.

      It just seems like such a weird thing to be furious about especially with a maniac like Pepe running around. If anything Barca fans should the ones annoyed about the acting because it gives Busi a reputation and means he often doesn’t get calls even when he was actually fouled.

      Anyway, I’m really glad he isn’t severely injured. I was out during the game, but following the score on twitter and from the comments I thought he might have had a career threatening injury! Busi doesn’t get as many plaudits as Xavi or Iniesta but I’d say he is every bit as crucial to the future of Barca.

  33. Ryan
    February 5, 2012

    We won’t be seeing Keita for a while yet; he scored the winning penalty in a shootout vs. Gabon!

    • kinukinu
      February 5, 2012

      Yeah, and now Mali have two more games regardless–either final or 3rd place match. Happy for Keita, sux for Barca.

  34. TITO
    February 5, 2012

    @Barca96

    Because is Messi, someone who would score these chances with an easiness that others can be jealous of.
    The 2012 alone he should have added at least 5-10 goals more on his account. But, he needs rest, like everyone is suggesting.

    • Jim
      February 5, 2012

      Not sure what you’re saying here, TITO. I can think of 5-10 goals he has scored that even he should never have managed.

  35. Judas Pissed
    February 5, 2012

    Just a word on the English Premiership – anyone who saw the Chelsea-manyoo match today will agree that while Spanish football may be accused of simulation & biased refereeing, Howard Webb’s performance today in favour of manyoo was absolutely unbelieveable…

  36. lyd
    February 5, 2012

    Was it that necessary to make substitutions on a freezing night when reflexes are bound to be poor and hence one would be injury prone? I am not trying to be Captain Hindsight here but seriously when i saw Xavi and others warm up, i thought it was just for show! It was horrible seeing Busi go through that! Hope he’ll be back sooner.

    And yeah Messi scored! So take that Stoke shitty!!
    And people who are repeatedly asking him to rest, are like asking the goose to stop lay those eggs. Yes, the eggs may not look that golden now but still got those nutrients, eh? One can make so many wonderful dishes out of em. I honestly think that Messi and this team can do whatever they want. They have given so much joy and im sure they understand the ongoing problems and the possible solutions much better than any of us. The whole team (especially Cesc)needs more time in training than actual games. Look, Leo’s game has suffered due to

    1. heavy schedule
    2. the fact that opponents do intensive homework on him.
    3. Playing for Argentina.

    But he has countered problem 1 with great ease. Evidence being his weight gain and that he refuses to rest. I guess he trains differently before each games now. Problem 2 has been countered by Pep and Tito with great care.

    But problem 3 is the main culprit. Its what made him lose that extra grace, those consistent, impeccable first touches and decision making skills. Leo has indeed won it all in our eyes but he really wants to win something with Argentina (again). He was in wonderful form in WC but it wasnt enough. After that he played international friendlies, Copa america. We all saw the uneven pitches in Copa and how the Argentina team was overall. When you have to play with mediocre team mates and on paddy fields and try to be superman against the odds, you are bound to lose some precision in your technique. After all its a team sport. Imagine a virtuoso guitarist having to play in noisy, humid concerts and still asked to pull off those outrageous licks!

    These factors makes me want to conclude that Messi wants to get over his dip in form and without any rest. That is a gamble and he knows it but if all works out, he’d be a more evolved player. That’s what greats like him do. Go against the odds and strive for something extra every time. As he knows if Argentina ever win anything, he has to play out of his skin and this ongoing gamble phase, if successful, would guide him like a guardian angel, to eternal greatness!

    And these mass injuries are not allowing him to do otherwise. Even having Iniesta on the training ground does wonder to your touches. That is not happening either. Does anybody know what caused those injuries in training earlier? Really Sanchez is not the type to catch injuries so often. Are these a series of coincidences? inevitability after a long streak of success or the sum over all the stresses and minor injuries? does the morphing of formations brought killer drills? Would really want an insider information on this. Or maybe hear what Tito has to say about the whole situation in general.

  37. barca96
    February 5, 2012

    I feel like responding to those Busi comments on youtube but I know they will definitely not engage in a proper discussion.

    Why is Busi the most hated player????
    There are far more serial embellishers in the game.
    So why is it so fun to hate on Busi?

    And if they really want to hate Busi for that peek-a-boo incident, even if he didn’t commit that stupid act, Motta would’ve gotten a yellow.
    It didn’t made any difference.

    And why do the British commentators love to pick on Busi?
    They have enough players in the EPL who are on par or worse than Busi.
    And Busi has actually dramatically toned down his acting ever since the Inter incident nearly 2 years ago.
    People need to move on!

    I watched the 2nd half of the Man U vs. Chelsea match.
    Both the Man U penalties were very soft calls.
    Evra is the one who tackled the Chelsea player and they both fell.
    Welbeck was looking for Ivanovic’s foot while Ivanovic wasn’t even obstructing his way to the ball.

    So why is it when these kinds of things happen in EPL nobody mentions a damn word about it?

  38. February 6, 2012

    Other than physical tiredness I think the team is suffering from mental tiredness that mostly has do with the constant villarato war and Tito health problem as well…and I think in the last game it was quite evident my reasons :
    Two clear penalties that not one of the players complained and a goal cancelled by a very very doubtfoul offside call with very mild disagreement on our part… I hope our captain can continue showing the way for a 1-2 games more till everybody gets their head together…
    I also think this is a good time for Pep to renew his contract it will lift our spirits…but I won’t blame him if he feels exausted as well…
    Visca BARCA!

  39. mega_tajh
    February 6, 2012

    We can kind of consider this our resting and healing season so to speak. Knowing the group of players we have if they fail to win anything again this season they will damn well give their hardest in the following one. After Inter knocked us out we took it on the chin to go on and win the Ucl the next year. Same with when we didnt make it far in the Cdr in 2010 they followed that up by making it to the 2011 final and now after losing said final they are trying to achieve repeat final apps. Our team when they do fail us makes it up one way or the other in bounties.

  40. ooga aga
    February 6, 2012

    de rossi with nice words for luis enrique:

    “There is a positive atmosphere in the club,” De Rossi said. “It’s a new beginning although I don’t forget the past. Although my love for Roma goes beyond coaches and executives, for me Luis Enrique’s arrival has been crucial.

    “He has re-ignited the spark that each player needs. He is the coach that has made me feel great in all of my life. I am in complete agreement with all of his decisions.”

    • Miguel
      February 6, 2012

      “He’s the wind beneath my wings.”

  41. Miguel
    February 6, 2012

    So where’s the review showering JdS with praise, calling him the new Guardiola/Xavi/dos Santos?

    • kinukinu
      February 6, 2012

      The mods are fatigued and need to rest 😛

      • Miguel
        February 6, 2012

        Taken from the “Good Day” Section of LLL:

        Barcelona
        Although Barça aren’t tonking sides like in the good old days, Pep’s Dream Boys will take any win they can with the team’s injury list getting longer by the hour. The Catalan club began Saturday’s 2-1 win over Real Sociedad without Gerard Piqué, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Pedro, David Villa and Alexis in the starting line-up either through injury or being a bit tired.
        The news got worse for Guardiola, with Sergio Busquets getting caught by a stud in the second half and feeling what it’s like to be genuinely injured for once in his life – the sensation was met with look of confusion and bewilderment.

        http://fourfourtwo.com/blogs/laligaloca/archive/2012/02/06/good-day-bad-day-busquets-new-experience-atl-233-tico-amp-valencia-die-ugly.aspx

        • Oil_Can
          February 6, 2012

          Those guys are usually funny, but that wasn’t funny at all 🙁

  42. 8Barca
    February 6, 2012

    Hi everyone…first time dropping a line in here but I have been a reader for over a year. I enjoy the users and site here. A few questions….

    Why is Messi training alone today? Just afraid if he has something going on. We know he needs rest

    I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to support this team the last 9 years. These years have been incredible and fulfilling. Although I live in VA area, I take pilgrimage once year to enjoy this team.

    • Laurentiu88
      February 6, 2012

      my guess is that when players train in the gym is a way of resting them; make them do the workout to maintain the necessary muscular tonus but no extra effort.

    • hansh
      February 6, 2012

      Welcome! I’m another newbie who has been reading for a while but only just started commenting. Let’s be friends 🙂

  43. Helge
    February 6, 2012

    Some people have already mentioned Bojan’s goal vs Inter, but did you also notice that Fabio Borrini, who scored twice, had his number on the jersey, but Bojan’s name on it?
    Seems like Bojan has found one real friend at Roma who supports him during a once again not so good season of him 🙂

  44. Judas Pissed
    February 6, 2012

    “If Madrid win all of their matches, we will obviously applaud and congratulate them for their great campaign. They will have deserved to win if that happens.” – Javier Mascherano.

    The difference in class between EE & Barca….

    • Ben
      February 6, 2012

      I actually watched this last week on Netflix. I thought it was fairly enjoyable and worth the time spent. I particularly liked their experience in the prison in Colombia(?).

    • Jnice
      February 6, 2012

      Love how happy she was to meet him. Really cool. Also love that they both spoke a bit of Engish.

      • nzm
        February 6, 2012

        Yeah – her reaction is awesome!

        I guess that Sawa knows quite a bit of English from her 5 years playing in the US, and Xavi is currently taking English lessons – probably from Cesc! 😀

        • mom4
          February 6, 2012

          With our present shortage of players we should have given her her own jersey and gotten her ready for Wednesday’s game.

          • Chiu
            February 6, 2012

            she’s not cute enough to distract Valencia players attention 🙂 jk/

    • Ryan
      February 6, 2012

      Sawa’s great 😀

      “Awesome! Thanks! Yamada-san, quick, take a picture!”

      Xavi is actually pretty well known over there, at least among soccer fans. I remember seeing giant posters of him in the convenience stores during WC2010.

    • kinukinu
      February 6, 2012

      That was cute but it bummed me out that Xavi kind of treated her like some random fan–she is a World Cup champion and female Balon D’Or winner–he could have shown a little more mutual respect

      • Jnice
        February 6, 2012

        I don’t think he did anything wrong. He looked happy to be taking the picture. He even wished her luck… don’t think he does that for random fans.

      • Chiu
        February 6, 2012

        Hahaha i think it’s Sawa that acting more like Xavi little girl fans instead of Ballon D’Or winner. Xavi look cool as usual 🙂

        btw, Sawa look pretty old there. How old is she? *not sarcasm*

        • Megster
          February 7, 2012

          Accdg from her wikifile, she’ll be 34 on September.

  45. Jafri
    February 6, 2012

    Barcelona named Laureus Sports Team of the Year 😀

    We beat out “NBA champions Dallas Mavericks, Formula 1 outfit Red Bull, Rugby World Cup winners New Zealand, England’s cricket team and the Japanese women’s national football side”

    Messi and Abi lost out in their categories though 🙁 – Djokovic won sportsman of the year and Darren Clarke got comeback of the year…

    • Chiu
      February 6, 2012

      too bad for Messi. But Djokovic also doing a great year in tennis. toppling Federer and Nadal at their peak from world no.1 is equal himalayan mountain to climb

  46. Chiu
    February 6, 2012

    Roberto Carlos (Anzhi): “If Barcelona would sell Messi, Anzhi would buy him. The fee wouldn’t be a prolem, money doesn’t matter.” [marca]

    from barcastuff tweet.

    • Chiu
      February 6, 2012

      Messi picture?? I thought it’s Caceres and it’s some old comic made while Gudjohnsen and Caceres were there LOL

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