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Leverkeusen – Barcelona Second Leg Liveblog

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Barcelona comes into this match with a commanding 3-1 away win. This is not time to get complacent though, as Milan reminded us by almost throwing away an insurmountable lead yesterday. The year of injuries continues, with Abidal, Fontas, Puyol, Thiago, Afellay, Sanchez, and Villa all sidelined. Bartra, Muniesa, Montoya, Sergi, Dos Santos, and Tello have been drafted to replace them, but Montoya and Dos Santos will watch from the stands.

Starting XI: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Messi, Pedro

Bench: Pinto, Muniesa, Bartra, Keita, Sergi, Cuenca, Tello

 

The match starts at 2:45 EST.

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124 Responses to “Leverkeusen – Barcelona Second Leg Liveblog”

  1. Alex says:

    I am stuck at work and would like to watch, does anyone know of a dedicated GOOD live stream where I don’t have to worry about it cutting out?

  2. ciaran says:

    What ever happened to Pedro being the second best finisher in the squad except for Messi?
    His finishing this season has been diabolical and he has never had a good first touch. It is worrying.

  3. mega_tajh says:

    I’m personally happy Pedro got a full 90mins.

    I was watching our 2-2 Milan draw earlier today and he was his usual self that game…then BOOM he got injured and here he is now.

  4. mega_tajh says:

    o_O Rested Messi?

  5. Kxevin says:

    As I noted on Twitter, Messi is fine playing all the time. Doesn’t need rest at all. Nope. A personal manita? We have the best player in the world, but every player needs rest. It can only help. The emergence of Tello is also well timed.

    • ciaran says:

      Tello is the perfect super-sub. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t be a starter but coming on for the second half with tiring defenders he is an incredibly effective weapon

  6. simple_barcafan says:

    hahaha..look what happens when we rest Messi..

  7. Hilal says:

    5 goals Messi, really? 5 goals? I suppose that is what happens when you rest the guy for a week.

  8. Gogah says:

    Is it possible to say Messi is underrated?
    His seeming ability to score at will just leaves me laughing.
    Dribbling past entire teams only to send the ball and a couple defenders into the net has become common place, do we sometimes take him for granted?
    Tello could have had the hat trick if only he didnt shoot at that far post all the time.
    INSANE DISPLAY

  9. mom4 says:

    So now teams who have to play against Messi after a suspension will cringe in terror and curse the team against whom he got that final card.

    Is there a name for getting 5 in one game?

  10. barcelunya says:

    Absolutely love how during the last game, my commentator was repeating the phrase “No Messi? NO PROBLEM!!!” and yet today he explodes onto field today to score his own manita. This just shows that though Messi is the best player in the world, this Barcelona is harmonious because it is a team, not an individual. Superb match tonight!

  11. VermontAve says:

    So Kxevin, is Messi getting a 7 for this game? :)

    • G6O says:

      I guess he’ll get a 9.

      • Kxevin says:

        Actually, I won’t be doing the review, though I can say that I won’t miss being jumped for not affirming personal expectations. Not sure who will be doing it, if anyone, pursuant to the new direction of BFB.

        • Messiah10 says:

          C’MON!!! Please do a review! I’m dying to hear your reflections on the game and Messi’s perfomance. Tello was exceptional, again! Man, it makes me sad to see Pedro struggling so much. His 1st touch is just awful. :( A lot of Cules tend to forget his last to seasons. Graham Hunter put it best and I agree whole heartedly. Give the lad a chance. Hopefully, he regains his form. Although, w/Tello, Cuence stepping up, & Affelay returning, I don’t know how he’ll get minutes. I’d have to say everyone on the pitch for FCB gets at least a 7 except for Pique. He was poor, again. I seriously hope he regains his form quickly because unlike Pedro, we don’t have to many players to fill his position. Mach is def starter and has been for while, but what if the unthinkable happens and he’s injured for a period of time? Then what. Obviously, Pique would play but I’d be watching all counter attacks on the edge of my seat and biting my nails. BRAVO MESSI. He’s simply the BEST! That deft RIGHT footed lob into the corner of the left side net was simply irrefutable proof he is unrivaled. “No right foot” – bollocks

        • Jafri says:

          Kxevin – ratings from you at least if not a whole review!

  12. Eklavya says:

    Me55i. (Had to do it.)

  13. K_legit in Oz says:

    Penalties in Cyprus between APOEL and Lyon

  14. K_legit in Oz says:

    Messi has 48 goals this season already! He had 53 the whole of last season..HOLY FUCK :O :O

    • G6O says:

      And he still has at least 16 games, at most 19 to score more.

      Prior to this game, the question was is he going to get 60 this season, I guess we have to raise the target to 65 :)

  15. TITO says:

    Was wondering what did the Aspirin team took after the match.

  16. mom4 says:

    Apoel v Lyon wow!

  17. K_legit in Oz says:

    APOEL win 4-3 on penalties…great display by Chiotis..saved two and almost saved a 3rd
    What a Fairytale that is!

    • cuqui says:

      Today is just another reminder of how compelling sports can be. First Leo potting five, than APOEL winning on penalties. Paraphrasing Ray Ray, there’s going to be some sweet loving going on in Nicosia tonight.

  18. ooga aga says:

    man, apoel nicosia…great job…lets reward you with a dream date with barcelona. some wine, dinner…and then bed.

  19. Kxevin says:

    I confess to not knowing how the draw will shake out. Who’s our next opponent?

  20. nzm says:

    And in other news – Podolski is joining Arsenal! :D

    • Kxevin says:

      I confess to not understanding that one. The price is right, but it’s another bewildering Wenger move.

      • nzm says:

        I guess that he feels that he needs a Nasri/Arshavin replacement, but I don’t understand why Arshavin is out on loan to Zenit in the first place.

        Maybe Mertesacker needs a compatriot to play with. :)

        • K_legit in Oz says:

          Lu Lu Lu
          Lukas Podolski

          Arsenal will have to request the FA to let him play with a German jersey on..maybe then he’ll score ;)

        • Roberto Senyera says:

          Arshavin is probably done at Arsenal. That’s too bad as I love the little Russian meerkat. I bet he begged Arsene to loan him out in order to get regular playing time in order to prepare himself for the upcoming Euros this summer.

          Also, I think Podolski is a proactive move on Wenger’s part as a replacement for RvP. As RvP is entering the last year of his contract, I don’t think Arsenal can retain his services and he will be off this summer (much like Nasri left last summer). I think RvP will end up at either ManC, the LWBs, or us (I prefer him over Cavani and he already has a good working relationship with Fab4).

      • simple_barcafan says:

        he is pretty good for that price…Young too..Two things which Wenger looks for..

  21. culegirl3 says:

    http://www.as.com/futbol/articulo/espana-serbia-26-m/20120307dasdasftb_58/Tes

    It’s going to be interesting to see Spain play without its CORE players :-)

  22. cuqui says:

    Pep rocks.

    @barcastuff: Guardiola: “Messi is among the greatest. Di Stefano, Cruyff, Maradona… And I add Pele, otherwise he’ll be angry.”

  23. Dave says:

    Clever press conference from Pep. I suspect there’s more to this quote than merely praising Busi (courtesy of Barcastuff)’Busquets is still the same as when he played in 3rd division. Didn’t buy a new car, didn’t get a tattoo, has the same friends.” Cough* Pique * Dig

  24. culegirl3 says:

    If this doesn’t make Pep renew ASAP then I don’t know what will!
    http://youtu.be/J3BWGovFxts

    This is worth watching just because its cute and clever.

  25. Para says:

    Watching the Messi documentary on ITV-player, and a minute in they ask Arsene Wenger who the best player in the world is, and he says, “Lionel Messi” and smirks, and it is absolutely *delightful.*

    Will possibly comment on the rest of the documentary when I’ve actually watched it.

  26. blitzen says:

    Tomorrow’s SPORT headline “La Manita de Dios”. Perfect. :D

    • Ryan says:

      It works on so many levels! Especially if you consider that the major reason Messi had 5 (five!) yellow cards, and thus rested, was that he used his hands. :lol:

  27. Helge says:

    For me, this was not even our best performance, nor Messi’s.

    Quite suicidal tactics from Leverkusen, although I like their attitude.
    Dutt said after the match ‘At half-time, we could have decided to sit deep with eleven man and defend the 2-0. But we decided to go out and try to play some football, score a goal’
    But they fell apart and it didn’t need much genius to outscore them so evidently.

    Honestly, this was a 8.5 match from Messi :)

    • barca96 says:

      Honestly, this was a 8.5 match from Messi

      Are you mad man?! He didn’t pressure not track back! So 7 it is!!

      *sarcasm* aimed at Kxevin.
      I hope Kxevin takes jokes well.

  28. lyd says:

    A solo manita!
    and a super quick manita in 20 mins (42min-62min)!

    A manita within a manita! (can be inception 2′s probable plot)

  29. hansh says:

    Forgive me for a second here guys. I haven’t even seen the second half of the game yet but…

    HOLY CRAP WHAT IS THIS WE HAVE A PLAYER WHO CAN SCORE A MANITA. ON HIS OWN. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. THIS IS INSANE.

  30. yelèna says:

    Messinita!
    Fēicháng awesome.

  31. messifan says:

    So fortunate to watch him play every week.

    Also, check out this insightful article written by Sam Fayyaz on Messi, Maradona, Total Football/Argentine styles.

    http://theclassical.org/articles/in-bed-with-messi

  32. barca96 says:

    “Messi is among the greatest. Di Stefano, Cruyff, Maradona… And I add Pele, otherwise he’ll be angry.”

    Oh snap!! You know what that means. Pep’s gonna receive DVD’s from Pele soon.

  33. barca96 says:

    I wonder what Ronaldo must be thinking now.

    Beat him for the pinchichi- Check
    Beat him to La Liga- Check
    Getting the occassional world’s best player praises when scoring hattricks- Check
    Equal him for 4 goals in a match – check
    Equal him for 5 goals in a match – Need more penalties!!

    • Chiu says:

      - Beating him to La Liga is still possiblity. Not materialise, yet :)

      - Occasional world best players? I think only EE and Portuguese fans that agree with that. It’s a global concensus, even from fellow proffesionals that Messi is currently the best player in the world. See the shower of praises from fellow footballers in the twitter. :) Maybe CR7 should content with the 2nd best at the most, meanwhile.

      • Helge says:

        I think that’s true.

        I’ve never heard a Sky commentator or pundit say that CR is the best or amongst the best of all time.
        Madridistas and Portuguese are the only sort of people who might think so (although some players, like Deco for instance, also stated that Messi is above the rest right now).
        Also, this has not been the first time that Rooney, Ferdinand, Wilkshere etc. tweet something about the genius of Messi after a stellar performance of his. Never read them tweet about CR either ^^

        Anybody remembers the match(es) when CR scored 4 goals? Was a penalty among them?

  34. G6O says:

    Off-topics, but another player did some amazing things today:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2btgPymqNA

    • Chiu says:

      The second goal is great. I am not sure if Neymar playing style and attitude would fit seamlessly with Barca. But I also don’t want to see him in EE. Maybe billionaire from EPL like City and Chelsea could get him

      • G6O says:

        If this season has shown anything, it is that we do need another player that can do such things on the right wing, whether it is Neymar or somebody else. Tell and Cuenca are not going to be that player, they are great subs but I don’t think they have the all-around game to take the burden off Messi. Alexis Sanchez is a great player and has played well but he is not going to be a player you can build a team around either. Deulofeu has a lot of potential but so far has not convinced in his appearances for the first team. Villa will recover from hisi njury but he will be 32 next seasons and playing on the wing for us is one of the most demanding things in all of football. So we need another such player in case we have the same bad luck with injuries as this year, or even worse, Messi gets injured (knock on wood).

        When Mourinho leaves EE, they will experience a decline, and hopefully this happens this summer, but it will still be a league in which every game counts.

        • culegirl3 says:

          Word on the street is IF EE wins a trophy(particularly La Liga), Mou will consider leaving since he will have achieved 1/2 of his goal(win the league title of every country he’s coached in).

        • swamidigital says:

          I disagree with you, I think Alexis and Tello are great complimenting players with Messi on the wings and will be a great combo going forward for a number of years.

        • Ryan says:

          Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Villa will be 31 next season, not 32. And crazy pace was never part of his game, so I think he can still bang in the goals for us while the young strikers gain experience. I think we’ll be well served with the forward lineup, especially when you consider that Ibi will be back. We might actually have too many, considering how Cuenca and Tello are doing!

  35. Sam M says:

    Just released footage of Messi celebrating his five-goal orgy doing karaoke to “My Sharona” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ded4MZVVAhE

  36. Oil_Can says:

    So since our Liga chances are “over” is this where we rest Messi every second liga game and let him play with his legos all during the week?

    what are the chances Pique will score 5 goals when he returns?

  37. Chiu says:

    Some things:

    - Pep should begin to rest Messi whenever we lead comfortably. Force him for the sake of the team! The rested Messi is phenomenal.. We’re lucky seeing the first personal manita in CL history.

    - Tello; a CL debut, two goals and unlucky to not bag hattrick. The faith on the youngsters from Pep is unquestionable. He keeps sending the signal of optimism for Barca B down to Cadet players that they have hope if they can shine through the Barca ladders.

    - Nobody from Leverkusen swapping shirt with Messi. I think the club instructs it specifically for not childishly fighting for Messi shirt, lol. Somebody kid must be crying now asking his dad promise to bring home Messi shirt.

  38. K_legit in Oz says:

    Tello!!!
    The penya presi here and me have a bet going on who will have a bigger impact in the coming seasons..he votes for Thiago, me for Tello..either way we both win :D

  39. Saw on the Soccernet forums and found it funny

    Messi saw, Messi conquered, Ray Hudson came

  40. Chiu says:

    Robin Dutt: ” I congratulated Guardiola and told him that I’m sure his team will be in the Champions League final this year again.”

    Amen :)

    • K_legit in Oz says:

      So proud of Robin Dutt..a man of Indian origin making his mark on international football..granted he is German but he has some roots in India too :D

  41. Peterj says:

    Visca barca

  42. hammeronmessi says:

    To play in this Barca side, the entry requirement is a very high level of technical ability (beyond all but 3 or 4 EPL players – Silva, Aguero, Tevez and RVP), but to remain in that company requires a Cristiano like self belief (but with brains).

    a comment from guardian,which i think is what required to play as a forward alongside messi.

    and can anybody please give a link of peps reaction after messis 5th

  43. Gogah says:

    so we’ve scored 7, 8 and 9 goals in a single match this season.
    only 6 and 10 missing. :D

  44. Kxevin says:

    For the second consecutive match, Adriano played and didn’t get injured. I don’t want to jinx the trend, but I like it.

  45. simple_barcafan says:

    lol…it seems no one exchanged shirts with Messi.. club orders after the first leg i think .. :)

  46. Chiu says:

    Anyone have update when Puyol and Abi will return? If they still injured this weekend, we have no partner for Mascherano in CB.

    I can’t imagine if Busi is forced to play CB again.

  47. So Messi has 228 goals in 311 appearances for Barcelona right now. Considering around a 100 of those were when he was either sporadically making apps from the youth team or not yet the star and only scoring around 15 goals a season, the rate being so high even with that skew is insane. 186 goals (and 73 assists) in 201 games since Pep became coach.

    48 goals this season in 42 games, almost 20 possible games left. 65 goal season maybe?

    (Ronaldo has 38 goals and Van Persie has 32 goals and 11 assists, both also ridiculous numbers for a season that is still nowhere near completion)

  48. Laurentiu88 says:

    I was reading that at the beginning of the season there was an interest from EE and Villareal in signing Tello. Some quote DV as telling him ‘why stay here? they trow you out and now you want to carry Messi’s boots?’

    (He was smart to stay in the team with fragile players :)
    I would hate seeing one of Barca’s products develop at EE.

  49. Jafri says:

    Saw this on totalbarca:

    A journalist asks CR if it’s possible for him to score five times in a game. Cr replies; “I’m not sure. It’s pretty difficult for a referee to point to the penalty spot five times in a game.”

    :D

  50. Helge says:

    Just watched the ITV 4 Messi special. When was it aired orginially? Don’t tell me after his manita, that would be divine prevision :)

    But why oh why, José Pekerman, did you not play Lio Messi in the match against Germany, WC ’06 ? :(
    That was the last time that Argentina actually had a team that was capable of winning the trophy.

    • Goo says:

      I think it was aired after Leo’s manita de dios. He probably scored 5 just to make sure there was no doubt as to who the show was going to be about. :)

  51. anario says:

    Hey guys, Leo Messi warned Bayer Leverkusen years ago :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDpsGjWybBU

  52. yes12345 says:

    http://goal100.com – Watch all goals from Barcelona – Leverkusen in HD!

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