The real liveblog, Barca v Osasuna

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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.

92 Comments

    • Boat Forever
      October 31, 2009

      Because we are still undefeated in the Liga

  1. October 31, 2009

    We’re first because we’ve got more points than anyone else. Draws are still worth 1 point, you know.

  2. Kxevin
    October 31, 2009

    First by one point, eklavya. Yes, it was Marquez again. He just had to boot the ball away. Instead, he tried to do lord knows what, and got caught. Then a scrambling Pique knocked it in.

  3. Jose35
    October 31, 2009

    Damn it. Damn it damn it damn it.

    Can’t believe that just happened.

    There was much wrong with our play today, but I still thought we would sneak away with it.

    Nope. Kevin’s review? There’ll be blood.

  4. jnelson
    October 31, 2009

    so…I’m not saying Marquez sucks or anything…or am I even critiquing his ability, but….I’m still wondering how many games (not Copa) is he going to come into and *coincidentally* we will concede. I’m surprised Busi did not allow a goal today. He’s kept his streak of games with a horrendous pass going.

    In the end, the game should have been ours, especially since OSA should have had a man sent off.

    • jordi
      October 31, 2009

      I just think 2 years is fairly long, we should give him 1+ the option for another.

  5. eklavya
    October 31, 2009

    So kevin you wanna let your good ‘ol buddies know the marquez rating? huh? why non, huh? come on huh?

  6. jordi
    October 31, 2009

    did anyone get past puyol on the right before rafa found himself there?

  7. Ciaran
    October 31, 2009

    Rafa Marquez for renewal everyone… Gimme some Caceres, or Henrique or Yaya

  8. eklavya
    October 31, 2009

    whoops i mean NOT, not NON
    you know…francais… 😀

  9. Kxevin
    October 31, 2009

    I’m so angry right now. I’m waiting for someone to tell me why we’re giving Marquez a contract, when all he does is kill the side this season? I know, I know. He’s coming back from injury, his dog just died, his car got stolen, etc, etc.

    That game was over. We needlessly dropped points because of a significant defensive error at the wrong time. Yes, Pique has some culpability as well, but that was 90% Marquez. It’s why I like the way Abidal plays, because he just puts his foot on the ball and hoofs it away. When I was screaming at Pique to boot it farther up the pitch rather than trying a long pass, that was what I meant. If he booms one as far as their keeper (in another what if scenario) the match is still over, and Marquez doesn’t get to fuck up.

    We’re still in first place, but dropping points on the last play of the match is not how championships are won.

    • October 31, 2009

      Actually before that play he was playing wonderfully. I thought he settled the backline down a TON and even commented verbally about it to my friend, who agreed. We were slicker, better, and smarter when he was on the field.

      He shut down several of their attacks with smart movement against the off-the-ball attacker. Then yeah, he blew that clearance to almighty hell and gone, that’s for sure. What was he thinking? But until that point, he was perfect. Seriously: perfect.

      Blame him for the goal, sure, but not for the general blah of the team throughout the day. Chygrynskiy was far worse and that he wasn’t scored on wasn’t because he was better than Marquez, but because he was luckier.

      • Phil
        October 31, 2009

        He was definitely an improvement over Chygrynskiy who was getting beat all first half. He seems to have lost a step since his injury. Not that he had a lot of pace to begin with, but he’s noticeably slower.

      • UAI
        October 31, 2009

        I’m with you on the general blah of the team.

    • Ciaran
      October 31, 2009

      Busquets could have NOT just fell over in midfield for that goal. Busquets normally falls over when he someone comes near him. It wrecks my head

  10. Phil
    October 31, 2009

    Not to take anything away from Osasuna, who played some really great defense, but the way the game ended is the way the game was played – with us beating ourselves. That goal was all Marquez. Pique may have knocked it in but Marquez doesn’t clear the ball out with less than a minute left in stoppage and gets beat. Normally I’d say he still needs to find his form but that was dumb football and with his experience he should know better.

  11. Kxevin
    October 31, 2009

    But truth be told, this was a team loss. Passing was off, and we had the wrong starting XI in there. My guess is that Guardiola decided that he wouldn’t mind losing points today, to ensure victory on Wednesday. That explains the lack of Yaya and Henry, in my opinion.

    Osasuna weren’t really after attacking, just keeping us from scoring. The draw is like they won the match for them. We just don’t understand that teams are playing their hearts out against us right now, and we can make their season by not crushing them. Xavi was off today, Iniesta was wandering about like a lost little boy, and Messi came and went as if he had a cloak of invisibility.

    Really, it shouldn’t have been down to Marquez.

    • Miguel
      October 31, 2009

      we shouldn’t have given marquez the opportunity to fuck it up? that’s funny :^D

    • UAI
      October 31, 2009

      I really doubt Pep thought it was ok to drop points, a team with league championship-winning ambitions can never get away with that mentality

  12. Boat Forever
    October 31, 2009

    Madrid didn’t go to Osasuna yet, right?

  13. Kxevin
    October 31, 2009

    No, Phil it was speTACularly dumb football. 😀

    • Phil
      October 31, 2009

      Won’t disagree that’s for sure XD

      I just try and keep my criticism of Marquez in check because I know I tend to have a grudge against him for the way he plays for Mexico against the US. In that situation though I’d almost prefer he played dirty like he does for Mexico. A red card outside the box with 30 seconds left? Ya sure I’d take it. Especially since it would mean he wouldn’t be playing next week.

      • Kxevin
        October 31, 2009

        True, Phil, but we never take fouls like that. I wish we would. Recall the Champions League tie in which Essien rumbled up the pitch to score the tying goal against us, when all somebody had to do was foul him. Unfortunately, we don’t do that.

        Nobody beat Puyol, btw. Marquez’ man just turned him inside out, and the one chance that Marquez had to clear the ball, he was indecisive, and that was that.

        • jordi
          October 31, 2009

          Rafa makes the fouls in the penalty box. i think he has it mixed up, let them pass in the dangerous areas, and take them down when they’re going now where in the box.

  14. Kxevin
    October 31, 2009

    Did anyone catch Puyol pounding the turf in rage after that goal went it?

    • October 31, 2009

      Missed that, but caught Ibra’s “Steve Holt” moment in the background after Keita scored.

      • JeffP
        October 31, 2009

        Thatta’ boy. Keep the AD references coming.

  15. Kxevin
    October 31, 2009

    Just watched it again. It was also lazy by Pique. All match long our defenders were just sticking a leg out. Bad things happen with deflections. Get your body in front of the ball, because you know that there’s only one angle that the attacker has. And why didn’t Valdes, who had it covered, call Pique off?

    So yes, it started with Marquez, but Pique also screwed up, big time.

    • Jose35
      October 31, 2009

      60/40 Marquez/Puyol. And there was ZERO Valdes could do.

      Now let’s wish the team all the best as they head to freezin’ Russia.

      • Kxevin
        October 31, 2009

        Not to stop it, Jose, but if he’d call Pique off, he punches the ball away and that’s that. As usual, goals are a team effort that hews to the adage, “Garbage in, garbage out.”

        And you mean “60/40 Marquez/Pique,” right?

        • Jose35
          October 31, 2009

          lol, yeah. But even then, it would have been hard for Valdes, seeing how quick OSA got the shot off, I don’t think he had the time to call him off.

  16. Jnice
    October 31, 2009

    I don’t care what anyone says, Marquez is trash. Slow feet, lazy feet, whatever. He sucks. This is the type of bullshit that reminds me of the 06/07 season. Giving away points at the end. Watch this come back and bite us in the fucking ass. Terrible.

    • Jnice
      October 31, 2009

      Fuck it, I’m not reading any Barça news until Wednesday.

    • Hilal
      October 31, 2009

      Marquez is indeed trash and this was definitely a poor 2 points to give away, but I dont think you can call this reminiscent of the 06/07 team. That team would have lost this game, and maybe by a hefty margin. Lets not understate the work that Osasuna did tonight cos they did work their asses off. I thought we reacted pretty well to their constant pressure and moved the ball as well as we could considering the state of the pitch. The 2nd half was pretty much all ours and we should have scored more goals, Messi in particular had 2 great chances. Ibra had a half chance and their keeper made some crucial saves. At the end of the day this is not a bad result; Osasuna is one of the toughest away games and I was expecting a draw tbh, its the nature of the result more than the result itself that really gets me….

      • eklavya
        October 31, 2009

        Oh come on, how many times are teams gonna play their hearts out to us? I think almost each one of them in the League.That’s no excuse! If the others catch up with you then you work harder.When are WE gonna play our hearts out? I don’t know, but we could start by not conceding some dumb goals.

  17. Hilal
    October 31, 2009

    Infuriating. Absolutely infuriating. I cannot believe we just gave away 2 points like that. Yet again Marquez is at the center of it. What the fuck was he thinking. When is Milito coming back? Cos i am getting really tired of conceding goals because of Marquez.

    I have to say Osasuna got pretty damn lucky tonight cos they should have had a man sent off and pique’s own goal was very unlucky. I guess thats just football.

  18. Kxevin
    October 31, 2009

    The other weird thing was that play sort of stopped when everyone thought that a foul was going to be called when Busquets came together with an Osasuna player, so you could see everyone sort of hesitate a little bit. Just a crummy play that I hope doesn’t typify the season.

    I have a match to go watch with my full attention. Later, everyone.

  19. Miguel
    October 31, 2009

    athletic just scored. lets all laugh at atletico de madrid instead of thinking about our own problems ;^)

  20. nic
    October 31, 2009

    guys,anyone khow why we pay 25 fucking M euro for chynasty guy? he is slooooowwwwwww as a turtule ,can not play in CL ,have no expreience in top level,and his long rang passing was not that good that was said ,while we had young players like caceres(who was really fast),henrique,fontas,botia,muniesa,… i know none of them are world class but 25 M,for this…i’m telling you now he is too slow to be a good central defender in a team like barca,he is more like CB for a bus parking team that CBs dont have to run around much.

    • Kxevin
      October 31, 2009

      But Nic, Txigrinski is just coming back from injury, and working his way into an unfamiliar side, and needs more confidence, which can only come from playing time.

      😀

      Note that those are the arguments that were used in defense of Krkic, in the wake of his being criticized after the Copa match. So I will use them again here. (Feel free to call me a smartass.)

      Yes, Txigrinski was shit today. But I wouldn’t have taken him off for Marquez, because the former fouls and picks up yellows. He doesn’t cost us goals.

      • eklavya
        October 31, 2009

        smaaartassss xD
        you asked for it 😀
        from now on no more no yaya is what im saying
        and messi shouldn’t missed that last chance he got, it would haved saved us 2 points….

      • nic
        October 31, 2009

        yeah,but he wasnt usian bolt before his injury either,i clearly remember how many times he was left behind kun aguero in ATM match.he is SLOW and thats a fact.period.
        i just hope that he dont turn out to be another hleb,caceres,whatever

  21. fcbfan
    October 31, 2009

    im so sad. only a win in Russia can cure this. damn!

    • Hilal
      October 31, 2009

      Well don’t hold ur breath with Marquez starting in Russia. Our forwards better all be on form cos I am pretty sure Marquez will cock something up and either directly or indirectly lead to us conceding.

      I want me some Henry back. Even though he wasnt scoring he brings a different dynamic to our attack. Iniesta, as good as he is, is not a winger. He is wasted playing on the LW. We need Henry back and WE NEED a good backup for him.

      • eklavya
        October 31, 2009

        Yeah Henry (when not playing shit) brings on instant attack when subbed in.

  22. Ramzi
    October 31, 2009

    First of all and before talking some Barcelona, Credit for Osasuna. This is the second team this season after Valencia who know how to stop Barca. Its not by parking a bus but by pressing defense and midfield to disturb ball fluidity and Offense build up. We drew because they played the right way, which lead us to play the wrong way.

    Now Barca:

    1) Using the Ukrainian with pique will not work. Too similar to complete, too slow to compete. It was better IMO to use Abidal as a CB and Maxwell on the left.

    2) Puyol once again proved that we have no problem on the right back, he is a great back up, Each option has his plus and minus. Again, there is no better player we can buy for this role.

    3) We better start to find a solution for the opponent pressing on our defense and midfield. In this game we tried few tricks like pulling Keita to the left so he pull his marker, with Iniesta sinking to the midfield to move the ball forward, dropping Busquets back between the two CBs and moving the fullbacks forward, etc… But it’s obvious that some training drills are needed to turn it to a strategy rather than being an alternative tactic.

    4) Messi is out of form and its hurting. We were so much focused on the left which maid us containable.

    5) I think it would have been better to substitute Busquets for Henry/Bojan/Pedro minute 60, keeping Keita-Iniesta-Xavi in the midfield rotating between holding mid position and AM/CM two seats. I think we would have broke the locks more smoothly. Pulling the Ukrainian out and getting Maxwell in and moving Abidal to center would have helped greatly as well.

    6) A draw is disappointing. But its not a disaster. This is the league story. Individually we had some good performers including Puyol, Abidal, Iniesta, Keita and Ibra. The problem was more a tactical issue, we have a challenge to deal with fregarding opponent pressing and what I like to call “High Marking” strategy. Its good we know it this early so we fix it and move forward toward the deciding segment of the season.

    • eklavya
      October 31, 2009

      “Using the Ukrainian with pique will not work. Too similar to complete, too slow to compete. It was better IMO to use Abidal as a CB and Maxwell on the left.”

      Its what I friggin’ said! I told ya so!!(feel free to call me a smartass too) I’m a genius wo-hooits like milito-puyol: too similiar.

      Seriously, it’s not the end of the world.But a draw sucks.Specially at the end.Big time.

      • eklavya
        October 31, 2009

        Too similar to complete, too slow to compete.
        And that’s pretty genius.How its written I mean.

    • messi_fan
      October 31, 2009

      I totally agree. Chygnasty is slow as hell and Messi hasn’t been the same since WCQ. The last couple of games he’s played, Messi has missed chances he normally buries. He just doesn’t look like he’s having fun out there.

      I think Guardiola has to take some blame for this “performance” as well. Didn’t like the subs he made or WHEN he made them.

      Some positives though. I’m happy for Keita and I liked the way we took our free kicks.

  23. nic
    October 31, 2009

    believe it or not,it could have been a difrent result if YAYA played instead of bisquits,with YAYA in midfield there’s a sense of safty in the backline,he is always there to help the defence to pull out the ball from dangrous areas ,he pull the team up on the pitch

    • eklavya
      October 31, 2009

      Yeah I belive you. Yaya doesn’t let shit go threw…to bad we don’t play sort of different formations

      • Ramzi
        October 31, 2009

        Which leads me to ask: Is it obvious now why Mascherano was a priority for me. A quality DM, the missing piece of the midfield puzzle. Depth and quality that offer tactical versatility.

        • eklavya
          October 31, 2009

          Hmmm, I’m starting to get what you mean now Ramzi, although I with that means less time for Yaya orIniesta or Keita.And howz Keita playing now we can’t take him off.Yaya is needed. So no Iniesta…
          But I get what you mean, we need a quality DM for TACTICALL reasons.

  24. eklavya
    October 31, 2009

    Damn, tying a match makes my spelling go all fuzzy.

  25. jordi
    October 31, 2009

    abidal makes mistakes when hes at CB though

    • eklavya
      October 31, 2009

      yeah he does…atleast for france

  26. UAI
    October 31, 2009

    -Messi looks so lethargic and even uninterested at times (I know he’s not , but that’s what it looks like). I hope his run of bad form ends soon.

    -Is it just me or did it look like Xavi was restricted to the right side more than he should be?

    -I felt there was a lot of space to be exploited in Osasuna’s half, and it just wasn’t used

    -Even when Ibrahimovic doesn’t score, he has quite the influence and dominant performance, he’s doing great so far

    • UAI
      October 31, 2009

      Also, MEssi’s refusal to pass to a clearly open man in a goalscoring position is usually made up for with the crazy stunts he pulls to either score in that same instance under harder conditions himself, or with 2 or 3 other goals that he pulls out of his hat with magic later in the game. This time, his refusal to pass/lob it to a clearly open Ibrahimovic really cost us

      • messi_fan
        October 31, 2009

        I dunno, I didn’t really see that this match. What I did see was Ibra being offsides too much for my liking. Ibra was excellent otherwise but he needs to delay his runs a fraction of a second.

        • jordi
          October 31, 2009

          A lot of times hes incorrectly judged offside TBH, the linesmen seem like they notice him just because hes giant sized.

          • eklavya
            October 31, 2009

            Both are true.
            Ibrahimovich does geg caught offside lots of times but he’s so easy to get caught too.

  27. PM
    October 31, 2009

    I just don’t know how we can control the midfield like last year unless Xavi and Iniesta play together in the middle. If everyone is available we should put Xavi-Iniesta-YAYA in the middle. This was our formula for midfield domination. May be we need to go back to that. Then again with his hot streak Keita demands a spot 🙁

    And, Puyol is not the right back that improves Messi’s performance. If Alves were present he would score a goal tonight with all the space and chances that Puyol got. Our right side looks trash even if world’s best footballer is occupying that side. We used to torment others from that side *sigh*

    I understand that Busquets needs to play because of ACN. But why is he playing 90 minutes every week? He should get 20/30 minutes only if we are cruising to victory.
    It’s time to bring in Muniesa and others. That kid didn’t think twice to get a red card for the team in his first match unlike some clumsy Marquez.

  28. eklavya
    October 31, 2009

    Why did I ever go off to eat? 🙁
    Oh well, are we crisis mode again? 😀
    Anyone wanna predict a 6-1 whooping againt Kazan?

    • PM
      October 31, 2009

      Once Albiol got sent off I started hoping for 6 point lead by this round. Getafe loosers made it 3. At the end I’m bitching here with only 1 point lead. Talk about sucking life man 🙁
      Anything less than 6-1 isn’t going to soothe my soul.

        • PM
          October 31, 2009

          Remember Bayern, Lyon, Madrid 🙂
          If we are in full swing we can run riots irrespective of the opponents 😀
          It’s not that I mind winning 1-0 or 2-1. But that killer instinct is what made us champions last time. Imagine goal scoring Henry is back. We have a new scorer in Keita. Two bus breakers- Keita and Ibra. All the worlds best technical palyers are in the team.
          What the hell we can’t achieve this season again?

          • PM
            October 31, 2009

            Our attackers are still scoring enough goals to win matches.
            Theoretically, all we need is stability in defense. But we don’t have that now for one Alves injury. Hard to believe 🙁

  29. jordi
    October 31, 2009

    We really should consider renewing Rafa.We might end up like milan with a lot of old aged pensioners.The good thing is we already have great youth prospects waiting, so we should perhaps clear some space.If we renew id really like to know what his salary would be.

  30. fcbfan
    October 31, 2009

    I know Pep wants to groom Busquets, but doesn’t mean he has to start him every freaking game, especially not Osasuna. At least, put Yaya the last half hour cause I don’t trust Busi to protect a lead, not with both Marquez and Chygrynskiy on the field the way they are playing at this point. still on the whole, it was a team lost.

  31. fcbfan
    October 31, 2009

    well we didn’t lose, but feels like it the way we conceded.

    • jordi
      October 31, 2009

      I guess this is how Chlski fans felt . but worse.

      • PM
        October 31, 2009

        They didn’t really deserve that one playing like a bunch of cowards.
        But today from 2nd half this match was in our pocket. I wonder how EPL teams defend their one goal advantage for long stretches of time. I hate to say this but our defenders need to learn some of those techniques.

        • UAI
          October 31, 2009

          Arsenal needs to learn those techniques too

  32. PM
    October 31, 2009

    Someone please tell me that today’s draw is lot different from last Rijkard season.
    There were Ronaldinho, worlds best player, not performing well.
    Now messi, not performing well.
    Giving up lead at the last minutes.
    When Madrid does well we do bad.

    • Jose35
      October 31, 2009

      For the love of God, why do people bring up Rijkard every time we draw/lose? No offense.

      • PM
        October 31, 2009

        Have nightmares from that time. Pops up sometimes 🙂
        I know it is overreaction. But I had to let it out 😀

  33. Jim
    October 31, 2009

    I don’t think there is anything major wrong with the side just now – just a few little things that are adding up to dropped points which although not good aren’t the end of the world. The main thing is to sort them out.

    Up front there’s no doubt we’re missing something but is it down to the forwards or to the lack of both Iniesta and Xavi doing the prompting and subtle balls behind the defence? Ibra is giving us something extra but he’s not the mover Eto’o was. Eto’o up front today and no way the Ossasuna defender brings him down – he’s through on goal. Mind you, I’ve seen Eto’o miss those ! Messi isn’t managing to find Ibra much although that may come.
    I don’t think we can do without Iniesta in midfield. Xavi is the lesser for not having the quick and subtle interplay with Iniesta. If that means leaving out Keita so be it – even although I’m enjoying his play much more this year. I’m not going to contemplate leaving out a fully fit iniesta. His performances in the CL semi and final showed how much we rely on him for the fluency.

    However, the main problem for me is clear – we have no pace whatsoever in our central defence. For me Marquez was a big improvement on Chygrynskiy but there’s no way I’m defending his efforts for the goal. He was beaten too easily. End of. Even after that though the cross was there to be cleared and Pique who I thought had a pretty good game again fluffed it. Abidal, who i agree (for once ! ) had a good game largely because of his safe passing isn’t an answer at CB because his positioning skills aren’t very good. He’s also far too easily beaten one on one. He was fortunate he didn’t cost us the first goal early in the game when he played the CF onside while looking across the whole line. Wrong decision luckily by the ref.

    Final thought on Chygrynskiy. Twice he caused problems because of his inability to tackle with his left leg. He needs to learn that or start a card school on the bench as he’ll be spending a lot of time there.

    Worrying note. On Sky we got a good view of Puyol just before the goal holding the back of his leg round about the top of his hamstring. Not good to see. It’d be interesting Kevin if you have the game on tape to see where Puyol was at the goal. My immediate thought was that Pep needed to get him off and quickly as he was hobbling about. Was he moved into the centre to save his leg and if so who was moved out to RB ?

  34. SoccerMom
    October 31, 2009

    Tough little team.
    Intense home crowd.
    Edgy.
    Dani, Henry out.
    People working hard. Ibra. Iniesta. Keita. Puyol (ow). Messi too.
    Good movement. Quick passes. On target. Off-key finishes and good saves too. Some dumbdumbs by Chiggie. Biscuits. Marquez beat, o.k.
    It’s what’s happenin’. Oooh, it’s what’s goin’ on …
    Seasons aren’t points lost two then three. They are steady add ons. Point here. Point there. Three here. None there. That’s five.
    Championships are built up every year from camp zero. Not chipped away little by little with every tie and stumble.
    It’s good. Have heart.

  35. PM
    October 31, 2009

    If the boss is happy we should be happy too 😀

    *http://goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2009/10/31/1596385/barcelona-boss-guardiola-happy-despite-osasuna-draw

  36. xinx
    October 31, 2009

    Marquez is very popular in Mexico & U.S. I guess these places are Barca’s first marketing target now (you know, our members are increasing in Sweden this year). I appreciate it if the club have a good management vision though.

    Our problem was the defenders, especially Chygrinsky who couldn’t feed the ball to the midfield in this match. The yellow card for Chyg gave Pep the reason to bring him out and he brought in Marquez who at least can feed. But, well… it didn’t work well in the end.

    Maxwell played good in the last match. While Puyol isn’t a good attacking option out of our defense, We could have used him on left back.

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