Chelsea 1, Barca 0, aka “We all gon’ die!”


There’s always two ways of looking at something, and today’s match was no exception. Your worldview depends on who you believe, in that proverbial “shoe on the other foot” business. And before we get to trying on some kicks to see how they fit, let’s look at the things that we know about today’s defeat:

–We were the superior team in every statistical category except goals, that most important one
–Guardiola started Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Sanchez and Fabregas
–It was chilly and raining in London
–This is the first of two legs

Now, it’s Speculation Time, where we look at some of the myths being propagated about this match, and its outcome:

Oh Lawd, we gon’ die!

Well, to be sure, humans have a finite lifespan, until science takes care of that as well. But for now …. well, yes. But are we going to die if our team loses? Well, a little bit of hope will die, and some brain cells as some depressed cules drown their sorrows in libation, but we won’t. And here’s something else: This is just the first leg of a two-legged tie, one in which, despite what the Brit-centric Britpress will tell you, Chelsea is lucky to still be in. Arsenal thought they were in good shape when they beat us. So did Milan. In both cases, they rolled into the Camp and took a right stout hiding. So, the Germans have bombed Pearl Harbor. Now we get to re-arm the SS Midget, and get in some Blue ass.

The tie is over

1-0 is actually a pretty darned good result for a team in our situation. They didn’t manage a shot on goal the entire second half. At home. And it wasn’t from lack of intent. We dominated that match, and were it not for better finishing, which we will have at home, this tie would already be over. Consider today’s match our gift to UEFA. Had we finished the way that we were supposed to and could have, there’d be no reason to watch next week now, would there? The tie is over when the scoreboard says it is. And that means it ain’t over til WE say it’s over.

Guardiola got the selection wrong

Did he really? As Euler noted, the inclusion of Fabregas meant that of necessity, the team would be consigning itself to playing in the straight and narrow, right into the teeth of the Chelsea defense. Even at that, we kept the ball pretty much forever, and ginned up some spectacular scoring chances that required Petr Cech to have a blinder of a match, and for us to boot the ball around in a way not seen since, oh, Villarreal or something. That is to say, not all that long ago. Away form has been a complexity this season.

Guardiola’s selection was conservative, rooted in not wanting to lose the tie in the first, away leg. Yes, he would have loved an away goal or two, but 1-0 is a very good result to take back to your place. If you can’t beat a team at home, you don’t deserve to progress. Simple as that.

People will say “I would have started Cuenca/Thiago/Keita/Jesus,” and they probably would have. But Pep Guardiola is the coach of FC Barcelona, and he kinda knows what he’s doing, just a little bit. Had you asked him in full honesty to lay out some negative scorelines that he’d be okay with heading home to play the deciding leg, Guardiola would say 0-0 or 1-0. Because both are easily overcome.

Chelsea have the upper hand

Does anyone really think that any of those players believe they have the upper hand? Professional athletes aren’t delusional. They understand that it was only sloppiness in front of goal that didn’t make the scoreline 1-3 or 4. They understand that they got lucky, and will be hoping to get lucky again. But ask yourself, when was the last time a team kept Messi down both legs of a two-legged tie.

The team played poorly

Puh-leeze. It played well enough to generate scoring chances against a top-class side that was defending with at least 8, generated more chances late in the match with some well-thoght-out substitutions, and hit the post late, then had Busquets smack the ball over an open net. The team finished poorly, but it in no way, shape or form played poorly.

And now for belief

For this cule, it is a measure of this club’s spectacular success that a 1-0 loss in a two-legged tie that we absolutely dominated the first leg of, means gloom and doom. It means damn, we’re good, that setbacks are so rare that people don’t know what to do. So they panic and think that all is lost. But know this: even if Chelsea play with 10 behind the ball, we are going to score at home, and more than once. Mark it down.

Belief is crucial. Did we go home with away goals in our pockets from Arsenal and Milan? Yep. But we still had to win at home, just as we do now. Does their goal complicate things? Not really. It rules out winning the tie with a 1-0 scoreline, as that would just get us extra time. But this club excels when pressure is at its highest.

At 10 points down in La Liga to our most hated rivals, people said “That’s it. Give them the trophy.” Now, if we win on Saturday, the gap will be 1 point. One lousy, stinking point. Pretty amazing, from a team that will not say die until the stake is in its heart. And I don’t believe that Chelsea is good enough to put it there. That everybody is lining up, talking about their successful game plan makes me giggle, mostly because it didn’t work. “Um, guys, here it is. Rely on them to finish poorly, scare up a solid counterattack, nick a goal and call it a night.” That’s not a plan, that’s a wish, and wishes were granted today.

Belief is a weird thing, because it requires a track record. A kid doesn’t touch a hot stove because he believes the admonitions of his mother. Nope. Let’s just see about this. Belief in this club has been earned by dint of its remarkable track record. 13 of 16 trophies since Pep Guardiola took the reins. Are you kidding me? If that doesn’t inspire belief, I have no idea what will.

This team wins big matches. And we have two of them coming up, one on Saturday, the other on Tuesday. There’s a lot of stuff that I don’t believe in. I don’t believe that fans’ collective positive thoughts can do a damn to help a team win. I do, however, believe that they can make a fan feel so much better, as a placebo-based opiate. Only in our case it isn’t a placebo, is it? It’s 13 of 16 doses of faith and belief, each one making us say “Aaaaaahhh!”

I don’t really have a match to discuss, because we know what happened, and how it happened. We know that we didn’t convert our chances. But we also know that we have one more match coming up against this club, a match that is coming after a loss to that same club, a match that tests our belief in this club.

And for me, that belief is absolute, as clear as the point your mother is making just after you get a spanking. Because nothing crystallizes belief and focus like adversity. We have faced a little bit of it. Now we get to make it all right.

See you all next week.

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Written by:

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


  1. (Originally posted on the previous post but I did my anti-Hector check before clicking submit and saw there was a new post so I’m just posting it here so it won’t get lost):

    God you people are waaaaaaaaaay overreacting.

    Okay. This Chelsea are nowhere near as good as Inter 2010. The following trajectories of them (imploding- but future implosion does not make results a fluke, note: Barca 2006 and Ronaldinho to depressing 2007 and abject 2008) and Barca have enormously underrated the fact that as I said even before Inter’s R16 match with Chelsea and before the semi-final that they were an amazing side. Defensively yes, not actually as good as Barcelona but considering that Barcelona are arguably the greatest side to ever play pretty much nobody is- but a very very good side, player for player on their form at the time the best side we have played against in the UCL under Pep. They were treble winners, dispatched Bayern without breaking a sweat, and even before the semi everyone said the winner of Inter/Barca in the semis would definitely hands-down win the whole thing.

    The comparisons with a much inferior Chelsea side that hasn’t had this motivation for a single game in three years and still got massively dominated, in a very very one-sided game, and won out of the one real chance they had and us having poor finishing despite creating a lot of chances, playing what my commentators and post-match pundits- not Barca fans at all and not colored by either emotions or any compensating for the thought of being colored by emotions- called ‘a game where Barcelona never really seemed to get out of second gear’ and noted that Barcelona ‘seemed to not be playing at their full intensity, the intensity with which they usually play’.

    Do you people not remember the fact that whenever this team needs to step up it does? We went behind at the Bernabeu and came back to win 6-2, we were trailing at Chelsea and scored in injury time, and then the single moment post which I have never worried- with almost five minutes left in the Club World Cup trailing 1-0 we still won. We lost 3-1 in the Supercopa and won 4-0 in the return leg, we conceded on 30 seconds to Real Madrid and won 3-1.

    Against Inter we were playing without Iniesta. WITHOUT INIESTA. The second best player in the world. And with essentially a completely static centre-forward who was arguably not at full fitness but either way covered less distance than Valdes did and was almost a non-entity. The team came out fired up and won 1-0, even with an insane save by Cesar, a disallowed goal, and the fact that Inter had what was widely regarded then as the four single best defenders at the time in each slot on form- Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Zanetti and Cambiasso at their peak, and coached by Mourinho at that.

    That’s a result which would be enough for us to not get knocked out and reset back, achieved by a Barcelona side in much poorer shape at the time than we are now, against an Inter side that comparing to the current Chelsea would be flat-out churlish. Especially that defense with this one. We utterly dominated this game. The team has funk days occasionally, this was one of them. They do not happen to this Barca side twice in a row almost ever.

    This is a team that is by now known even among non-Barca supporters as playing like they’ve been possessed whenever they absolutely need a result. Fans of many other clubs, especially United and Arsenal, have said so. We all know so. They get their game face on and calmly strangle the life out of the game or dazzle with sheer brilliance. They have always done that. If anything coming into a game complacent seems to be the undoing of the side- we went to Stamford Bridge confident and widely backed with the tie at 0-0 having thrashed Real 6-2 days back- this team has always played like madmen whenever we’re behind, like they take it as a personal insult. We know this, we’ve seen it over and over the past four years.

    Yes, we might still get knocked out. But it is not anywhere near even likely. There’s a reason why Chelsea fans aren’t confident yet, there’s a reason why the rest of the wider world without our Cule blinkers and emotions still assume Barca will make the final- and the betting world, with motivations of money, still put us as favorites to go through and have moved us only still to being at evens to win the whole CL.

    Chelsea played a good game. They were aggressive like a good team that has not been this motivated and pumped up for a single game in literally years, with the pure hatred of 40,000 fans as wind to their backs, at home- and still won with one good finish from one good chance, after being battered and being on the back foot, helped by uncharacteristically (for big games) poor finishing, a below-full-intensity Barca performance still made chances- 9 times out of 10 that chip would have just made it under the crossbar, Fabregas or Sanchez would have turned in that scramble, the ball in the last minute would have been poked in, Cole wouldn’t have reached the ball in time to throw his body in front of it- and lost 1-0 out of one mistake in a game where we controlled the other 89 minutes. And this on one of our slightly funky days, as people who watch Barca regularly would have noted- funky for our own reasoons not just cos of how Chelsea played, too.

    Chelsea know that playing like this- what is by their capabilities a fantastic game- again still won’t be enough to get them through normally if Barca turn up. This much pessimism and negativity is flat out ridiculous. Some perspective, people. It’s like we forget all the history of the past four years except a couple games where things didn’t go our way and just write us off.

    Also, recall that Chelsea are having a crucial weekend game at a resurgent Arsenal which they need to keep their aspirations for 4th place in the EPL alive some hours after our Clasico. It is just as crucial for them to not fall behind as the Clasico is for us- they lose and 4th place is almost definitely gone. It’s not like they will be chilling while we tussle with Real.

    What I don’t understand is. How can you forget just how good this team is?!! Unable to score three against a parked bus Chelsea pfft. We’re sure as hell able to. Best team in history, guys. Whether we will or not depends on other factors yes and I don’t think it’ll be a blowout, but the talent peak is definitely high enough to blow past anyone. We just need to perform near that ceiling.

    And judging from all our past games in which we’ve completely needed a result, from the way this side seems to take threats to their dominance personally, from the way our general CL trend under Pep has always been a funky away game followed by a complete blowout at home 90% of the time, judging from how hungry this team is for the history-making of a fifth cup-keeping trophy and a consecutive win, remembering how Pep can fire us up when we need to (Gladiator, guys?)- I’m quite confident we’ll perform at a very high level. Which should be enough.

    I understand worry. I even understand guarded pessimism. I understand keeping hopes low and expecting the worst so we won’t feel as bad if the worst happens and will be ecstatic if we do go through. This negativity and the certainty we’ll be out and the lack of belief in the side I literally do not understand at ALL.

  2. mega_tajh
    April 18, 2012

    Hmmm the last time a team kept Messi down both legs of a two-legged tie was against Inter. Against Chelsea on Tuesday I don’t see this happening however. Messi will be determined to make up for the give away that lead to the Chelsea goal. Even in El Classico we will see him trying to avenge that.

    I know my team will pull through, the attitude of the lads even in the 90+2 mins convinced me they will.

    Well On to the next. This is part of the season I love, exciting games where anything can happening, fighting for all 3 titles, even after the shaky season we’ve experienced so far. Our next two home games are going to be lovely, in terms of importance and quality of the opposition.

    OT: Seems the war of words with Mou has begun. Is calling a grown man “kid” disrespectful in Spain as we here in the US take it?

    • messifan
      April 18, 2012

      Can we stop talking about Mou/RM for a while or at least until we play them this weekend? Just a bit tiresome. We’re getting too obsessed with this man.

      • mega_tajh
        April 18, 2012

        Wait what? Its El Classico week and you don’t want to talk about JM and EE? When their coach directly refers to ours how is that being obsessed?

        Again that’s why I said OT(off topic). Wrote a whole comment but you only seem interested in the last line. Who’s being obsessed here now.

        • messifan
          April 18, 2012

          Yes, I read your whole comment and shared the same sentiment except for the OT part. My comment is not targeting you personally. So I apologize if it offended you. I’m generalizing here because lately there’s a lot of RM talk in this space even when we’re not directly involved in their issues. It’s my opinion and we can agree to disagree.

  3. nia
    April 18, 2012

    This result leaves a bitter sweet taste in my mouth. The bitter being the obvious loss and the fact that we hit them with wave after wave of attacks with no end result. Guess today lady luck was not with us. The sweet is that the team did what they always do, create chances, never gave up and were almost rewarded. I still think that Barca should have played the ball a bit faster around the box and stretched the pitch a bit more. Yes i know it was hard with 9 men behind the ball and the pitch was small but, this is not Barca’s first time playing teams like these. As Xavi would say, “football died today”.
    I’m now a little worried v EE coz it seems as though if Messi doesn’t score, no one finishes of their chances. EE have 3 very good finishers and if we have a day like today, it’s all over but i doubt/hope that will happen.

    • mega_tajh
      April 18, 2012

      To me it almost didn’t feel like a loss. Our performance in creating chances against a parked bus being away was a sight we needed to see after that tough Levante match. Yes we lost but the chances we created were golden. At home, on our pitch the guys can certainly put the ball in the back of the net with this same approach of even a better one..

      *To be fair, EE strikers have been misfiring also recently. Benzema who I believe will start against us IMO haven’t been confident in striking the ball when on goal, we usually keep CR7 quiet so its all down to us in being clinical, but yes they certainly have more of a goal threat in their front-line than us ATM.

  4. We’re all gonna die! (and this one is for sure, I can guarantee you that)
    But no, this team hasn’t died in this competition… yet…
    90 minutes (or maybe more to extra time?) at Camp Nou…

    If you see the statistic, that we had 24 shots at Stumpford Widge, you know that making 2-3 goals at Camp Nou is not a mission impossible…

    I’m not saying I’m optimistic (because I’m not, I’m scared 😛 ), but I believe this team is more than capable to reach the final… Let’s just see next week… Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, as always…

    And oh Pep, please no Cesc Fabregas…

  5. April 18, 2012

    Agree with everything you said.

    But to be obnoxious and answer a rhetorical question, the only times I can remember Messi being denied in a two leg tie were Inter ’10 when we got knocked out, and Chelsea ’09.

    Whether Barcelona win 3 trophies this year, or 0, I support them to the end

  6. messifan
    April 18, 2012

    Not an ideal result, but like Kevin and Outerspacedout said have faith in this team. Nothing is easy in life, we have to earn it.

    Remember when Barca were losing to Levante this weekend and some stats showed that Levante had never lost at home when taking the lead. Then what happened? Levante lost to Barca. We don’t need to look at years past to believe.

  7. Kariyanna
    April 18, 2012

    Haven’t commented here in a while but been reading silently. Just stopping by to say I love this blog and LETS GO BARCA!!

  8. April 18, 2012

    Great post Kevin. My issue is people forget that the knockout stages (other than the final) of the CL are two legged ties. People often forget that, or at least appear as if they do. If we want to have a go at Cesc/Pep/Alexis/whoever next week, fine, at least there will be a reason. But right now there is a one goal deficit to overcome and 90 minutes to overcome it in. I like our chances. Maybe we go out, in which case, whatever, these guys have given us plenty to be happy about. But we’re not even out yet! So why are we acting like we are?

    Put it this way: think back to the Bernabeu Clasico in the league. Very similar situation, the difference being that in that game we were down 1-0 after 20 seconds and in next week’s game we’ll be down 1-0 at 0 seconds. We scored three on them, in their house, when they’d won something like 10 straight.

    It’s one goal guys. ONE goal.

    • Chiu
      April 18, 2012

      like your comparison on 1-0 down at 0 seconds 🙂

      After we score the first goal next Tuesday, Chelsea would be panic and they need to go out to score. If they remain defend with 10 man, the probability they would concede again is high, esp in Camp Nou

  9. First to the positives:

    1) We did create almost eight golden chances against a team which looking to defend with ten man in around the box. So that’s a good thing.

    2) Messi’s performance. I thought he really played well from the deep. He was surround by a host of Chelsea bodies everytime he made the run, still created enough danger.

    3) Puyol. He was brilliant in many occasions cutting out very dangerous play.

    4) Adriano. I thought he had a decent game in attack. Atleast he was looking to get into the box. Maybe he should have trackbacked quickly in their goal.

    Now the negatives:

    1) The finishing. You cannot waste so many gilt edged chances at the home of one of your toughest opponents. Had one of them gone in Chelsea would have been out from the tie.

    2) No escape route to Messi. I was so much surprised to see Iniesta not making runs into the box. That made it easy for them to mark Messi as he had to do that everytime.

    3) Xavi. Was really below par. I think lately in this season there is a tendency for Xavi to go forward with Iniesta lying deep. It may work with La Liga opponents, but not with Chelsea. Against team like Chelsea we need Iniesta to move forward as his dribbling skills help him to create more space.

    4) Free Kicks. Ok, one almost went in but this has been a big problem for us. I still don’t understand why Cesc is not taking these. If I am not wrong he used to be decent with them at arsenal.

    5) Dani Alves. He was crap in attack and still stayed up for majority of time. there almost all move came through the wing he vacated.

    6) Substituition. First one with Pedro coming in. We needed someone to give more width or someone to create more from the midfield. So Pedro, especially with his recent form was the wrong choice. Thiago should have been brought in or atleast Cuenca. It wasn’t surprsing to see Xavi playing better once Thiago came in.

    7) Iniesta on the wings. I first thought Iniesta was playing in the middle but soon realised he was more positioned in the wings. I don’t understand why this fixation of using Cesc instead of Iniesta in the middle. Listen Pep, I know you have been great with tactics but never, I say again never take Iniesta out of the middle not even for a moment. Had he stayed just ahead of Xavi, he would have freed Xavi a lot(it was evident the moment from the moment Thiago came in) You want to play Cesc, play him as the false nine. It was evident in the first half where when you are looking to see Iniesta driving into teh box, he is happily standing on the flank. Come On.

    It’s been a pretty bad result. A 1-0 is not that bad, but when you see that eight chances – we could have taken a two goal lead comfortably, that makes it bad. It is going to be tough. We did create enough chances at Stamford Bridge, so we should expect the boys to do the same at Camp Nou. The problem is with the lack of away goal which makes the tie too risky for us. We need to go from the word go on Tuesday and had to bring more pace on teh game. Everytime we increased the pace of the game, we really had them running for some cover.

  10. April 18, 2012

    By the way, I would play Xavi in the Clasico but not the return leg. Midfield of Thiago Busi and Iniesta with Messi Sanchez and Cuenca up front, and Alves pushed forward. We have to go at them for 90 minutes and not let up.

    • That’s harsh. Xavi is teh engine on which Barca runs. The only thing Guardiola has to make sure that teh Gear box(Iniesta) is around him or placed close to him. I will not even think of playing without Xavi. But Xavi and Iniesta playing in the midfield is a must.

      • April 18, 2012

        Sorry for being unclear, wasn’t trying to be harsh. I just don’t think Xavi is 100% fit. We need his control against the pressing Madrid is likely to employ but if Chelsea will sit back, his importance is likely to go down.

        • pr17
          April 19, 2012

          Great points by both of you. Xavi has become risk free passer nowadays and when he plays we play at a slower pace. Without movements from the front three (we had only one player upfront in alexis and sometimes cesc) he is rendered helpless. Our pace was comparable to one vs getafe away, vs ac milan first leg, vs inter away in 2010. We took two touches instead of the one touch we take when we play at pace.

          Our pacy games were the ones vs Ath bilbao (home n away), arsenal home last yr, ac milan home, getafe home and so on.

          I would insert thiago and inesta in centre for return leg with cesc in free role and 3 at back.

          Would have xavi and iniesta for clasico with cuenca, messia and sanchez for clasico.

          deeply disappointed but have faith. El clasico is going to be extremely tough and i wouldnt mind a 1-0 win.

  11. Chiu
    April 18, 2012

    Camp Nou never disappoints us this season and it will remain the same come Saturday classico and Tuesday return leg. Baring the score line, am confident we would cruise to Munich. Kxevin stated suitably, we don’t deserve to be in the final I we can’t win at home. So true!

    If we create the number of scoring opportunities like last night, hard for me to imagine we lose this tie. Chelsea needs to park the Titanic ship, because last night bus wouldn’t strong enough to avoid us scoring in Camp Nou.

    Visca BARCA!

  12. Kimcelona
    April 19, 2012

    I’m over this result. On to the Clasico!

    • nia
      April 19, 2012

      Well at least both Barca and RM need a win to reach the final, which i think they both will. As for the clasico, should be exciting to see the mentality of both teams. EE are at a slight advantage coz rhey really don’t need to win the clasico. A draw or a win is fine, whereas Barca need to win the next two games. This truely is squeeky bum time for Barca. VISCA BARCA, VAMOS!!

      • Kimcelona
        April 19, 2012

        Yeah, its funny just 2 games ago EE were on so called squeaky bum time because they had seen their liga lead cut to one point and their team looked in disarray..I’m not saying we’re anywhere near that but now our backs are against the wall..Two potentially season defining games coming up and a slight disadvantage of a loss in the first leg for the CL and a day less rest than EE, who really dont need a win (but thats just nitpicking).

        I want to say I am confident we can do it cause of what this team has already achieved against some great odds in the past but I’m also human and I have doubts.

        Still in defeat or victory, Visca Barca! Som La Gent Blaugrana and all that jazz..

  13. April 19, 2012

    It boggles the mind that a team can create so many chances, and miss every one of them. But that’s what occurred here. Many people say the back line of Barca is its Achille’s heel, for me it was always the finishing. Chelsea will obviously play on the counter and park the bus at Camp Nou. Seeing how Barcelona created so many chances against Chelsea, even with that strategy, Barcelona will have a good chance of progressing. They just need to bring the accuracy boots.

  14. cliveee
    April 19, 2012

    Never tired of seeing us win, but football is more fun this way: you win some, you lose some. Spectacular game to watch, really. Chelsea deserves the credit albeit the luck and some of the theatrics. But they defended very well in general. (it’s only 24 shots, well done)

    • PhepheSa
      April 19, 2012

      I still don’t get how Chelsea are being praised so muchfor their defence. We created so many goal scoring opportunities that it could have been 1-4. Inter the other year and Chelsea in 2009 frustrated us. This was all us. Sure they put 8 men behind the ball but we still overcame that, just we were poor in finishing so I don’t really get this tactical masterclass Chelsea pulled that every analyst is talking about. I know barca are the team to beat so every team that does so is hailed for their good tactics but come on, we had this match on our hands and just blew it. I know I must sound like a bad loser but I honestly feel they were just lucky.

      • cliveee
        April 19, 2012

        The way you play and tactics could be two different things. It is the result that matters. If you win, you can throw tactics away. Shallow or not, at least that’s what the majority may think. We, however, pay more attention to how we win it, which sometimes complicate things.

        Chelsea deserves full credit for the way they play. It doesn’t take a genius to know parking the bus and hit us on counter is the way to beat us because it worked before. Kazan, Inter, Osasuna, Levante almost, and now Chelsea. They deserve the praise because they won it fair and square against the best team in the world at the moment.

        It certainly wasn’t tactical masterclass as the Brit-centrics would exaggerate, but you gotta admit their desire of winning and fearlessness were fully demonstrated by their defensive discipline. Blaming luck is not professional, coz you make your luck at top level. Two post hits are only 2 out of 24 shots. I’d choose to let them be happy for now.

  15. One of the biggest problem of having Iniesta on the wing is that Messi has to drop deep to start creating chances. That take the best striker with an accuracy of a sniper rifle away from the box for the majority of the time.

    In the second leg I would start with Cuenca instead of Sanchez simply to create more width on the left flank. Fabregas should start as a false 9 with Messi on the right. The way Chelsea lined up it won’t be a bad thing to go with a 3-4-3 diamond formation also.

  16. Srini
    April 19, 2012

    Fellow Culedom,

    Take a chill pill..Watch the Clasico and hope for a definite win. It is going to very difficult.

    As for the Champions League, we are winning it 3-0 or 3-1 at the Camp Nou. Book it. Peace.

  17. Gogah
    April 19, 2012

    Look, we need some perspective here.

    Nobody is denying that we had a gazillion shots on goal, that we were clearly the better team, that the next leg is at the camp nou where we steam roll opponents and its only a 1 goal deficit etc etc.

    But this for me, is the most worrying statistic. We have 24 shots without converting any of them. Chelsea and most teams that play us score against us with their ONLY shot on target. This is something we need to fix. Yes, risk and vulnerability in defense is part of our style of play, but Pep and the players must work to alleviate that risk.

    I remember in the beginning of this year, when we signed so many midfielders without signing a CF, I predicted in a comment that this year would see us creating a multitude of chances, plenty of build up play, but no one there to finish it off except Messi. And thats exactly whats happening. I don’t want to work myself up and you all with my complete disdain for Cesc. But i agree with Kxevin’s rating of him being a shit bag. Even if he pops up with a few goals, that ain’t going to change that opinion of mine, atleast for a bit.

    Finally, although there are many reasons for us to feel optimistic ahead of the 2nd leg, our shot conversion rate compared to the opposition places us in a very delicate position. Chelsea can Defend! Period. Its highly likely that the score from 08-09 could be repeated (0-0). Even if we are up by a goal, we are still prone to their attack and we need to score another, if not two. Remember all it takes is a 2-1 scoreline for Chelsea to go through. Don’t want to spoil the mood, but don’t you think its highly realistic that the match stats from the 2nd leg could read like this.

    Shots – Barca (25) Chelsea (3)
    On target – Barca (11) Chelsea (1)
    Possession – Barca (75%) Chelsea (25%)
    Passes – Barca (780) Chelsea (155)
    GOALS – Barca (2) Chelsea (1)

    Ofcourse I maybe paranoid. And of course this is the best team in the world, and everytime this team needed to do something, they have ALWAYS done it. Now we have a clasico to take care of. So Lets do this. I was wondering if yesterday’s game was the perfect moment to introduce Afellay as a late substitute. Semi 1st leg – away. Maybe he could have popped in with a surprise assist to messi a la madrid in 10-11.

    • PhepheSa
      April 19, 2012

      I know it can go either way, but I still have to believe they’ll deliver when it’s crunch time, otherwise might as well give up now. Anyways, no time to worry cos need to be emotionally prepared for clasico.

    • Jim
      April 19, 2012

      Sorry but I don’t remember Affellay creating much in his time with us. That would be a desperate move to bring him in after so long out. And if you cast your mind back to that goal that everyone recounts as a reason for giving him another chance, he only reached the byline because Marcello ( by a long way Madrid’s worst defender) slipped.

    • nzm
      April 19, 2012

      You need to watch Cesc in the game again and see some key ball recoveries that he made when Chelsea was in attack. Regardless of what he does upfront, that’s what Cesc did for the team last night. Afellay could not do that.

      Yesterday’s match was all about defence and ball retention.

      Messi put the defence line under pressure by losing the ball in midfield, and Chelsea capitalised. It’s something that Messi still has to learn – when he’s in midfield, he has to learn to pass on the ball. He’s a great dribbler, but only when he’s closer to the goal and not at halfway.

  18. BarcaRoja
    April 19, 2012

    Aaah Kxevin your words are truly divine!

  19. y2k156
    April 19, 2012

    Disappointed at the result but not at the performance. I love Mascherano but his positioning for Drogba’s goal was really poor. Chelsea just had two guys attacking and instead of covering second guy, Masch just went with Puyi in no man’s land. Shit happens.

    This is football though. Superior team does not win necessarily. I think we have a tall mountain to climb. Chelsea will park the bus again and i believe that they will at least score 1 goals at camp nou. Which means that Barca will need to score at least three.

    Messi needs to stay close to their box. Yday he was dropping way too deep and Iniesta needs to play in the middle.

    Overall, i felt that Barca gave Chelsea too much credit and if we have to overturn the deficit, then Barca will have to be even more bolder and Iniesta needs to be in the middle.

  20. Huckleberry
    April 19, 2012

    I missed Pique as the plan B central forward…
    (And missing to many chances was a problem the whole season.)

  21. Barca_Donut
    April 19, 2012

    Great review Kxevin!!

    Everyone’s a little too much on edge. Like we were after the 1st leg vs Milan and last year’s loss vs Arsenal. Some cules are making it sound like we played a bad match when we didn’t. They’re making it sound like we weren’t allowed anywhere near the goal due to Chelsea’s ‘defensive prowess’. Yeah…not true either. Truth is, we were a bit lax on finishing. Something that happens every once in a while. This match is an anomaly not a trend.

    I’d rather lose this game and win the next two, than try and carry on this winning streak. And 1-0 is not a bad result. You know what? Chelsea need a one goal advantage if they’re going to have any hope in hell of beating us at Camp Nou.

    One other thing: as Kxevin said above, if Chelsea manage to stop us scoring on Tuesday, then they’ve earned it. Same for El Clasico. If Madrid manage to beat us at home, then maybe they’ve earned the Liga. But that hasn’t happened yet. We’ve seen this team not give up the league when all its fans are teling them to give it up and end up cutting the points from 10pt to 4pt, just through sheer determination and fighting spirit. This team NEVER gives up. So why should we?

  22. Laurentiu88
    April 19, 2012

    I am sure most people were just carried away with the game emotions … whether Cesc had a bad game or not is beyond me; i can note that he missed some simple chances that I would expect him to score from; no reason to blame him for the result; and on how his play was I am sure Pep observed it too and that he was able to give the necessary instructions…

    I thought we had a great game and as JM said, we too don’t need the mother of all comebacks either. Is it dangerous? Yes. Impossible? I believe in Camp Nou we will be able to open Chelsea. At the end of this week marathon i think they will come out tired… It will only take a goal to change the whole dynamic of the game.

    How about that Drogba? 🙂 How about the English press now? 🙂 Can you imagine if Busi did some of that acting?

    • mom4
      April 19, 2012

      How about that Drogba? How about the English press now? Can you imagine if Busi did some of that acting?

      Yet next game I still hafta hear it from the FSC EPL apologists commentators any time Busi goes down (one of whom said during their poor excuse for a halftime show that “Busquets had lost his “man card” for him” the day he did the peek-a-boo thing)

  23. hammeronmessi
    April 19, 2012

    spot on,kxevin.

    now a days i dont usually comment just lurking around,but the no of comments berating pep,cesc,xavi,alexis is mind boggling.did you guys watch the same match ?

    watch the match all of you, emotionally unstable cules.cescs miss first one difficult for a right footer,lexuses 2nd one,he had so little time.

    pep went with the match with a clear gameplan,the players executed that to perfection,the misses were not his fault,may be you ca fault that the chances didnt fall to messi.this recurring theme is going on an on for the whole season.its not like suddenly we r missing good scoring chances.

    those who are finding similarity with inter,i seriously doubt your football knowledge and understanding.comparing with chelsea 07 or 08,i understand but this 2012 version????????????????

    i was dissapointed but imo apart from the scoring this is the finest away performance in the PG era in CL.

    we are going to munich,if not then i m not gonna comment on this blog ever(not that it matters to any of you).thats how confident of my team.

    my only beef,why doesnt alexis take on his man,he has the it because of the orders from PEP,very strange.

    • mom4
      April 19, 2012

      He wasn’t awful. He was the wrong player, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, asked to do the wrong thing. I couldn’t believe he started as we all knew how important width would be (we all being those who read Euler).

      My beef is, when God begifts you the talent that is Iniesta, use him appropriately. Even if it means Cesc sits.

      • mom4
        April 19, 2012

        Pretend this was posted one comment down where it belongs.

  24. hammeronmessi
    April 19, 2012

    on another note,am i the only one who did think cesc has an ok game

    • No he had a decent enough game in and around teh box. But the probelm was that he was asked to Play Iniesta’s role, which he simply can’t.

    • cliveee
      April 19, 2012

      You are not alone.

      Cesc had a great game if it is possible to put the finishing aside for a moment. He created more chances than it seemed and had some good shots on target. Whatever, that’s life. Villa also had a very bad scoring streak but we know what happened in Wembley.

  25. Gogah
    April 19, 2012

    On a plus note,
    if there was any time where i could take a loss for my team that is NOW. Remember we lost to osasuna and went on a terrific run in all competitions. frankly even i was feeling bad for the guys for having to win so many damn games to please all the crazy cules. in la liga we would have to win 16 straight – no small task,.
    And barca always has responded well to a loss. Always!
    I feel good about this loss.
    I feel good about the fact that messi might be blaming himself for the goal and the loss.
    I feel good about the camp nou.
    and i feel good about the fact that we might be a little pissed!

    • Laurentiu88
      April 19, 2012

      i agree 🙂 it may be a simple cliche but defeats are important too. and this one was one that can be blamed more on chance than on the teams performance.

      i think particularly messi will be extra motivated in the return leg.

      • Remember the 2-2 draw against Arsenal, where we missed an almighty number of chances. The general sense was that how did we not win that game. With more time passing, this game is also evoking such a sense. On a positive note, Lionel Messi roared at Camp Nou in the return leg.

        • Ryan
          April 19, 2012

          Or even the 2-1, that felt even worse!

  26. Am I the only person who think Alexis’ first touch is crap in the box. He takes the ball too close to his body, forcing him to take yet another touch before shooting.

  27. nzm
    April 19, 2012

    The Chelsea goal was the only fly in the ointment of Pep’s tactics tonight.

    The team turned up and did what they had to do, without expending much energy; mindful of the the next 2 games ahead.

    Certainly, we saw none of the tactics that we saw against Getafe a couple of weeks ago, and I’m sure that it’s because Pep isn’t allowing much of his gameplan against RM this weekend to be seen.

    Pep spent a lot of his time on the bench talking to Tito. The team knew they were there to kick the ball around; keep the defensive line high and take chances if they were given. His subs weren’t impact subs – they were just replacements for doing what they were doing.

    The defence was awesome. At one point I was laughing at an offside call against Chelsea which happened on the halfway line! The space between the Barca backline and the front line was often only 1/4 of the field, they were so compact!

    Sure Masch’s positioning on Drogba when he scored was not ideal, but who lost the ball in the first place, and how many times have we seen Messi lose the ball around midfield and the opposition either score or create a scoring opportunity from it? Messi’s face told me that he knew he had blown the gameplan as he came off at halftime – he looked sick.

    We certainly weren’t in full-on attack-mode last night. There was very little pressing and, with Messi and Xavi playing so deep, it was amazing that there were so many shots at goal at all.

    What interested me was that Alexis started playing through the middle. His lob hit the bar which was so unlucky. But instead of continuing to play Alexis in the middle, he was moved to the right wing. If Pep had wanted to continue to pressure Chelsea, he would have kept Alexis where he was.

    The Camp Nou leg is going to be tense because Chelsea scored, but it’s going to be a great match. Barca will have to score at least 3 to have a cushion against Chelsea in case they get lucky and score again.

    Like he did in the 2 Supacopa games against Madrid at the beginning of the season, it appears that Pep is tactically approaching these 2 games against Chelsea as 2 halves of the same game. We’ll see a different gameplan next Wednesday, (and on Saturday night), I’m sure.

    Last night was another experiment – just as the Getafe game was. For my nerves and heart, I wish that Pep would stop doing this! LOL.

    • Blau-Grenade
      April 19, 2012

      Thanks for the comments. It gives me a great perspective regarding the upcoming matches.

    • Jim
      April 19, 2012

      Nothing to do with Messi.We had 6 or 7 players goalside. We handled the move desperately badly.

      • nzm
        April 19, 2012

        Jim: if Messi had not lost the ball in midfield, as the Barca defence was re-positioning itself, it wouldn’t have happened. If a player is on the ball in midfield, it’s his responsibility to either hold the ball or pass it forward or sideways to give the defence time to re-set. Messi’s quick loss of the ball at mid-way didn’t give them the time.

        This is not the first time that this has happened with Messi around midfield. Kxevin’s picked up on it in other games, as have I. He’s not a true midfielder – he doesn’t have the positional awareness of what that entails, as a go-between between the backs and the forwards.

        • Ryan
          April 19, 2012

          He also usually doesn’t slip and hurt his groin. He gave up the ball soon afterwards; he was most likely still smarting from that and it affected his attempted dribble.

          • nzm
            April 20, 2012

            He hasn’t hurt his groin all the other times that he’s done this, either.

  28. barca96
    April 19, 2012

    1-0 is actually a pretty darned good result for a team in our situation

    How is it a good result when we didn’t get any away goal? In a CL KO stage, away goals are really important.

    They didn’t manage a shot on goal the entire second half. At home. And it wasn’t from lack of intent. We dominated that match, and were it not for better finishing, which we will have at home, this tie would already be over.

    They didn’t manage a single shot but they just needed 2-3 in the 1st half to score. Yes they didn’t get a single shot in the 2nd half but they scored in the first half. Doesn’t matter whether they have any chances or not in the 2nd half.

    Why is it wrong to assume that we got 3 points in the bag but okay to be over confident that we will take care of business vs. Chelsea????!!
    Sounds contradicting to me.

    Scoring 2 goals next week is not enough. We need at least 3, I mean Messi needs 3!If our players are going to take off the peddle at 2-0 which I assume they will, Chelsea just need a goal in the 2nd half to go through ala Chelsea ’09 & Arsenal ’11.

  29. barca96
    April 19, 2012

    It is now 8pm at my place and I just took a shower. It feels like I just lost a part of me. Lost a good friend or family. Been lying around the whole day.

    Thank God I had no work today.

    At 10 points down in La Liga to our most hated rivals, people said “That’s it. Give them the trophy

    I for one wasn’t part of the throwing the towel in the ring group because it was only in February. La Liga or any league is a marathon, CL isn’t. It’s a cruel KO format.

    I never complained when we were 10 points down. I never complained when we came away from San Siro with a draw, like wise in any other 1st leg away matches where we at least scored an away goal. I never felt this down before before this but last night was just too much.
    The dug their own graves.

    It’s not even close to warrant an end of era and I never said anything like that ever but I do think we have a very slim chance of progressing this year.

    Pre-Pep the coach era, one of my top 3 favorite match of mine was vs. Chelsea in 2000. We were down 3-1 and beat them 5-1 at home after extra-time. One of the 3 best matches ever pre-Pep. But I hope that it won’t be a nail biter like the last time.

    I hope they can pull off something similar but earlier without leaving it late. 3 goals. They need to score 3 goals by half-time.
    Chelsea can definitely score 1 at Camp Nou. If they score 1, at 2-1 we are OUT!!

    • If you don’t believe that we can’t over-turn a 1-0 defeat, then I seriously believe the “Best Team in the World” thing is crap. We may struggle to ver-turn it in the end, but still to believe at 1-0 that we are not capable is a bit harsh.

      The Inter Milan thing was very tough as we lost 3-1 to them, that’s a two goal lead.

    • mom4
      April 19, 2012

      1. If we can’t turn over a 1-0 in Camp Nou we don’t deserve to go to the finals. I’ll then root for Chelsea if EE gets in or Bayern if they eliminate EE.
      2. If we don’t get through, the team still deserves my admiration and support for all the fun/glory/happiness/heartache/laughs/smiles/tears/pride they’ve given me.
      3. We were brilliant last night but for a few, albeit glaring, moments of wth.
      4. If we don’t win another game this entire season it was one heck of a ride. We got so far in so many competitions. Cules are spoiled rotten.
      5. It’s football not life. Don’t lie around all day deppressed. Read, clean, catch up on your laudry, volunteer at a homeless shelter. Live your life for people not a game.
      6. Messi’s pissed. Beware angry fleas Chelsea and EE!
      Peace & hugs.

      • Jnice
        April 19, 2012

        It’s football not life. Don’t lie around all day deppressed. Read, clean, catch up on your laudry, volunteer at a homeless shelter. Live your life for people not a game.

        I agree, but it’s tough sometimes. It really is. When Barça is as interwoven in your life as it is in mine, a loss like this can really destroy your day/mood/whatever.

        I keep telling myself that things could be worse (I could have health issues, I could be homeless, etc) and I calm down a bit, but it’s still really difficult sometimes. I’m not one of those people that can just switch off and say “It’s okay, we’ll get em next time! :)” Wish I could, but it just doesn’t work like that for everyone.

        • Barcaleya
          April 19, 2012

          Oh, Jnice. Poor you.

          Don’t worry. We will win 😀

          And if we don’t, believe me when I say there are more important things in life.

          • Jnice
            April 19, 2012

            Haha, nah I’m good now. I’ve improved over the years. Thanks!

            Definitely are more important things in life. It’s just tough thinking that way immediately after a match.

        • Ryan
          April 19, 2012

          That’s why I have the 2009 and 2011 CL finals saved on my computer in HD and in several languages. Instant happiness booster! 😀

      • BarcaOwl
        April 19, 2012

        *stands up and applauds* Hear, hear!

    • Jim
      April 19, 2012

      Wow! How do you get through the day? 🙂

  30. MemoryLane
    April 19, 2012

    I don’t think I can even watch the second leg, my heart can’t take it.
    If this was any other team than Chelsea whom I can’t stand, to be honest I can’t stand any English teams and their ugly football culture and because of Pep’s stubbornness on including Fabregas in the eleven in this “false no 9” role which clearly isn’t benefiting the team and it’s compromising Iniesta’s role.

    I mean I’m just straight up disgusted at the moment.

    In essence yesterday it was Messi doing Iniesta’s role dropping deep and getting attacks started and that means we lose our biggest goal scoring threat.

    Sanchez you have to bring the ball down and go around the keeper on that chance and if you’re playing winger than get at your full back.
    The team reminded me of Rijkaard’s final season all possession and no goals.
    70% at the moment we are going out.

    • Ryan
      April 19, 2012

      It wouldn’t be a game if there wasn’t the chance that our team would lose. Our Camp Nou form is pretty amazing; us scoring 2 or more goals without reply has more than 30% chance of happening IMO.

  31. Manish
    April 19, 2012

    I am sure we will beat them comfortably at home..
    I am sure our team will be super charged up at home..
    I am sure the fans will rock the stadium..
    I am sure the trio of XAVI INIESTA MESSI will swamp Chelsea get them into the triangle from where there is no way back..

    I know cause I believe in my team.. Go Barca..

  32. April 19, 2012

    A few things:

    –I think that views are tempered by eras, or when someone comes to Barca. For me, the time at which I came to the club, makes 13 of 16 trophies so mind-boggling that I want to find a corner, hug my knees and weep with joy. This is an extrordinary club. Never forget that. We are in contention for the treble, despite the adversity of this season. That says something to me. This club doesn’t have the chance to make history. This club has already made history, and will be the stuff of legend, a comparison point for teams with aspersions to greatness.

    Irrespective of what happens, how can we find anything but joy in that? Really.

    –nzm makes excellent points, as usual. Even not at full tilt, with better concentration (another clue?) the tie could be done and dusted. It isn’t. That’s life.

    –One thought I had was of Abidal, and wondering if running around the room screaming was hampering his healing. 😀 I can’t imagine what it must be like to watch those matches for him. Intense, to be sure.

    –As others have noted, I have faith, belief and confidence in this club. The only similarities for me to the Rijkaard time is that there are 11 players wearinv Blaugrana.. The end.

    • nzm
      April 19, 2012

      Thanks Kxevin.

      I can’t imagine Abi’s doctors allowing him to even watch the games at the moment!

  33. Laurentiu88
    April 19, 2012

    i don’t think there was ever a more annoying image than CR celebrating his goal similar to Rooney , showing of…

    by how his mouth is looks like one of those plastic sex dolls!

  34. April 19, 2012

    Not too worried about the result. 0-1 AWAY in the CL semi finals is not a bad result at all. The only unbearable bit is that we have to wait an entire week to have at them. Thankfully there’s a monumental Clasico in between.

    • April 19, 2012

      Exactly. As Guillem Balague notes on Twitter, it isn’t a tactic to allow 24 shots, 2 hitting the woodwork and a goal line clearance.

      • Laurentiu88
        April 19, 2012

        so true. it makes for a funny reading to see how all journalists hail the ‘perfect’ tactics of di matteo.

        trying desperately to see any positive points, at 1-0 english players might be tempted to defend their advantage coming here. if they needed to score it would have made for a clear approach. but what will they do now? defend first and try to score if possible second? or defend as to necessarily score?

        i liked that in the Ac Milan game our team came out determined to score soon. i remember with Inter that we still did not want to panic … i’ll say be panicked go there and try score in first 15 min.

  35. BarcaOwl
    April 19, 2012

    Thank you for this, Kxevin. I’ve taken to avoiding football blogs in general when the team draws or loses. The atmosphere is often so depressing. Good to know I can still come here and not have my bubble burst by negativity.

  36. April 19, 2012

    Those of you not in the Twitterverse have been missing today’s snit, about the new background at the official site. Suffice it to say, I don’t like it. And that is all I will say.

    –For the record, it’s worth noting that I know many think I hate certain players, etc, etc, and are surprised when a post such as this comes from me. So. I do judge, and judge harshly when warranted, when I evaluate players or acts of the club and its management.

    But never think, even for a moment, that I don’t have the utmost love and respect for this organization, and want the absolute best for it at all times. I don’t often have the time or space to throw up a post such as this. Besides, Kari usually would beat me to it. Or (in the here and now …) blitzen. So now it’s my turn.

    But rest assured when there’s a match that I actually review, and the KRS resumes, you will all have plenty of reasons to call me an xxxx-hating, biased jackass. Yup. 😀

    –If anyone gets hold of a Diving Drogba gif, post it. There has to be one by now.

    • cliveee
      April 19, 2012

      Who is in charge of the marketing team? I mean, seriously, ever since Rosell takes charge, design goes to hell. If we were to see our boys in that PSG jersey next season, I will have to numb my brain to see only the football but not the jersey.

    • blitzen
      April 19, 2012

      Well I should hope you will at least be able to review the Clasico!

      And regarding the QF background on the official site, @barcastuffreply was reporting that is some kind of sponsor’s day thing for today only. Don’t know if it’s true, but let’s hope. I’m not going to visit the site again today, and if other refrain they may see their number of hits drop.

      (And no awards from me today, sorry, much too busy at work….

      …OK, just one:

      The Unbearable Heaviness Of Being Award: For Didier Drogba, who is seemingly losing his long-term struggle with the forces of gravity. Soon he won’t be able to stand erect at all! )

    • nzm
      April 19, 2012

      Thankfully, it’s only on the Homepage. Once you click through to other pages, it disappears.

      It reached the overkill a long time ago with all the extra signage at Camp Nou.

      This is way beyond just a shirt sponsorship now. 30 million per annum is pretty cheap for what they’re getting.

  37. hammeronmessi
    April 19, 2012

    unlike the arsenal match last year,yesterday,after the match 1 went to bed very calmly,then also woke calmly,went to the office very very calmly,fired an employee very calmly.(for the record i didnt browse any webs for 2 days and extremely dissapointed. )

    why?cause aside from luck we did play the greatest away match under PG in the CL.

    @allbout barcelona,after 2nd viewing,i still believe cesc played the role pep wanted him to do.not his fault,if anybody wants it should be pep,s fault,not cescs.

    @barca96,if i m not wrong,u have been a fan from the ronaldo come u be so negative after experiencing those torrid years from 99-04.(i am one of the fans who experienced those time,so whatever barca do after that is a bonus to me)what was your re action when the galacticos piped us in the SF?please i want to know.and please have a little faith.

    • barca96
      April 19, 2012

      I thought Cesc was ok. Didnt do much wrong except the 2 missed chances. Alexis and Busi missed too!!

      Yes been through many years, but in all those 16-17 years we never ever had a completely even team besidea 98-2000. Expectations were never that high becausealthough we were good but not this good.

      The potential is there for this team to go competing and being the favorites for all competitions for at least 2 more seasons.

      Back in school for every parents teacher meeting, those damned teachers always recycle the same story of how I have potential but dont make full use. That is how I feel about this team even though I hate those words cause of the different teachers over the years.

      So I find that tha team has to like I said below, play like there is tomorrow.

      It is a once in a generation thing to get this many perfectly matched talents in 1 team so why let it go to waste?

  38. mega_tajh
    April 19, 2012

    NOOOO It seems Alexis is a doubt for the El Clásico 🙁

  39. cliveee
    April 19, 2012

    One bad match and suddenly Cesc needs to be benched. I rewatched the match and paid special attention to Fabregas. He played his role very well and had a lot of chances. Not finishing is ok if we won, but not last night. We also had missed plenty of chances when we led a match by 3 or 4 goals, but nobody would be interested in looking into details. Big games magnifies the flaws, but its only illusive.

    I can’t say Cesc is in his top form, but he is going thru the same kind of striker drought our strikers usually would do. Ibrahimovic, last season’s Villa, Pedro and now him. We certainly want those goals, especially in big games, but we don’t need to over-react to his misses because of one game. He is a key player, no doubt about it. He is the one who made a lot of assists for Messi. While I don’t rule out possible Thiago link-up with Messi, but Cesc is proven, and we need him.

    Stop blaming Fabregas as it won’t help. Show support! Pep knows best!

  40. barca96
    April 19, 2012

    There is a very nice movie starring Jimmy Fallon & Drew Barrymore where the story is based around the Red Sox. I cant remember the name of the movie and it’s quite troublesome to do too many things on a phone.

    Anyways, in the movie,after another loss to the Yankees in the World Seriea, Jimmy Fallon and his crew saw 2-3 of the Red Sox players happily enjoying their meal while they were drinking and feeling down.

    That scene came back to me just now like it always does when Im very disappointed with the team.

    The morale of the story is not that the Red Sox players were being a jerk by happily enjoying their meal but that at the end of the day it’s just a job, a day at the office for the players.

    I wish I could let it go and taking it easy. But having been a fan for 16-17 years, this is like my moment. Every club has an era and this iz definitely ours.

    Even if we get knocked out it’s not the end of OUR era but Im just pissed at how careless they are in doing their job (finishing). This is their moment, their era, I would dxpect them to play like there is no tomorrow like how Iverson or Kobe treat every match, every night in the NBA.

    I would have loved them going all out last night to kill off the tie instead of taking their foot of the pedal like they so often do when they are feeling comfortable.

    • hammeronmessi
      April 19, 2012

      thanks for the clarification.

      just out of curiosity,whats your reaction when the galacticos beat us in the cl sf?

      • barca96
        April 19, 2012

        The reply to you was under your comment actuLly. Only saw it after I posted mine (this one).

        Oh like I said above, this is our time, our erA so expectations are high.

        Back then it was Madrids golden era with their fancy Galacticos.
        Now we are the undisputed kings so nomore feeling inferior or feeling like underachievers.

        • barca96
          April 19, 2012

          I only felt that this team is ha ing their own golden era sunce last season. Before that it was too early to tell if they would make it.

  41. just listenin
    April 19, 2012

    I always imagine that Pep has a little placard in the locker room that is like the security threat level thing at the US airports, or a stop light or something when we are in these stretches of difficult matches, but instead of threat level, it runs from opportunistic “hold ’em” to all hands on deck “take ’em down”. I think in the slop of London, we didn’t want to lose anyone (look what almost happened to Messi on that slip) as we have another go at them coming up. I for one am convinced this has already been carefully thought through, you don’t win the number of titles we do going game by game like we say in the press. There is some very well managed multi-match orchestration going on at all times. Who plays, where they play, how long they play, etc., etc. After watching that match yesterday, anyone who thinks we aren’t going for the throat of the Liga title? …is missing the point. Looks we were just trying to get home in decent shape to the Mediterranean air for the next two decisive matches. Barring some further fluke and mishap, I can’t see us not opening up a can of whoop-ass on them back in the Camp Nou.

    This match, unlucky, period. The one thing I will say is that there are times when opposing teams stay extremely disciplined to being narrow and compact and Chelsea did and it can make things more difficult but not impossible at all – they pretty much said width shmidth and just laid back deep and narrow. We crossed a lot to little effect. Despite what looked like a relentless but reserved effort to get the away goal, we created chances through that sea of blue in the box. It was anti-football, desperate and lucky to nick one. I don’t get all the Cesc hate in various places honestly. Though there is a complicated positional and role Rubik’s cube between Cesc/Iniesta/Messi/Alexis, and Xavi to a lesser degree. It gets weird sometimes when they are all in there together, a little redundancy and they tend to occupy each others space a little to a stifling effect at times when all in at once… I think we could have put some of those free kick wall mannequins out there for width in a Blaugrana shirt and it would have been as effective… that said, we created many chances right through a double decker. They can park it again, but I think it’s going to be a very different match other side of el Clasico.

  42. Xingxian
    April 19, 2012

    Quickly logging in to thank Kxevin for the post, and also to bring something up for anyone who’s feeling really upset about this right now and would like a happy thought:

    Remember last year when Ujfalusi smashed Messi’s ankle and you saw the picture and wondered just how bad it might be and it turned out not to be that bad after all?
    I thought about that yesterday. When I contemplated how much worse that could have been, I felt more thankful.

  43. yassir (Formerly Extreme barca fan)
    April 19, 2012

    We had a good performance, we just lacked the goals.
    If we bring our A game next Tuesday i have no doubt that we will progress. now the classico is just 2 days away lets worry about it before we start thinking about Chelsea again.
    Visca Barca.

  44. mega_tajh
    April 19, 2012

    The only problem is that a clean sheet is as important as goals being scored. Without us having an away goal we can’t gift them one either and thats what our defense does, gift opposition goals.

    Re-watched the game earlier this morning and I have to say VV should have done a lot better on that save.

  45. Hassan Chakroun
    April 19, 2012

    I f**king love this guy.. kxevin ur an inspiration and a true cule.. r u on twitter?

  46. sd
    April 19, 2012

    Sid Lowe with a good piece on Cuenca. I wonder if he is over-rating him just a bit. But then again Cuenca is just 20 with lots of time to improve.

    I agree with nzm up there that Pep is keeping his cards close to his chest. Conserving energy and saving the tactics for the Clasico. Jonathan Wilson wrote something similar to that here:

    I think its safe to assume that Di Matteo and Chelsea will no have any new tactics for us. They will have the same game plan. Madrid on the other hand must not be allowed to learn of Saturday’s game plan and what Pep has in store. Mourinho is much more adept at ruining Pep’s plans. Furthermore, Pep will now have seen Barca’s performance against Chelsea and realized which areas need improvement (other than finishing) so Barca can exploit Chelsea’s weaknesses. That second leg will be played completely differently by Barca even if Chelsea play the same way. The theme this year due to the sheer number of games and injuries to key players has been to play conservatively (less pressure, less running off the ball, slower passing) in the first leg by dominating posession and controlling the game while not completely messing it up. With a key Clasico coming up this is even more important. Chelsea deserve credit in that they played to their strength and their wish of a game plan worked perfectly. However, this sort of game plan does not work twice against a team you did not really apply the plan all that well against.

  47. Josep
    April 19, 2012

    So what you’re saying is that there’s absolutely no one to blame except for the gods of football?

    Some people are being ridiculously pessimistic but don’t be silly and say we played our best game. Pep DID get it wrong. We lacked any width, Iniesta on the wing shall never work against teams who look to sit deep and compact, and he does this to put Cesc in the side.

    Looking on the bright side of things this team has been in matches they CAN’T lose for the last 12 or 13 matches. They’ve drawn one, and lost one. They’re only blips are on the two matches they technically were allowed to have blips in, first legs of KO rounds. They can win a treble, a double, a single, or nothing. It’s almost completely in the teams hands.

    Which surprises me when you don’t write about the “will to win” and “who wants it more” and the stuff you’re known for saying

  48. fiazhamsath
    April 19, 2012

    Busi is the Best One Touch Passer in the World as Xavi says, why didn’t he just passed that with one touch to the back of the net? I know its just a Sport but i can’t get over it even after a day! 🙁

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