Barcelona – Chelsea: CL Semi Liveblog II

Pep has sent out as close to a classic 3-4-3 as possible with our current squad, and Alves has had to make way. Let’s hope for some Camp Nou magic.

Starting XI: Valdes, Puyol, Mascherano, Pique, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Sanchez, Messi, Cuenca

Bench: Pinto, Alves, Adriano, Keita, Thiago, Pedro, Tello

Chelsea XI: Cech, Ivanović, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Meireles, Obi Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Drogba, Mata

 

The match is at 2:45 EST. Don’t be late

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220 Comments

  1. mega_tajh
    April 24, 2012

    Hmmm no Alves in the lineup interesting from Pep.

    This is our 3-3-4 formation right?

    • April 24, 2012

      It looks to me like a 3-4-3, but it could easily be a 3-3-4.

      The key will be where Cuenca is playing. If he is on the left it will be a 3-4-3 with Sanchez on the right. If he is playing on the right Iniesta will move forward to play left wing and Sanchez and Messi will both play through the middle in a 3-3-4.

      Expect to see them switch between the two.

      • Jim
        April 24, 2012

        If Iniesta is playing left wing I will cry.

        • mega_tajh
          April 24, 2012

          I think its the usual midfield 3 with Cuance-Messi-Cesc-Alexis making up the 4 in front. With of course either Cesc or Messi sometimes dropping a bit deep,

  2. April 24, 2012

    Yeah Zonal Marking made the point that this is the same team as the second leg Milan one, except Sanchez in for Alves. And that game was definitely a 3-3-4.

    • yassir (Formerly Extreme barca fan)
      April 24, 2012

      Could be, lets just win this one.

    • mega_tajh
      April 24, 2012

      I was wondering, Alexis did play on the left already this season and scored a couple fantastic goals from there, so why not Alexis on the left and Alves on the right (despite people saying he did bad against EE there).

      • April 24, 2012

        Alves is not a winger. He is best when he is able to start his runs from deeper and dominate the right flank with his energy. Playing him as a winger clips his wings. And yes, he was poor there against EE.

        • mega_tajh
          April 24, 2012

          But I hope we all remember that 2-0 win over EE in their house with a Pedro-Messi-Alves front-line, in which was the first time we saw Alves in that advanced position and he did fairly well that game.

          Early on Alves did cause major problems for EE this weekend gone. His hustling did create a chance in which Iker was perfect in stopping. Only problem was it was a 3 man back-line this time around and not the 4 where Alves had someone covering him in that win 2 years ago.

  3. April 24, 2012

    Anyone see similarities in Cesc’s predicament with that of Ibra’s a couple of years back?

    Anyway, lets do this!

    • April 24, 2012

      You know what’s ridiculous? I started writing an article called “Is Cesc this season’s Ibrahimovic?” last week but never had time to actually work on it.

      Scoring slump in second half of the season – check
      Unsure where he best fits in the system – check
      Playing him forces substantial tradeoffs for the system – check
      Dividing fan opinion and becoming a scapegoat to some – check

        • April 24, 2012

          Well, I guess we can’t make a comparison because they weren’t exactly the same….

    • mega_tajh
      April 24, 2012

      Villa from last season, Ibra from year before, Eto’o also before the Rome UCL final.

      All happened before till they all bounced back with that 2 weeks rest and score in the Champions League Final. (well except Ibra of course)

  4. blitzen
    April 24, 2012

    At work so can’t join the liveblog. Have fun, and Visca barça!

  5. Jim
    April 24, 2012

    Hectored mercilessly .

    Not a bad lineup. Don’t mind Alves not being there – his play has been patchy – but I do worry if Masch is playing centrally in the back three. He has to be either side. I’d rather play four at the back with cover for whoever is marking Drogba and the spare man ( hopefully Pique) carrying the ball towards the heart of their defence. It’s at times like this I wish he had had more matches.

    I’d rather have seen Pedro than Cuenca but if he can beat Cole in a dribble or get his crosses past the first man then Pep will have called it correctly. He has the skill. However, he won’t finish as well as Pedro or Tello I’m thinking.

    Whatever, we need to take our chances tonight. If we do that we’re through.

    On another note, Just watching Ronnie putting them to the sword. I miss Ronnie 🙁

    • April 24, 2012

      If Cuenca is doing his job right he should almost never be central enough to shoot, let alone be in a place to finish.

  6. Looks like the perfect line-up. The three man defense will give a better option in dealing with aerial ball to Drogba. BUt has to be very careful with possession as any loose ball will expose us to danger on counter through wings

  7. jordi™
    April 24, 2012

    Cuenca is also the best crosser in our team from out wide, plus unlike dani he can go outside the fullback.Was pretty annoying to see that lahm a less accomplished dribbler than dani, could get the better of Coentrao and Dani didnt really try.

  8. mom4
    April 24, 2012

    Well, according to the infinately knowledgeable Fox Soccer Channel talking heads it’s surprising that Valdes is competent to tie his own cleats and Chelsea should be feeling good about the lineup Pep has picked. We’ll see.

    • Ryan
      April 24, 2012

      They’re pretty awful. They spent time saying how Messi needs Xaviniesta in order to score, then went to say that Alves gave Messi more assists. Wait, what? And as I’m typing they made another swipe at Valdes! Ugh.

  9. Jim
    April 24, 2012

    Fair point but I’m not sure we can afford a forward who isn’t a good goal scorer.

  10. Messiah10
    April 24, 2012

    I DON’T UNDERSTAND!!! How could we let them counter w/only extra time remaining???? I’m screaming inside! You MUST be aware that your 2-1 up. 1st half is ending in a min. Keep possession and continue next half. POOR. Poor by Xavi. Forcing a pass that isn’t there. Then isn’t able to close down Ramieres who keeps making the run??? No one decides to pick him up? What is that? I’m just perplexed. I have faith we’ll score another 1 if not 2 or 3 but C’MON

  11. Messiah10
    April 24, 2012

    Drogba is such a joke. I love how a guy 6 inches shorter than him takes him down so easily and Messi won’t go down when a guy is 12 inches taller than him! Hilarious but should be carded for time wasting

  12. jordi™
    April 24, 2012

    I dont even know what to do with myself 🙁

  13. April 24, 2012

    Whether we had won or lost today, this is my last liveblog this season.

    Sorry guys, but the negativity, the name calling, and the overall atmosphere has been horrible the last 3 games.

  14. culegirl3
    April 24, 2012

    Well..we did our best and congrats to Chelsea for playing their hearts out!
    I’m still proud of our boys.

  15. Ryan
    April 24, 2012

    Seemed like a handball that started the Torres goal, but I guess that’s how it goes.

    I hope Pique is ok.

  16. Dani_el
    April 24, 2012

    Commentators saying “end of cycle”. I don’t believe that. I hope Pep today in the presser says that he’s gonna renew his contract. We are still proud of being cules and I’m behind the club, this team and its technical staff. People chanting the hymn. This is not Valdebebas. We are here until the end.
    Visca el Barça!

    • jordi™
      April 24, 2012

      Its not the end.But its a worse feeling than going out to inter.We had everything we needed today and yet…:(

    • hansh
      April 24, 2012

      Pep renewing?! THAT would make my day.

  17. Gogah
    April 24, 2012

    Don’t think I’ve felt this shitty before.

    Now I hope Chelsea goes on to win the thing.

    Visca Barca

  18. barca96
    April 24, 2012

    the most embarrassing loss ever in my 16-17 years as a fan

    Why?
    Chelsea lost their captain, went a man down, conceded a penalty but yet we can’t beat them.
    What did our players do in the whole of 2nd half? Pass the ball side to side, side to side. They probably thought it was a game of keeping the ball.
    Take a bloody shot you asses..

    • Helge
      April 24, 2012

      wtf?

      Don’t you think it’s just incredibly hard to score against a team that defends like that?
      They defended like Inter did. We still won the match. Both matches. But not with a big enough margin.

      You wrong Barca, no other team had to play against such a defensive team. When Arsenal play Chelsea, when AC played Inter, whatever – they never defended as resolute as they did against us.
      It’s practically impossible to get a shot from distance through that 6 + 3 man wall!
      The sad thing is that these kind of matches show, in the end, even the best attacking team finds it almost impossible to break down a perfectly organised, fully destructive and defensive team.

      The way how Chelsea played is against my worldview. I don’t even know if I should support them in a possible final against Madrid. At least, Madrid dares to play against us.
      Hopefully Bayern goes through, then my decision will be much easier!

    • Messiah10
      April 24, 2012

      Yeah, there were quite a few times I screamed, “SHOOT the ball” Alves was completely ineffective today. Does he know there’s a endline or does the pitch stop at the box? Chelsea also lost both CB. Unreal

  19. Helge
    April 24, 2012

    Can you lose in a more bitter and devastating way, considering our chances including 4 times woodwork in both matches?

    I don’t think so.

    Feel so devastated right now. Crying, weeping. Gotta somehow find some sleep, tomorrow is a difficult exam. But I cannot think about that at all right now 🙁

    Visca el Barca.

  20. April 24, 2012

    It happens guys, Chelsea deserved it over the two legs, not like they cheated their way to the final or anything. We lost, so we come back strong next year. Visca Barca!

  21. Judas Pissed
    April 24, 2012

    Well played Chelsea – altho I’m starting to think MAYBE Pep got lucky with an awesome set of players & maybe isn’t that good a coach after all..?

    • Messiah10
      April 24, 2012

      Sorry, gonna have to disagree. WHat Pep has done with this team is absolutely incredible. He changed the dressing room, Messi’s position on the field, and gave us everything we have today. We are missing some key players. I’m gutted. I mean sick, but in no way will I blame Pep or think he’s not that good. He’s great and I pray he stays. All we need to do is acquire some key players at key positions. We’ll be fine. Back next year for more GLORY! Visca Barca!

  22. elacule
    April 24, 2012

    simply stunned.

    in my heart, though, i’m still so amazed and proud of this team.

    (but no watching any footy coverage for the rest of the season – everyone will be talking about chelsea beating barca and i don’t want to hear it.)

    thanks, y’all, for being here.

  23. barca96
    April 24, 2012

    When we lost last week, most of you guys here said we can score at home. We haven’t done that against Chelsea nor Madrid. WHat now?

    Stop trying to hide the fact that we aren’t good enough, to score goals at least.

    • Jim
      April 24, 2012

      But we did. The problem was with one man up front they scored two against us. Probably not a good time for any of us to be posting as we are not at our most rational 🙂

      • barca96
        April 24, 2012

        Obviously I know Chelsea scored even though it’s 5am here but what I meant was, it’s not enough to win or to go through.

    • sd
      April 24, 2012

      Hey man! Thats awesome. You had no belief in your team and you were absolutely right. I should have listened to you! Great work!

      It doesn’t matter what the result ends up being and yes we shouldn’t hide the flaws. We should be critical but having no belief in your own team and players that have given you so much is completely uncalled for. Players make mistakes. Coaches make mistakes. We have come to expect that Barca must win every competition because of this unprecedented success that THIS coach and THIS team have given you. Being with them when they are doing great is not as important as it is when they are down. Having belief that they will turn it around is an important part of being a fan. Having reservations and being critical is one thing but having the attitude of “I told you we were going to loose and I was right” is completely ridiculous. I wonder how you felt about Rijkaard in his first four months or when Barca din’t win anything for six years. Semi-finalists for 5 years in a row, second place to the best Madrid team ever and in the Copa final is fine with me. Maybe it isn’t with you. But you’ll be disappointed a lot at this rate.

      • barca96
        April 24, 2012

        I like what you said SD but c’mon, it was obvious that the players were not able to score 3.

        That is probably the only time I had no belief in this squad. Have never questioned Pep’s players selection or went on a witch hunt on one of our players (Villa, Keita, Cesc the famous ones) for years now.

        Having watched and played football for 17 years now, I just had a feeling you know.

        Of course I still hoped and prayed for them to win but I just was 99% confident that they were not going to score 3 goals past Chelsea in a circumstance where Chelsea didn’t have to score and that is like what I also predicted, Chelsea will score, happened.

        • sd
          April 24, 2012

          Having watched football for 17 years now you should realize that football is like this. Shit happens and you shouldn’t get so distraught about it. You have also seen then what a real lack of hunger team (Rijkaard’s last season) is like. You will also know what a sub par team (early 2000s) is like. And you will also know how hard this team and these guys have worked for a long long time for a football player. Because of all this you should be grateful and not so distraught.

  24. yassir (Formerly Extreme barca fan)
    April 24, 2012

    Calvin we didn’t get to thank you for the LB, so thank you.
    what happened today was…., i don’t know what was that, and of all the people Torres who couldn’t score a goal to save his life scores against us, oh the irony.
    What a way to end a season that was until 4 days ago so promising, now pep can start focusing on next season plans.
    The boys need to rest, B teamers to get more playing time from here on.
    SO SAD YET SO PROUD.

    • elacule
      April 24, 2012

      yes, thanks to Calvin,

      and many many thanks to Pep and the players.

      hope Pique is ok,

      and you know next year will look different – just gotta figure out a way to blow up the buses teams keep parking in front of the goal.

  25. Momo
    April 24, 2012

    Proud of the boys regardless!

    Well done Chelsea you’ve earned it…

    One of the most dramatic games I’ve ever seen…

    Let the overblown reactions begin…

    • Jim
      April 24, 2012

      I’d agree with that choice of word. From their point of view they certainly did earn it. Wouldn’t agree they deserved it.

  26. April 24, 2012

    Messi was very disappointing today, as he has been in the last couple of matches

    • barca96
      April 24, 2012

      We gotta thank Pep for that for overburning him.

      You want to stay for the whole match Messi?
      Ok do whatever you like as long as you’re happy.

  27. Messiah10
    April 24, 2012

    Wow, I’m so gutted. This hurts more than I thought. I can’t believe w/a man advantage we couldn’t get it done. I’m sick. Congrats to Chelsea. They were unreal defensively. Yes it’s negative football, but they got it done. We didn’t. Yes Messi missed a penalty, but I’m not even sure that was a penalty. On a 2nd angle it looked like Cesc dove. That’s the footballing gods equaling things up. I hope they go on to get their crown so at least we can say we were knocked out by the champs i.e. Inter. I’m still fuming that we gave up a goal in extra time or right before when we just went on a rampage. Obviously, changed the whole game. Chelsea could sit back and defend and we couldn’t get thru the middle. Why we continued to go thru the middle and not down the flanks I have no idea, but we did. So many things that I can point to. Looks like it was to big a game for Cuenca as well. I.E. Tello, in Clasico. Very surreal feeling. I just felt so good about this game and when we went 2-0 up, I thought, “Here we go, how many are we going to get?”. Then BAM! Bad pass, unable to close down ball. Quick outlet and no marks ramieres. ARGGGGH!

  28. hansh
    April 24, 2012

    Guys… I wanna cry 🙁

    Anyone have possession stats for the game?

    Also, I want David Villa, back, like, yesterday.

    Anyone else see us launching long balls to Puyol in the minute at the end? Gave me a bit of amusement at least.

    This comment feels aimless. I feel aimless. Visca Barca!

    • hansh
      April 24, 2012

      One more thing:

      As someone who just started following the team this season, this is not what I jumped on the bandwagon for! Freaking sports. Just kidding, of course, and I’m not giving up on this team now because they’ve captured my heart. I love this team, even right now while it’s killing me.

  29. barca96
    April 24, 2012

    I almost cancelled my holiday to Hong Kong in May because it clashes with the Final but there is no need for that.

    Not going to watch Barca anymore this season except the final. No more waking up at 3am for me. These boys dont deserve it. No hunger. It’s a freaking SEMI GOD DAM FINAL, not a training drill to see who can keep the ball the longest.

    Messi lost his Ballon D’or tonight.

    • mom4
      April 24, 2012

      Dude, I’m pretty gutted too, but a little perspective please!

    • mega_tajh
      April 24, 2012

      A little harsh but the planning for this season pretty much set the tone of what we are now enduring.

      Buying players we didn’t specifically need right away (Cesc), neglecting our defensive problems and relying on youth players we never heard about this season so soon.

    • Barka
      April 24, 2012

      I’m sure the team will be so gutted that you’re not going to watch them anymore this season.

    • Messiah10
      April 24, 2012

      C’mon bud. Are u serious? They deserve our love and undying support. At least that’s how I feel. We need to pick them up after this past week. It’s not like they weren’t trying or there was no effort. Chelsea parked the bus and we couldn’t get thru…well, not really. We scored 2 goals! On a parked bus. That’s incredible. We just gave up a silly goal. Pep needs to buy a couple defenders. Maybe another striker, but Villa will be back next year. I think he’ll be fantastic next year. As will Pedro. The hunger will be there just as it has been, if not more. Maybe Messi did lose the Ballon D’Or. WHO CARES? He’s still the best footballer on this EARTH. I don’t need an award to confirm it. I doubt he or his teammates and coach do either. I watch Barca and support Barca b/c I bleed Barca. You need to appreciate what we’ve been given the last few years. INCREDIBLE. I hope you cheer up. I understand the feeling. But like it’s been said. Keep some perspective

    • Momo
      April 24, 2012

      “…These boys dont deserve it. No hunger….”

      “Messi lost his Ballon D’or tonight”

      My word…

      • barca96
        April 24, 2012

        Thanks Messiah10.

        Momo, playing passes sideways for 45mins doesn’t really look like they have the hunger to score.

        Messi lost his Ballon D’or by being a big match bottler for the past 3 matches, 3 BIGGEST matches of the season.

        Whether you or I like it or not, of course I would love him to win it, but you can only win it if you win trophies. Yes we won Supercopa, CWC and all but they don’t measure up against Ronaldo’s league trophy and he might go far in CL and EC2012 too.

  30. nia
    April 24, 2012

    It wasn’t met to be. Hope Chelsea win the final then since they beat the best team.

  31. mom4
    April 24, 2012

    When we conceded that stupid goal late in the first half, I had that 10 man Inter deja vu feeling.

    • barca96
      April 24, 2012

      Same here. I said no no no no. No matter how dirty Terry was let him stay because we can never seem to beat a team with 10 men.

      • mom4
        April 24, 2012

        No, only after we conceded did I think that.

        • barca96
          April 24, 2012

          Yeah true because that meant that they all they had to do was defend.

  32. Manish
    April 24, 2012

    Gutted.. that’s how i feel. We lost the la liga and the champions league in a space of 4 days..:(

    Maybe it was not meant to be. We hit the post 4 times that tells a lot about our attack, but our defense.. was all over the place. This season our El Capita has been getting beaten for pace match after match.. we are so thin behind … that yeah our asses are all visible..

    But next season Villa will be back..and I am sure we will invest in a new defender.

    This is not the end of an Era.. but just the starting of a new one.. we will be back stronger faster and will go higher next season..

    Visca Barca…!!

    • Jim
      April 24, 2012

      Can you give us one example of him being beaten for pace?

      • Manish
        April 24, 2012

        You should watch the semi final first leg.. and the Classico again. He has the heart I know.. but he’s getting old…

        And what is up with Messi these days.. for the past few matches.. his runs into the box is just not there.. he’s been playing more in the middle..

        Alright some sense now.. i need to get sane… no team can go year after year playing at the same level… I need to get real.. and that’s the truth…

        • Jim
          April 24, 2012

          I have – I’m sad enough to watch every game twice although I didn’t manage the classico and I’ve not seen what you have. What I would say though is that the three man defence has been suicide for us this season and Puyol, like the rest, isn’t at his best in that formation.

          • Messiah10
            April 24, 2012

            The key to a 3 man back line is speed. El Capitan has lost a step this year. Maybe more towards the end of the season. It’s clear. When he’s tracking back at full pace to cover an offensive player w/the ball at his feet and still can’t get in front of him…that’s losing a step considering the ABSURD standard he’s set. He is getting up there. Last year I was trying to think who could step up for him should he call it quits soon. I’m not sure. Masch is the obvious choice now, but not last year. Xavi & Puyol are getting up there. They are going to need to be managed carefully next season. More games off for sure. It’s interesting, but as I’m typing this, I just thought that I bet Lampard, Terry, and Cole benefited from AVB sitting them a lot this year. You can quantify it, but I think so.

  33. jordi™
    April 24, 2012

    We conceded.Twice.To ten men.One was by Torres.

    I might have to wipe this from memory.

    • Messiah10
      April 24, 2012

      I’m actually really happy for Fernando. He has gone thru so much the past 2 years. Worst form for a striker I’ve seen. Confidence shot. Still playing great though. Making fantastic passes and runs. Giving 100%. If anyone deserved a goal it was him. I hope he goes on to score a few more before the end of the year and maybe, just maybe, get a place in the Euros. Doubt VDB will call him up but you never know. Congrats Fernando. You earned it!

  34. daratboya
    April 24, 2012

    you win some you lose some..thats sport people..dont get too angry just because of this..3 years of winning almost everything, this team deserve the support of the fans in time like this..well, im gonna go to sleep hoping this is just a bad dream..at least, no manita at camp nou tho

  35. mom4
    April 24, 2012

    So now we plan for next year, A CB, an LB, and maybe someone for the front that might be over 5’7″?

    Will be fun to watch a little restructuring. Some evolution in sports is necessary to keep the competition on its toes.

    Please remember in the comments, y’all.
    We love this team. We love this club. We are extremely disappointed. BUT THE TEAM IS COMPRISED OF HUMAN BEINGS who have had to play 3 games in 7 day and got very far in all competitions… AND
    IT’S JUST A GAME! The sun rises tomorrow.

  36. barca96
    April 24, 2012

    The team get’s wonderful praises when they win, now they lose so I don’t see a problem in addressing the problems. And what I said were facts.

    -Messi not enough rest.
    -Team cant score 3 against Chelsea.
    -Team passing sideways endlessly.
    -Can’t win even though Chelsea lost a captain, played with 10men for the whole 2nd half, conceded a penalty.

    I apologize if I offended someone but don’t tell me that those aforementioned points above were off the mark.

    I’ve been a fan for 16 years and Ive never had the joy to witness a team that is so complete as this. Simply no excuse for under performing like this. So excuse me if I am dissappointed at them.

    They jsut didn’t work hard enough to go through even though with all the talent they have. That is the worst part.

  37. Helge
    April 24, 2012

    Positive news of the day:
    – Barca players (and especially the Spanish internationals) get at least some rest more before the Euro. Go for the EC, WC, EC triple champion – something that has never been achieved before as far as I know

    Good news to remind you of:
    -Messi will have a whole 6, 7 or even 8 weeks to regenerate

    Question of the day:
    -Will the CdR final be preponed?

  38. Barka
    April 24, 2012

    Well we still have the Copa del rey final to play. Football is like life, you can’t win forever. Do your best Barcelona!

  39. Ron Mexico
    April 24, 2012

    I had a feeling Messi would miss the PK. He’s been shaky from the spot all season and I never feel very confident with him. Everyone knows he’s going right.

    All of those close misses and hit posts are definitely going to give Barca nightmares. Sanchez was super wasteful, though played well defensively and in possession.

    Regardless, that Ramires counter was soooo crucial. It meant they could basically play super deep with 6 at the back and 3 shielding them for long stretches. People here are complaining about not being able to find a way through on the wing, but you can’t exactly waltz through a super compact block of 10 players, especially when you factor in their strength and height advantages.

    Chelsea played intelligently, to their strengths, and took their chances. I’m a Barcelona fan, but I can’t say they didn’t deserve what they got. Props to them.

    This has not been Barcelona’s year, but I fully expect them to be back challenging for multiple championships next year, and that is all I can ask for as a fan.

  40. Richzorz
    April 24, 2012

    To create so many chances and hit so much woodwork over 2 legs and lose to 2 breakaway goals (Torres’ 3rd didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things) is unfortunate, team missed a cutting edge in front of goal (David Villa perhaps…?) and Messi is lucky he’s the best player in the world – his penalty miss and giving the ball away in the first leg proved too costly in the end.

  41. hansh
    April 24, 2012

    Get well soon Pique!! But not too soon. I’m almost positive he has a concussion and coming back too quickly from that would be disastrous.

  42. Jafri
    April 24, 2012

    Losing sucks, but as long as Pep renews, this doesn’t matter. We’ll shore up our team and try again next year 🙂

  43. April 24, 2012

    Heartbroken, but I think a little perspective is good right now. This team doesn’t owe us anything after what they’ve done the last few years. Now in a crisis, we need to love and support them more than ever, even and especially after awful games like today’s.

    We’re exhausted, our squad is thin, and we were hit by devastating injuries. Losing Abidal and Villa was completely disastrous for our season. Messi has played virtually every single game for all 90 minutes and has scored over 60 goals while no one else has broken 20. But Villa will get healthy again, Abidal’s operation was a success, and that is what is really important. We have the summer to work out or squad issues, and I really don’t think Pep is leaving us just yet.

    We’re fans of the most beautiful team in the world with the most amazing players and coach, who have been ridiculously successful. Losing is part of football. We are lucky and blessed to be fans of this club. Visca el Barça, always.

    • barca96
      April 24, 2012

      Obviously we still love and support them but I don’t see anything wrong in calling out their mistakes.

      After all, it’s not like the team will get affected by anything we say unlike the fans in Barcelona itself.

      We are lucky in a sense that we can show our emotions without hurting the players.

  44. barca96
    April 24, 2012

    Don’t you think it’s just incredibly hard to score against a team that defends like that?
    They defended like Inter did. We still won the match. Both matches. But not with a big enough margin.

    It is hard, yes but only if they still insist on playing 1-2’s, dribbling through the defenders, crossing the ball knowing that there are 9 big and tall men waiting there.

    We had the ball at the edge of the box a lot of times so why not just try your luck and shoot. Messi hit the post.
    I thought others would follow but no….
    The ball could take a wicked deflection and went in or rebounded back to our player.

    You gotta take some risks.

    I know you made an error in the heat in the moment but we drew.

  45. barca96
    April 24, 2012

    In total over the course of 2 legs, Chelsea had 3 shots on target and all resulted in a goal.

    Its either
    a) Chelsea’s attack is so lethal
    b) Our defense (defenders and VV) are just too error prone.

    • Ron Mexico
      April 24, 2012

      Or they just took their chances? If I’m recalling the Super Copa correctly we were nearly as clinical as Chelsea was. Sometimes the shots go in. There are always more than two reasons for a result, often many more.

    • jordi™
      April 24, 2012

      Victor could have done better on both ramires and drogba goals but remember last time we only stayed in the tie in 2009 because of his saves on drogba.I guess it will drive them to do better next time.If we feel so shit i can only imagine how the players feel right now.

      • barca96
        April 24, 2012

        There was a movie in 2004 or 2005 about the Boston Red Sox team.

        After the Red Sox lost a World Series match vs. Yankees, they went out to have dinner just like on a normal day.

        I know it’a movie but it could be the case for some players.

        • hansh
          April 24, 2012

          Do you know the name of that movie? Huge Sox fan here.

          • barca96
            April 24, 2012

            Really? Amazing comeback by them to beat Yankees.

            Don’t know the name but it starred Drew Barrymore and this comedian Jimmy Fallon.

            I really wished Barca could pull of something similar by winning the league and CL but they failed to rise to the occassion.

          • hansh
            April 24, 2012

            Sounds like you’re talking about Fever Pitch. I thought you meant a documentary about the team.

            An incredible comeback indeed, the best in any sport that I’ve ever seen. You’re right, it would have been glorious if Barca could have gone on a run to win the Liga or the CL. But, as every good Sox fan knows: there’s ALWAYS next year!

        • Messiah10
          April 24, 2012

          The Red Sox could never play the Yankees in a World Series b/c they’re both from the American League and in the same Division. So, either 1 wins Division and the other wins Wild Card berth into playoffs. Yes, I know you know, but had to point that out 🙂

    • Richzorz
      April 24, 2012

      basically Barca need to buy Torres! 😉

      • messifan
        April 24, 2012

        Haha…call me crazy, but I was thinking of us getting him in January when he didn’t look like scoring for Chelsea. I thought he had a good work ethic and really changed his style to suit the team. Anyway, I hope he makes it to the Euro.

  46. sd
    April 24, 2012

    Hey look at the bright side. Now at least we ll find out soon whether Pep (as there is nothing left to distract us) is renewing or not. Either way we won’t be in suspense. I am hoping he will renew. We can also blood some young’uns and see where we really stand and what we really need to get.

    I won’t be watching the CL final but good luck to both teams there. Whether Madrid win their tenth or not doesn’t matter to me. My team is Barca.

    • barca96
      April 24, 2012

      The issue whether Pep is renewing or not should not be used as an excuse at all.

      The players are paid professionals. Their job is to perform on the pitch, not worry what the coach thinks.

      • sd
        April 24, 2012

        That has nothing to do with what I said. My point is Pep did not want distract himself from the team dealing with renewals and all. No where does it say that this can be used as an excuse. Maybe I worded it wrong.

        • barca96
          April 24, 2012

          Oh sorry. I thought you meant the team cause you said us

      • Messiah10
        April 24, 2012

        If Di Matteo doesn’t get the job now, R.A. is a miser. I’m sorry, but even for the reported $10 million/year he’s allegedly going to offer Pep, I would never want to coach there. After 6 months of trying to build your team and no results your doomed.

  47. mega_tajh
    April 24, 2012

    Whats more concerning is that we seem to be running out of ideas when attacking. Our defense despite being short handed did a good job, its only because we go looking for wins that they are exposed like this.\

    Offense needs a face-lift, a goal scorer is needed not a winger not midfielder but a goal scorer. At most 3 players, LB, CB or a player who can do LB and CB. We shouldn’t be throwing young Tello and Cuenca into games like these so soon. We criticized Wenger for doing this.

  48. amos
    April 24, 2012

    *EDITED to remove an Arsenal fan trolling*

    -Calvin

    • Lev
      April 24, 2012

      Hey Gunner, I thought Karma was Cesc coming back to us? :p

    • footballfan
      April 24, 2012

      and this is the cue for trolls to start bashing. Let it commence! *sigh*

    • amos
      April 24, 2012

      Can’t take it can you. Leave my comment alone. You are just like your club, trying to control everything.

      • April 24, 2012

        We don’t condone swearing, obscene comments, and being demeaning, all three of which featured prominently in your original post.

        • amos
          April 24, 2012

          Excuses, excuses, excuses. What a surprise.

          • April 24, 2012

            I don’t delete comments on a whim. Your other comment is much less vile than your first, and look! It’s still there.

            I know your only pleasure from football can come when other teams lose trophies, but really you just look sad right now.

          • amos
            April 24, 2012

            Actually, if you could see me, I look extremely happy. I can see the bigger picture of corruption in football.

          • Messiah10
            April 24, 2012

            Sorry Calvin,

            I’m not the bigger man. Hey troll, guess what? WE are still playing for a trophy this year. Are you? Oh no, that’s right. Another trophyless season. Have fun next year win RVP leaves. I really like Wenger as a coach and your style of play but don’t come lookig for something you can’t back up yourself. I read the other day that Arsenal are in the top 10 of Forbes richest football teams. Where’s that money going? Certainly not in players. Certainly not in the fans pockets in regards to ticket prices. Where? You have our philosphy and style but don’t have the talent to compete with the biggest clubs in the world. Have fun trolling. We’ll contiue to look at you as our AAA affiliate we can call players up from.

  49. Jim
    April 24, 2012

    I don’t think that was the point being made and it wouldn’t be an excuse if it was. It’s just super hard to break down an English defence making no attempt to play. You can’t afford to lose two goals at home in the CL.

    • barca96
      April 24, 2012

      We actually just lost a goal. The 2nd goal was conceded when it was almost over. Can’t really see them scoring anyways.

      Messi hit the post when he decided to take a shot from the edge of the box. Others should’ve done that as well. Many times when they arrived at the edge, they either tried to dribble through, pass, 1-2’s or didn’t know what to do.

      Just take a shot. It might get deflected and go in or rebound to one of our players.

  50. jordi™
    April 24, 2012

    Smells like the angst of a seven year trophy drought in the comment above mine.

    • Momo
      April 24, 2012

      I don’t feel that at all from Jim :p

    • amos
      April 24, 2012

      Ask Rossell why he deposited $1.4 million in the bank account of the 11 year old daughter of Texeira. Come back to me and prove you are winners on an even playing field. I am still waiting for my original comment to be reinstated but I guess that is like asking a bear to shit in a toilet. I hate Mourinho but I hope Real win it now because I know what that will do to you.

      • Messiah10
        April 24, 2012

        You want to talk about corruption? Try having Stan Kroenke as your majority share holder. His money comes form Walmart. One of the worst offenders of human rights abuses in 3rd World countries there is in capitalism. There are factories where children are handcuffed to sewing machines so Wally World can make a profit. Yeah. Real clean. I’m sure your kits are made of the blood, sweat, and tears of innocent & impovershed nations

  51. Judas Pissed
    April 24, 2012

    I hope Pep goes now with his head held high & new blood comes in. The top teams in Europe have worked hard to find out how to play us & we haven’t done anything to come up with a plan B. Back to the drawing board I reckon.

    • jordi™
      April 24, 2012

      If hypothetically he did leave, and I dont think he should, who do you have in mind to replace him? And remember how big Sir Bobby found Cruyff’s shoes to fill.Next coach will have a lot of pressure.

      • sd
        April 24, 2012

        Oscar Garcia, Andres Villas-Boas, Marcelo Bielsa. Those would be my top 3 in no particular order.

  52. Dave
    April 24, 2012

    Congratulations Chelsea.

    I am worn out. I feel I kicked every ball tonight.Horrible.

    We must rebuild, this loss will spur us on to win again.

    Investment needs to be made.

    No more words.

    • barca96
      April 24, 2012

      I personally don’t think it’s a personnel problem.

      -Pep just needs to stop over playing Messi
      -Rest the midfield players so that they can pressure like they used to
      -Work on Finishing
      -Work on Shooting from outside the box
      -Work on the defending
      -Work on VV’s verbal skills

      • Dave
        April 24, 2012

        Its a massive personnel problem.

        Don’t overplay Messi, but also take the emphasis off him. Sign players who do this. The wings should carry a threat, not just be there to create space for Messi.

        – Add athleticism/Strength to the team. We need our height back,eg Toure, Henry
        -Build a devastating counter attack.
        – Fast defenders.
        -The problem with this obsession with possession is that it removes the shooting outside the box talent.
        – No more ‘he wouldn’t fit our style’ WE NEED VARIETY FFS.

        -This loss is soul-destroying no doubt. I am worried if the players will be mentally right again

        • barca96
          April 24, 2012

          I still don’t think it’s a personnel problem.

          If Villa was healthy, we had one more shooter from outside the box.

          If Alexis was consistently healthy, he could be our athleticism, strenght and counter attack.

          I do agree on the obsession with possession though. Too much rondo’s and too little finishing drill and shooting on target drills.

  53. April 24, 2012

    In the end, the blow I had after getting knocked out vs Inter was enough to numb me. I don’t feel as hurt now as I did then.

    We fans are crying, but imagine the state of the players then. MAJOR PROPS to the Camp Nou crowd which started to chant after Torres’s goal.

    Dunno if I’m gonna watch tomorrow’s match. I think I’ll take a break. Focus on class, etc. Be back for CDR final.

    Visca.

    • barca96
      April 24, 2012

      Yeah the crowd who are directly related to the players’ feelings are always awesome. Love our fans in the stadium. Always behind the team, in big matches that is because in normal La Liga matches, they are quiet as a church mouse 🙂

  54. flyzowee
    April 24, 2012

    This doesnt feel like a knee-jerk reaction but if it is please feel free to put me in place.

    I was thinking that maybe its time to review Messis false 9 position to give us more options in the transfer market.

    Please note Im not blaming Messi. Poor guy is Spent.

    But its very harmful to the club for him to score 60+goals a season. But thats whats happening.

    Once again we’ll be in the transfer market for a striker but as long as messi plays central our options IMO diminish dramatically.

    Cheer up guys and support the team.

    • April 24, 2012

      Agreed completely. Messi’s absurd amount of freedom is hurting the team right now.

      • barca96
        April 24, 2012

        And his license to not pressure at all.

        Ok we get 60 goals but it’s not going to help the team in the playoff times or the business end of the football season.

      • mega_tajh
        April 24, 2012

        I think it was the Revista guys who mentioned that Pep is starting to review the Messi false 9 role. We shall see in the off season how things goes.

        But this makes it what 4 pk misses from Messi this season? All if them highly important for the team. We need some variation in our PK department seriously.

        Messi had a stinker and needs to be told so.

        • Jim
          April 24, 2012

          Did you feel anybody carried more threat than him tonight?

          • mega_tajh
            April 24, 2012

            Messi is what he is the best player in the world so of course he will carry a threat in any game, but look at his game today, bad passes, shooting directly at the keeper 1v1 or missing that glorious chance early on.

            He looked off simply as that indecisive to a point, he was thinking to much and not playing naturally. If this was Villa we would be criticizing to no end Yes we love Messi but its no harm in saying he had a bad game.

            Pep just came out and said basically the same. “Sure Messi will have some bad hours, he’s very competitive. We got here because of Leo. He’s an example for all of us.”

  55. Lev
    April 24, 2012

    Anyway apart from responding to trolls i just wanna say VISCA BARÇA the most beautiful team in the world.

    No sour grapes and all, cause anyone has the right to play however the hell they want, but if you have 300 million euro and you still park the bus for 180 minuts isn’t that a huge admission of inferiority as a football team?

    In football one can win and one can lose but I can’t tell you how happy I am to be a culé because we will always stay true to our philosophy and I would rather play the right way and not win than to betray our commitment to the beautiful game.

    Congratulations are definitely in order to Chelsea but even more congratulations to our Barça because they have made me proud the last three games.

  56. caosanping
    April 24, 2012

    I was really sad and disappointed for 20min after the match. But now I feel relieved. This Barca has been on top of the world for almost 4 seasons. Sometimes I really doubt if I am gonna be excited about football any longer because I have seen the best of the best. Now I regain the enthusiasm of watching football because I can’t wait for the start of next season.

    Life isn’t just about how to win. It’s also about how to lose. We have tried everything and we accept the loss and congratulate the rivals. Guadiola told players they have to learn how to lose before they know how to win. Puyol and Xavi learned it in the dark era of Barca. Iniesta and Messi learned in 2006-2008 seasons. But the young lads like Pique, Busquets, Alexis, Cesc, Pedro, Cuenca. etc never got the chance. They arrive in the golden era. Sometimes I worried these young faces might not have the strength to face difficulties when the old soldiers leave. So this is the right time for them to grow. I am looking forward to the phenix reborn from ashes.

    Next season Guadiola has to think about rebuilding the backline. Puyol’s pace slowed down quite obviously. King Abidal probably won’t return (I don’t want him to risk his life for playing). Xavi can still control the rhythm of the team but he gradually loses the sharpness of the final pass. It’s time to get 1-2 (or even 2-3) fresh legs for the backline. And it’s also time to stabilize the front attacking line. One problem Barca had in the final third of the season is that the front line lacks the absolute understanding as REM, or MEH or MVP had. Guadiola has tested many different combinations this season, partly due to injury of Villa and Pedro’s lacking fitness. But none stands out to be the best attacking line. In many games the first to be substituted are the attackers. Sometime it fixed the problem, sometimes it failed. Next season, we need to give enough match time to Alexis, Messi, and Villa/Pedro/Cuenca/Tello. I am looking forward to the phenix reborn from ashes!

    • jordi™
      April 24, 2012

      Our players might start playing with enjoyment again.

      The obligation to win every competition must be crippling mentally.

      • elacule
        April 24, 2012

        +1 to both of you.

        once they get over this shock, it will be ok – they’ll work and play hard, enjoy life, and compete at the highest level and win again. i hope they all have a great summer, and plenty of everything that makes them happy besides trophies.

  57. April 24, 2012

    So does this result increase or decrease the likelihood of Pep staying? I say it increases it, because he wouldn’t want to go out on such a note.

    Anyway, as I said above, proud of the team and the fans, it didn’t happen today, no big deal, CL finals are not a birthright and we did not perform well enough to go through. It happens. We’ll be back next year.

    • caosanping
      April 24, 2012

      I think he will stay. If he wins the CL again, he might lose the driving force because he can’t do it better than what he has done. Now he can look forward to next season.

      Remember when we lost to Inter in 2009, he promised we would win CL again and we did. Now it’s time to show he is not just a coach but he is also a manager. Ferguson rebuilt many ManU teams under his charge. The ManU team that won 2007-2008 CL champions were even kicked out in the group stage a couple of years ago. This year they were kicked out again. But they didn’t panic and Ferguson insisted giving young people chances. Now they are almost crowned with premium league championship.

      We have a similar case—-we need find players to replac Puyol, Xavi, Abidal, Keita right away, and maybe even Alves and Valdes in a few years. Montoya, Muniesa, Thiago, Cueca and Tello are good but I am not sure if they can hold on in big matches. Guadiola has this great challenge to show and prove he is among the best coaches in the history—not just winning with the best team but maintaining and rebuilding the best team.

  58. Huckleberry
    April 24, 2012

    So then. The circle came to an end ant the dream also. Reality and the realistic interpretation of the game with stable defence, fast counter attacs and athletism finally won again the upper hand.
    victrix causa Deis placuit sed victa Catoni.

  59. TITO
    April 24, 2012

    Uffffffffffffffffff.
    First of all, i had to watch the game outside of my place, circumstances enforced that. And i never, ever want to watch the game outside of my living room.
    Second, we are talking about this game, this game only, not about cycles, eras, the season or whatever. So, this game alone, Messi was awful, you can agree or disagree with me, but i, my brother and my father all agreed that if this was Special Five, he would have subbed him. I was pissed off with him in so many wasted chances, i can’t believe. You want to keep him happy, playing 90 minutes every game? Ok. Keep him happy, but i don’t think he is happy at the moment now. Knowing that he screw up at SB and tonight. So, yes, it’s not blasphemy, for me Pep and Messi cost us this game.
    Tello for Cuenca? Really? What’s the point of that?
    Keita for Cesc? Really? More height?
    No Thiago, no Pedro????
    I have other points i want to make, but so pissed off that we are out, and not taking anything from Chelsea, they had to play with 10 men for 60 minutes, which is an achievement, considering they f.cking lost their 2 CB.
    And
    we still couldn’t score.

    • Jim
      April 24, 2012

      It may be that we should look at our penalty taker in future but I’m not sure where all Messi’s wasted chances were tonight. When you see a missed Messi chance he has quite often created it himself out of nothing. He is tired but the thought of a Cuenca -alexis- Cesc front line fills me with horror.

    • hansh
      April 24, 2012

      Sorry, but who/what is Special Five?

  60. messifan
    April 24, 2012

    I just got home; have not seen the match, but now I won’t be watching it 🙁

    Chelsea, why did you sack AVB?
    Seriously, Congrats to them and Torres!
    They’ve been fairly lucky of late and maybe now, I guess the debt of ’09 has been repaid.

    I’m going to continue watching Barca this season. No reason for me stop.

    Visca el Barca!

  61. Dave
    April 24, 2012

    Its a massive personnel problem.

    Don’t overplay Messi, but also take the emphasis off him. Sign players who do this. The wings should carry a threat, not just be there to create space for Messi.

    – Add athleticism/Strength to the team. We need our height back,eg Toure, Henry
    -Build a devastating counter attack.
    – Fast defenders.
    -The problem with this obsession with possession is that it removes the shooting outside the box talent.
    – No more ‘he wouldn’t fit our style’ WE NEED VARIETY FFS.

    -This loss is soul-destroying no doubt. I am worried if the players will be mentally right again

    • sd
      April 24, 2012

      They’ll be fine. They are the same group of players by large that gave Madrid a pasillo and came back to win the treble. To be honest I have a feeling the players will be a little relieved to have lost. Its an insane amount of pressure they have been under for four years. Liga, CL, Copa, CWC everything every year, winning every game. For most of them it dint end there. There is the world cup, the euro, the confederations cup, the south american cup, the african cup. Its ridiculous. Xavi, Messi, Iniesta, Puyol have been playing non-stop (not counting injuries) since 2007 counting Rijkard’s last season in charge. This pressure lifting and expectations recalibrating is important.

      • barca96
        April 24, 2012

        I still don’t think it’s a personnel problem.

        If Villa was healthy, we had one more shooter from outside the box.

        If Alexis was consistently healthy, he could be our athleticism, strenght and counter attack.

        I do agree on the obsession with possession though. Too much rondo’s and too little finishing drill and shooting on target drills.

  62. Cule
    April 24, 2012

    * warning, off topic post *
    Hey all, I know many of you are upset, I know all too well. My question is, why should any of us be sad (or depressed, or angry, insert any negative emotion)? Why do we all allow people that we do not know personally, to effect our emotions in such an extreme way? When we lost to Inter in 2010, I was gutted. When we won the cl in 2011 and 2009 I was thrilled.

    Today, I was overcome with joy when we were 2-0 up, heartbroken at 2-1, and after Torres’ goal, I threw an airfreshner bottle at my wall in anger, leaving a dent in it. But now, I am at complete peace, with no negative thoughts or emotions. Any other year we lose a semifinal in such a devastating way, I honestly would just completely lose my mind. But not today, because I have realized that football really is not so important. As Kxevin said some time ago, “disappointment is inevitable, discouragement is an option.” That line really stuck with me, why should any of us allow ourselves to be down today? What happened is something completely out of our control, and has no effect on our personal lives, UNLESS we let it.

    I will no longer be addicted to football. I no longer wanna be happy as **** when we win, because that happiness that comes with winning just takes me away from my real life. And I no longer wanna be depressed or sad when we lose, I no longer want people who have no idea who I am, to bring me down. It is really just a game, and the more you focus on this game, the less you focus on your personal life. In many ways, football can be similar to an addiction.

    I will still watch football, but will never allow myself to be so sucked into that world again, because I do not want to focus so much energy on something that has no deep meaning. I will quote Isaiah here, “I wonder why I should bother being a fan of anything that doesn’t bring me complete joy.” Before reading that line, I was thinking along the same lines, but that statement summed it up real well for me. I have wasted so much time stressing for this team, and for what? I know for a fact, that many on this blog have done the same, I have read many extremely negative comments on here, I have seen positive people turn negative! Wake up, stop letting this sport take over your personality. Stress and anxiety are bad for health for god’s sake! How do we let a sport take over us like that?

    • barca96
      April 24, 2012

      I asked my self the same thing when;

      Holland lost to Brazil in 1998
      Barca lost to Valencia in CL in 2000
      Barca lost to Liverpool in 2007
      Barca lost to Inter in 2010
      And now again but I guess that is what you call love 🙂

    • messifan
      April 24, 2012

      When we lost to Arsenal last year, I started to question why I was so invested in this team. I told myself then that I would take a break from Barca. It was a good break, and I came back with a realization that I LOVE this team, these players and these coaches. Personally, Futbol Club Barcelona is not taking over my life, it is a part of me. I’m still in love with the team. But like everything in life, one day, I might fall out of love with FCB. I’m still going to feel emotionally attached but the feeling then might not be the same as it is today.

    • Momo
      April 24, 2012

      Haha you need a therapist my friend!! It’s just a game after all…

      • Cule
        April 24, 2012

        I have finally realized that, so no need for a therapist for me. lol

    • caosanping
      April 24, 2012

      Many points are true. Sometimes I asked myself the same question. But then I realize the charm of football (or any sport) is that it’s not just a game. One can learn a lot of things from it. Sometimes football is like life. You might get struck down when you think you get tight hold of something you desperately wanted. There may be a long dark tunnel in front of you before you can see any light and hope. But if you can stay calm and tell yourself what’s the most important, you will stay to your true style and walk out of the dark one day. It’s good you learned how to handle the loss and bad feeling afterward. The real life need the same skill too.

    • DumbOx
      April 24, 2012

      Oh my goodness, Cule! I feel like I was reliving your life, literally! Today, I decided to work from home and be back in the office after the match, albeit wearing my Barca colors. At 2-0, I was jumping up and down with my dog and at 2-1 I was simply stunned and when the Torres goal happened, I slammed my laptop so hard, my dog look at me quizzically and seemed to ask “what is the matter?”

      I enjoy reading all the posts here on BFB and seldom posts any comments, but today, I commiserate with all my fellow cules. While we are all absolutely gutted and devastated, let’s not let football take over our lives.

      I came to love the sport because of Barca and I will forever be a cule — they are a source of joy to watch. Pep’s boys have had 4 amazing seasons and have won countless trophies. To let this setback take control of our lives is not simply worth it. I’m sure the team would not want that to happen to any Barca fan.

      So let’s celebrate this team’s achievements and success, be proud of the fact that we support a great team with a good coach and historical set of players that literally represent the “triumph of good vs. evil.” Let’s enjoy our families and loved ones who will always be there for us and will support no matter what happens. Visca Barca!

      P.S. NZM & Mom4, my fam will be in Barcelona this summer — would love to meet a fellow cule and a fellow soccer mom! Cheers!

      • mom4
        April 24, 2012

        nzm is in Barcelona, I just visited, drank way too much with them, and formed great freindships with them. i’m from the US.

        • DumbOx
          April 24, 2012

          Hi mom4! I’m a soccer mom from the Bay Area! Give me a shout out when you’re the neck of my woods. Love this forum and the BFB community. Hope to meet NZM this summer. Will see if there are any soccer camps for girls at Camp Nou. Visca Barca!

        • DumbOx
          April 24, 2012

          Hi mom4! I’m a soccer mom from the Bay Area! Give me a shout out when you’re the neck of my woods. Love this forum and the BFB community. Hope to meet you in the very near future and NZM this summer. Will see if there are any soccer camps for girls at Camp Nou. Visca Barca! Chin up, fellow cules!

    • Messiah10
      April 24, 2012

      I’m lucky. I had an empty water bottle in my hand. Bounced right off the wall! 🙂

  63. jordi™
    April 24, 2012

    I just remembered they lost both central defenders. This game basically combined all the elements you need to feel embarrassed and destroyed at the end. At least we can never suffer a worse elimination after experiencing this.

  64. Momo
    April 24, 2012

    Pivotal moment in the game was that Ramires goal, more so than the penalty miss.

    Imagine if we went 2-0 up into the dressing rooms at half time while the chelsea players were going back there half a man down.

    • Momo
      April 24, 2012

      Shambles to concede a goal like that, Pep needs to go back to the basis of his success next season, the classic- all conquering 4-3-3. Investments need to to be made in certain positions to ensure depth in all positions to be able to play that formation year round.

  65. flyzowee
    April 24, 2012

    Regarding Messi and penalties. I dont understand why a player like xavi doesnt take them.

    When I look at sone of the great Pk takers of the past they all have certain x’tics in common i.e. Vision, composure, great technique etc. Why are xavi and iniesta hiding? Or is it messi refusing to let go?
    If we are to go into a Pk shootout, are you telling me that these players wont step up?

    • caosanping
      April 24, 2012

      It’s not about who takes penalty. Anybody can miss a PK anytime. C. Ronaldo missed two penalty in 2008 CL season, one in the semifinal against Barca and one in the final against Chelsea. If John Terry scored from the PK spot, Ronaldo would have been marked as the #1 sinner by fans. But now everybody says he is the PK taker. The best player can miss the most important PK at the wrong time. Just think about Baggio missed the PK in the 1994 world cup final. Netherlands missed 4 or 5 penalties in one game in the semi-final of 2000 Euro. This is life. Just consider it as a joke from God. Don’t blame anybody.

  66. providence
    April 24, 2012

    now we lost it, but becareful not to Insult PEP, MESSI, OR ANY OF our Players,it happened liked this when inter eliminated us but those insulting PEP,AND PLAYING The Blame game should watch theirs words. in football you dont win in eternity!!!

    • caosanping
      April 24, 2012

      I think no true fans would. We lost with our head held high. We created a lot of chances and luck was not on our side this time. We didn’t lose like cowards and we still have our dignity afterward (just watch Pep’s post-match conference). It’s the reality of football and life. The best don’t always win.

    • Huckleberry
      April 24, 2012

      All the haters of the good and the beauty had it…

  67. Kimcelona
    April 24, 2012

    Had to leave with 10 mins left in the match..I couldnt even concentrate on lecture. Came back from classes to the bad news. Gutted :'( But I am still so proud of my team. Theres no blame for anyone. I love Pep and ALL the players and hope they can get up from this.

    We’ll be back next season, hopefully stronger than ever!
    Visca BARCA!!*through tears*

  68. theexposer
    April 24, 2012

    My perspective as a chelsea fan…..Listen to yourselves. Absolutely pathetic. Blaming this blaming that, blaming the greatest player of all time on your loss. At the end of the day you lost and i’m so so happy. Not only because of the fact that we were cheated in 09 (4 penalties disallowed). But also because most of your fans are so ARROGANT. Even the guy that writes this blog wrote a disgusting article last week when you lost at stamford bridge about how barca would rip chelsea apart today. Shame on you. Don’t you dare ever be so arrogant again. Chelsea punished you. Tell me anything now tell me that u were unlucky tell me that chelsea didn’t deserve it. Tell me that chelsea will die in the final I don’t care. LOOK AT THE SCOREBOARD. CHELSEA 3-2 BARCELONA. Goodnight.

    • mom4
      April 24, 2012

      Congrats!

      But really, shouldn’t you go find some nice Chelsea blog to go celebrate with. Wouldn’t it be a better use of your time than to come over here and b*tch at us. Because really, this is a Barca blog and we can be any way (withing the confines of decency) we damn well want to be on it.

      Have a great night!

    • caosanping
      April 24, 2012

      I feel sorry for you. On this heroic night of Chelsea, a Chelsea fan would rather spent time insulting Barca fans than celebrate with his owns. This is truly pathetic.

    • messifan
      April 24, 2012

      I don’t get your argument. There were reasons that we lost. Of course, we have to analyze it. This is a Barcelona blog after all.

      This is my perspective as a Barca fan…RE-READ your comment. Absolutely pathetic. Shame on you for not knowing how to win with grace! So arrogant! Good night 🙂

    • culegirl3
      April 24, 2012

      First..congratulations for an amazing game and a deserved win.

      We can say what ever we want to you (as long as we keep the comments family friendly), you aren’t our leader so step off, its not your place…this is a BARCELONA blog not a Chelsea blog. “Don’t you dare ever be so arrogant again?” Um..who do you think you are?

      Our fans are arrogant?
      What do you call your comment then? Gracious? Humble?
      I think you should go celebrate or something instead of making a total ass out of yourself by using a keyboard to try and sound tough.

      I’m sure this troll is not a representation of the general population of Chelsea fans, I bet some are real nice folks 🙂

      • DumbOx
        April 24, 2012

        @culegirl3 – Congratulations are in order to Chelsea, true, but I will disagree that Chelsea played an amazing game and deserved to win.

        What Chelsea did was just absolutely parked the bus and boot the ball as far away as possible. When I noted this on another social network site, someone mentioned “Welcome to English football.” While there are some EPL teams that are good and that attack, I absolutely abhor Chelsea’s tactics tonight. But hey, they were effective in stopping us, which really goes to show that football can be unfair and unpredictable.

        @theexposer: Cules are pretty respectful in general. We hold our heads up and accept defeat with such grace. Please celebrate with your fellow Chelsea fans elsewhere as you can obviously see we outnumber you here in this BFB community.

        • theexposer
          April 24, 2012

          I’m no troll. I’ve celebrated and I’m so happy. But one of my immediate reactions to the win was disgust at your complete lack of respect for us and our great club before the game. I’ve been a member on this site for a few months. I joined because I loved barca’s style of play, i love messi. But when you faced us, this blog showed a complete lack of rspect for chelsea claiming you’d rip us at home, you’d definitely win etc. Fair enough its ok to be confident. But it’s unbelievable the levels of arrogance of the barca fans. Claiming everyone that beats you is playing ‘antifutbol’. What a load of crap. There are different ways to play the beautiful game, you lot have a superiority complex. We play solid at the back with a devestating counterattack. If everyone played one style of football it would be boring. So consider this. Chelsea beat you without any centrebacks and with 10 men, at one point 2-0 down. That will teach you to respect your opponent and not dismiss us as a shite team that parks its entire team infront of goal and does nothing else. You may have had 80 percent possession, but we had 60 percent of the goals.

          • messifan
            April 24, 2012

            Okay, I’ve been reading comments on this blog too, and I’ve rarely seen any comments that dismiss Chelsea. Personally, I have nothing against park the bus teams or counterattacking teams. You can do whatever you want. You can defend for the whole match and we can say that. I don’t get how that translates into being disrespectful, and more than anything, you generalize an entire community here. That to me is unfair.

            This blog is probably the best one out there in terms of discussing tactics or general stuff relating to Barcelona. We have a diverse group of people with different opinions. You’re welcome to this site but please, leave your offensive remarks before you log in.

    • Ryan
      April 24, 2012

      Typing in caps doesn’t make your arguments better. Only having a stronger argument does that, bud. You weren’t cheated in ’09, there were two games of incompetent officiating. And throwing “shame on you” didn’t exactly work for Hillary, so I’m not sure why you think it’ll work for you. 🙂

      We lost this tie in the first leg with horrible finishing, but props to Chelsea for keeping their heads in the game (barring Mr. Terry) and believing they could win. But why exactly aren’t you out and celebrating rather than trolling your opponent’s blog?

  69. Huckleberry
    April 24, 2012

    I do not know if our philosopher really wanted to win anything in this season… Tragedy weighs more than comedy (or easy wins).
    (just my rationalizations…)

  70. elacule
    April 24, 2012

    looking forward to Bayern beating Chelsea in the CL final. 🙂

    • caosanping
      April 24, 2012

      Though I hope Bayern into the final, but I know it’s unlikely especially after Barca is out.

  71. Wind170
    April 24, 2012

    1. Something critical was missing.
    2. diagonal runs /Tri from the wings from WF
    3. It doesn’t work in the late Rkjaard ‘Era’ is due to the deteriorating mental state of ‘Ronaldinho’ and the internal clashes within that group long ago.
    4. That’s why you see so many side way pass or force thr the middle.
    5. You can have a fusion, ideas don’t necessary have to be contradictory. So many combinations.
    else the wings are wasted[‘wings’ X necess = to midfield in this aspect as opposed to many ppl has suggested]
    * if they can find/have a WF good on both legs,can score goals consistently, that would be better.
    * suprising to see Messi being the provider for so many times.
    What is the function of midfield?
    * Where is the previous Messi? Why is he looking at the ground all the time? Because of the missed penalty? That’s luck. You have to admit it. Bounce off from the woodwork.
    4. One understand he has the desire or will to compete in every match, his body can sustain it right now. However, if he can
    be a bit ‘lazier’ in less important matches and sit on the bench.
    He can have more energy to dribble & shoot. Human is human. There are no exceptions. ~ to other players as well. When you’re 5-0 in front, which was often in recent years. Sub Messi off. This is not a joke but serious matter. As a manager,let him understand the importance of rest using the experience of the recent matches. Even machines need to rest for optimal performance.

    *One should feel happy if you can have a rest(e.g. if your team is leading 4 or 5 nil up]. In the long run, it will probably benefit. That is common in young ppl but rational thoughts would guide one the right way. Today’s Messi is the fake one, may one see the True one later.

    Either Barca is too reliant on Messi and decide not to let him rest. However, in 5-0, or in 4-0, it’s really hard to find excuse not to let him rest.

    Also, point to note, Valdes’ timing leaves a lot to be desired. For e.g. the chipped goals conceded. You can’t blame why ppl are comparing Valdes with GKs like Casillas.

    ~ The lapses especially after a ‘2-0’ lead has become the trend for Barca so many times,e.g. in League games. Especially the midfield has to be more alert(esp) when playing 3 defenders. Xavi is no longer young anymore nor do Puyol.

    Better do more experiments and let the youngsters get more experience. For e.g. they can try sthg new with Thiago. With time, great players will pass on thx they learned and their role will be succeeded & improved on by younger ones. True, they lost this one. But it will probably force/trigger a change for improvement & optimization from what they have built on especially in this season.

    The player with initials ‘I.C’,pretty thin & young plays quite well, though still needs to be refined. They have nearly thrown everything they can, so what can you ask? Though, if there is a slight tune, playing deeper into ‘heart zone’ mixing the plays with dribbles, there could be a difference.

    Pride makes ppl fall. Better keep those talking away.Hope the injured ones are cured.

    Sometimes, there is suffering & sacrifice. Great teams are defined by this. See what happened with Man Utd in the JM’s Chelsea ‘era’.
    You may be hurt to see Chelsea wins today, but if you have a deep thought just for a while. What do you think RA would do to the blues’ manager. Think what happened to JM after his successful time in Chelsea in terms of the results. Success are g.s. defined in a longer time span. Would you call Greece a successful team now?[even if you just remembered at their Euro Cup medal]. Perhaps this could force/trigger to make some improvement esp in squad & the method to
    deal with ‘heavy defense’. Some ppl may splash some nasty words at you due to certain allegiance or pride & want you to fall. This happen all over the places in the world. See what happens to AVB previously & perhaps in your surroundings as well [esp from the ones you don’t believe they will be doing so].

    That’s sad but the Best Resp is to do what must be done disregard of their ‘-ve contribution’. Please don’t be mad if you disagree.Peaceful & calm, think & act.

    • Momo
      April 24, 2012

      Sorry, I’ve read your post three times and have yet to understand anything you’re trying to say…

    • culegirl3
      April 24, 2012

      As far as Messi is concerned..I feel like Pep and the club give him too much freedom in allowing him to play every single game for 90 minutes straight.
      They way I see it, Pep is the parent and Messi is the child. In a parent-child relationship, the child doesn’t dictate what they can and cannot do. It is the parent that makes those important decisions. Having said that, I think Pep needs to talk to Messi and let him know that he doesn’t have to be the hero every single game and that he needs to be benched here and there. By benching him in less important games, it allows the team more opportunities to build confidence without Messi on the pitch.

      • Humphrey Bogart
        April 24, 2012

        Diego Torres just tweeted: after clasico some RM players were sure that Messi played injured

        • culegirl3
          April 24, 2012

          Wonder if its true or not.
          If its true..I’d be super pissed.

        • messifan
          April 24, 2012

          Diego Torres seems to get a lot of access from RM dressing room. Wonder if they figure out who the mole is?

          Maybe Leo injured himself in the first leg?

          • culegirl3
            April 24, 2012

            The full quote from his twitter is this: Lo comentaron algunos jugadores del Madrid tras el clásico: Messi parecía lesionado. Hoy no ha hecho ni un sprint.

            A few Madrid players commented after the clásico: Messi appeared to be injured. Today he has not sprinted once.

          • messifan
            April 24, 2012

            And he didn’t practice on Sunday. Interesting.

          • caosanping
            April 24, 2012

            I did notice on Saturday Messi didn’t shoot that much and he walked a lot. He might be tired and he might get slightly injured. But it’s possible that he hided the fact from Pep and wanted to play for the important games. But anyway no coach dares to bench Messi in such an important game even he is not at his best.

  72. messifan
    April 24, 2012

    Dang it! The title of this post is “This one is for Ducan Castles!”
    🙁 🙁 🙁

  73. elacule
    April 24, 2012

    might be good to have a non-match live chat so people can talk about all of this in real time.

  74. theexposer
    April 24, 2012

    I’m no troll. I’ve celebrated and I’m so happy. But one of my immediate reactions to the win was disgust at your complete lack of respect for us and our great club before the game. I’ve been a member on this site for a few months. I joined because I loved barca’s style of play, i love messi. But when you faced us, this blog showed a complete lack of rspect for chelsea claiming you’d rip us at home, you’d definitely win etc. Fair enough its ok to be confident. But it’s unbelievable the levels of arrogance of the barca fans. Claiming everyone that beats you is playing ‘antifutbol’. What a load of crap. There are different ways to play the beautiful game, you lot have a superiority complex. We play solid at the back with a devestating counterattack. If everyone played one style of football it would be boring. So consider this. Chelsea beat you without any centrebacks and with 10 men, at one point 2-0 down. That will teach you to respect your opponent and not dismiss us as a shite team that parks its entire team infront of goal and does nothing else. You may have had 80 percent possession, but we had 60 percent of the goals.

  75. paxtonpale
    April 24, 2012

    I found this game annyoing. I would have originally like to see Adriano and ALves in a 4-3-3 as wingers and creating dangers down the flanks but 3-4-3 is the way to go to break down a defense like Chelsea and well we succeed and didn’t at the same time. I thought we missed Pique and well I think he could have done a bit better than what Puyol did with the Ramires goal. Fabregas was the one who was to create the final pass and do the link up play inside the Chelsea box and he was doing it well in the first half but well when Kieta came on Messi just couldn’t link up well with Kieta and opportunities were gone and that really for me stole the tie. I thought when Tello come on he was going to have a run through the defense but he was basically useless… When he had the ball, instead of causing trouble he just passed it back to the midfielders (Busuqests, Xavinestia) and hoped they would strike a wonder shot and hope for a goal (which didn’t happen). Cuenca was a surprise as he is reknown for his crossers and well corssing the ball into a box full of Chelsea defenders is really pointless but at least he seted up the first so Im not too disappionted…

    • Jim
      April 25, 2012

      In what way was Puyol responsible for the goal? He wasn’t the CB who dashed out not thinking about his position despite the fact he was our only CB at the time.

  76. April 24, 2012

    I think sometimes we, as fans, expect too much. You win some, you lose some. This is sports in a nutshell. You can’t win them all. The tally in the Guardiola era is now 13/18. That’s amazing. When the season is over it could very will be 14/19. As Puyol alluded to, losing is good because it reinvigorates that competitiveness. That winning feeling is a great feeling because winning is such a hard goal to accomplish.

    As fans we are obligated to analyze and criticize. This is what makes soccer/football great, its propensity for discussion. I hope though that we can analyze and criticize while keeping the above in the back of our mind.

    I’m looking forward to the Copa Del Rey Final. First because of the comedic value; Basques and Catalans congregating in Madrid. Second because it should be a cracking game. Bilbao’s position in the league standing certainly doesn’t do them any justice. They’ve been more impressive then that.

  77. lyd
    April 24, 2012

    The infamous 2-2 scoreline!

    A momentary lapse in concentration!

  78. lyd
    April 24, 2012

    This game reminded me of the Dutch’78, brazil’82. The one that is going to be remembered for how it was played, not how it was won/lost/drawn!

    Basking in the sunshine of this beautiful sadness. A truly unique feeling- that can only be felt by the Blaugrana romantics. That feeling yet again!

    Just when i was about to get out of this emotional rollercoaster ride business, they pulled me back in!!!

    love barca.

  79. lyd
    April 24, 2012

    End of an era? No!! fudge you if you think so!
    Silver lining? – Yes. Its big time for Barca to lose those million band-wagoners.

    One alternate moral of the story for the young ones:

    If you lack creativity and suffer from inferiority complex in general in life, don’t give up like Chelsea. Back on the factors of strict discipline and sheer determination, while pretending to stay “carefree” like a hypocrite, or like that Terry kick. And more importantly believe in God, miracles and harlequin unicorns to get you out off trouble at important times. And most importantly, get unlimited financial support to start with..God (of football) clearly loves those who have nothing to lose but has everything to fight for.

    • lyd
      April 24, 2012

      sorry about the rambling and for bringing God into this :/

  80. lyd
    April 24, 2012

    guys no blaming players, Pep on this game. No damned post-mortem.
    We all saw what happened. The game was decided on the tiniest of things.

    The most important part was that nobody gave up. This performance should make Pep stay. I hope he already made up his mind to renew for one more season. He must stay, there is just no other way.

    Let the pre-season begin.

    Let this set backs make us better than our previous best. Let this be the beginning of the dream team 3.0!

    And there is one more silverware to play for.

    love football.

  81. barcastyle0
    April 25, 2012

    Those who say Chelsea parked the bus once they were a man down they had no choice, but to defend. Barcelona needed to speed up the play. I am all for passing, but barcelona needed to create more chances by being able to beat their main by dribbling. Barcelona was in a frenzy the last few minutes, and they needed to play that way when the 2nd half begun. David villa had been demoted so not hail him as the savior.

    It’s easy to 2nd guess, but pep’s substitutions were puzzling. Tello for cuenca is that an improvement? A goal behind and keita comes on? Why not pedro? Pedro is not as good as other years, but he is a true goal scorer and finisher. I felt he should have started the game. Pedro gets the key goals as he almost did against chelsea as a sub. Fabregas was a real disappointment. He did not even miss any chances.

    As teams need to learn how to defend a man down, barcelona needs to learn how to attack a man up. Eventually, barcelona will find the holes, but in a 3 game period we did not finish the chances when we found the holes. Messi’s chance in the first half needed to go far post on the breakaway.

    Valdes is a blamer, he dropped the ball against ee. He came out to fast on the ronaldo goal, and then again on ramirez goal. He is not as good as cech who is better than I thought and not as good as casillas for sure.

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