Barcelona vs Betis-Match Thread: Pep’s Goodbye to La Liga

Barcelona play their final match of the Liga season. More than the result the match is noteworthy for being Pep’s last La Liga match as manager.

Enjoy the way this brilliant side play. It’s been a treasure to be able to see them grow under Pep.

 

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181 Comments

  1. May 12, 2012

    Sorry for the thread going up late. The site was acting very slow as I was trying to get the new thread up.

    Enjoy!

  2. messifan
    May 12, 2012

    Ibi is fine.

  3. May 12, 2012

    Good seeing Busi acting aggressively to get to that near post and score using his height.

    As good as he is at what he does Busi needs to expand his game and create more danger.

    • Judas Pissed
      May 12, 2012

      But if it REALLY mattered then Oier would have started…

  4. ciaran
    May 12, 2012

    Not that I like using bad language but
    MASCHERANO IS A FUCKING MONSTER

    It looks like he has already watched this match he is making so many interceptions

  5. May 12, 2012

    Afellay has been great in the offensive phase of the game. Don’t think he has misplaced a pass yet. He has shown he can drop deep, keep width on the left, and even occupy defenders in the middle to create space for Messi. That said I still think he has been dropping deep a bit too often.

    Defensively he has made 2 controlled passes out of the back, but he looks lost on where to position himself most of the time. He has been so deep on defense sometimes that when we win the ball back high he isn’t involved in the play, and he hasn’t been pressuring high at all really.

    That said, he started looking tired after 30 minutes. Still think he has been noticeably better than Pedro.

  6. Judas Pissed
    May 12, 2012

    Betis love the ‘yellow card fingers’ don’t they..?

    • messifan
      May 12, 2012

      Chica likes to push our players a lot.

    • dean
      May 12, 2012

      Most spanish teams in general..

  7. simple_barcafan
    May 12, 2012

    wow MASCHERANO wow!!

  8. messifan
    May 12, 2012

    Overall, a good first half, but Dani was a disappointment for me.

    • Ryan
      May 12, 2012

      Can Cuenca teach the Brazilian how to cross? Not sure what Dani is attempting with those wayward crosses.

  9. May 12, 2012

    Outstanding half from the team. Really liked what we saw.

    First off- the team is again basically playing with 2 at the back as they did vs Getafe.

    The formation is roughly a 2-3-2-3 type of formation that could conversely look like a 2-3-3-2 or a 2-3-5.

    It’s very interesting that the team is again using this kind of formation to close out the season. Feels like an experiment of sorts.

    Afellay has been terrific. Very impressed for his first start of the season. His combination of pace, touch, technique and directness are outstanding.

    At times Pep this season Pep had to make trade offs in qualities between Tello vs Cuenca depending on tactical needs. Afellay combines key qualities of both those players.

    Also interesting to see how Busi is playing. He’s making more forward runs with Keita acting more as the holding player. Good to see him more involved and more aggressive to goal.

  10. messifan
    May 12, 2012

    Also, Xavi looks fresh. The extra rest helps him a lot. His improvement and seeing Bayern defending today make me more hopeful about Spain’s chance of winning the Euro.

  11. Ryan
    May 12, 2012

    Masch saving our bacon yet again!

  12. Dave
    May 12, 2012

    Alves has been badly beaten

    • Dave
      May 12, 2012

      Montero is quick though

    • Dave
      May 12, 2012

      And there you have it, despite the warnings Alves is off

    • messifan
      May 12, 2012

      Red for Dani 🙁

  13. messifan
    May 12, 2012

    Dear Barca:

    Please buy a fast and tall defender.

    Thanks,
    A cule from the U.S.

  14. Ryan
    May 12, 2012

    Well, there goes Alves after his 2nd yellow. Wasn’t exactly impressing before the send-off either.

  15. Dani_el
    May 12, 2012

    Thanks Euler for this post!

    Like seeing Afellay con the left. Masche is being the boss today. Don’t like Alves, don’t understand why he’s so off today.

    Good save from Valdes.

    Now Alves was sent off. Justly. I don’t what this guy is thinking sometimes. I hope he learns from this.

  16. Jafri
    May 12, 2012

    Dani sent off…

  17. messifan
    May 12, 2012

    Honestly, I think we’ll be fine without Dani on the pitch. He didn’t contribute much when he was on.

  18. May 12, 2012

    Really poor from Alves in Pep’s last Liga match. Really not what you want to see.

    Montoya in for Afellay and barca now playing a 4-3-2.

    • Jim
      May 12, 2012

      Was that Pique supporting Pedro up front?

    • Ryan
      May 12, 2012

      Yep! Busi seemed to have him covered in the back.

    • messifan
      May 12, 2012

      Pedro final pass was disappointing. He did so well in first half. The second half not so much.

  19. Blau-Grenade
    May 12, 2012

    Damn, Barca always play better with 10 people.

  20. Jim
    May 12, 2012

    Not defending Alves at all – really irritated at him – but it isn’t like him. Does he know something we don’t?

    • May 12, 2012

      I would say it is like him:

      @barcastuff
      With 104 yellow cards, Alves equals Frenchman Peter Luccin as foreign player with most Liga yellow cards ever #fcblive [via @pedritonumeros]

    • Jim
      May 13, 2012

      Sorry, what I meant was that he is usually very careful if he is already on a yellow. That was an assault of a tackle.

  21. messifan
    May 12, 2012

    Thank goodness this game means nothing.

  22. dean
    May 12, 2012

    Betis looked to score, inevitable, playing like no-one cares about this game

  23. Ryan
    May 12, 2012

    Yikes, what does this goal mean for Valdes’ zamora?

  24. Judas Pissed
    May 12, 2012

    Route one works sometimes. Hope Tito is taking notes…

  25. Dani_el
    May 12, 2012

    With 104 yellow cards, Alves equals Frenchman Peter Luccin as foreign player with most Liga yellow cards ever #fcblive [via @pedritonumeros]

    This is not a good stat for us.

  26. Jim
    May 12, 2012

    Yeah but it shouldn’t. . .

  27. Ryan
    May 12, 2012

    We are getting torn up. 🙁

  28. dean
    May 12, 2012

    Valdez flirting with losing his zamorra now

  29. nzm
    May 12, 2012

    There goes VV’s Zamora, I believe – he only had a 2 goal advantage on Casillas.

  30. Jim
    May 12, 2012

    Tello’s not going to change things if the forwards can’t get the ball. Where’s Ini?

  31. Judas Pissed
    May 12, 2012

    Who cares? This is a nothing match. Bring on the Copa del Rey!

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      Tell that to VV – he just lost his Zamora, I think.

    • Judas Pissed
      May 12, 2012

      5 time La Liga winning, 3 time Champs League winning, 1 time World Cup winning, 4 time Zamora winning Victor Valdes? Yeah – I bet he’s pissed…

    • Ryan
      May 12, 2012

      VV is incredibly competitive. He is going to be furious if he drops this award on the last game of the season.

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      Yup – he will be. It was to be a record 5th win and a record 4th win in a row. They’ve been all over the FCB website talking it up, now they’ll have to eat crow.

  32. Jim
    May 12, 2012

    Could Pep be about to take Messi off in his last match? Nah couldn’t happen . .

  33. Judas Pissed
    May 12, 2012

    & to all the new Cules – listen to the ‘Oles’ the mocking Betis fans are singing. Remember them when our next glories come…

  34. Jim
    May 12, 2012

    Still nice to hear the applause for Iniesta.

  35. Judas Pissed
    May 12, 2012

    Zamora – if VV does not concede any more goals tonight & Casillas doesn’t play tomorrow they share it. If VV does not concede any more goals tonight & Casillas plays tomorrow VV wins it.

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      And if Casillas plays tomorrow and conceded no goals, he wins it.

      VV: 30 goals / 36 games = 0.833*

      Casillas: 30 goals / 36 games = 0.833*

      If he plays tomorrow and concedes none:

      Casillas: 30 goals / 37 games = 0.811

    • Ryan
      May 12, 2012

      Was there really a league game that Casillas didn’t play this season? Iker seems to be permanently affixed between the posts for EE.

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      Yes – can’t remember which one, though.

    • messifan
      May 12, 2012

      Last week’s match vs. Granada?

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      Heh!

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      It was last week’s match against Granada.

    • messifan
      May 12, 2012

      Sorry! 🙂

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      Sorry – it appears that Marca’s Zamora Table and VV’s Wikipedia stats may already have been updated. I was calculating by adding 1 game and 2 goals to the figures that I saw there.

    • Judas Pissed
      May 13, 2012

      Yeah me too! VV has won the Zamora.

  36. Jim
    May 12, 2012

    Keita!!!

  37. AJ_10
    May 12, 2012

    We look … disjointed. Was hoping for a manita to send off Pep.
    I would like to see pocession stats. Is this the first game in Guardiola era where we share equal pocession?

  38. Ryan
    May 12, 2012

    And THAT is how a RB is supposed to cross!!!

    • jordi™
      May 12, 2012

      Dani hasn’t put in one like that since the win at the bernabeu I guess.Thank God our South Americans will have the full summer to recharge.

  39. Dani_el
    May 12, 2012

    Thank you Keita. A proper liga goodbye for Guardiola.

  40. messifan
    May 12, 2012

    Pep does not look happy with this second half performance.

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      Neither am I. 😀

    • messifan
      May 12, 2012

      but your emoticon suggests otherwise 🙂

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      🙁 Better? 🙂

    • messifan
      May 12, 2012

      Yes, much better.

  41. messifan
    May 12, 2012

    Fans on the pitch.

  42. AJ_10
    May 12, 2012

    The dreaded 2-2 scoreline. Story of our season. Fitting end.

    • messifan
      May 12, 2012

      That’s true, but this is not the end. We have another match and let’s give Athletic a manita 😀

  43. May 12, 2012

    Well at least they avoided a defeat in Pep’s last Liga match. I guess.

    Disappointing. Dani was just so dumb getting sent off needlessly like that in this match. But even afterwards the defense just wasn’t good at the back in the second half.

    The team really has issues that must be settled at the back for next season. We’ve lost solidity there.

  44. messifan
    May 12, 2012

    Well, that was an interesting match. The first half was great. Afellay and the rest minus Dani played well. Then we fell apart in the second half.

    I’m going to give Pique a free pass because he just got back from injury. But if he performs like this in the Copa and Euro, we should look for two CBs, instead of one.

    For Dani, I don’t know what to say. On a good day, he’s the best in our system. On a bad day like this, he’s a liability. Can’t have this inconsistency next season, esp. with so much at stake.

    I was hoping to see more youth but I understood that we needed senior players to start getting into rhythm for the CdR final.

    No complaint about Betis fans. They can do whatever they want; it’s their stadium. I thought their fans were outstanding. Very loud and served as a twelfth man. I didn’t hear any racial abuse; so that’s fine.

  45. TITO
    May 12, 2012

    Just sell Alves.
    Thank him for great 4 years in the club and sell him for 40 mill euros.

    • jordi™
      May 12, 2012

      If a player didnt have the best season, they deserve the chance to redeem themselves, especially one that was as crucial to our recent success.Also when will we stop strengthening European rivals?

    • messifan
      May 12, 2012

      Who’s going to buy him? Maybe, his personal life and all this talk of the club putting him up for sales unsettle his game.

    • TITO
      May 12, 2012

      Maybe, but PSG will gladly pay that sum, or something near that.
      And this is a chance to cash on him, why not do it? He hasn’t been his best the entire season with the exception of few games. I know Messi needs him on the flank but he is constantly getting beat and he is already a liability on that side of the defense.
      I dont know will him come good as he was, but as i say, instead of waiting for that to happen, sell him and get good money.

  46. nzm
    May 12, 2012

    Not sure why Afellay was taken off when he was providing width and movement. I would have taken off Pedro instead, brought in Tello and switched him and Afellay over.

    Ah – well – at least we didn’t lose for Pep’s last game.

    If Busquets is to go forward, which I like BYW, they need 4 defenders down the back.

    • May 12, 2012

      Afellay isn’t close to match fit. Down to 10 men work rate needs to go up and there was no way at baseline Afellay would last 90 min.

      Pep had to be careful with his substitutes down to 10 men.

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      Yes – there was that, I guess. Maybe should have brought on Iniesta a lot earlier – he would have provided support for Afellay to create something down the left.

      Anyway, it’s over now!

  47. ciaran
    May 12, 2012

    Anzhi are offering crazy money for Alves apparently. I think that he may have had his head turned which you can’t blame him.
    Let’s face it, Yaya Toure, Kun Aguero, David Silva, Javier Pastore and Samuel Eto’o all have had the same happen them.

    IF, and that’s a big if, he or the club decide to sell for the €40million offered then I’d snap up van der Wiel from Ajax as a starting right back and go out and buy Gareth Bale and slightly shift the focus of our attack.

  48. May 12, 2012

    People are reading much too much into a few handful of games at the end of a long season when the league has already been decided..

    via barcastuff:

    Guardiola: “Alves exit rumours? It’s not up to me anymore, but for me’s he’s an irreplaceable player.”

  49. ciaran
    May 12, 2012

    By the by, Valdes has conceded 28 goals in 35 games. 0.8
    Casillas even if he plays and doesn’t concede will have 0.81
    Valdes wins the Zamora

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      Nope – those figures for VV don’t take into account tonight’s game. At the moment, he and Iker are level @ .833.

      See above for the equation.

    • ciaran
      May 12, 2012

      Not correct, Pinto has played 3 games in the league this season, Valdes has played 35, conceding 28 including tonight.

    • May 12, 2012

      Pretty sure ciaran is correct. Pinto played 3 league games this season

    • nzm
      May 12, 2012

      Yeah – I was just trying to figure it all out – was going by the figures on VV’s Wikipedia entry and Marca’s Zamora table. I thought that they hadn’t been updated yet, but maybe they have been already.

      Apologies for my error.

  50. Messiah10
    May 12, 2012

    2 goals by headers today??? Whever put $ on that is rich! Odds on that had to have been 100-1. Oh well. 2nd half was disjointed. Defense is achilles heel again. Was dude offside on 2nd goal Betis scored? Looked awfully close from ESPN Deportes angle.

    • Kimcelona
      May 12, 2012

      Yeah the second goal looked offside to me but who am I to talk..the linesman has the best view..*shrugs*

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