CL Liveblog: Barça – Inter Milan

Hey everyone, this is a special liveblog event! I’ll be watching the Rubin-Dynamo match before ours, so I’ll also be liveblogging it! Yipee! Kickoff at 12:30pmEST.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. Just seen a photo of healthy-looking Abidal on the official website (taken before this morning’s training session). Well done him for recovering so quickly from such a bad-ass flu.

  2. With a fit athlete and TamiFlu, it’s only a few daya for H1N1. I waa more worried about his thigh injury.

  3. Pep gave a congrats handshake and slap on the head to Abidal. Abidal looked back and made a “oh no you di’int” face lolol

    1. Abidal was such a beast in this game. I’ll admit I was paying less attention to the second half (somebody had to talk to me about Barca and I couldn’t help but drone on), but in the first half and from what I saw of the second, his world was on absolute lockdown. The defense in the first twenty minutes was just furious, we were getting the ball back in seconds. It was so refreshing to play a match from a goal up. Yeah, it reminded me of last year.

  4. Fan-frigging-tastic! I have to admit I was really concerned but the result says it all. Knock out round here we come.

  5. YES! This is the first time I’ve seen that swagger we had last year against such a quality team.

    Did Eto’o deserve a penalty?

  6. Official announcement: I’m extending the deadline for banner and logo submissions to NEXT Thursday, December 3 because I forgot this week was Thanksgiving Week.

    Take your time, kiddies, but do send in more submissions than you have so far. You haven’t sent any!? COME ON MAN!

  7. i have to say that this game has given me great hope for Sunday. we played wonderfully with a fraction of our real attack, and still totally demoralized Inter (especially their Offside*).

    * \\

  8. If anyone want to know, we can only be knocked out if Dynamo beat us by more than 2 goals (or 2-0) and there is a result in the Inter-Rubin match..

    1. We can lose by 2 goals because we beat Dynamo 2-0, and the general goal difference is favourable to us. (As it is: Barca has a general goal difference of 3 and Dynamo has a GD of -1)

    2. ooops, but in case of a 2-0 Dynamo victory, then both teams would have a general goal difference of 1. I wonder who would get through then.

    3. Scenarios:
      Inter – Rubin draw = we are through
      Inter – Rubin, win for something then:
      -> A win or draw for us sends us through
      -> A loss by 1 goal sends us through
      -> A loss by 2 goals but with an away goal sends us through
      -> 2-0 and we are out
      -> A loss by anything greater than 2 goals and we are out
      Pretty much we control our own destiny

    4. I we lose 2-0 to Dynamo & there’s a result of Inter-Rubin match, even then we’d get through I suppose… Because Dynamo conceded way too many goals compared to us didn’t they!?

  9. I’m so glad Liverpool got dumped out.Time to end the over hyped English dominance by the media..BTW Idk for any1 else but after watching this match again. Henry is really starting to slow down our counter attack or just our attack in general.Maybe it was him being the “9” and not having the speed to keep up but I rather him on the wing. Believe me i am a huge Henry fan but its time he come on as a sub instead of being an automatic starter.Pedro has more than pulled his weight around here.

    1. Yes i to agree.Just Pep would always put Henry ahead of Pedro cause of experience.Take El Clasico on Sunday for example.Yes Pedro!!! has been more effective on the left wing recently but we would still see a front 3 of Henry-Ibra-Messi in Sunday’s game.

      Not hating on Pedro or anything…..I love his youthful energy he brings to the team and his wonderful scoring eye just experience would always come above youthful unpredictability..

  10. First off, apologies to anyone expecting live Tweets. The 3G action was nonexistent in Camp Nou. After waiting 5 mins for Twitter to load, I gave up.

    Now. They were spectacular. Abidal was an absolute monster. I wasn’t sure how he was going to be, but live, he’s even more impressive with his pace and constant motion. And I now appreciate Keita. Live, he is immense. Everybody was full on, except for Valdes, who was clearly trying to kill me.

    Pique is another player who you have to see live. He tracks the ball so well, and closes the space.

    I’m over the moon right now. I won’t be able to sleep for hours. I have been at some memorable matches, and I hope that Sunday is another one. So. Happy. Right. Now.

    And some special words for Pedro!, who was like a Tasmanian devil out there, and Henry, who played an all-pitch match. But man, was he stinky on offense.

    The second half was just beautiful. We just locked it down. The pressure, the cutting ….

    Mourinho just said, “It’s easy for me to say that they are a better team than we are.” He singled out Iniesta and Xavi for praise, as well he should have.

    1. Thats a nice solid view 😀 Well when u get past all the frenzy that is the camp nou are you going to write the review or is it gonna be isaiah. Btw NO ONE can disagree with ur ratings this time cuz u got to see the REAL DEAL. So i expect inch perfect ratings kxev:D

    2. Should have the logo competition thing finish early so that you can print it out and wave around to catch the attention of the camera man!

    3. Then it wasn’t me. I was giving P! a standing O, along with everyone else. I also started a standing O for Abidal as he came off.

  11. What a great game!!! This game was a JOY to watch. No complaints, although, I would’ve enjoyed a few more goals.

    I thought Henry had a good game. He was running and running and running. He helps the team by putting constant pressure on the ball. Also liked that Pep played JDS, even though it was only literally a minute.

    1. Yeah, dare I say it, but I thought we looked like we had more of a “focus” with Henry in the middle than with Messi last game. That isn’t to say Henry played well…I pitied his control at times…

      I don’t know what it is. We just had the swagger back today. It really, REALLY reminded me of the Man U game in a lot of ways.

    1. Any none-Arsenal English man whether a journalist or a fan will feel FINALLY they got the chance for revenge after the guy tortured their teams game in game out. We all pointed out the various opinions about that specific incidence, and my take was clear. But this is another day now, and keep rubbing on it is getting ridiculous if you ask me.

      As for this game, he played a very good game. He wasn’t a direct offense threat but as I mentioned before Bilbao game, when Ibra isn’t there, Henry is a must start. You need a reference in the midfield, and if you watch the way he moves you can see the spaces he opens for the rest of the team. If Bojan would have been in the starting selection instead of him, I doubt pedro would have got that space in the box to score Alves cross. Defensively he put lot of pressure as well. I can’t say he is in his best, but he makes me a bit calm for the depth of position 9.

      I think Iniesta starting instead of Messi made the predicted impact. With Keita and Busquets closing spaces, iniesta and Xavi were able to dominate the show turning Inter midfield to some hopeless spirits who were only looking at the time hoping the game finish before they collapse on the field.
      We needed this win. Not only to enhance our group ranking –we are 99.9909 % qualified- But also as a warm up for weekend.

    2. So, not to say you’re wrong or anything, but rather to actual pose this question:

      You wrote that Iniesta starting in place of Messi allowed Keita and Busi to close spaces while Iniesta and Xavi were able to “dominate the show”–why would that be more true of Iniesta starting in place of Messi than in place of Pedro, say?

      Wouldn’t a forward line of Iniesta-Henry-Messi been more incisive?

    3. With Iniesta-Henry-Messi aren’t we losing our left flank?!? Had Maxwell or Abidal been a clone of Alves Iniesta-Henry-Messi would have been perfect though

    4. My basic suggestion was Henry-Ibra-Iniesta. But Ibra was not available so we started Pedro.

      Though, In a normal situation, Iniesta-Henry-Messi will be a better option than Pedro-Henry-Iniesta if:

      – Maxwell played. Or else everyone will complain everytime Iniesta move to the midfield and Messi cut inside as well.

      – Messi fully fit to apply the pressure and make the runs Pedro did tionight serving the defensive purpose. Which was not the case recently. He needed rest since before he got injured, so at least we rest him when he is. Again, and again, and again we proved we can win without the automatic selection. We need to remember that all the time, not only when we have no choice but to select replacements. Some changes in selection with some tactical changes do the job all the time.

    5. Good observations, Ramzi. Love compliments to Henry. And yeah, I thought Iniesta playing on the same side as Xavi made both a lot better…it gives us the cake (Keita) and lets us eat it, too (Iniesta-Xavi axis).

  12. Isaiah is the man with the review plan for this and the Clasico.

    Abidal’s Spanish is excellent.

    Cracks me up how all the people saying we were in trouble are now admitting the magic. Love it.

  13. Haha yeah oh and btw since u were closer (literally) wat was up with abidal when he was subbed out and guardiola slapped him and he gave the badass look

    1. I was on the far side, Achraf, so I dunno. But I will twll you this much: That man left it all on the field. Every last ounce of everything that he has.

      Not sure why our drama queens didn’t just put the boot in Kazan and make this all academic, but what do I know.

  14. Also, not sure how apparent it was on TV, but our overlaps were devastating, particularly Alves.

    And Milito should be ashamed of himself. And I wonder what Mourinho thinks of his “whoever they play, we have Chivu” comment. All he could do was foul.

  15. And I bet that Eto’o was thinking “Damn, I remember being part of that. Being on the receivind end sucks.”

    And here’s a bit of blasphemy: Could fielding a star-less side have made us better with our passing and movement?

    1. As I mentioned above Kevin, I think the Iniesta Xavi combo infront of Busquets and with Keita rambling around made the difference.

      Added to the fact that Inter were playing a Naive Zonal game with no pressure. Neither Xavi nor Iniesta was marked. Without muntari on the left Alves made his best performance this season while stankovic was watching him running back and forth. Adding to the fact that Pedro is a really good player putting pressure while in the quest to retain possession.

      I like mourinho face tonight :D. I predicted it when I was planning to go and watch the match in Barcelona. Next time though…

    2. I think so (on the star-less comment). They gave a clinic on how the beautiful game should be played.

  16. I like this little bit from a Guardian article:

    “By the break, Xavi, Keita, Busquets and Iniesta had played 153 passes; Inter’s midfield four had barely made 50.”

    And the best thing was that the team controlled the match and didn’t allow any goals. YAY!

    1. The match was 60 minutes in before I could figure out who was playing in midfield for Inter. We made them look dreadful in the middle third of the pitch.

  17. WOW guys congrats,, now am so in love wih PEDRITO <3 !!

    Kxevin,, u lucky man being in the camp nou, since u were there were the fan booing eto'o or what?

    i guess they didn't any standing ovation too, right?

  18. nice love the game.. we made inter look so stupid ..

    Kxevin,, did the fans booed eto’o?
    i did not see the begining did we do standing ovation for him too?

    1. I only saw that sign that must’ve said, translated, “welcome back, Samuel!” But I don’t know Catalan so the imagination goes wild…

  19. RAMZI

    i thought that iniesta played more of free role today,, same role against vlancia last season 2-2 and almost the smae as the clasico 6-2 nevertheless he played a more deeper position in the midfeild in madrid,, today he was all over the places .

  20. How good was it to see the twins back in midfield? They ran the show ! Thought Pedro had a decent game but I’d still start Henry in the Classico. Big improvement from Alves and Keita ran from start to finish ( although he doesn’t add much to the passing side of things. We looked much more solid but was it not more of a 4-4-2 than 4-3-3 formation which with Iniesta retreating into midfield left a heap of space for Alves?

    Loved Pique and Puyol at the back although Puyol was a little fortunate on the stroke of half time when he jumped into Eto’o in the box.

    1. it looked like a 4-4-2 for me. and yes iniesta was all over the place, and i kept seeing him on the right more, but may be that was my sleep-laden eyes.

      overall nice performance. congrats to me and all. 🙂

  21. My MOTM order would be as follows :

    Pedro: 8 – He has made Barcelona’s left side his own. An absolute joy to watch, the 22-year-old scored a lovely goal, crafted a number of good crosses and at times made Maicon and Javier Zanetti look like amateurs. One wonders why Barcelona wanted to buy David Silva in the summer when they have an absolute gem in Pedro.

    This was what had to say about the young winger. I was really shocked to see the way he totally skinned Maicon, the BEST RB in the world, time and again!! SWEET surprise
    I was one of the many who always doubted him in the beginning of the season. When he scored goals I thought he’s like a poacher, who knows where to be at the right time when needed but cannot involve much in our fast-pace passing game!! But after watching today’s match I take all my predictions about him back. VERY VERY SATISFIED with him. I’d not recommend any more wingers ahead of Pedro & would like it if he gets more playing minutes as a starter on our left flank, instead of just as a back-up for Messi. He has been world-class today and I guess this was his best performance till date. He’d easily make us forget Henry’s exploits last season in 2-3 years if he some how concentrates more on his crossing from LW, that is with his left leg like a traditional winger… That way he could be very versatile and very difficult to predict. And why would we want another right footed LW if we already have a more versatile Pedro who can mold himself into being a traditional winger or cut-in time & again to make the maximum use of his powerful right foot!?
    TOTALLY deserved the standing ovation by the Camp Nou faithful 🙂

    Xavi : Second best performer of the day, as usual!! And I’ve to say like he always wants it to be 🙂

    Alves : He’s had a very good game… But to be honest his crosses were always good at home. When played away is his form bad. And the main back-drop of Alves, being he almost always loses the opponent LW for acres of space even when he is in our own half(like the way Maicon left Pedro today!), is not at all exposed by the Inter forwards to be honest. They truely suffered due to the lack of proper wingers.

    But saying Alves’s back to his usual best is little too early imho

    Iniesta : He’s had a great match today… Have always kept saying he if played in wings, that should be RW position and not LW, because that way he can drift into MF as he frequently does without sacrificing any width because we have Alves there on that flank! I have to say Pep’s got his formation perfect for the first time this season!! Ramzi you are awesome man, I reckon Pep read your post today 🙂

    Although Iniesta has been brilliant he some times lost the balls trying to do all on his own and that’s where Xavi snatches away his position as the second best performer of the day!!

  22. what about sergio beastly busquets? thought he had a hell of a game.
    looks like he only shows up for big CL games:)

    1. Even though Henry was like poor man’s ‘Henry of Arsenal’ today, he was like the worst Barca performer on the pitch!! Now that should surely explain why Busi is not the top 3 😉

  23. Stats so far this season, in the order of La Liga, Champions League, CDR, Super Copa & Uefa Super Cup

    Goals :

    Messi_____ 7,1,1,2,0 = 11
    Pedro_____ 3,2,3,1,1 = 10
    Ibra______ 7,1,0,0,0 = 8
    Keita_____ 6,0,0,0,0 = 6
    Bojan_____ 1,0,2,1,0 = 4
    Pique_____ 2,1,0,0,0 = 3
    Xavi______ 0,0,1,1,0 = 2
    Alves_____ 2,0,0,0,0 = 2
    Henry_____ 1,0,0,0,0 = 1

    Assists :

    Ibra______ 5,1,0,1,0 = 7
    Xavi______ 1,1,0,1,0 = 6
    Messi_____ 4,0,0,0,1 = 5
    Alves_____ 3,1,0,1,0 = 5
    Busquets__ 3,0,0,0,0 = 3
    Iniesta___ 2,0,1,0,0 = 3
    Pedro_____ 0,0,1,1,0 = 2
    Keita_____ 2,0,0,0,0 = 2
    Jeffren___ 0,0,2,0,0 = 2
    Bojan_____ 0,0,1,0,0 = 1
    Henry_____ 0,1,0,0,0 = 1
    Maxwell___ 1,0,0,0,0 = 1
    Puyi______ 1,0,0,0,0 = 1
    JDS_______ 0,0,1,0,0 = 1

    P.S. Who’s the man!? Pedro’s the man!! And Henry had an assist for the first time this season 🙂 Hope he does that more

    1. looks like you got xavi’s numbers wrong on the assists.

      also, you’ll need to add a new column soon for the WCC!

      thanks for doing this…

    2. I deliberately reduced it by 1 if you mean what I think u do 😀
      I think you are talking about the pass Xavi put to Messi for his second goal Racing… IMO that goal was the result of pure magic by Messi and so didn’t credit Xavi for that!! Same reason I didn’t credit Pedro for Messi’s goal against Leonesa recently 🙂

    3. LOL That’s 4,1,0,1,0 = 6 My bad… Corrected it in my doc & would post the correct one next time 🙂

  24. There’s a reason whenever Barca wins against strong oppositions, the anti’s just say Barca played their maximum while the opponents never turned up!! It’s been the same when beat Madrid 6-2, ManUtd 2-0 & Inter today 2-0… Well guys, I don’t need to get far into the matter do I!?

  25. The fans gave a nice cbeer for Eto’o before the match started, then whistled him mercilessly every time he touche the ball.

    The Inter Offside folks are actling like their side didn’t show up. They did. But I just don’t think that any side can beat us when we play our A game.

    I would also advise teams whose away kit is white, to maybe consider wearing the third kit.

    1. Forgot the white sentiment damn it!! Why was I even afraid we could lose this!? Thanks for reminding though 🙂

  26. Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Barca dominate another team so completely (and score goals at the same time) like today. Although it’s also been a while since I’ve had to clutch my heart every time Valdes had the ball at his feet.

    Knockout rounds, here we come!

  27. This game reminds me of the final against ManU. I can’t understand why Inter let Xavi and Iniesta play freely in the midfield. If our opponents played like Chelsea, Rubin, or even Osasuna, we would struggle again.

    I think I am the only one who think Pedoro is not good enough for us. Don’t get me wrong, I like him, but even a yourth player could score if he played in our team (if he is a good finisher, of course). I expect him more when he plays without a ball.

    1. Yep, you’re probably the only one 😛

      I commend you for saying your opinion about Pedro off the back of arguably his best match in our colours though 😉

  28. LMAO; best comment so far on I’d frame it if I could 😛

    Posted on Player Ratings: Barca-Inter

    nel canada
    12:11 AM Nov 25, 2009

    “Xavi=9 ;Iniesta=8.5 ;Alves=8 ;Pedro=8 ;Busquetts=7.5 Pique=8 ;Puyol=8 ;Abidal=7.5 ;Henry=7 Keita=7.5 please why is Iniesta always underrated? Uefa has to intervene,its unfair and unequal. How can one team pocess Xavi and Iniesta?thats too much for one team.Give Iniesta to madrid,i think Xavi is a god. This will create equality in the game “

    1. The ratings in the comment the opinion of ‘nel canada’, not the actual ratings (Xavi was an 8, Iniesta a (blasphemous) 7 (comparing that to Balotelli’s 6.5)

  29. What a freakin lesson by mr Pep today. We were dancing in the first half, Inter players didn’t even know where they were at. They totally gave up in the seconf half, and we slowed down a bit.

    No ibra, no messi, iniesta in the right ABSOLUTELY free so alves goes up, henry as reference ’cause even if he sucks he can be useful, pedro! in the left with keita, of course there is also professor X … just perfect. Iniesta was a monster today, that sort of free position suits him perfectly.

    can’t wait for el clasico

  30. And by the way, Pep made a training session 1 PM today (hours before the game). That’s em..kind of…weird…

    But it worked.

    Liverpool out!

  31. I predicted a 2-0 win. Please bow down:


    I also predicted a Pique goal (though I thought Xavi would get the other). Come on guys, bow already.

  32. By the way, for those interested, here’s my verdict on the game from my blog:


    1. DUDE!! Why did u have to put the link man!? Looking at that pic I felt so sad 🙁 You could have as well just pasted the entire article!! Having said that I was never against the Ibra deal, only that pic made me feel bad

    2. I just wanted to say that pic made me feel sad… real sad!!
      No offense meant to PM there 🙂

  33. comment from

    Stevie Wonder Franco’s Club
    6:19 AM Nov 25, 2009

    What I found quite funny was that the Barca goalkeeper had more trouble dealing with his own team mates’ back passes than Inter’s attack. Barcelona=Contenders….Inter Milan….Pretenders.

    funny and absolutely right…………

    1. Talking about, you made me interested to check their take on the game (it doesnt happen that often) lead me to their ratings where they evaluate players performance. And here what I got:

      Maicon 7
      Iniesta 7

      I didnt bother reading the text.

  34. I’m a pessimist so I wasn’t expecting great things, but I am overjoyed that we are now at the top of our group. I’m pretty confident that we’ll go through!

    BTW, how old is Pedro? I know he’s older than Bojan, but I’m wondering by how much. He’s surprised me, since I didn’t really watch a lot of the games he played in last year. I’m sort of hoping he gets to jump the line and start coming in ahead of Bojan, because I think he’s proving himself to be a little more of a match-changer.

    Also, I can’t really tell how well he works with the team because Xavi and Iniesta seem to be able to do a good job with just about anyone. So I’d like to see him in the starting line up a bit more often, teaming up with Ibra/Messi (Sorry, Henry!!).

    Speaking of Henry… I know he’s been having a rough start to the year. And I’m wondering if maybe the disaster that is the WCQ might be contributing to that? Because a lot of people wrote off Messi’s occasional bad form as a result of the WCQs and Henry’s situation might arguably be worse, esp right now.

  35. OMG! ROFL!! How dumb can The Sun get!? Oh God!!


    1. LOOOOOOOOOOOL!! How dumb can english tabloids get. Guardiola leaving for Arsenal is as likely as Cristiano Ronaldo not falling to the ground all Year. IMPOSSIBLE at this point. But all this is because he didn’t resign for a longer time. WHY did he not resign for a longer time???

    2. “Wenger invited him to attend Arsenal’s match at Aston Villa almost exactly a year ago when Guardiola was coming under extreme pressure at Barca for poor form and results.”

      Poor form that included 14 wins in the last 15 matches? (And 1 draw till 15 Nov 08 when Aston Villa visited the Emirates).. or obliterating all the major opponents in La Liga?

      Apparently they aren’t very good at making up stories..

  36. I think we’ve done yesterday what we have to do all the time: Overcoming the challenging situations through focusing on fixing our weaknesses, rather than compromising the quality just to resist change.

    The bright side about the Messi/Ibra injuries was that we had the chance to try something different (might not be a completely new attempt but it needed more assurance). All the teams in the world already know Barcelona football. They know our strength, but also know our weaknesses. Talking about counter attacking teams-which obviously didn’t please Inter fans- they play to contain our strength and expose our weakness. Our strength is ball possession and circulation orchestrated mainly by Xavi. Our main weakness is the fragility toward counter attacks. If we can insure dominating possession and prevent getting exposed by counters, and with Ibra being added to the mix this season, I can see us capable of winning any game. We will be calm enough on the field and secured enough to generate an attack after another. You can see the impact of midfield quality on offense quality from the performance of Alves compared to the performance of Micon. While Alves was running for fun on the flank knowing that the team is controlling the situation and that counters are unlikely happening, Micon was forced to do what he is “so normal” at his best when doing it-Defense- and incapable of doing what he does best-offense.

    Which leads me again to the magical square of Yaya-Keita-Xavi-Iniesta that might not be the best option for the majority of the games we play, but for the big games, this is our winning mix.

    Regarding Pedro, I am a fan since I was wondering how far we are really in need to risk paying tenth of millions for uncertain targets for the wing over the risk of having patience with our own youth till we see how far they can deliver. I can’t say anything is certain yet, but at least now we know that the idea is valid. Yet, it’s still too early to consider him as an automatic starter. He upgraded his status from a prospect to an option. But he is still on the making, in parallel with Henry transition from being the first option on the flank to become the quality depth both on the flank and as a 9. If the two processes can work simultaneously, then how lucky we are!

    Unlike many, I don’t hope that this year will be Henry’s last season for Barcelona, mainly because I can’t see whom we can get as a backup for Ibra who can deliver the same quality as Henry in the following two years at least, and I can’t find a better -tested- second striker beside Ibra in the box when we change the tactical system aiming to surprise an opponent.

    Inter helped us a lot through not being in the right mind set nor tactical platform needed for this game. But we were not at our best as well keeping in mind that we missed 3 key performers for the team. So this one cancel that. The test was successfully passed, and hopefully we will learn a lot from it, for the future.

  37. I dont want to seem impatient or anything, but where is our review dammit? I have been refreshing the site all day waiting to see it pop up….but to no avail 🙁

    1. Barely had anything to drink last night!

      But what did happen is some technical difficulties behind-the-scenes (not the router this time!) and then I went out with my lady for a bit cause, you know, real life is fun too.

  38. *

    Eric Abidal has agreed a contract extension with Barça. The new deal lasts until 2010 and retains a 90 million euro buyout clause.

    WHat a time to sigh, eh? 😛

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