Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife: It’s the El Clasico Liveblog

It’s me, back from the realm of oblivion to host an (even more) politically charged Clasico!

Our official lineup (hope you’re sitting down and not eating anything): Valdes – Alves, Mascherano, Adriano, Alba – Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta – Cesc, Messi, Pedro

Barcelona bench: Pinto, Montoya, Bartra, Song, Sergi Roberto, Alexis, Villa

Mascherano surprisingly starts at CB while Adriano retains his position in the defensive line. Iniesta! That is all.

Them: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria, Ozil, Tristiano; Benzema.

Their bench: ???, ???, Lady Edith Modric, ???, Higuain, The man formerly known as Kaka, ???

Let’s see how this goes.

Kick off is at 1:50 pm EST, liveblog starts when my pizza comes. Yup.

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Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic

148 Comments

  1. October 7, 2012

    I’m really struggling to see the negative sentiment from this match. Barca should have lost this match.

    If someone had said over the summer that Barca would have to play Montoya, Adriano, Masche & Alba as a back 4 vs RM I’d guess most people would have thought that a joke.

    This was an outstanding performance. Yes it’s early in the season. In no way is La Liga done. But when either RM are trailing FCB in points or vice versa the best chance to make up ground is in the Clasicos. 1 of those 2 opportunities has now past. And RM have made no progress. In that sense it doesn’t matter how early it is in the season.

    • Xavi6
      October 7, 2012

      Missed your reviews Euler.

    • Blau-Grenade
      October 7, 2012

      I am very very impressed by this Montoya kid. He was just awesome in this match, both in terms defence, positioning, attacks, and keeping his head cool in tight situations. In my mind he deserves a call up over Alves in the first team.

      Another mention goes to Alba, he did extremely well on the left wing.

      Barca played well, but I feel they could have moved the ball a little bit faster, and that would have done the trick. In the first and second season with Pep, the Barca players moved the ball really fast.

      Other than that, it was a great match by almost all the players in the team.

    • Ben
      October 7, 2012

      I think it is in large part due to the fact that Madrid scored the last goal. Losing the lead is a psychological blow even if it results in a draw.

  2. Humphrey Bogart
    October 7, 2012

    Must say i was more than pessimistic before the game and did think there was a manita coming our way (a bad one), but somehow tito and the team pulled it out of the shit

    a) against a rejuveneted and INJURYFREE RM
    b) with a defence that was only one regarding positioning on the pitch (sometimes)
    c) with an injury to one of our last real defenders and throwing in young monty

    RM have no decreased their own possibilities to snatch the league away, it is not in their hands anymore because they can only gain 3 points from us. If we keep our game, if we keep fighing, the destiny is in our own hands and we do not need help / favours from anybody

  3. Gogah
    October 7, 2012

    On a lighter note, I think pep has patented the Manita and not shared the license with tito. Not ‘clasico’ally speaking, but generally too.

  4. Srini
    October 7, 2012

    And how good was the kid Martin Montoya? He replicated the performance in the Bernabeu – except he came even more closer to scoring a goal than in the Supercopa – by shutting down Madrid’s Left wing effectively. Has high positional sense, doesn’t get ruffled, plays defense very well by reading angles and cutting passing through them out and looks composed while attacking as well.

    Considering Dani Alves has been in poor form this season – by his standards – I think Montoya should be the automatic starting RB even as Alves works his way back to form.

    Jordi Alba was excellent as well. Consistently threatened to blow past Arbeloa and was superb in defense. One of his interceptions of a long ball late in the second half was majestic. Combines superbly with Iniesta and is a general energizer bunny.

    Can’t say enough about Busquets as well. Best player for Barca tonight. Messi scored those goals – one of which was amazing – but in the first half and was generally more miss than hit with his passes and one-twos. So was Cesc. Euler points on twitter that there was virtually no space for Messi and the Madrid CBs didn’t respect or expect any No 9 like play and so these two were tad handicapped.

    Still think that Barca is an Abidal short of full excellence. Once Abidal, Pique and Puyol are all healthy, I suspect that Barca will be firing on all cylinders. Huge gamble by the Barca board for that to happen. Lets hope so it works out.

  5. htMillBay
    October 7, 2012

    The two teams looked more even in this game than at anytime since Mou came. It can be qualified in that they had a more complete roster available. This could be the year when the real mother of all Clasicos happen – the CL Finals. My prediction – Barca over RM in the CL Finals then Mou and TB leave for PSG.

  6. October 7, 2012

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but we got in that ass today. They rolled in, stomping folks and we were supposed to be limping in, with a craptastic back like just waiting for a collapse. I saw predictions from folks like 1-3 or 2-3, and you know what?

    **** them. This club, this glorious club, worked some sprite magic to not only match, but frankly, dominate the second best club in the world. One bit of sloppy midfield play kept us from taking the full points, but that’s football. Who in this space would have said, 7 matches in, that they wouldn’t take an 8-point lead over RM after the first Classic? Not me. No way in hell.

    And yet, here we are. I have nothing but love for this team, even as I can dissect individual performances. The bulk of the second half was played in their end, and the last 10 minutes. Messi, after a rather average first half, was absolutely spectacular. And Montoya! Had that shot of his gone in, this would have been an absolutely epic Classic for him. As it was, it was still a pretty extraordinary one. And I don’t even feel like I have the right to type Busquets’ name. He was otherworldly, and my MOTM, were I voting right now, even given Messi’s heroic performance.

    Was the club at its best today? No. Neither were they. But our game, when we play it, puts any club in the world on the back foot. I’m proud as hell of our players.

    • stefan2k
      October 7, 2012

      You paint with words 🙂

    • Blau-Grenade
      October 7, 2012

      Very very well said!!!

  7. Roberto Senyera
    October 7, 2012

    Q) Exactly how many yellow card offences does it need for Alonso to receive his second official yellow and be sent off? Especially considering it was our home match. Was this referee English? 🙁

    • Nik
      October 7, 2012

      It reminds me of how Paul Scholes gets away with his “tackles”. Ridiculous.

  8. TITO
    October 7, 2012

    From here, we have to nail the league, we have 8 points difference which nobody could have imagined just after after 7 games.

    • Ryan
      October 7, 2012

      We’re actually tied with Madrid with 19 points, just not the one we’re used to!

      • Srini
        October 7, 2012

        Amazing last minute win for Atletico against Malaga. And Falcao wants to share the limelight with Messi and Tristiano. Thankfully, Barca is still ahead on goal difference 🙂

      • replayed
        October 7, 2012

        Also, Atleti are playing Madrid before playing Barcelona. So we know that’s at least three points they’ll have dropped by the time they get to the Camp Nou.

  9. Anonymous_69
    October 7, 2012

    Can someone explain to me Alba’s positioning in the first half? He seemed to be trying to play the Abidal-role, as he stayed quite deep and central. But the result was that he always took too long to close down Di Maria. It scared me. In the second half he played wider and higher up, and as a result he shut down Di Maria and got into some great positions up the field.

  10. October 7, 2012

    IMO Montoya was good but EE routed their attack after attack from his flank in the second half, always having a lot of space. He does show signs of taking over from Alves, but we’ll get to that later. Even in that late strike which almost gave us the win, although Alves might’ve found the top corner or Row Z with equal ease. He should start in the Copa games like Pinto.

    Results wise, who would’ve thought we’d be leading EE with 8 points after today before the season? Certainly not me, and I’m content with it, given that the list of injured players keeps increasing after every game. Its still very early in the season. There are a lot of tough matches yet to come and we really need to win those.

    Hopefully Abidal rejoins the group as a ‘new signing’ in January to relieve our CB dilemma but considering the short term results – an 8 point lead over EE after the 1st clasico, I feel the board are justified in not shelling through their nose for a CB this summer.

    To those still sulking, here’s something that’ll make you smile – The number of points we dropped after 7 games is the number of points Espanyol currently have – 2 😛

  11. mom4
    October 7, 2012

    I thought we were amazing. They should have been all over us with that defense. When we get all our people back we’ ll be unstopable.

    Be adavised Dani. You got competition!

  12. Roberto Senyera
    October 7, 2012

    When I originally saw the lineup I assumed we were going to play a 3-5-2.

    I don’t see the logic in playing Adriano instead of Song as a CB under the circumstances — from any angle. Unless, of course, Song has a knock we don’t know about.

  13. TITO
    October 7, 2012

    Was wondering what does this mean for Villa. If i was him, i would have surely started to question my coach’s faith in me, and try to get my luck somewhere else.

    • replayed
      October 7, 2012

      I’m seriously beginning to wonder about the “bringing him back slowly” party line where Villa is concerned.

      I wouldn’t blame him if he took his complete absence from this match a bit harder than the usual omission. I love the guy, and if he feels he needs to go elsewhere to get playing time, I’d understand completely.

      I mean if the team has now decided that the system simply can’t afford to carry a pure striker as a passenger the same way they wouldn’t be interested in signing someone like Falcao, then I’m sure many teams would welcome Villa with open checkbooks.

      • October 7, 2012

        This wasn’t Villa’s kind of match, because this match needed to be played at two ends of the pitch, which argued for Sanchez’ aggression on both offense, pressing and defense at the other end. It needed a much more dynamic player than Villa.

        Any other inference is an overreaction. Had they scored again, we’d probably have seen Villa, because keeping them from scoring wouldn’t have mattered as much as scoring. But as it was, Sanchez and Pedro! were much more useful in that regard.

      • replayed
        October 7, 2012

        That of course makes sense when you look at it from the team’s point of view.

        But looking at things from Villa’s point of view, I don’t know how optimistic he’ll feel about his prospects for time on the pitch if his role becomes restricted to late minutes when Barca are desperate for a goal.

        No doubt Barca will love having the luxury of playing that particular card, but at 30, is Villa ready to think of himself as an impact sub, even if it’s for the best club side in the world?

      • October 7, 2012

        No offense, but to hell with Villa’s view. He is there for the good of the team. If that team needs him to be am impact sub, he will do i and like it. If not, he can go team shopping in June. Club before everything.

      • replayed
        October 7, 2012

        … Or January.

    • Roberto Senyera
      October 7, 2012

      Let’s hope Tito utilizes Maravilla more than Old Red Nose used Berbatov. Villa deserves better than playing out his days at a club like Fulham.

  14. ooga aga
    October 7, 2012

    three weeks out for alves. if that holds, he’ll only miss a couple matches/.

    oh, and magic johnson is a cule:

    **http://www.youtube.com/v/0PkU9D-hh7w?version=3&hd=1&rel=0

  15. nia
    October 7, 2012

    I don’t know how to feel at the moment. I’m glad for the point and we didn’t get pummeled like most of us expected due to the lack of proper defence. Alonso should have walked 3 times today and Pedro should have been more clinical at the end. On the other hand, Barca had poor spells of play. What a golazo by Messi, gutted thong boy scored again. So who should be happier of the two teams and coaches?
    I think Mou will come off a little dissapointed due to the fact our defence was depleated and he would have liked the win. We share the table at the moment but, with the other Madrid team, who would have thunk it? I don’t know, i’m not happy.

  16. ooga aga
    October 7, 2012

    wow, tito much more provocative with his comments (in response to Mou and Pepe) than Guardiola ever was. but, cant say i dislike or disagree. he is justified.

    • Nav
      October 7, 2012

      What did he say?

      • ooga aga
        October 7, 2012

        A la pregunta sobre el hecho que, a pesar de haber afirmado no querer hablar de los árbitros, Mourinho se haya referido a una jugada en concreto del partido, y que Pepe haya acusado su plantilla de “teatreros”, Vilanova ha sido contundente: “Para no querer hablar de los árbitros, lo ha hecho. El segundo gol es una falta clarísima que le hacen a Iniesta. Si hablamos de los árbitros hagámoslo jugada a jugada, no de algunas en concreto. De Pepe, debemos hacer un vídeo con todas sus patadas. Qué tiene que decir Pepe”.

      • October 7, 2012

        “Pepe, we should make a video with all his kicks.”

        ooooOOOOoooo!!!!!

        I like me some straight-talking Tito. 😀

      • Ryan
        October 7, 2012

        I like it!

      • ooga aga
        October 7, 2012

        responding to the fact taht, depsite having claimed to not want to talk about the refs, mourihno has refered to a certain play of the game, and that pepe has accused the barca team of “theatrics”, vilanova has been clear: “for not wanting to talk about the refs, he’s done it. the second goal is a clear foul that they’ve made on iniesta. if we talk about refs, lets do it play by play, not just a few certain ones. about pepe, we must make a video of all his ‘patadas’ [kicking of other players]. what does pepe have to say.”

    • _Lily
      October 7, 2012

      Me too! I don’t think he was disrespectful, but he clearly took a stand, and I was glad to see it.

  17. ooga aga
    October 7, 2012

    someone on comments in zonalmarking claimed that in last week alves said is door was “ajar” if PSG wanted him. first i have heard anything of this. commenter was claiming alves has been sulky towards club and is letting this affect his performance.

    its true he is not doing as well this year. could it be old age or is he just saying “f you” to the club?

    sorry to repeat rumors.

    • replayed
      October 7, 2012

      As usual, it’s not clear how the topic came up, i.e. whether the player was asked a direct question by a journalist, or if the player brought it up unprompted.

      But yes, Alves was quoted in several news reports as saying that PSG had approached his agent about a possible move during this past transfer window. Apparently, discussions didn’t last long because Alvesi’s “price was very high.” Not clear whether this referred to his transfer fee or his salary demands.

      The door ajar claim refers to Alves’s comment about the possibility of a future move to PSG, essentially, “never say never.”

      I don’t care what grudges he’s nursing, or secret plans he’s harboring. If he’s lucky enough to be on the pitch, he should be getting it done. And he’s simply not right now. I love his exploits when he’s on, but if he’s going to be half-ass, then I’m more than ready for the Montoya era to begin.

    • ooga aga
      October 7, 2012

      “- PSG: check the full interview, not the quote you picked up somewhere, he said: ‘if Barça don’t want me anymore [who knows I then end up at PSG].’ “

  18. October 7, 2012

    Adriano: “I played the central defender role because the manager thought it was the best thing to do seeing that Madrid are very fast.”

  19. BarcaGirl_Indo
    October 7, 2012

    Whooaa, what’s with the negativity?

    It’s true we got a draw on our own field, in any other day we probably would see this as a lost.
    But last night, we come to the field with 8 points and left the field with 8 points. And that with our injury problems. This is RM loss, not ours.

    I like the fact that right below us there’s a Madrid team, and that team’s not EE 😛

  20. htMillBay
    October 7, 2012

    Messi’s free kick was brilliant. Though Ronaldo should get credit for his finishing, he had acres of space on his two goals and they weren’t breakaways either. I know that man marking is not in Barca’s philosophy but we don’t seem to do anything special to defend players of Ronaldo’s caliber while RM’s defensive approach is based on stopping Messi. Is Barca being arrogant in underestimating Tristiano?

  21. October 7, 2012

    One thing that caught my eyes the most was Iker’s outfit. OH. EMMMM. GEEE. what in the world was he wearing? Sky Blue did NOT go with tomato gloves and boots 😯

    • October 7, 2012

      I’m an unabashed hipster Bartra fan. Loved him even before he starting regularly training with the first team and sending autographed pictures to Penyas in Melbourne.

  22. Kimcelona
    October 7, 2012

    I was one that feared a loss for this Clasico, so I’m totally satisfied with this result. Am I happy? No, cause I still feel we could have won it near the end BUT considering the circumstances, I’m proud.

    I find myself mentioning Busquets quite alot..for the last 3 matches he’s been immense. Brilliant. Just, brilliant.
    Can you believe this is the “Bisquits” people were calling for Pep to get rid of cause he was taking up Yaya’s spot in the team. LOL
    I wasnt one though, I’ve always been apart of the Busquest Fairness Committee 😀

    Messi’s second half was immense. Man of the second half. Busi was MOTM though.
    Actually, after Messi’s equalizing goal was when team came to life. Yes, we dominated before then, but we hadnt created much.
    Other excellent players were Jordi and Monti.

    The first goal conceded was due Dani’s lackadasical defending. Second was due to mistake in midfield and then a disorganized backline with Adriano playing Crispy onside and too much space between he and Masche. But other than that the defense held up pretty good eventhough its not even a defense haha

    Overall, I think we had more dangerous plays and chances.
    And twas a great game as well!

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