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.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic

148 Comments

  1. Ben
    October 7, 2012

    Is Adriano really going to play CB? Our does Tito want a 352?

    • Jim
      October 7, 2012

      Does this not feel more like the (for me) dreaded three at the back?

      I need me some wine.

      • mom4
        October 7, 2012

        Imma order me a Cosmo. This could be brilliant…or…yep, I need that drink.

  2. Ryan
    October 7, 2012

    Maybe Busquets is going to play as a CB and Cesc plays as DM? That would leave Adriano playing further up, because surely we aren’t going to play three, short wingbacks + Masch as the back 4?

    • Clouseau
      October 7, 2012

      I really hope it so. 3-2-3-2 or 3-1-4-2 squirmish? I think Xavi will be playing deeper and Cesc higherup as usual.

      I don’t know about Adriano though.
      Wish he’d play more further up the pitch as LW rather than as LB/RB…

  3. MiZa
    October 7, 2012

    TV said that the alternate starting line-up this year was a 4-2-3-1.

    That would be (theoretically):
    VV
    Alves-Smash-Busquets-Alba
    Xavi-Cesc
    Pedro-Iniesta-Adriano
    Messi

    (Or Adriano and Alba could switch.)

  4. Xavi6
    October 7, 2012

    Vilanova is either a genius , or a coach who has made the mistake of his life .
    WTF is this formation?

  5. nia
    October 7, 2012

    i can’t breath after seeing that lineup and Tello left out after getting his stuff together, oh gawd!!!!!

  6. Roberto Senyera
    October 7, 2012

    I’m drinking copious amounts of red and I love it. Who needs defenders? Who needs anyone over 6′ sans Busi? It’s us in our home battlin’ with smurfs and I love it. All midfielders.

    Bring.
    It.
    On.

    4-0.

    Visca Barça !!!!

  7. Helge
    October 7, 2012

    Are you kidding me?

    Iniesta not even on the bench. But worse, Adriano as a CB!?! He got owned by CR in the Supercopa. OMFG ! ! !
    This line-up makes my heart beat even faster than it was supposed to be beating ^^

  8. Roberto Senyera
    October 7, 2012

    We’re potentially screwed on set pieces though …

  9. Helge
    October 7, 2012

    Does beIn show this match? If so, a beIn stream would be very appreciated 😉

  10. Richzorz
    October 7, 2012

    Classic “W-M” formation??! Be very interesting to see how this one lines up – looks like Tito has some crazy plan up his sleeve after all! How effective it’s going to be is another matter but I guess an 8 point gap and a lack of defenders is the ‘perfect’ time for crazy experiments!!

  11. Judas Pissed
    October 7, 2012

    no surprise there. When you play without a back four what do you expect?

  12. culegirl3
    October 7, 2012

    Maybe now we can stop buying midfielders and start buying born and bred CBs.

  13. Dave
    October 7, 2012

    Alves is utterly useless.Days are numbered

  14. Gogah
    October 7, 2012

    Monty should have always started. Look more composed now.

  15. barca96
    October 7, 2012

    Guillem Ballague wanted some limelight and said that Alves was taken out for tactical reasons. What a Joker.

    I guess Tito instructed Alves to hobble back while his team mates are dealing with a counter attack and then sit on the ground too.

  16. G6O
    October 7, 2012

    I don’t understand what Dani was thinking in that situation – why are you moving towards the center when if you do that you’re leaving the second most dangerous player on the planet free in the box???

  17. barca96
    October 7, 2012

    I do understand why Iniesta is playing further up than Cesc.

    1) Iniesta is a better midfielder thus >more possession.
    2) Cesc is a goal scoring threat and Iniesta has a hard time getting it even on target. So why put Cesc so far away?

  18. barca96
    October 7, 2012

    I can’t get into the live blog. It’s just a blank black screen. I’m on Android, in a Galaxy S2. Any other Droid facing the same problem?

  19. Kimcelona
    October 7, 2012

    I cant get into the liveblog either 🙁

  20. yana
    October 7, 2012

    At times everything just seemed too calm. Hopefully they kick the urgency up a notch in the second half…

  21. pr17
    October 7, 2012

    new format of liveblog as good as new big money contract holder dani alves. totally poor. bring back the ol times.

  22. yana
    October 7, 2012

    bummer, brower crashed and I got kicked out of liveblog. I guess we exceeded free clicks?

  23. nia
    October 7, 2012

    that was good considering we han no real defenders

  24. G6O
    October 7, 2012

    Well, what everyone feared did happen – Ronaldo had a field day. It’s a good result given the circumstances

  25. replayed
    October 7, 2012

    Still feels like two points dropped to me.

  26. nia
    October 7, 2012

    I think Barca were reserved and scared to go all out incase they got countered

    • G6O
      October 7, 2012

      Yes, you would expected us to really push for the winner towards the end but we played it safe instead. Fully justified given how shaky the defense was

  27. TITO
    October 7, 2012

    Well, dont know should be happy or sad about the result. Probably happy, considering who is defending and how is defending. Luckily enough, we didnt leave them enough of free space to attack, cause otherwise it would have a slaughter.
    But, how the fuck was Xabi still playing, or Ozil for that matter. Those were 2 stone wall second bookings and reds for them.
    I think this is the first game in a while when we had more fouls than the other team, he was basically whistling every contact or Ronaldo od Di Maria or Arbeloa or…
    Anyway, Jordi, Busi, Messi, Montoya did great. Did Valdes actually had a save or not???

    • Ryan
      October 7, 2012

      He had one with his feet near the end! My stream barely showed it, as it was showing a replay while the move started.

    • G6O
      October 7, 2012

      Xabi Alonso should have been sent off on two separate occasions. But that’s typical, can’t really complain – it’s not as if in the past they weren’t getting only a third of the red cards they deserved, the difference was that we were in good enough condition to make this irrelevant.

  28. October 7, 2012

    God I love football. What an awesome game. Fair result in the end.

  29. lea_terzi
    October 7, 2012

    Both teams looked somewhat subdued, due to midweek matches, or are they just tired of playing each other? Can’t help but feel we had better chances to pull it off. But too many players weren’t sharp enough in the area.

    • lea_terzi
      October 7, 2012

      Montoya was the shining light, for me 🙂 Ronaldo gave him greef, but I can see a great player emerging. Good for Spain, too. If he scored that scorcher in last minutes, everything would’ve gone bonkers 🙂

      • Ryan
        October 7, 2012

        It was such an instinctual shot that my commentator (and me) thought it was Pedro! Such a shame it hit the bar.

  30. Carter
    October 7, 2012

    Unforunately I think 2-2 was an acceptable result. Anyone know what’s up with Alves? Messi’s free kick was glorious, Busquets played well in preventing more direct attacks on our backline with both his positioning and tactical fouls. Ballsy move by Vilanova to put Adriano at CB I always get worried with Adriano. Great to have Iniesta back!! I was hoping Villa would get in, I kept looking and saw no one in the middle at their backline, Villa would’ve been there.
    Montoya is fabulous. He now played in two clasicos against Ronaldo and has held his own beautifully. He should’ve had the winner also. He needs more consistent playing time for sure.
    Overall, decent result I’m happy with the performance.

    • simple_barcafan
      October 7, 2012

      Official: Alves has a thigh muscle injury, he will undergo further tests.
      via barcastuff

    • October 7, 2012

      Loved Monty today. If that shot went in, I would explode. Overall, I’m happy with the result. 8 points with no defense, that’s damn good.

    • G6O
      October 7, 2012

      My stream went down just around the moment of the second Madrid goal so I could only see quite a grainy replay – someone was badly out of position on that goal but I couldn’t see who exactly. If it was Adriano, then the experiment didn’t really work…

      • TITO
        October 7, 2012

        It was Song, though not playing, but it was his fault.

  31. October 7, 2012

    Given Alves’ form, and given how non-flustered and “belong-y” Montoya has looked, I really wouldn’t mind a more sustained run for Montoya at RB. Anyway now that Alves is injured he will get that run anyway methinks.

    • Helge
      October 7, 2012

      Well, but there is international break first. Maybe Alves will have recovered in 2 weeks.
      I kind a hope he misses 4 weeks, that would give Montoya the chance to play vs Depor, Celtic and Rayo. All not the biggest of matches, he could gain further experience (and respect from the coach) there!

      If I had to choose a MotM, it’d be Montoya 🙂

      • htMillBay
        October 7, 2012

        Yes, please. Montoya and Bartra for Depor, Celtic and Rayo. I’m tired of makeshift defenses. If we had Pique and Puyol those 2 Ronaldo goals would be one or zero. I don’t think we need to buy a CB we just need to play the kids.

  32. replayed
    October 7, 2012

    Yeah, I hope that the most positive outcome from this match is Montoya earning the right to get at least as much playing time as Alves.

    Tito has thrown his support behind Tello but I think that Montoya will have a longer Barcelona career than him.

  33. TITO
    October 7, 2012

    Why wasnt Villa brought in at all???

    • barca96
      October 7, 2012

      Pedro is better than him and we need someone who can fight for the ball, good in one on one, pacey and someone who can track back. Villa does track back at times but not enough. I love Villa but Pedro & Alexis were the better option.

      • replayed
        October 7, 2012

        Late in the game, when Barca were going for the win, it would have made sense to bring in Villa for Iniesta who’s just coming back from injury and wasn’t yet at his sharpest.

      • TITO
        October 7, 2012

        Disagree, Pedro will never be as good as Villa, he is a natural goalscorer, and RM suits him just right. Pedro should have gone after 60 or 70 minutes. Villa would have made the difference.

        • barca96
          October 7, 2012

          Tito, but at the moment Pedro is better than Villa Imo.

          • htMillBay
            October 7, 2012

            Tito went conservative and decided to play for a draw near the end. After all, 8 points is better than 5. I was hoping to see Villa too for a last moment long distance screamer but Pedro and Alexis are better at defending in the oppponent’s third.

    • simple_barcafan
      October 7, 2012

      Tito was most probably wanted some one to be able track back and aid in defense as our defense was looking shaky. So Alexis was preferred..He might have wanted all the players on the pitch to defend and track back as a unit.

  34. Ryan
    October 7, 2012

    We may say 8 points, but as things are going, Atleti are going to join us at the top of the table! And Falcao is keeping up with Messi and TB’s goal tally. Pretty nice to see for la Liga, as long as we don’t lose to them. 🙂

  35. TITO
    October 7, 2012

    The main conclusion from this game having in mind the season – Tito just didnt had the balls to make his glorious subs this time.

    • simple_barcafan
      October 7, 2012

      well when you have your ENTIRE back line out Alves, Pique, Puyol and Abidal, saying a coach doesn’t have the balls to make glorious(I have no idea what “glorious” subs are) is not logical…

      • TITO
        October 7, 2012

        Those subs that make the difference when things dont go well, and it happened a lot this season.

        • _Lily
          October 7, 2012

          Things weren’t going well because we had a patchy defense that overperformed. You can’t go for glorious subs in that situation – I think Tito made the right call yet again.

  36. Clouseau
    October 7, 2012

    Damn, what a match. What a Player Busquets makes Özil look useless everytime though he was culpable for Madrids 2nd Goal.

    Montoya should start more often now. His positioning was better as Dani imo, very mature display.

  37. Jared10
    October 7, 2012

    Beautiful game to watch. can’t help but leave with a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth though. I thought Messi’s goal was the winner, but we let Ronaldo score one of his typical tap ins. Overall though, considering the crisis that we’re calling our “defence” I thought the team looked pretty good! Give an inch, and Montoya would have had the winner…totally different story. Mascherano was pretty solid at the back but seriously…we NEED to buy a center back, or try to incorporate Bartra into the lineup. Solid performance, and exciting open football…and hey, 8 points is still a pretty good lead ;P

  38. October 7, 2012

    Thought this was an immense performance from FCB. Really impressive. Playing a backline of Montoya, Adriano, Masche, and Alba and still exert match control and achieving a favorable result is really a testament to this team.

    Barca played with a backline today of utter desperation and did so against one of the best attacking sides in the world. A side that transitions faster than any other team in the world, a side that has an array of attacking talent and a side that was completely healthy.

    And Barca still obtained a favorable result and came very close to winning the match at the end.

    8pts ahead in La Liga and still so. This was a lost opportunity for RM. Surprised Mou didn’t try to press Barca more aggressively high up the pitch to pressure the Barca backline. Think that was a mistake on his side. This was a great opportunity for RM to pull back into the Liga race.

    Busquets was simply amazing. Given the context – one of the best of his career. Difficult to see a footballer playing a better match than that.

    Messi-what can you say. He’s a genius. The entire RM defensive system is structured to stop him. There is literally no space for him to operate. He had very limited help in attack. And somehow he still managed to put the team on his back and get it done.

    This was a match Barca should have lost. And instead they played an outstanding match and retained an 8 pt lead.

    • stefan2k
      October 7, 2012

      Couldn’t agree more

      – Improvised defense did great (Montoya is amazing… so relaxed)
      – Midfield very composed … Busquets is crazy
      – Messi amazing, Alexis agile and motivated… Pedro winning several 1on1s
      – Tito with a lot of creativity and deliberateness… Villa certainly does not chase back as much as Pedro and Alexis do

      Fair result although a little bitter

    • October 7, 2012

      Barca played with a backline today of utter desperation

      No, no. It’s not desperation until JDS plays RB. Remember that?

  39. Srini
    October 7, 2012

    A great game between two very good sides. Both teams played to their strengths; but I believe Barca was handicapped from the start with injuries to their CBs and that really hurt them and prevented them from an outright win.

    Within the circumstances though 2-2 was a fair result, considering that Madrid missed gilt edged opportunities in the first half and should have scored rather easily. They seemed very lethal on the counter-attack despite Barca’s comfortable possession game and I suppose Barca has to reinvent itself – atleast solve its CB problem the next time they face Madrid.

    Overall, retaining an 8 point lead is a comfortable situation for Barca. Trouble is, even if Real Madrid is still afar from them, the other team from Madrid looks really good this season.

    • October 7, 2012

      I’m fine with Atletico giving us some competition at the top; hope they won’t do the usual in their derby though 😉

      • _Lily
        October 7, 2012

        Yeah, seriously. Atlético can duel with us all through the season if they like, as long as they make Real drop some points for once.

  40. Gogah
    October 7, 2012

    I hate giving away easy goals to madrid, happens all the time. Messi Over hit some passes uncharacteristically towards the end. We could have had the win.Pedro’s shot in the end was poor after beating his man well. Villa should have got some minutes though. Monty and alba were brilliant and how good was that freekick. We should have dominated more, don’t like this new found feeling of seeing them as equals.

    • October 7, 2012

      We played against one of the 2 best teams in the world with a CB who has basically never played CB before and a 20 yo RB vs CR.

      Barca should have been ripped apart today at the back. Instead we controlled the match.

  41. Absolutely horrific match by Tito. We looked like just another average team play terrible football. The subs were poor as well. And how in God’s name did we seem more tired than EE?

    All in all an extremely disappointing match. Only bright thing was Montoya.

    • October 7, 2012

      Barca had 70% of the ball vs a completely healthy RM side. 90% pass accuracy.

      After a very shaky start the backline settled down. The match could have completely spiraled out of control.

      I struggle to see how that can be horrific or even disappointing.

    • simple_barcafan
      October 7, 2012

      wow..talk about an over reaction…

    • ooga aga
      October 7, 2012

      i agree, i did not see the match Triplo watched.

      it was only a matter of time til unnecessary negativism raised its head on this blog.

      we were by far the better side, with none of our first choice back line (abidal, pique, puyol, alves). madrid could barely string 3 passes together. they had chances but at the end we were still attacking and looked the more likely to score.

      very happy and proud of this team

      • _Lily
        October 7, 2012

        I’d say three of the four were not first choice. Abidal might have been preferred in a match like this, but when Abidal gets back I don’t see Alba getting pushed out to play an Adriano-type role.

        Still, agree with you in general.

    • BarcaRoja
      October 7, 2012

      Hmm, did we watch the same match? With the defensive limitations that we have, I was QUITE satisfied with how the team played, especially the effort that they put into the game It was a decent match for both sides. We had pretty good chances, and looked like we would eventually score up to last second in extra time. With the current situation, it was an acceptable result, I was even expecting a loss. Proud of this team, as always 🙂

  42. barca96
    October 7, 2012

    – I expected Madrid to go full on in the last 10 minutes but they went on a damage limitation mode instead. This is a game where they had to win. This just shows you what kind of coach Mourinho is.

    I agree that we could’ve gone all out to get the winner but we didn’t have to and by doing so, we might concede a dangerous counter attack.

    – Alba was MOtM for me.

    – I still think that Song should’ve played instead of Adriano but I guess the coaches do think that Song is not up to standard yet and rather put a LW with dodging defending at CB.

    This just makes me wonder whether they will still use Song at CB. It’s better that they groom Bartra or continue with project Adriano.

    Adriano has the advantage of being left footed but man, he’s not a good tackler and has a poor positioning.

    – How come Tello was omitted from the squad? Even S. Roberto was in. I just couldn’t see him get any minutes in this match. No way. That was a wasted bench spot for Tello for me. And since the game was so open, we could’ve actually used Tello.

    – I think we all would agree that the 1st goal could’ve been prevented if only Alves learned from his mistake from just a week ago by being to central instead of sticking to his man.

    – Our midfield was over ran on many occasions. Only Busi was functioning defensively. Amazing as always except for a unusual amount of bad passes.

    – X. Alonso was anonymous hehe.

    – How on earth didn’t Ramos didn’t get booked for that kick out to Messi in our own half in the 1st quarter of the match?

    – Ronaldo knows deep in his heart that he can’t beat Messi to the Ballon d’Or. Not only does Messi scored a bucket load of goal but now it includes a number of free kicks which Ronaldo is supposed to be so dangerous at.
    And this was the one match before the voting where he can outshine Messi but he didn’t. Besides the goal, he didn’t create any danger whereas Messi created many chances for others.
    Simply the best.

  43. stefan2k
    October 7, 2012

    Come on guys whats up with the negativity??

    Even some Baraca blogs predicted a loss and we certainly made best of it and even were on the edge of winning!

    • October 7, 2012

      It’s a chronic disease called culessism. Untreatable, I’m afraid. The only way to control it is to take high doses of reality and rationality three times daily – but those two things are rare on from the internet…

  44. simple_barcafan
    October 7, 2012

    I have a feeling if Laporta was the president, we would have bought a defender during the transfer season…

    • October 7, 2012

      I don’t know. Pep had a lot of say last season and he chose Cesc over a defender. If Pep (and Tito) said the team needed a defender, Rosell and Zubi would make it a priority.

      Pure speculations, I think the scouts didn’t do a good job finding potential defenders, coaching staff were too confident in Puyi’s health and Masche’s defending ability that they thought anyone could be converted to play that position. To me, the blame stops at the sporting director’s desk.

      Not buying a defender and keeping Eusebio as a B-team coach make me lose a lot of faith in Zubi :/

  45. Oh and all this time Song was put at CB was for what? I accepted it thinking it was training for the clasico. He better start playing Bartra. I’ve lost considerable faith in Tito tonight to be honest.

    • barca96
      October 7, 2012

      Calm down. Tutor either realized that Song isn’t fit to play CB or is still a work in progress.

    • _Lily
      October 7, 2012

      Really? I’m gaining more and more faith in Tito every game. When I looked at that lineup, I wasn’t sure what to think of it, but Tito clearly knew what he was doing. With our defensive problems I was expecting us to lose. Instead, we almost won. I don’t know if Tito was originally planning to use Song or not, but if he was and ended up changing his mind, I’m glad that we have a coach who can adapt.

  46. October 7, 2012

    A great and clean (gasp!) game today. Busi was a total beast and Messi is without a doubt one of the premier free kick takers in world football. Happy for him because he’s been working on ’em for so long.

    As for Adriano – he did well. No, really. The second goal was a silly one to give up but as usual that’s on the team. Starts with someone losing the ball further up field. I think it was a good call from Tito not to throw Song or Bartra into the cauldron – it’s just a damning indictment on the board that Adriano had to be the one to play there.

    And on the subject of young player – hey ho Monty! What a performance. He had that right flank on lockdown. If he scored that shot that rebounded off the post…

    re Villa-Alexis: Alexis did a fine job when he came on; team needed someone to occupy the RM cbs + his movement was spot on. TO be honest, if there is anyone who should have started/subbed off earlier it was Cesc. Not a poor game from him, it’s just the other two would have been better suited to take advantage of RM’s high backline.

    Anyway, it’s an immense result for a Barca squad whose backline has been hit so hard by injuries and poor management. An eight point gap is still a big one. Visca!

    • Clouseau
      October 7, 2012

      Haha i always laughed in the past when Messi tried on some Freekicks but look at him now! Now it’s one of his stronger points.
      Probably the only Guy who got better in taking Freekicks under Guardiolas reign while everyone else regressed..

      Great result.

  47. October 7, 2012

    Though I’m happy with the result considering our trouble at the back, I just hate this feeling of not being able to end Madrid’s soap opera. They’ve been in crisis too many times, and we’ve had so many chances to end their misery, but couldn’t get it done this time. Dang it! I wanted to see RM explode; Diego Torres’ juicy gossips; Mou and his minions on a plane back to Portugal. Next time I guess…

    • Roberto Senyera
      October 7, 2012

      That’s how I feel. We had a chance to bury EE and put them into full crisis mode. It would have been epic. Opportunity lost.

      Even under the circumstances I am disappointed we didn’t win in our house. No excuses.

      But it’s still an eight point gap over them. So it ain’t all bad.

  48. 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.

    • 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.

  49. 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

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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 😛

  58. 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!

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

    • 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.

  61. 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

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

      • 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. 😀

      • 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.

  64. 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].’ “

  65. 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.”

  66. 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 😛

  67. 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?

  68. 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.

  69. 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!

Leave a Reply