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. 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. simple_barcafan
    October 7, 2012

    streams please..

  7. 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 !!!!

  8. 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 ^^

    • The__K__Man
      October 7, 2012

      Iniesta is in the line-up.

    • Helge
      October 7, 2012

      oh no… silly me!

      I want an edit function.

    • October 7, 2012

      Wake up man… 🙂
      Haven’t seen you comment in a while now

  9. Roberto Senyera
    October 7, 2012

    We’re potentially screwed on set pieces though …

  10. Helge
    October 7, 2012

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

  11. lyd
    October 7, 2012

    Tito Supernova!

    • October 7, 2012

      That’s a good one.

  12. 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!!

  13. Judas Pissed
    October 7, 2012

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

  14. culegirl3
    October 7, 2012

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

  15. Dave
    October 7, 2012

    Alves is utterly useless.Days are numbered

  16. Gogah
    October 7, 2012

    Monty should have always started. Look more composed now.

  17. 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.

  18. 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???

  19. 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?

  20. 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?

  21. Kimcelona
    October 7, 2012

    I cant get into the liveblog either 🙁

  22. yana
    October 7, 2012

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

  23. 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.

    • Ryan
      October 7, 2012

      This liveblog IS the ol’ times!

  24. yana
    October 7, 2012

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

  25. yana
    October 7, 2012

    Oh, beautiful. MESSI!

  26. nia
    October 7, 2012

    that was good considering we han no real defenders

  27. G6O
    October 7, 2012

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

  28. replayed
    October 7, 2012

    Still feels like two points dropped to me.

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. October 7, 2012

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

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. TITO
    October 7, 2012

    Why wasnt Villa brought in at all???

    • replayed
      October 7, 2012

      That’s what I want to know.

    • 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.

  37. 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. 🙂

  38. 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.

    • replayed
      October 7, 2012

      Looked that way to me.

    • 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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

  41. 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?

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. October 7, 2012

    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.

    • October 7, 2012

      We watched different games.

    • 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.

    • Nav
      October 7, 2012

      haha what

    • 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 🙂

  45. 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.

  46. 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…

    • garry
      October 8, 2012

      Lol…

  47. 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 :/

  48. October 7, 2012

    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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

Comments are closed.