Liga Liveblog: Xerez – Barça

Watch it on ESPN2 or ESPN Deportes at 4pmEST/1pmPST and stop in for a mega-awesome liveblog:

By Isaiah

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


  1. Nothing better than a little bit of Barca to distract me from work all day = ) VISCA EL BARCA!!!

    1. Well if Bojan scores, we all know it’s gonna be a brace, since he seems to always score in pairs for some reason.

      On another hilarious note; the topic of the story was Gattuso’s return, and the pic went with it, but….


      L.M.A.O Can you say mafia? We should have a “Caption This!” 😀

  2. Can anyone run the liveblog? Something just came up that I need to take care of…I know it’s very last minute, but if you can, let me know ASAP, please.

    I can set you up and everything if you don’t already know how to do it.

    1. I’m might be able to run it (ahhhhh! first time!), but my brother might need the computer when he gets home…

      Save me for very last resort if corrine or Vj or OhYes can’t do it…

  3. omg what a miss by iniesta, that even gives more merit to the “iniestazo” in stamford bridge hahahaa

  4. A lot of players were horrific today, imo!

    Messi was the only one who actually wanted to play some football and have fun. He deserved a goal, because he was more threatening, more inspiring in his 30 min. than all other players (in their respective playing time).

  5. Agreed, horrible game. The two shining stars were Ibra and Messi. That ninja gangsta pass to Henry that the ref whistled was SIIIIIICCCCKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. If anybody finds that sweet ninja kick on youtube, please link. I am still baffled as to how he pulled that off.

  6. Well 1 thing we all can see from this game is why Pep has chosen to place Keita over The Yaya in recent games…Maybe it was just this game he was off since he was now coming back from the Swine..But i must say Marquez was pretty solid 2day hardly place a foot wrong.Chygrynskiy to should be praised for some great defending….

  7. caught the last part of the game, it seemed lazy and the pitch probably played a role, it was awful looking. Looking fwd to the review as I missed it but I caught the Henry goal in the highlights. How did Iniesta miss his chance? and Messi…meet my little front the right post.

  8. I know it was for a good cause, but perhaps Andres shouldnt have given away his Chelsea boots> He hasnt scored since that game, and i still have no idea how he missed from 3 yards today. I bet he’s saving his next goal for another golazo vs Chelsea in the knockout rounds ;), if so i wont mind.

    1. Marquez did great the second half, the first not so much. But then again everyone sucked the first half.

    2. i like Rafa, i defend him here more than i should have to. but everything he touched today turned to shit; he was terrible.

  9. Messi’s miss was simply bad luck. But I don’t get Iniesta’s one.. it looked like he could even walk the ball into the net if he had wanted. Like others said he must be saving his golazos for Chelsea or some other epl scums 🙂

    1. Yeah, I know! But as much as I love Iniesta, he has always been rather terrible at finishing. Which makes his Chelsea goal truly magical!

  10. Just saw the highlights. Lovely goals by Titi and Ibra. How in the world does Iniesta miss that chance though?

  11. I can’t remember a game in which THE YAYA looked so bad.

    More importantly, I’ve never seen us look so perfectly like we came in expecting to trounce them. If they had just CONCENTRATED and PLAYED AS A TEAM, this would’ve been a killer. Iniesta’s miss personified the kind of game it was. They’re a better team and deserved to win, but it wasn’t a champion’s match. They should have destroyed them. When you count the giveaways, we were about equal to them.

    This left a really bad taste in my mouth. They beat Inter fantastically, then they beat Real Madrid in a way that made them seem like they could make a run at Europe again, then they go to mighty Xerez and, well…they looked as mediocre as they’ve been most of this year I’m sad to say.

    Still, I think Liga will be a great race that we will ultimately win, and as for the CL repeat…let’s beat Dynamo (comfortably I hope) and see what happens.

    1. Anyone remember when Espanyol was rock-bottom last year and we played them? Let me remind you: Valdes.

      Maybe we just play this way against 20th place.

    2. I was going to complain that this wasn’t exactly our A squad, but… come on!! We should have been able to be way better than that!

      I agree– there was a distinct lack of concentration and cohesion. Maybe I just got too used to the way we stayed on such a strong streak last year, but wow, we have been rocky so far. It’s silly, but I miss those 5-0 score lines…

  12. was gonna ask how yaya did but you guys answered it in comments. how were henry and bojan overall? i saw some neat tricks by bojo in highlights. and chyggy – was he nastaaayyy?

    guess this will be all answered in the match review

    iniesta’s miss was SHOCKING

  13. We’ve been so up and down this season. I think I might be getting seasick. 🙂 It seems like everyone is having their “off” days at varying times so that the team is never really entirely cohesive.

  14. Yaya was terrible. but really, it was a result of the whole team’s mentality.

    let me being by saying that i only watched the second half, and this is what i saw:

    We were on cruise control. There was a little laziness, and a little lack of focus. This meant that our defenders were caught off guard. Our defensive mid got caught dribbling (i counted 4 times in the second half), sitters were missed ( yup SPF45, you), and we can’t tell if our “generosity” with possession is due to the shit passing or the lazy runs.

    When Messi and Ibra came in, they injected a huge dose of energy into the team. (BTW, how much does it suck to be playing a team that can throw Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Andres Iniesta on as subs)

    So, yeah, we played a crap game… BUT!!… i am not disappointed, I am not gloomy, or anything. We needed to beat Inter to stay alive in the CL, and we did. We needed to beat Real to go back to the top of La Liga, and because its Real. And we did. Visiting 20th place Xerez for our 3rd game in 7 days, we didn’t need 6 goals, we didn’t need to impress anyone, and we certainly didn’t need to injure ourselves for anything. What we needed was one thing. 3 points. 3 points without expending too much energy, and without risking injury or picking up needless yellows. We have bigger fish to fry.

    So yeah, we played on cruise-control, it was sloppy, it was ugly, but it’s what needed to happen. We needed to throw 11 on the pitch, pick up the 3, and leave, no biggie.

    That said… cruise control or not, If i were someone fighting for minutes, i probably would have been busting my ass all game (Bojan, and maybe Pedro! to some extent)

    Like i said, i was only able to watch the second half, so i cannot comment at all on their performances.

    Anywho, I’m looking forward to a better showing vs. Depor…

    1. I think everybody – or nearly everybody – played on 50% today because they’ve had two really tough and important games during the last 7 days and we will face Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday. Depor didn’t have to play a match in mid-week for like 3 weeks(?) and they are a competitive team if you look at the la Liga standings. Real Madrid always finds it tough to win there (or even draw) and even though I’m not sure about our stats in La Coruna, I guess it won’t be easy either.
      I also posted straight after the match that we were “horrific”; that was probably due to my generally high expectations for ALL Barca matches. But thinking about it again, being more optimistic, I could also say we played one of our most intelligent and energy-saving matches and we knew that we could afford a lot of errors because – with all due respect – CD Xerez seldomly scores. Maybe the team used the errors for this game and won’t make any in the next matches 😉

    2. interesting you mention the subs. apparently, and dont hold me to this, but apparently, it was the most expensive 3 subs ever used in the history of the game. because SPF45 has just had his buyout clause set at Euroes200 mill and messi’s being around 250, and god only knows what ibra is worth.

      on another noe, thanks jason for being the first commentor to truly understand this game. anyone expecting a rout was crazy. i knew, by the pitch and the sliuggish actions and even the fact that this was Xerez stuck between some big games, that we were going to lay off. like you said, 3 points was all we needed and we did it, while hopefully breaking henryas slump and moving ibra one step closer to pichichi.

  15. 3 points, 3 points, 3 points, 3 points, 3 points, 3 points, 3 points, 3 points, 3 points, 3 points, 3 points, 3 poi..

    You get the picture.

    It’s all that matters, kids.

  16. so that ridiculous pass that ibra pulled off, did he get whistled for something on that? and if so, what was the deal? couldn’t tell from the highlights.

    1. It’s one of those calls that they make only in high school games, though those high boots ARE unnecessarily dangerous. IIRC, a high boot is the only non-contact foul that can be called in futbol (as in from one person to another).

  17. If anyone has a DVR and missed the game. Tell me where I can Upload the files(4 files) so you get them. I think I tried to send it to some friends by emailing software, but it only sent the first file, as the 4 folders were too big to send.

    I cant find my software that convert .TS files to Media extention. So these files only work on DVR now.

    Regarding the game. Probably Pep main instruction was:”Save energy, get points”. The field looked bad as well. But still I expected better performance. One game less, 3 points more.

  18. This was one of those games that we just had to get out the way. Nab the 3 points, dont expend too much energy and dont pick up any injuries. The pitch being a crapfest didnt help matters either. We have two very tough away games coming up, both crucial and we have just played two of the toughest games so far this season.

    Last season games like this, against teams like Xerez, were for showing off, scoring plenty of goals and showing the world what we can do. The world knows what we can do now, so this year, games like this are about winning without playing at full throttle. Its a world cup year and we have all seen the effect that the extra games and mental fatigue has put on some key players. We have a tough schedule, a thin squad and every opponenet who plays us works 2-3 times as hard against us than they would against any other team. Xerez is the perfect example, probably their best game this year by miles. So we have to be more practical and more efficient this year if we want to win trophies… I hate to say it but we are going to have to get used to these sorts of games and results.

  19. In the Xerez post-match press conference last night, FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola admitted to the tough nature of the match but is satisfied because the team had passed the test and had taken the three points. On the other hand, he was unhappy with the bad game image the team gave and felt that they have taken a step backwards with respect to the matches against Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

    “We struggled throughout the match. In part, this is normal because we have just gone through a very intense week. I thought it would be good to put in players who are mentally and physically fresh, but that decision has also affected our game. It was a precarious game to the end. They ran us to the ground, we were not as fluid with the ball and we played too slow,” analysed the Blaugrana coach with some disappointment, “But then, I won’t reproach the team as I know that they have given their all on the pitch.”

  20. I think it was a combination of things that led to the ugly ass game.

    – The pitch was a cesspit. REALLY bad. Don’t underestimate how much this affects our type of game. The ball bounces more and is slower. Its something that we are still adapting too. Smaller teams routinely let their grass grow high against us. It may sound stupid but it really does affect us and we need to adapt to it.

    – A group of guys had bad days. It happens to the best of them but quite a few of our most reliable guys so far (notably Yaya and Pedro) simply had bad days.

    – I can sort of forgive Chygnasty and Rafa because one is still relatively new and the other is still getting back to form but their good stops in the second half were overshadowed IMO by a bunch of screwups across the board:
    1) They struggled playing the ball out. Credit Jerez for the high pressure but we usually make teams pay when they try this on us. Both of them were too quick to resort to the longball. They had a few good ones but these were few compared to all the balls they lost. Notice how Pep moved Yaya back as a third CB in the second half to help them play the ball out. This should not be necessary.
    2) They didn’t push the line up and compress the field enough. Same mistake as in the first half against Madrid.
    3) They both made surges into midfield and lost the ball which is a capital sin.

    – Henry’s first touch is WAY OFF. He apparently got used to receiving the ball without a defender on his back when he plays the wing and now when he gets called up as a 9, his back to goal play has been rusty as hell. He is no longer dynamic enough to compensate for this with constant speed and movement like Samu did. Compare that to Zlatan’s back to goal play. That said, great goal.

    – Good ol’ Iniesta. Poor guy makes the hardest most beautiful goals and misses the tap ins in agonizing fashion. It never fails.

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