Barcelona – Zaragoza Liveblog

I’m emerging from my Saturday football manager stupor to host this here liveblog, y’all. I’m going back to that new blogging platform that everyone loves to hate, so don’t be alarmed – the actual liveblog won’t appear on this page until I start it (about 10 minutes before halftime, but I have to go get one of these, so I’ll probably be late).

On the sporting side, we have Pique and Puyol both back!


Starting XI: Valdes, Montoya, Pique, Puyol, Alba, Song, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Villa

Bench: Pinto, Alves, Bartra, Mascherano, Dos Santos, Fabregas, Tello


    1. Nzm is the thunder, and Calvin is the lightning. Thanks for all your efforts in making this such a community.

      Now its gonna rain Barca.

    1. Yeah just wondering as it took me two attempts today to get in. First attempt got a black bar across the enter button but when I went to another site and returned it was fine.

    2. No, it has never worked for me. I’m on my desktop, running Firefox. It seems to let me pick a username, but when I try commenting…nothing. I hit enter and it never shows up. I can read other people’s comments, but it won’t post mine.

  1. An alright performance, with the win never looking in doubt. Good to see Messi get another few goals and the likes of Pique & Puyol to get minutes together.
    Tito is managing minutes well, giving Montoya and Bartra time on the pitch too. A good match even though we didn’t set the place on fire

  2. Anyone know how many goals Messi has in this calendar year? And how many games he has left to get to/ surpass Gerd Muller’s 85?

    1. Okay so some quick Googling gives us: 78 goals scored, and 8(?) games left in which to score 8 goals to break the record.


  3. Note to everyone – Right clicking on ‘Enter Event’ and choosing open in new tab/window will give you a much better and bigger experience of the LB..

  4. Lev is working up a review for y’all. My very short one? Issue never in doubt. Love seeing Montoya instead of Alves. I don’t like Alves and Alba at the same time. Always a point when somebody isn’t home. Sanchez was crap today …. oh, wait.

    Very good match from Song, Xavi was brilliant, Messi had the motor on idle, hugely influential, particularly on defense. Puyol and Pique clearly not anything approaching full power. Montoya’s training is the reason he didn’t just hoof that ball up the pitch. Another one of those “bad bounce” goals.

    That second Messi goal was just absurd. He makes it look so easy. Alba is a keeper. If he were normal size, I’d be even more excited about him.

    1. ‘If he were normal size, I’d be even more excited about him.’
      Alba’s like a real person only smaller

    2. Song and Xavi were excellent today. Song impressed me a lot. He made all the right passes and stepped up to defend and kill Zaragosa’s attack. Both Messi goals were sick. His assist to Song was vintage Messi. Splits 2 defenders, dribbles around a 3rd, then slots it back to the middle, all Song had to do was connect with the ball and keep it down. So many times you see a player sky that shot over the post. I would like to see Montoya starting more games over Alves. He’s proven he has what it takes and is consistent defensively while also adding a offensive run here and there. He had a Nice assist to Messi today. Xavi was quietly an assassin today. Picking Zaragosa apart from the middle of the pitch and keeping the ball tied to his shoe while making 3 or 4 players miss. Unreal. Visca Barca!

    3. He misplaced three passes exactly. Better than Xavi, Iniesta and … wait for it …. Messi. What does he have to do to satisfy everyone, 100% pass rating, hat trick and top shirt salesman in the Botiga? Lord today, dude had a hell of a match AND scored the winning goal. And he’s still improving.

      The real issue is that his best position is occupied by Busquests, who is extraordinary. It happens.

    4. Exactly what I was thinking when I saw nia’s reply! lol. A few passes? Yeah. That happens. lol.

    5. Messi misplaced nearly all his passes, but still got 2 goals and an assist! What do they say, the worst day fishing is better than the best day at the office?

      Loved Song today.

    6. It sure is nice to watch Xavi have his way with the midfield, eh? His great ball control means he can dribble quite well, but I guess he normally just decides that passing is the better option. It was fun watching him mix his usual excellent passing with some penetrating dribbles as well.

      Alba et al may be midgets in the US, but their height is pretty normal in Spain. My relatives in Barcelona like to say it’s the genetically engineered US food that makes everyone bigger. 😆

    1. They were that bad vs. EE even when they were playing well in the league and in Europe, so it’s not really much of a change.

  5. I has a faint vision of THE YAYA when I watched Song play today…just faint enough to give me hope…

  6. Damn! I forgot to set the alarm at 2.50am.

    Based on the stats, it looks like Zaragoza gave us a good game. They had a high number of shots and on target.

    Not good. Imagine if it was a top team?

    1. I don’t remember many of their shots troubling VV. They may have been on target, but weren’t that threatening.

    2. “not good. imagine if it was a top team”

      we would have won, either way.

      when was the last time puyol played? when was last time pique and puyol partnered? when was last time we had a consistent starting 11? oh yeah. we havent had one, all season.

      this team has barely gelled.

      and yet, only dropped two points from 12 games. i still have lots of patience for, and faith in, this team. im already happy, but i also feeel the best is yet to come.


    3. It’s hard to gauge a team’s performance from stat sheets. But nonetheless, we should minimize the opponent’s chances. It looked quite high (number of shots). Like I said, if it were a better team, they would’ve handled their chances better.

      Just look at Chelsea, Celtic and other teams that only needed 1-2 chances to score 1 goal last season.

      Since I was supposed to wake up to watch it live, I didn’t time it to record. Now I only get to see it on Tuesday at 1pm. Gotta make sure I don’t have any appointments at that time.

  7. Thoughts on the match:

    Montoya and Alba, one of them has to get the man of the match for their work rate, and running up and down the pitch along the wings, occupying players in wide areas, so the middle of the pitch, Xaviniesta, could operate with space in it.

    Song was on full song today, and seems like he has shaken off his heebie-jeebies after that goal. Made some lovely dribbles and passes. He also won some areal battles. I’m starting to like this dude. Provided seamless transition from defense to offence.

    Xaviniesta, making the extraordinary look ordinary in the midfield. That Iniesta shot which bounced off the cross bar was going to rival Messi’s effort had it gone in. Xavi was being xavi today, doing all his pirouettes in the midfield, it is amazing to watch him spin away from his defenders with the shake of a shoulder.
    Messi, yes his engine was on idle most of the game, but his first gear is like the fifth gear, so, yes he played jet lagged, and also like he had changed a few diapers last night, but, yes he is the one that made the difference in all the three goals that were scored. And that absurd second goal of his, or was it the absurd pass from Montoya!!!

    Man of the match – a joint award to Montoya/Alba for running up and down the wings all night.

    Fantastic to see Pique and Puyol marshall the backline. The whole game seems so calm with Puyol in the back. He really is the heartbeat of the Barca team.

    Once Tello and Cesc got on the field, the Barca play, took on the sixth gear, not that many cars have that kind of a gear. Tello and Cesc add so much creativity and directness to the Barca game. Too bad that they were on only for about fifteen minutes. Im hoping they get more minutes in the next game.

    My MOTM – TheFullMontoya, for running up and down all match, for providing the width, for that absurd assist to Messi, for defending, and for attacking. You sir, have made a joke out of the best right back in the world, yes, our very own Dani, and served it to him on a platter in his own backyard.

  8. The EE play Betis (away) and Atletico next while we play Levaante (away) and Athletic.
    Both can drop points, if we don’t then it will be a great help for the title!

  9. I’m not sure if this is true or not but…

    Ronaldinho: If Messi wants to be better than Pele he has to win 3 #WorldCup not scoring against poor #LaLiga teams”

  10. I didn’t know West Brom Albion was the EPL Barca, I thought Swansea was the one 🙂

    79% possession vs. Chelsea out of all people. Can you imagine that, not Chelsea of the past but a Chelsea with Oscar, Hazard & Mata.


    1. Yup. Chelsea had 65% possession. West Brom, bless ’em, were effective on the counter, and their keeper Myhill had the game of his life.

      Also, neither Oscar or Mata started. Once they came in, they started hooking up with Sturridge, and WBA had to hang on for dear life. (Torres looks completely done by the way. D-U-N done.)

    2. Didn’t know that it was fake. Damn Footy Jokes!

      It was funny how the media were claiming that Torres was back to his best and all when he banged in a couple of goals at the start of the season.

  11. Hey, now Bartra is out 3 weeks with a hamstring injury. Because we got Puyol and Pique back, but the Gods have stated that all of our CBs can NEVER be healthy at the same time, so ….

    1. Which is why we should have bought another center back over the summer. Apparently they knew the B-teamers weren’t ready for the big time yet. Apart from injuries, I’m surprised no one has really mentioned that defenders tend to get more cards as well, so depth across the back line is essential. We MUST find a serviceable center back and another wing back ASAP. How much did Tottenham pay for Vertonghen again? Someone at that level would fit the bill nicely.

    2. once we start LOSING due to injuries, maybe that would be the time to whine about not buying a CB. the results are proving you WRONG.

    3. When reasoned analysis/opinion equals whining, then this blog moves a step closer to Hopefully that won’t be the case.

    4. There’s an argument to be made that even though we have been winning most of our matches we could still have a better team if we had bought a centerback.

      Our good results don’t mean the team has the perfect balance – always room for improvement and I think it’s fair to say the weak phase of Barcelona’s play this season has been defense.

    5. Of course I was also calling for us to sign David Luiz before Chelsea got him, so I could be wrong.

      I think it was the hair…

  12. Blitzen posted a link to the roller hockey jersey a couple of days ago.


    I really loved it. I’ve been looking at it ever since. But it costs a whopping 85euros!!

    I would’ve expected them to cost less than the football jersey since it is not the club’s biggest game and income. And it doesn’t look to be the authentic version. Looks just like a normal replica to me.

    1. Got news for ya: They’re ALL replicas. Every now and again a club will sell authentic shirts, and the price usually refkects that. Adidas did it. Nike also did it with Barça shirts a couple of years ago.

      The QF deal is with the football club rather than the entire sporting entity. The hockey team probably has to make a bit more dosh from the sale of each shirt. Worthit not to have a logo. I’ll tell you how mine is whenit comes.

    2. Oh mannn.. That’s quite a high price to pay and the funniest bit is that people night think that it’s a knock-off jersey.

      Did you order it through official online Barça store or a 3rd party?

      I don’t know about the authentic thing because when I was on holiday in Hong Kong, they sell the authentic version which I couldn’t get in Singapore, Malaysia or Australia. The had holes at the sides, vents.

      The normal ones doesn’t come with this vents.

  13. Why are the likes of Deulofeu and S. Roberto in the squad to Moscow? There is only a 0.1% chance that they will be playing. Isn’t it better for them to stay back and train with the B team?

    1. they named the squad already:
      Valdés, Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Fàbregas, Puyol, Xavi, Villa, Iniesta, Messi, Jonathan dos Santos, Mascherano, Sergio Busquets, Pedro, Jordi Alba, Montoya, Song, Tello, Oier, Sergi Roberto y Deulofeu.

    2. If Neynar comes, I can’t see Deulofeu staying, unless we find stuff to do with Tello and Cuenca. But if the rumors of him coming are true, we woukd have Sanchez, Villa, Pedro, Deulofeu, Tello and Cuenca. Plus Neynar. Um ….

    1. Agreed. As talented as he is, he had his chance and didn’t take it. Too bad, since he is actually one of the few Dutch internationals who I don’t dislike…

  14. I’m pretty sure he’ll come back coz he said it himself that “the plan is to play well and return to FCB”……..I wldnt want to be tito when we have 8 forwards in this team…

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