Barcelona vs. Benfica: Taking It Easy Seriously

 

“This is the Champions League, and there are players coming back from injury, others that don’t get to play as much, and it’s important for the team and our image. We’ll give it one hundred per cent, knowing that Benfica are fighting for qualification.” ~ Adriano

Good morning, Blaugrana Nois – well rested, I trust?  Well, you should be, given that your little heads were resting on feather pillows, and your bodies were cocooned between 100 thread count cotton sheets and silken duvets as you slumbered in your slovenly team camp last night.

Barcelona’s W Hotel – where the boys sat around the campnou fire last night, telling silly “mocmoc, who’s there?” jokes and scaring each other with Portuguese ghost stories

While Barça has already qualified and Spartak Moscow is out of contention, the 2nd qualifying spot is up for grabs depending on both of tonight’s Group G match results.

Benfica and Celtic are equal on 7 points each, with Benfica leading in the head-to-head analysis.  For Celtic to qualify, they must finish tonight’s home game against Spartak Moscow with 1 point more than Benfica, otherwise the Portuguese team is through to the knock-out stages.  Celtic Park will be fully-charged tonight.

Welcome to the Hotel Barcelona
Coach Jorge Jesus arrived last night with his Eagles band team bereft of all its usual mid-field starters.  Injured Argentine players Enzo Pérez, Pablo Aimar and Eduardo Salvio join hamstrung Portuguese Carlos Martins in front of the TV back in Lisbon.

However, Jesus remains upbeat, demanding that his team gives a better performance than the first home game against the Blaugrana, while claiming that Benfica could “surprise” the home team at Camp Nou.  He always looks on the bright side of life.

Benfica’s travelling squad is:
Goalkeepers: Artur Moraes, Paulo Lopes and Bruno Varela.
Defenders: Garay, Maxi Pereira, Melgarejo, Luisão, Miguel Vitor, Luisinho and Jardel.
Midfielders:  Matic, César, Almeida, Nolito, Ola John, André Gomes and Gaitán.
Forwards: Cardozo, Lima and Rodrigo.

At this rate, we might get to see Nolito play.  Bruno César and André Almeida are both one card away from suspension.

The team is fully rested having played their last game over 10 days ago; a Primeira Liga home game against Olhanense which they won 2-0.  They have won their last 7 games, last losing 2-0 on October 23rd against Spartak Moscow.

November was successful for the club, with the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (only the Germans could come up with a name that long), naming Benfica as the best team in the world for the month, as they won all 6 games in which they played.

 

Tito’s Press Conference

“This Tuesday’s training session was fantastic. It’s an important match. We represent FC Barcelona and we have to play at a high level.”

“I haven’t had to motivate the players because they’re professionals and it’s part of their job. It’s a home game in the Champions League and we have players who are freshly returned from injuries. They will profit from playing, along with players from the B team who can prove themselves against Benfica.”

“The team that we’ll field tomorrow will be designed to win the match.”

“We’re very pleased with the team’s current form but we can’t stay here. If we can improve certain aspects of our play, then we have to do it. Every big team struggles to find its best form at the beginning of the season. It seems we’ve found ours and, little by little, we’re recovering our (injured) players.”

“These players are very eager to win. They are as eager now as they were five years ago, when I saw them for the first time.”

How many coaches can actually comment on training sessions being “fantastic”?  Tito can, apparently.

If you need to fall asleep, here are 23 minutes of that training session which was initially open to the media, before it got too serious to show what really goes on behind closed pitch doors.  However, there is some Awesome Abidal Action, so it may be worth having a squizz:

 

The Barça Line-up
Six First Team players are being rested:  Mascherano, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Cesc and Alba.  Mascherano and Pedro are both one card from suspension, so sitting them out has a double-advantage.

The squad is:  Valdés, Pinto, Piqué, Puyol, Villa, Messi, Thiago, Dos Santos, Busquets, Montoya, Adriano and Song joined by B team players Sergi Gómez, Sergi Roberto, Deulofeu, Planas, Rafinha and Tello.

If Tito is serious about being serious, I would seriously expect the line-up to be:
VV
Montoya, Piqué, Puyol, Adriano
Thiago, Busquets, Sergi Roberto
Tello, Messi, Villa

Perhaps Pinto will get the nod for net duty.  No whistling if you do, you naughty man.

Song is also one card away from suspension.

If the game goes well, subs could be Sergi Gómez or Planas at the back with Rafinha or Dos Santos in mid-field, and another helping of Deulofeu.

 

Oh yeah – that Messi guy
Messi asked to be included in the squad to play, as he is soooo close to equalling/beating Gerd Müller’s record.

With tough games coming up against Real Betis and Atlético Madrid, reason would say to rest him, but the chance to achieve the record in the home estadi is too much of a temptation.

Also, a certain #7 pulled ahead in the CL Leading Scorer stats last night, so there is a wrong to put right.

Before facing the press yesterday, Barça team members must have had a joint script rehearsal for they had this to say about Messi:

“If he scores, so much the better. We all want him to beat a record that has stood for 40 years, and want to help to make that happen for him. But it would be best if he plays as he normally does, and doesn’t get obsessed with it. What it shows is that he’s getting better with each game, and with each season.” ~Adriano

“We have to be as natural about this as possible. Messi has the chance to beat the record, but it will be more difficult if we’re all focused on him. However, I think he’s used to the pressure.”  ~ Tito Vilanova

“It’s one of those things that get you excited, because it’s such an old record. But we shouldn’t be focusing on that, because that will actually make it harder for him to score. Messi has to relax.”  ~ Piqué

 

These are a few of My Favourite Streams
Calvin is unable to Live Blog the game due to work commitments, so this post will also serve as a Match Comments depository.  Go ahead, vent all you like. 

The game starts tonight at 8:45pm CET. 

Click here to convert the match time to your timezone: FC Barcelona vs. Sporting Benfica

Streams for the match are usually found here, here and here.

The view over Piqué’s feet during a previous team stay at the W Hotel
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

284 Comments

  1. mom4
    December 5, 2012

    How ’bout Busi!

  2. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    Offside again…don’t need to say who.

  3. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    Pique coming on.

    • nzm
      December 5, 2012

      Adriano coming off?

      • nzm
        December 5, 2012

        Tito’s replaced both players on yellow cards.

  4. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    First corner for Barca in the 69′. 😀

  5. Blau-Grenade
    December 5, 2012

    Messi distance. Vamos

  6. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    Deulofeu for Tello.

  7. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    Celtic score again!

  8. Jim
    December 5, 2012

    2-1 at Celtic !

  9. Blau-Grenade
    December 5, 2012

    Celtic scored from penalty.

    • Jim
      December 5, 2012

      Softish

      • nzm
        December 5, 2012

        Very soft. Was just saying that I like Samaras and he goes down like that.

  10. Jim
    December 5, 2012

    If you can find a stream watch the celebrations !

  11. Blau-Grenade
    December 5, 2012

    OOOooooooooooo MEesssssssssssssiiiiiiii!!!!

    • Blau-Grenade
      December 5, 2012

      Hope he is ok.

  12. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    I’m sorry but the Barca B first touches and passes are pretty poor.

    Damn…Messi is hurt…..

    • Blau-Grenade
      December 5, 2012

      Doesnt look good.

    • nzm
      December 5, 2012

      It’s a bad one.

    • nzm
      December 5, 2012

      Contact with the GK.

  13. mom4
    December 5, 2012

    Oh, crap! Messi down!

    • nzm
      December 5, 2012

      Stretchered off. Hope it’s just precaution, but it’s not good, he’s lying on the buggy in despair.

      • nzm
        December 5, 2012

        Last time he looked like that was when Ujfalusi damaged him.

  14. Jim
    December 5, 2012

    No, Messi!

  15. G6O
    December 5, 2012

    If he tore something this will go down as one of the worst coaching decisions in the history of the game….

    And it does look like he did 🙁 🙁

  16. Jim
    December 5, 2012

    Maybe clutching at straws but doesn’t seem too much pain which there would be with ligaments

    • nzm
      December 5, 2012

      Not sure, Jim. Messi didn’t look great.

      • Jim
        December 5, 2012

        He didn’t collapse though. He took a couple of steps. Who knows?

      • G6O
        December 5, 2012

        He did collapse. It happened when he tried to lob it past the keeper.

    • G6O
      December 5, 2012

      When Ronaldo’s knee exploded back in the days, he was screaming so loud when they were carrying him off the pitch the whole stadium could hear it. This does not look nearly as bad, so there is hope it will be only a few weeks, but you know how durable he is and how he usually gets up immediately after some quite rough challenges, so it can just as well be a lot more serious than it looks.

      • nzm
        December 5, 2012

        But Ronaldo is a wimp.

      • G6O
        December 5, 2012

        Coming back after having your knees completely destroyed three times does not classify one as wimp in my book.

      • nzm
        December 5, 2012

        I meant for screaming. But some people can take more pain than others and not show it.

  17. Huckleberry
    December 5, 2012

    Looks like ligaments. My experience….
    shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit…

  18. mom4
    December 5, 2012

    Forgive me for wanting him to come in and play in a meaningless game. Damn.

    • Blau-Grenade
      December 5, 2012

      My only explanation for Villa’s constant offsides is that he is blind in one eye, and does not have the peripheral vision to see the defenders on the offside line.

    • G6O
      December 5, 2012

      I wanted that too.

      However, it could have just as easily happened on Sunday and then we would not be having this discussion.

      He has entered meaningless games before, he knows how to conserve himself, he is very durable. It’s a small-probability event, but a non-zero one nevertheless.

  19. KEVINO17
    December 5, 2012

    Only a three games left before Christmas. If he was going to get injured, this was the best time of the season.

    • nzm
      December 5, 2012

      There goes his record – I doubt that he’s thinking that.

      As well as critical games with Betis and At. Madrid.

    • G6O
      December 5, 2012

      Of course, that is a consolation if he’s going to be out for only a month.

      But it could be a lot more than that

    • Blau-Grenade
      December 5, 2012

      Benfica blew it.

  20. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    Deulofeu needs to learn how to pass.

  21. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    Celtic goes through!

    Now, what about Messi?

  22. Jim
    December 5, 2012

    Celtic through – although I don’t feel as elated as I would have done 🙁

  23. mom4
    December 5, 2012

    So now we all watch barcastuff for updates. Keep us posted if you hear anything, nzm!

  24. Gogah
    December 5, 2012

    fuck!

  25. Helge
    December 5, 2012

    This looked like a cruciate ligament injury. It would mean the end of the whole season for him.

    When you get stuck in the lawn, twist your knee like that, lie on the ground cryin’ and get transported out of the stadium via ambulance … it will almost be a miracle if Messi is fit within some months.

    I hope I am wrong, but right now I am shattered and fear the worst. If Messi hadn’t played at all, if he had taken the foul and not tried to play on (which is what we all love him for – and this time his fairness might have cost him dearly)… thats just too much bad luck :'(

    Please God, let it be a minor injury, if hes out for ‘only’ two months, I will be very reliefed.

    If not, this would be so horrible T_T

  26. Huckleberry
    December 5, 2012

    Messi knew it instantly…

  27. December 5, 2012

    barcastuff ‏@barcastuff
    First news from Barcelona dressing-room on Messi’s injury: knock on knee, it doesn’t seem serious, further tests ongoing #fcblive [catradio]

    OMG… PLS PLS PLS PLS PLS

    • mom4
      December 5, 2012

      faster poster!

      • December 5, 2012

        Haha. Im liked glued to the screen clicking refresh every 10 seconds!!

    • G6O
      December 5, 2012

      Hopefully it’s true. But he was fine after the contact with the keeper, he only went down after he took the shot

      • TITO
        December 5, 2012

        He was not fine, just look at the expression of his face before he took the shot. He wanted so badly to score.

  28. stefan2k
    December 5, 2012

    Somebody already mentioned the ujfalusi incident … as far as I remember the other players stepped up and Xavi and Don Andres started to score a little more.

    Good time for Alexis, Villa and Pedro to show their A game.

    Nevertheless he really wanted this record and I’m really sorry for him being in this unpleasant situation now.

    • mom4
      December 5, 2012

      Amazingly, he was out only a couple of games after Ujfalusi. Ooof, but I still remember that tackle!

      • mom4
        December 5, 2012

        Sorry, meant to say assault not tackle.

      • stefan2k
        December 5, 2012

        Assault is the right word … felt longer than a couple of games. Anyway the message was that the others stepped up and will do it again if necessary.

      • Helge
        December 5, 2012

        From experience I know that brutal tackles, such as Ujfalusi’s, are often not that serious injuries. Whereas injuries without a direct opponent, when you twist an ankle while your supporting leg is stuck in the lawn, are often very serious.

        We need to pray now.

      • G6O
        December 5, 2012

        Still, the worst leg breaks have been mostly after horror tackles. There are some quite dramatic youtube compilations for those interested

  29. mom4
    December 5, 2012

    barcastuff‏@barcastuff

    First news from Barcelona dressing-room on Messi’s injury: knock on knee, it doesn’t seem serious, further tests ongoing #fcblive [catradio]

    Please be right!

    • elacule
      December 5, 2012

      next tweet says “unofficial” — but medical report to follow – we are all hoping…

  30. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    Puyol was on TV just now – guy looked like he was crying.

    He said that they don’t know anything right now about Messi and they hope that it’s nothing bad.

    • Jim
      December 5, 2012

      Ok. I’m all refreshed out already . Going for a soothing glass of wine. Que sera…..

  31. nia
    December 5, 2012

    This is depressing waiting for news on Leo. This long wait, does it mean it’s bad news or what? Don’t blame anyone for Leo wanting to play. Could have happened anytime even in training this afternoon. Lets see what happens, vamos Leo.

    • nzm
      December 5, 2012

      Long? The guy’s probably needing scans and x-rays and then some serious analysis by Cugat & co. These things take time.

  32. Blau-Grenade
    December 5, 2012

    From barcastuff:
    Zubizarreta (sports director): “Messi’s injury seems to be a minor thing, but we’ll have further tests.” #fcblive [canal+]

    • Jim
      December 5, 2012

      If that’s right we’ve dodged a major bullet and all need to remember how we feel at this moment at the prospect of no Messi for months.

      • Jim
        December 5, 2012

        Maybe then we can give him the appreciation he deserves.

      • Blau-Grenade
        December 5, 2012

        Lord, I appreciate Messi!!! 🙂

  33. G6O
    December 5, 2012

    barcastuff ‏@barcastuff
    Zubizarreta (sports director): “Messi’s injury seems to be a minor thing, but we’ll ahve further tests.” #fcblive [canal+]

  34. nia
    December 5, 2012

    CR and Mou must be rubbing their hands together right now at the Messi situation.

    • nzm
      December 5, 2012

      I’m not sure why you would even think something like that, nia.

      Who cares what they are thinking, right now?

      • nia
        December 5, 2012

        Well as nice as it might not be, it’s plausible that they wouldn’t mind their main competitor gets out of the way for a few games. I know i don’t don’t when a good competitor is out, i ain’t gonna lie.
        It is what it is and i’m glad that Messi was said to be walking around in the dressing room without much distress.

  35. TITO
    December 5, 2012

    Ok, drinks on me!!!

  36. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    That barcastuff guy is really quick – Zubi only just finished his interview on live TV. He’s gotta have an inside track in the club.

    • Blau-Grenade
      December 5, 2012

      That is exactly my thought!!! And he has all the news, and everything he says is accurate.

    • Blau-Grenade
      December 5, 2012

      This guy is like one stop shop for all Barca news and information.

    • Blau-Grenade
      December 5, 2012

      Dude has got like 200 thousand followers. Wow!!!!

  37. mom4
    December 5, 2012

    barcastuff‏@barcastuff

    Official announcement on Messi’s injury: Knock on knee, tests are ongoing #fcblive

    • G6O
      December 5, 2012

      Resumes normal breathing.

  38. KEVINO17
    December 5, 2012

    Knock on knee sounds like jarring, which sounds good.

  39. mom4
    December 5, 2012

    barcastuff‏@barcastuff

    Pinto: “The doctors are looking at Messi’s knee now. He’s calm, he said he felt fine.” #fcblive

    What? He feels fine. I don’t!

    He’s amazing.

    • Richzorz
      December 5, 2012

      lol, hopefully I’m not being overly optimistic but think he’ll be okay 🙂 if he misses the games before winter break then at least there’ll still be some records left for him to break next year! 😀

      • nzm
        December 5, 2012

        Ummmm…..Betis? Atletico? Just 2 of the biggest games this side of the season’s first half!

      • Richzorz
        December 6, 2012

        Time for Alexis to make his comeback and shine? 😉
        Or Villa at 9, or Cesc, or Thiago!! Perhaps not ideal but should certainly make for an interesting look at “Barca without Messi”..

    • Helge
      December 5, 2012

      If it’s a knock on knee, it must have been from the incident with the keeper, no twisted ankle, no feet stuck in the lawn.

      It could mean that he is fit for Atleti. O Lord, this is a rollercoaster ride of emotions! please, please, please…

  40. simple_barcafan
    December 5, 2012

    Trust the footy gods…Everything shall be fine…

    • December 5, 2012

      he most definitely was. And he started saving shots just when a madridista told me that he sucked!

      Holding my breath for the pulga right now… feeling pretty down.

      • Helge
        December 5, 2012

        Seems like we’ll have to wait for tomorrow, but nobody is talking about a possible ligament injury.
        It’s probable that he will miss some weeks rather than months.

        I’ll try to sleep now and hope for good news tomorrow 🙂

  41. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    Vilanova’s comments were more hopeful.

    He said that it doesn’t seem to be bad, but if Messi can’t play against Betis, c’est la vie.

  42. Huckleberry
    December 5, 2012

    I tore my ligaments and could walk around. That’s not the problem. We have to wait for the MRI. I fear that Messi is out for at least 9 month.
    Finger crossed.

  43. nia
    December 5, 2012

    Benfica is becoming our jinx team. Fisrt game Puyi now Leo. I went to Mundo website and my heart skipped a beat when i scrolled down and the first pic gallery of the game, there was that little black cat from last yr. Don’t believe in all that but…..

  44. KEVINO17
    December 5, 2012

    barcastuff ‏@barcastuff

    Further tests at the hospital have confirmed that Messi’s injury is nothing bad. Messi left the hospital already #fcblive #ucl [rac1]

  45. Jafri
    December 5, 2012

    Twitter has this news:

    FCstartingXI ‏@FCstartingXI
    Test results confirm Messi will be okay, it’s thankfully just a knee bruise. Might even be able to play this weekend.

    Offside Barcelona ‏@BarcaTheOffside
    Official: Messi has a contusion on his left knee. His return for this weekend depends on his recovery.

    La Masia ‏@Youngcules
    Final medical tests confirm Messi injury as only a knock, availability for the weekend depends on recovery.

    Thank God!

  46. simple_barcafan
    December 5, 2012

    lol..I think the mods should just route the baecastuff tweets onto this blog..will be helpful 🙂

  47. barca96
    December 5, 2012

    Was going to comment on Thiago, Villa, Deulofeu and Tello (all shouldn’t be in the first XI anytime soon) but I rather think about Messi at this moment of time.

    I feel so down. I just don’t feel like attending seminars today. Nothing will get into my head. I’m just gone. Lack of sleep of course but all I think about now is Messi. Will he get to at least equal the record? He really deserves it. Please. Please God. Please.

    • mom4
      December 5, 2012

      Go get your work done. Don’t dwell on it because worrying does does neither you nor Messi any good. The reports are good. Think positive, pray if you’re the praying type, keep calm and cule on.

      • barca96
        December 5, 2012

        Thanks for the kind words mom. But I just want Messi to break that record so badly. Only 2 weeks left.

      • simple_barcafan
        December 5, 2012

        In the grand scheme of things, records are irrelevant. Be happy that it is not serious and Messi is fine.Saying you want Messi to get well just so that he breaks a record kinda degrades the human element. Rather hope Messi gets well cause he is a normal human being like the rest of us and he brings such joy to all of us..

        As mom4 said, calm down and carry on. The joy of football lies in the game, not the records set…

  48. Blau-Grenade
    December 5, 2012

    I blame this gato for Messi’s injury…
    *http://twitpic.com/bje6fi

    • G6O
      December 5, 2012

      I was just about the say that 🙂

    • nia
      December 5, 2012

      same little bugger ran on the field v Sevilla last yr, same result as well. Not this time mr cat, grrrr!!!

  49. nzm
    December 5, 2012

    Just watched the game again – this time on our big TV instead of a little stream.

    It wasn’t quite as bad as I thought (well, when it’s live it just seems so worse), but it really wasn’t pretty either.

    Too many lax passes from the young ones and too much effort required by the more solid Puyol, Adriano, Song and Montoya to keep recovering bad situations made worse by the fact that it was mostly their own team-mates putting them under the pressure.

    Pinto wasn’t too pressured but got a hand on the biggest chance on goal from Benfica and deflected it into the post. Says something when the GK, who had a good match but far from a career-best performance, gets MotM from UEFA.

    As a general observation, the Barca B players all lack a controlling first touch of the ball, and their passing is not direct or precise enough.

    Tello had an off night with some moments of brightness, but on the whole he offers nothing in defence, isn’t athletic enough when making aerial challenges and made some horror passes to nowhere which indicated that he had no idea where his team-mates were on the pitch, in relation to him.

    Sergi Roberto was ok – made some good recoveries – but is so easily knocked to the ground or knocked off the ball. Can’t be doing that in mid-field and not expect to get pinged for it with the opposition making the most of repossessing the ball in an advantageous pitch position.

    Rafinha – apart from a slash at goal, he tried to be everywhere, but mostly where his brother was. Doubling up is fine, but when the tackle is unsuccessful and he leaves players undefended, what’s the point? Playing deeper, like he did, left no one on the right wing which isolated Villa in the middle and meant that most of the forward play was directed through Tello on the left, because Rafinha was AWOL.

    Planas – Alba, Adriano and potentially Abidal stand in front of him being selected. He cleared out the ricocheted ball, but Adriano was mostly over on the left trying to plug the holes that Planas was leaving. This left Puyol horribly exposed on his own and the more that the game went on, the more worried I became about our capita getting injured again as he was throwing himself all over the pitch.

    Thiago – needs more game time, and he made some good recoveries, but I still see the same fundamental errors in his game. What’s the point of all the fancy moves when they lead to nowhere? He’s too lax with the ball, makes suicide passes to team-mates who are already being pressed by opposition players, and he was just too damn obvious with his plays that Benfica players were intercepting every one.

    Villa – ooooof. Love the guy, but seriously, all those offsides are beyond a joke. He’s completely lost his timing. Maybe because he was having a horror game personally, but he certainly didn’t take the initiative to lead the front line tonight. Someone of his seniority should be talking to the others and getting it sorted. I seriously hope that he comes right.

    • barca96
      December 5, 2012

      Agree with nearly everything.

      Thiago, Tello & Deulofeu have the skills but they are the type of players that won’t reach their potential. Stuck at 60-70%. They lack the mental side of things.

      They don’t know where to do the fancy stuff. Dont know when to release the ball. It’s just so frustrating.

      – I’ve seen Thiago for 3-4 years now and he is still the same. The only aspect of his game that has improved is his work rate and defending. If I am being nice, I would say that it’s the rustiness but it’s not. He has been like that since forever.

      – Deulofeu still has time but I just don’t see what others see in him. Heavy touch and doesn’t know when to pass and when to run with the ball. Same case for Tello.

      To me, Thiago, Deulofeu & Tello shouldn’t be in the 1st XI anytime soon. Not this season and maybe not for another few years until they mature.

      They might succeed somewhere else but with that type of level of display, I doubt they can succeed here.

      And Josep, I still stand by my call that Oscar is a better player than Thiago.

      – I admit I have only seen a handful of Barca B matches over the last 3 seasons but are they that bad individually? Such a poor touch. And the passes are either over hit or too far ahead of the target.

      And they are dispossed so easily.

      – I read your (NZM) comment on S. Roberto last week after the Alaves game on how easily he is dispossed off the ball and I thought that it couldn’t be true. He’s not a kid anymore but I was shocked at how easily he was dispossed off the ball.

      Why I didn’t want to criticize him today was because I thought he did pretty well on numerous occassions getting out of sticky positions dribbling out. And he made a few penetrating runs.

      – I thought Planas was ok too. He made many challenges and intercepted quite a few times.

      – I remember a few months back when Montoya came on and a lot of bloggers here jumped the gun quickly by wanting him to be the #1 choice over Alves. How many times was Montoya beaten today??!! And his pace was clearly found out when the linesman made the wrong offside non-call.

      – Don’t want to comment on the 1st team players because it is hard to judge them when they are playing with kids who they don’t train with. But apart from his offsides, Villa has seemed to forgot how to shoot.

      • December 5, 2012

        I had a feeling that Messi could get injured in the match. I don’t know why, its just kept coming in my head. I didn’t watch the match. But was shocked when saw my fears turning true in the morning. Luckily the injury is not serious. Hope he gets rested against Betis. Unleash him in Copa Del Rey after that.

        As far the performances of the youngsters, always remember they alone won’t be able to perform at the top level. If that was the case we should have Barca B playing in top division. Writing off Thiago is so unfair. I mean he is just 21. May i ask what the pundits and fans said about Xavi when he was 21. He almost went out of the club. It was also similar with Iniesta.

        Patience is a virtue when dealing with youngsters. Not everyone is Messi and you can’t ask everyone coming out of the school to do what he did. Thiago will never be a Xavi or Iniesta. He may be a Spanish by nationality but boy his game has that Brazilian flamboyance and unpredictability.

        Tello is something like a one dimensional player who will improve with time. Even I do tend to believe his future could be in EPL than La Liga. His pace should suit their style.

        As far as Oscar being better than Thiago – they are different players. Oscar will never be able to organise a midfield but Thiago could. They play differently. And you are talking about a guy who plays every match and another who gets his opportunity in the odd matches.

      • barca96
        December 6, 2012

        As far as Oscar being better than Thiago – they are different players. Oscar will never be able to organise a midfield but Thiago could. They play differently. And you are talking about a guy who plays every match and another who gets his opportunity in the odd matches.

        Why do you think that Thiago can organize a midfield and better than Oscar at it?

        First of all, you yourself said that Thiago gets his opportunity in the odd matches so how do we know if he can control the midfield?

        I find Thiago and Oscar pretty similar. Besides the fact that they are midfielders, they both are attacking minded and make high risk moves and passes.

        Difference is that Oscar’s passes do come off and he release the ball when he know it’s time. Thiago’s passes are nothing to shout about and he tries too hard to be flashy.

    • Blau-Grenade
      December 5, 2012

      Love your thoughts on the game. You should do this after every game M. :).

    • bhed
      December 6, 2012

      This is why I don’t comment more – someone already said what I was thinking, and usually more eloquently. That, and I’m often on a phone, and have clumsy thumbs.

      I will add that this was one of the first games where the thought “disgrace to the colors” briefly entered my mind.

Comments are closed.