Copa Clasico 2nd Leg Match Comments Thread

Madrid

 

It’s that time again: another clasico. Will any of us survive? Let’s find out…

Lineups:

US: Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Cesc, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi

THEM: Diego López, Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Coentrao, Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Di María, Özil, Cristiano, Higuaín.

Please keep it civil in the comments, folks.

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Diving Cristiano Ronaldo

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.

208 Comments

  1. February 26, 2013

    Finally we have completed our transformation into Arsenal-lite, something many Arsenal fans used to refer us.

    • mohit
      February 26, 2013

      Come on, we’re still winning the league. Arsenal hasn’t won in a lot of years! They will always be the Barcelona-lite! 😛

  2. Wind170
    February 26, 2013

    Better look for an interim manager now.
    Take care of one’s health 1st
    the assistant has huge responsilibility, not just the players
    same formation, ~ tactics, lack of guts,
    same prob, lack of width, Alba lacks help on the left,
    the left side looks almost dead,
    The shape of a team can be constantly changing, L/R, with the help of special sounds/signs from coach/certain players, make things more efficient & Bal attack & defense.
    To counter-counter attack where speed is the problem, utilize those players with obvious attributes. You almost know some of the balls is going to by-pass the midfield quickly. Happened so frequently. What are the players on the bench for? Different oppo/more importantly the style should be used for different match& strag. Put the mid-man in the mid & push the other in an more advanced position, sacrifice a defender(when t goes, then the physical strength is a consideration).
    The mids(esp)DM, ws players have to help the defense quite a lot when you anticipate the counter. The best individual players doesn’t mean the best group of players in a single match. Even (however) good players will also age,their attributes change…, it doesn’t mean kick them all out, but use them differently, sometimes you have to Sub them quickly when the situation doesn’t look good…/even bench them when diff oppo/strag comes along(applies to everyone, change the strag when necessary, just wait & observe!
    One cannot find more similarity than the times when Van BronHost/Deco/Belletti & Rkjarrd in his final year

    Perhaps some national managers will be good to act as interim.
    Play the youngsters the next one, a not so important match, give them a match experience. Confidence will not be lost in such not so important match. The other players will be much benefit by having {closed} training sessions somewhere…

    Not crowding the MF all the times, the final 3rd , the key area…unless long shots are easier than shorter range shots.
    The center is easier for shots, but try more diagonally from the sides, else too one-dimensional.

    Also, when having meals and think about it’s the gut who digest the food. Without the gut, it’s hard to digest… Do they move in one direction only and left most of the ‘paste’ undigested and gone, if he don’t understand, better find a national manager as an interim. there is a huge difference of tactics when the man is undergoing therapies

    A strong, mobile yet technical defender is needed.

  3. TITO
    February 26, 2013

    It’s becoming ridiculous how fragile we are in defending. Teams are more and more certain that even if they attack with 1, 2 or mostly 3 players, and regardless if we have 8 players in the back, they have quite a chance to score a goal.
    The panic in the back is like of a kindergarten team.

    • mohit
      February 26, 2013

      Our attack isn’t scoring enough. Our defense is conceding a lot. And our midfield is neither attacking nor defending!

  4. February 26, 2013

    Watching that game I almost feel like the players didnt really want it so bad. Which, if I am being completely fair, I cannot really blame them because im not too bothered about the cup. Let Madrid have it, if its all they win this season and we win the league then ill be happy. We forget how many times these players have won and how much they have won, and how hard it is to play at this level week in week out and press the way they do and have the imagination and prowess that they do. They are human, the motivation to do that endlessly wanes. Just look at Madrid in the league, they only won it once and it had the same effect on them. The team is having a collective dip, it happens, in fact it has happened in exactly ALL of the last 4 seasons at pretty much the same time. It just so happens that this season the timing falls right with all the big games. It doesnt help that the manager is missing either.

    Not a happy night, but not the end of the world, even if we get knocked out of the CL we will still end the season with the league and that is more than most fans around the world can say.

    My only hope is that when we face Milan we show more of a fight and I think we will.

    Also great on the fans to keep supporting the team all the way to the end! You dont get that in Madrid!

  5. rand
    February 26, 2013

    Worst players on the pitch – Puyol, Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc. We deserved the ass whupping.

    But, forget that. Let’s blame it on Sanchez or Mascherano. Oh, that is right. How about Song? F*ck , he didn’t start either?

    Why do the current manager insist on sending the same line-up regardless of the opponent? He does know that this is not an international competition, right? Is it arrogance or stupidity?

    • KEVINO17
      February 26, 2013

      Hah, hah. Glad to see you have rounded up the usual suspects and put them against a wall. They have a lot to answer for. At least this means Song, Alexis and Masch will probably play in Madrid (and be playing for a game against Milan)

    • Doug
      February 26, 2013

      Oh come on. Iniesta one of the worst players on the pitch? We must not have been watching the same match today.

  6. bedhead
    February 26, 2013

    A talented bunch of players and yet so mismanaged. Tito cannot be making good decisions if he’s not at practices assessing and getting a sense of where each player is physically/mentally. He can’t experiment and watch results on a daily basis and make informed choices including the correct lineup.
    We’re plaing with 5 mildfielders and one true forward, Pedro. We’re stagnant in midfield with no one upfront to make runs, create space. No one to be a target threat so we have somewhere to go when we get past midfield. Messi plays deep in the big games because he tries to bring a few defenders with him but its for naught cause no one is filling that space.
    We need to regroup and tweak our tactics as it seems we’ve been figured out. It was bound to happen. The change will have to be in allowing our fowards to act like forwards. Therefore, Iniesta goes back to mid! Cesc and xavi will have to share time. Villa plays striker role in front of Messi. Alexis and Pedro should be allowed to make more threatening runs. Tello should be rotated into the game more regularly to get more playing time as he will be key to our attack.
    Most importantly our defenders can NOT be asked to be our greatest offensive force and also defend!!! Alba and Alves cannot act as our offense, as the streak by our entire team of midfielders and then asked to run right back on a counter and defend. Freakin ridiculous. Not surprising that our goal came from our defender.
    Please don’t bring me Neymar because everything I like about him will be beaten out of him. He’ll be asked to hug the touchline to create width. Think about trying to get past a defender. See Xavi or Iniesta to his side and play the short back pass. Yeah, yeah. I’ve watched it all year with Villa, Pedro, Alexis and its not rocket science. Talented players asked to sacrafice their entire skill set so they can put the ball back into circulation so that it may end up at Messis feet. Tired. Of. It.

  7. barca96
    February 26, 2013

    – When I saw that Alexis was left completely out before I went to bed, I already feared the worst.

    To me, our main job is to protect a goal instead of going all out in the first half. And for this we need as many players who can defend; Alexis included. We need both him and Pedro for this.

    – I used to say that we have 2 passengers in the team in Messi and Iniesta but for the past few weeks, Xavi because one too.

    – This is just like Rijkaard’s last days. Just put out the same line up, the one that looks best, ONLY on paper that is, not on form.

    • KEVINO17
      February 26, 2013

      Totally agree. And imagine what the team will be like next year if they bring in Neymar (who can’t defend to save his life) and ship out Alexis.
      I would have played Tiago too. At least he can defend.
      Maybe it is time for the double-pivot. Even against Milan.

      • Jim
        February 26, 2013

        Not sure how anyone could have stopped them getting at our defence on the first two goals. The ball was moved very quickly. The point is more that we can’t afford to lose goals regularly to a quick hoof up the park.

  8. February 26, 2013

    Already can predict the line-up for Milan match. There will be one change – Sanchez in for Pedro. He was bought as a forward, now has become a defensivd forward. So Messi will be allcmped up and we will est atleast two goals against an average Milan.

  9. barca96
    February 26, 2013

    One thing I would change next season is the fitness. Instead of peaking in November and April, make it November and February because it seems that we have a hard time in the KO stages of cup competitions. It’s not a given any more for us to reach the SF.

    It would be very arrogant if they think that we should peak in April next season when we can’t even get to that point this season.

  10. DumbOx
    February 26, 2013

    All cules are smarting right now and I commiserate with you, my fellow cules. It was a cruel blow, given that it was EE beating us at Camp Nou; but let’s take things into perspective: At the beginning of the season, none of our mods predicted we’ll take any silverware. The Liga is almost in the bag and we still have the second leg of the Champions League for the team to redeem itself.
    It does seem alarming to see the team I love for its tiki taka and beautiful and dynamic football play flat, static, and out of creative ideas for the past few games. I hope this is just a temporary “virus” waiting to be nipped.

  11. barca96
    February 26, 2013

    A few comments above that I strongly disagree with.

    Puyol was great last season too.
    Alves has been back to his best for the past few months.
    And Pique a disgrace?! He has been back to his best too!

  12. February 26, 2013

    barcastuff @barcastuff

    Roura (assistant): “All decisions are made together with Tito, I don’t need more autonomy, I’m the assistant.” #fcblive

    That’s clearly says the guy who chose the starting line-up is in New York.

  13. Artur
    February 26, 2013

    I think I’ll take a break from BFB for a few days, came here to catch a conversation and thoughts about the match .. found fans bashing their own club and players after a defeat.

    Yes we lost, yes it sucks. Now relax. We don’t need to sell half of our squad or buy a new player for every position. Not a single player on our team today had a bad game. Yes, I said it. Everybody put in their all and if the second goal wasn’t so goddamn demoralizing (we had to score 3 to win after second) last 30 minutes wouldn’t have been so painful to watch.

    P.S. Pinto IMO is better than Valdez. That dribble and shot of Di Maria would’ve went right through Valdez. Not to mention 2-3 other insane saves he had. What a rock.

    • barca96
      February 26, 2013

      I haven’t read anyone suggesting that.

      I think it is perfectly fine for fans to be disappointed although some tend to go overboard. But it’s fine to me too. We all want perfection. Although we can’t directly change things (with the team) but at least we are a bunch of fans who strive for something better.

      I am disappointed because I know this team can do so much better than this. Compare this team to the team that had “2 world class player in each position” of Van Gaal’s era and tell me which is better.

    • sd
      February 26, 2013

      AND dont forget Pinto’s insane dribble well out of his area past a few players. I was kind of hoping he would just keep going, pass to Messi, keep going and recieve again from Messi for a goal!

  14. TITO
    February 26, 2013

    Of course we are going to bash our team or our players, just like we glorify them when they win. That’s how things go.
    Most of us if not all are agreed that there is a need in a shape of the team, more precisely the way that we approach certain games.
    You cannot have the same approach to every single opponent.

  15. sd
    February 26, 2013

    Lets try and work with what we have instead of what we can get.
    Need to tweak the system. Any suggestions?

    I ll start it off.

    3-5-2

    Pique Mascherano Puyol
    Busquets Thiago
    Pedro Iniesta Tello
    Messi Villa

    or 5-3-2

    Pique Mascherano Puyol
    Alves Busquets Adriano
    Thiago Iniesta
    Messi Villa

    I feel like Cuenca is a huge miss.

  16. ilie
    February 26, 2013

    Pretending everything is great when it’s clearly not doesn’t solve our problems.

    Some of them are tactical and can be solved (hopefully), some of them are due to motivation (same) and some are related to personnel and hopefully will be addressed in the summer.

  17. February 26, 2013

    I haven’t been keeping up with Barca for the past few months, so I had no idea the team looked this slow, tired and flat. RM was faster, stronger; they were the better team today. So congrats to them.

    On the tactical side, I can’t write much about decisions made by the coach. But on the personal side, I just want to say – chemotherapy is incredibly exhausting. It weakens a patient’s body and mind. You get weaker and weaker for every round of chemo you receive. Sometimes, it feels like your bones are melting and you can’t think straight. Tito has to juggle between recovering from his illness and managing this team from a far. Maybe we shouldn’t be too harsh on Tito here.

    • ilie
      February 26, 2013

      This we can all agree with, he’s going through a lot. It’s just an unfortunate situation for everybody

  18. Blau-Grenade
    February 26, 2013

    Sell RoSELL. Buy a coach. Tito is undergoing chemo at the moment. Not a good time for him to be coaching from New York.

    Bench Xavi. Play a striker like Villa or Tello for him. Xavi was a fantastic player during his time. I have a lot of respect for him. Not sure if he is still injured or what, but he seems to be the bottleneck at the moment.

  19. February 26, 2013

    “Everybody put in their all and if the second goal wasn’t so goddamn demoralizing (we had to score 3 to win after second) last 30 minutes wouldn’t have been so painful to watch.”

    I’m gonna agree with Artur here. I understand that people are upset. So am I. But we did not play badly, and until the second goal we were, by far, the better team.

    And even if we weren’t…

    VISCA BARÇA!

    • G6O
      February 26, 2013

      Which brings up the importance of the first game – we were up by 1 and the better team, but instead of killing them, we allowed an equalizer. Had it been 0-1 coming into this game, it’s a completely different situation.

      The same thing happened with the Supercopa – cheap goals and a loss in the end.

  20. barca96
    February 26, 2013

    Just like last season, we lost 2 crucial ties in within a short time-span.

    Chelsea-Real Madrid
    Milan-Real Madrid

    Like I said many times before, I don’t give a hoot about he manita’s, the 4/5/6/7/8-1 results. What matters is winning and then keeping players fresh so that they will be fresh during the more meaningful matches.

    ps. I only used one goal against as we always seem to concede at least one goal a match.

  21. mom4
    February 26, 2013

    Sometimes it’s a blessing to have to miss a game due to work.

    • bhed
      February 26, 2013

      What does the trucker hat say? “The worst day fishing is better than the best day at work”, so that’s saying something.

  22. HisR0yalFlyness
    February 26, 2013

    If this was our “all” then we are in a truly in a sad state.

    We need an active coach who is able to give the team his full concentration, before, during and after matches. To make the changes necessary to keep winning.

    Tito needs to focus on his recovery full time and forget about the team. There’s more to life than football.

    Roura is only an assistant and it shows. Barca management may have a hard decision ahead. The current setup is not working.

  23. Rivaldo
    February 26, 2013

    Didn’t get to see most of the game; saw like 10-15mins in the later part of the first half.

    Let’s just say that some players are not doing the job they used to, maybe they’re not physically capable.

    This hurts and not just because it’s Madrid but because of the year we’ve had (2013) … off the back of poor and poorer performances (and for me they are not allowed to have them).

    Don’t try to feed me that ” we’ve had worse days/years” stuff. I’ve been a Barca fan for quite awhile, even before it was “popular” and yes I’ve seen some bad days but that doesn’t mean I want to be a permanent acquaintance of “failure”. Similarly I dont live off of past glory, gotta create new moments.

    We’ve got to make some changes because stuff that happened in Pep’s last year we have not learnt from; seemingly (I’m not just talking about today). Some changes will be made or some will remain fools.

    If I’m rambling it’s because I’m hurt.

  24. Manish
    February 26, 2013

    At the end of it all.. Great teams are built on great defense…we have lost that…

  25. nia
    February 26, 2013

    Sum Barca up in one word…PREDICTABLE. We have used the same line-up so many times this year and it worked almost perfectly up until now. Everyone has now figured how to shut them down and yet, we start the same line up again. Milan, RSD, EEx2. Why has intensity dropped? It’s like they don’t care, maybe they are tired. It’s seems like we are out of ideas. Yes, the Barca way works 95% of the times but, sometimes they need to adjust. I cant remember who it is but, a player from Juve said Barca didn’t adjust during the loss to Celtic. That’s a problem we are seeing now, failure to adjust.

    Unfortunately, our players are getting older. Xavi has been quiet lately, Puyi is all heart no legs, Messi just seems tired and is always surrounded by 6 million defenders. Jordi is still young and inexperienced. For all the work Pedro does, he’s really not helping. I just need to see that the team is learning from their mistakes but, from the last few games, it doesn’t look like it at all. Hopefully they can bounce back coz, WE ARE BARCAAAA!!!

    This season is almost an exact replica of last yr. We won super copa and beat EE in the del rey semi’s. EE has done that this yr too. Only difference is the larger lead in the liga as well as the poor result in the CL.

    Also don’t think it’s fare for Tito to work while sick. I know the players didn’t want an interim manager but, the poor results say otherwise. Players need to step up and that’s everyone maybe except Iniesta. I wonder if there is any consequences to the players for playing bad.

  26. Tembe
    February 26, 2013

    What a day to register for this site.. I’ve been reading BFB every day for the past 15 months and really like to read views from my fellow cules around the globe.. So thank you all for this great site!!

    Didn’t see the game because I was working, but I did listen it from the Radio Barca.. well.. I’m disappointed. Not for my team though. No, I’m disappointed for some cules around this site.. Blaming and bashing our players. Some of you sound like a bunch of pussies. Seriously. It’s easy to win but hard to lose. But you can still be a MAN (( I’m not talking about any female on this site. HELL NO! You seem to have bigger balls than us, supposedly males.. )) and accept the reality, we lose to a better TEAM!!! Last time I checked football was about teamwork.

    Let me tell you something about my country, Finland. This is a cold and shitty place to be in winter. No, we don’t have any polar bears here and some of us aren’t always drunk.. Eight months of darkness and misery. (( Well maybe not the whole time but you get the point.. )) But then comes spring. That fresh smell of dog poo when snow melts away. Nothing beats that!! Nothing beats shit!! Barca is on that spring time now. All that beautiful snow is melting and underneath of it is a big pile of dog shit. But we still have chance against Milan if we are a better TEAM. We always have a chance but YOUR TEAM NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT, NOT YOUR WHINING!!

    Another story from my country.. and this is a sad one..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT-q65Qjy1M

    It is year 1997. Our 1998 world cup campaign almost earned play-offs to us. Last match against Hungary. We led the game 1–0 and game goes to injury time. We score an own goal, and once again the dreams of qualification were over. That is still a dark day for us. NOW THAT WAS UNFAIR!!!

    Anyway, I lost my point and in the meantime, we, as a whole, have a cancer to beat. I’m not talking about Ronaldo, although he is a good-looking tumor.

    What an odd first post. My apologies, I will now shut up.

  27. Momo
    February 26, 2013

    Glad I had a midterm test and missed the game…

    Don’t understand why we don’t play busi and song at the same time when both our full backs bomb up. Busi at CM and song at CDM is exactly what we need to get our defense back in sorts.

    Busi on his own in the middle isn’t enough with two attacking fullbacks.

    • February 26, 2013

      not convinced song is the solution. we are missing abidal’s speed and physicality. Song has the latter but lacks the former. Also Puyol getting on in years doesn’t help.

    • KEVINO17
      February 26, 2013

      I totally agree with you. Barca has got carried away with using the fullbacks as wingers to provide width (and not make hard decisions about overmanning in the midfield. But they will never be as effective as true wingers standing on the last shoulder of the defence, ready to run in behind, or dart in the moment Barca has lost the ball.
      Absolutely love to see Song at Central Midfield. Pedro, Alexis up front and Song in CM would really stiffen our forward press and hopefully kill off a lot of counter-attacks.
      We also need pace at the back. Masc and, particularly, Adriano must play.

  28. Anonymous_69
    February 26, 2013

    My short thoughts…

    It’s disheartening that with what is supposedly our best lineup, at home to a full stadium, actually playing better than we have in recent weeks, we were dismantled by Madrid. They were comfortable.

    And yet, our players are better than theirs. Ronaldo is crazy efficient, and Ozil is only improving, but almost across the entire field, we’re better. It’s SO obvious that our problems are not quality-based, but system-based. Even if we had Thiago Silva and Varane as our starting CBs, we would have all the same problems.

    That’s one of the reasons I find it so strange that people see Neymar (yes this post is about Reymar!) as the player who can alleviate all of Barca’s issues. If lack of quality obviously isn’t a problem, why are we trying to “fix” the team through another upgrade in quality that wouldn’t actually change the template? I don’t mind Neymar, but it worries me what people are expecting of him.

    Neymar is obviously a big talent. And if everything goes well, he can be world class. In another few years. He is not, IMO, one of the best players in the world already. Fans I’ve talked to seem to think that, after a few months of adaptation, he would be ready to kick ass and take up the Ronaldinho mantle. That’s simply unfair towards Neymar. Even if we buy him and his progression goes well, I don’t expect him to play at the level everyone is expecting of him. At least not for a few years. He’s a kid.

    And even if he does become amazing instantaneously, then what? We’ll still have the same huge problems of managing two attacking fullbacks with the cover of only one deep midfielder. We’ll still suffer from the lack of a 9 in front of Messi to create space and open up team’s defenses. I think it is a misconception that having a high quality player there would force teams to focus less on Messi. The new attacker would literally have to be as good as Leo himself for that to happen. If Iniesta on the wing can’t open up space for Messi, Neymar can’t.

    It looks likely we’ll get him this summer. Especially if we are eliminated from the CL this early. I just hope the coaches don’t forget to address some of the other glaring issues that face this team. Even if we never buy another 9 (why in the hell, Messi obviously DOES approve), we should at least try to fix the team’s defending, buy someone like Der Stegen, maybe buy a young talented CB, and try to keep all our fullbacks 😉 .

    PS: Luis Alberto and Araujo are good. Promote one of them this summer. Not Rafinha or Deulofeu – yet. Sergi Roberto… no space in the midfield, but he’s ready. It’s complicated. I hope we can find a team for him to develop in for a year or two.

    • Anonymous_69
      February 26, 2013

      “I think it is a misconception that having a high quality player there would force teams to focus less on Messi.” When I say “there” I mean the wing.

  29. February 26, 2013

    Match thoughts are up. 59 minutes this time, so I can’t even lay claim to the “Hour Special” review. But I was still amped up from shoveling, so there you go.

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