blitzen awards, the remuntada edition!

I see awards! Lovely, lovely blitzen awards!
I see awards! Lovely, lovely blitzen awards!

All Work And No Play Award: The best part about Messi’s first goal wasn’t the goal itself. It was right afterwards, when Pedro rocketed into the net after the ball without even a split second’s pause for celebration. “The job’s not done, boys, we need more goals, let’s go let’s go let’s GO!!!” That moment right there encapsulates how Barcelona went into this match, and why they came out with the result we all wanted. They were hungry and determined and they didn’t stop working for even a second. This is what this team is capable of.

Sweeney Scissorhands Award For Hairstyling Hubris: Honestly. The entire Milan starting lineup looked like they had been dragged through a Tim Burton movie backwards. Special mention goes to El Shaarawy for his “Eraserhead meets Pee Wee Herman” look.

MOTM Award: I could speak here of Messi’s two golazos in the face of multiple defenders. I could speak of David Villa’s excellent use of space to draw players out of position. I could speak of Dani Alves’ almost frightening intensity or Iniesta’s absolute incandescence. But the fact is that this was the ultimate TEAM performance, and singling any one of them out seems rather churlish, even impertinent. This was a team that worked as one fluid amoeba-like organism from almost start to finish, and I think they all deserve equal kudos. 10/10

Mea Culpa Award: Mascherano, who made it clear after the game that despite an excellent overall performance, the error that led to Niang’s shot off the post is preying on his mind. No one could be harder on Masche than Masche himself.

Get A Room Award: Jordi Alba just really likes making out with Messi after his goals, doesn’t he? Seriously, Jordi, it’s getting a little embarrassing. Leave some Leo-love for the rest of the team!

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes Award: White smoke, of course, as the Catholic Cardinals elected their new Pope today. An Argentinian. A football fan. Let the conspiracy theories begin! 😈

You Call That A Knife? Award: Flamini had a little cut on his head and had to go off and get bandaged up. I saw no streaming blood or forehead staples. He is inferior.

Prodigal Son Award: Yesterday was also Bojan’s first game at the Camp Nou since he left on loan. He played for the last 15 minutes, and didn’t do badly. He had a lovely moment where he outwitted Pique, and Milan even let him take a corner (so cute!). You have to wonder how he was feeling-coming in with a real shot of knocking his “home” team out of the Champions League, then watching helplessly as Barça put in their performance of the season and ran Milan over. Talk about mixed emotions!

Gazprom Cup: I like my Champions League with a side of Russian Brutalism, don’t you?

No Country For Old Women Award: One of the things I like about the crowd at the Camp Nou is how many of them are women. And not just young women or moms with their kids either. At least at the big games, there are always lots of older ladies enthusiastically waving their scarves and cheering for the boys. It’s lovely. I find it especially nice considering that in some countries women are barred from attending matches, and even an interest in watching from home is seen as a bit “unfeminine”.

Cherry On Top Award: Jordi Roura (and others) confirmed yesterday that Tito Vilanova has almost completed his treatment and is expected to return to Barcelona by the end of the month. He will almost certainly be back to lead the team into the next round of the Champions League. This is the only piece of news that could possibly top the result of yesterday’s game.

Categorized as Barcelona

By blitzen

Canadian, cule, corporate wage slave. Came late to the beautiful game, but fell under FCB's spell in 2006 and never looked back.


  1. – Mascherano is class. Admitting mistake and very self critical is sign of true champ, representing how hungry this Barca still. I really love the attitude!

    – A good change of CL drawing procedure this year. We will have two different drawing for QF and SF. Tommorow drawing would determine the QF match up only. The match-up for SF would be proceed later. I think the random factor in each draw make it more fair for all teams. Not like previous mechanism, if your team is lucky enough get the easier side of bracket, your way to final have been already decided. But with two different draw, any team could still probably get tough matchup, either in QF or SF. (no disrespect to “smaller team” though.

  2. Ha ha, I thought I was the only one who noticed how Alba overwhelms Messi with hugs. The guy must be so happy playing with the best in the world. When someone else scores, he runs to Messi first then, goes for seconds maybe thirds, hilarious 🙂 🙂

    I’m just starting to come down from last nights high. It was incredible. Just hope in the near future, I will be blessed to experience a Barca game in real life. VISCA BARCA!!!!!

    O le le, O la la, sel de Barca es millor que hi ha.

    1. It was suggested that I might know Lowe or his screen name. I do not. Yes, we mods can look at registration details and the like. No, we do not. Privacy is just part of the deal.

      If he has posted here, lovely. Welcome.

  3. lost my voice on the fourth goal award: to Me!
    woke up smiling today… aah, still can’t get over the win.
    Now, whodya wanna play next cules?

  4. Bojan, I think is emerging into a better overall player. He is looking like a player who could play that play maker role also. We may have to get him back at the end of season. It’s better to loan him out again than sell him. I would say give him to Pellegrini if he remain as Malaga coach.

    1. That’s what I was thinking at first. Bojan was pretty dangerous when he came on. But then I realized he just got around pique. Pretty much everyone in Milan managed to beat piqué on the ball last night.

      Very happy with the fourth goal. It wouldn’t have happened if messi wasn’t pressing. Look what happens when he does.

  5. Barcelona: 10 of their best performances in the modern era – in pictures

    Got me a lil emotional here in the office. I am so fortunate to be a fan of this club.

    I am so lucky that my Dad is Dutch, lucky that the first international football match that I watched was the Wembley Final in 1992 and then later when I moved to Holland in 1995 it was just natural to follow Barca with so many Dutch connection going on.

    1. That remind me about the 4-0 win against Bayern in Pep first year. At that time, opponents was not so defensive when they play us compared to last 2 or 3 seasons.

      Wondering how Bayern would cope tactically if we meet them in QF now. It would be a rare or unique moment to see Bayern using bus parking tactic. As they are very direct team, cross and shot whenever they get space with no “overthinking”. Good in set pieces, ball possesion and long range shoot.

    2. You’re welcome foto. Just wondering. Are you into photography?

      I don’t watch much Bayern but based on stats they seem to be an attacking team with lots of possession. Hopefully they won’t become defensive when (if) playing against us.

  6. Funny as always Blitz, rock on

    3 Spanish teams are in the last eight yet no english teams, i wonder which league is overrated.

    Anims TITO

  7. I hadn’t noticed – Real Madrid is second in the Liga table all of a sudden? :s

    I’m really not looking forward to drawing them in the CL… Been too many losses to them this season. They’re the team that makes me the most nervous out of the seven left. (Would appreciate a Kxevin/anyone pep talk on how we don’t have anything to fear from them right about now).

    1. I would like to play them in QF. Not only for the revenge, but as you said we have been too tame in dealing with them season. Against them I would go with the same tactic of Alves playing high on the right(if Pepe is in defense or not in starting eleven). Their defense is not that great this season, it’s just our tactics whenever we played them made it easy to neutralize our attack(which basically was Messi and no one else). After a sensational performance like this against Milan, I don’t think we will be returning back to the false-9 against them. If pepe starts in midfield as a midfield destroyer, then I would suggest go to a 3-4-3 diamond with Cesc as the top of the diamond. We have to get the numerical advantage in midfield to negotiate that. But then there is a problem of leaving out Alves.

      There counter attacks could hurt us no doubt about it. That’s why it’s time to start giving regular time for Abidal and see how he is coping. If we can get him match ready, then suddenly our defensive fragilities could disappear. Also with the height of Abidal, Busquets and Pique the zonal defending we employ against corner also could work better.

  8. I predicted that Madrid would draw United. Too bad that it didn’t work out the way I imagined, although it Almost did!
    On Friday, I’d like to see Madrid draw either of Juve, Malaga, Us or Dortmund.

    1. I get that people don’t really have a lot of confidence in Galatasaray advancing out of the QF. Why would they?

      Even here in Istanbul, most fans are pretty content to have made it this far.

      However, I wouldn’t underestimate GS. We really clicked in the first half of the Schalke match. If we can play like that against Madrid, it will not be a walk in the park for them.

    2. IDK, I’m staring to think that Didier Drogba’s some kind of Champions League good luck charm.

    3. Merhaba Levon. Nerelesin?

      When we play well, he plays well. He can only do so much on his own though. I think as he gets fitter and Terim figures out exactly where he wants him… it’ll gel a bit better.

  9. I prefer us to meet a smaller team like PSG or Galatasaray. It might look cowardly but I am just not sure which side is going to turn up on the day. This team is unpredictable now.

    If we play like we did in Milan or even in the 2nd tie, we will concede lots and lots of goals. Milan could’ve had at least 2 goals in the first half alone if not for weak efforts from EL92 and Niang.

    1. Well, teams are always likely to miss chances, they aren’t that different from us in that aspect. Over the whole game we only gave away 2 chances.

      My questions are:
      1) will we ever press so agressively again?
      2) how do better football teams than Milan deal with that?

    2. To answer your second question, not very well. Look at Bayern yesterday, and Arsenal didn’t press anything like as methodically and effectively as we did against Milan.

    3. Yes, but how much of that was due to Bayern not being psychologically prepared for a game which they probably thought was gonna be easy?

      Mind you, I didn’t see the game, so I am just wondering!

    4. Their coach isn’t that crappy a coach to let that attitude happen. They were better in the second half, but were still completely unsettled by Arsenal’s press, such as it was. If you can see the match, it’s worth a look. Bayern was ready. Arsenal was more ready, and had nothing to lose. I have never seen them press like that. With players of better quality (cough, cough! Wenger!), they would have qualified.

    5. 1) Hope we do that in the rest of the campaign in Europe.

      2) Here is the key point. When we played and made Deportivo looked bad with our pressing, everyone said it’s only Deportivo. Now they are saying it’s an inexperienced Milan side. Simple fact if we can keep up the intensity we showed against Milan, most of the team may look average. But we have to get the tactic right. First we have to get Abidal full and running.

  10. Bojan didn’t do too bad at all as a LW. Really impressed with him. Hope he gets more chances. But when he first saw his face (it wasn’t announced on tv for some reason), the first thing I thought was Kari 🙂

  11. One of the good things coming into this game is that Alexis looks a little sharper and more confident. He made a good run and that cross to Alba at the run of play pure class!

    Hope Villa scores a couple before he leaves in July!

  12. Nice one, blitz – am chuckling at the knife and no country for old women awards!

    Did you see the pics of the woman with long red hair who invaded the pitch to get in on the hugging action after Alba’s goal? Hilarious but still serious if she had ulterior and more sinister motives.

    BTW – for those wanting to watch the match, Catalunya TV3 has the full Barca vs. Milan match online in 2 parts.

    1st half:

    2nd half:

    Goal Summary:

    Plus, they have coverage on Malaga vs. Porto, Bayern vs. Arsenal and Schalke vs. Galatasary and a whole lotta other stuff:

    Hopefully it can all be viewed outside of Catalunya/Spain!

    1. My goodness. The amount of yellow cabs in the background. Why are there so many cabs? Don’t people take the subway? Or drive?

      Pep is in NYC too. I wonder why there are no news about him visiting Tito.

    2. Driving in NYC is a enormous pain in the ass (or at least that’s what I hear) and best left to the professionals. And yes, lots of people don’t even own a car and rely on the subway to get around.

  13. Want to express a big Thanks to the BFB team for great work all through this week! You made me believe, think, laugh and cry all with your words.

    I believed in this team not because I’ve been there for the Gaspart era or any such thing but simply, because there is immense quality in this team. It only takes a year or two of watching Barca to realise that. Messi is amongst only Pele, Maradonna. Iniesta is as good and skilled as Zidane but FAR more consistent. Xavi is just…There has never been a player like him. A club & NT winning everything in sight with a system built because of one man. A whole tactical style because of a single player…
    And not to mention pretty much the best players for every position.

    How can you not believe?

    Some ten minutes into the match, I didn’t care what even if we lost the match as long as we kept playing like that. The team was oozing want through every pore. The pack of wolves was thirsty for blood. That’s all I wanted.

    But the team gave so much more. Remember this day cules, new and old alike, for whenever you have doubt and lose faith. On their day, they are unstoppable.

    1. Damn straight. Thank you for your comments, which goes for everyone in the house. A home is only as good as its residents, and I think we have a pretty nifty little shack here.

      As Xavi said, the only thing this team lacked is an epic comeback. And voila.

      What I like most is that the players didn’t celebrate like crazy, they did celebrate, but they understood that there is more work to do, five more matches’ worth, to be exact. The value of having the Liga be all but done and dusted will prove to be immense.

  14. Hey All,

    First post here. Been reading the contributions for over a year and trust this forum to provide a diverse and thoughtful set of opinions on this club and game we all love. Ok, enough with all the BFB love.

    What a game!! So glad I took off from work. Thanks Barca96 for posting TheGuardian’s top 10 Barca games in pictures. I was unable to watch the 2-6 vs Madrid live, therefore nullifying it in my top 10, but the manita was absolutely brilliant. Must have rewatched a dozen times thanks to GolTV’s replaying it prior to every classico from then on out. However, what I saw on Tuesday was truly amazing. Without doubt the most enjoyable game I have seen this team play.

    So excited I logged onto UEFA’s website and put my hat into the lottery for Wembley tix… The application period ends tomorrow FYI.

    1. Welcome!

      I would put my applicaiton in for a Wembley ticket but alas, no tengo dinero. Well, not enough for a ticket + a trip to London. *sigh*

      The 2-6 was just so great, especially since we lost 4-0 and had to do a Guard of Honor too. *curls into fetal position* But the difference a new coach, belief and a change of attitude makes is just outstanding.

      Manita was in a class of its own! It was also the first time I hosted a liveblog which made it more special. :mrgreen:

      Wembley final was another great memory. But in terms of remuntadas…yesterday takes the cake. I really wasn’t confident we’d go through (but still believed of course!) and to see the team step up like that? Uff, fell in love with Barca all over again.

    2. Good luck, and welcome. I’ll be entering the soci draw, which reduces my odds from staggering to really, really, really high.

      Now kick up a chair and stay a while.

    3. Glad you liked it. If you are able to find it, do download/watch the following;

      Barcelona vs Chelsea CL 2000
      Barcelona vs Valencia Liga 2001

      A few other matches in that 2008/09 seasons.
      I have them in my HDD.
      Atletico (twice in Liga), Lyon (CL), Bilbao (Copa), Valencia (Liga), Sevilla (Liga) and Madrid (Camp Nou. We did not win but it was one hell of a match topped off with the best Messi dink ever).

      I didn’t know that we can already buy tickets for the Wembley final. I thought we can only purchase it once we know who the finalists are.

      Btw, Kari, we lost 4-1 when we had to do the Guard of Honor, not 4-0.

    1. Roura was asked about his choice of Mascherano after the match (although I don’t know whether the questioner explicitly included the words “over Puyol.”)

      Roura: “Because he has a better long pass so we could reach the wings more easily.”

      It sounds like long balls over the top were part of the plan of attack, although they turned out not to be needed.

    2. Not to mention that Puyol ran his butt off against Depor. If he was mad, he needs to, as my Grams used to say, “scratch his butt and get glad.” The timing of his entry was perfect. It gave the club this new life, when its energy was flagging a bit.

      I like that Roura had the gumption to make that technical decision … or Vilanova … whoever.

      And now that Bartra has been passed fit, I want to see him this weekend against Rayo.

    3. SPORT is entitled to its opinion, but Puyol has never been known for sulking about not being picked, and he is quite aware at this point of his own strengths and limitations. I very much doubt there is any truth in this.

      I am, however, disturbed at the trend in recent SPORT articles to (as I see it) undermine the team and in particular the coach. This is the paper that has run numerous stories on Tito’s “precarious” state of health and how he feels “guilty” at being in NYC for treatment while the team has been underperforming in recent big games. Now they are trying to convince us that our talismanic captain, who symbolizes the very heart of the team, is at odds with Jordi Roura and doesn’t approve of his technical decisions? Just what exactly is their agenda?

      For a paper that has historically been a huge booster of this team, they have started to become quite negative. This is the same paper that accused Valdes of being a “traitor” for wanting to continue his career somewhere else.

      Michele, do you have any insight on this?

    1. Yeah. Messi gave him his shirt. El Sharawy posted a picture of it. No drama. People just trying to find ways to make him look bad after a tremendous personal and team performance.

    2. El Sharaaway asked, Messi said, “Wait till we are in the dressing room.” Because he wanted to thank the fans wearing his own shirt.

      That’s all. No drama.

    3. and sharaway himself have cleared the rumour by tweeting out picture of Messi shirt. Press was just too desperate to create news 🙂

    4. Messi will very seldom exchange shirts out on the pitch and only when he’s wearing a full undergarment.

      He prefers to do the swap in the tunnel or in the dressing room.

  15. For me, one of the best, and most successful features of the match, was shots from distance / outside the box: both of Messi’s goals, Iniesta hitting the bar, putting Messi in an excellent scoring position, and Xavi’s shot from long distance, narrowly saved by the keeper.

    When you shoot effectively from distance, the defense must respect that and come out at you, which opens up space elsewhere.

    Let’s hope we see more of that soon. A couple of seasons ago, Messi used to do that a lot, and don’t forget Iniesta’s goal against Chelsea and Alves’ incredible shot against RM to the upper left corner.

    1. Iniesta is really starting to look a lot more positive in front of goal. He might start providing quite a few more goals than before.

  16. Meanwhile, there are 11 matches left, and the club has a 13-point lead. Who is a math whiz out there, who can tell us how many matches the club has to win to mathematically guarantee the Liga title? In theory, seven, as I see it, which means even if they lose the last four, we’d still win the Liga by one point, assuming that RM wins out for the remainder of the season.

    1. Yes, we need only 7 more wins to seal the liga title. Any loss by RM, means we’re getting one jornada closer to liga celebration, assuming we win the next 7 games 🙂 Ole Ole Ole, liga title on the way back to Camp Nou! Visca Barca!

  17. Always nice to get the blitzen awards and also nice review by levon. I think Euler should do a tactical review of this great performance.

  18. – A bit rotation for this weeked liga vs. Rayo would do some good after CL exertion. I want to see Busi, Iniesta, Pique and Alves get rested. Time for Cesc, Song, Thiago, Montoya to step in, and Bartra perhaps. Our second string could still handle the game, esp its Camp Nou too.

    My lineup:

    Monti – Bartra – Puyol – Alba/Adriano
    Song – Cesc – Thiago
    Alexis – Villa – Pedro (wish Messi volunteer himself to stay benched:) )

    1. Yup. Alves does need a rest. Cesc & Villa must play to get match fitness and to give them belief that they’re still a big part of the team. These 2 are very important players and 2 that I find important to keep them motivated.

  19. Barcelona will tomorrow (Friday) train at 10:30 instead of at 11:00, so they can follow the CL draw at 12:00 after training

    They only train for less than 1.5 hours? Our training used to be 2 hours.

  20. Bayern Munich – Juventus

    PSG – Barcelona

    Galatasaray – Real Madrid

    Malaga – Borussia Dortmund

    how od you know who plays which leg where?

    1. Yes he is.

      Is it just me or have they changed the format this year? I don’t remember a second draw for the semis last year but this year there is one.

    2. Yeah Hilal. I’ve felt that once it enters the KO stages, you have 2 halves (table) like in World Cup.

  21. There will be another draw for semi final. If both us and Madrid progress to the semi final, I hope we’ll only meet them in the final.

    It looks like Madrid will surely progress. They got the weakest link. And we got the 2nd weakest.

    Happy for us but not happy with Madrid’s.

    1. But it is better that we face Madrid in the semi, than in the finals. I really hope we meet them in semi, or Juventus/Bayern meet them in Semi and defeat them.
      I really do not want to face them in the final.

  22. Better to visit Paris than Istanbul and better to play first leg away. Really pleased with the draw. Malaga-BVB and Juve-Bay would be such exciting encounters!

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