Barca/Villarreal LiveBlog

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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. January 2, 2010

    I feel compelled to add that I might be trying to run this thing via smartphone, so patience will be a virtue today. Word.

  2. Kxevin
    January 2, 2010

    Oh, and I will start this puppy 15 mins early, so that people can post good links.

    • Helge
      January 2, 2010

      Thanks a lot, I always forget to uncheck it 😀

  3. vicsoc8
    January 2, 2010

    I’d be more than willing to help you run it/run it if it’s going to be a big hassle for you. The caveats being A. I’ve never done it before and B. I won’t be paying too much attention to the chat during the game.

  4. Miguel
    January 2, 2010



    JONATHAN is playing!!!

    • Miguel
      January 2, 2010

      as are henry, pedro, and ibra. alves too.

  5. Tajh
    January 2, 2010

    Valdes, Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Abidal, Busquets, Xavi, Jonathan, Peter, Ibrahimovic and Henry.

    • Alexinho
      January 2, 2010

      Peter! Ha! I was surprised when I translated that name and found that bit of linguistic insight.

  6. Alex
    January 2, 2010

    Yay for JDS, I am calling a screamer gol from him outside the box!!!! Count it!

  7. Corrine
    January 2, 2010

    man i haven’t been on this website for a month

    • Alexinho
      January 2, 2010

      Neither have I, practically, in case anyone’s missed me-

      • Kxevin
        January 2, 2010

        And look what your absence has caused! 😀

  8. Tajh
    January 2, 2010

    Maybe JDS can score his 1st senior goal against Villareal as Bojan did in 07-8

  9. ElShowDeJason
    January 2, 2010

    Henry and Busquets have been incredible.
    Pedro! and Alves have been working hard.
    Xavi and Ibra are being multi-marked, which isn’t letting them impose themselves, but on the other hand, it is giving Busi and Henry the space they need.
    The defence hasn’t instilled much confidence. Nor has the referee…

  10. BA
    January 2, 2010


    1. that was a game made for Leo Messi. Villareal is one of his special teams that he always performs against, and their strategy of sticking tight to players just wouldn’t work against him. he’s capable of running through their entire team, and there’s a precedent for it.

    2. that was a game made for Yaya Toure. we needed someone in the middle who would destroy, not pirouette with the ball as Busquets did (however well he did it).

    3. Marcos Senna.

    4. most importantly, that referee was a complete fucking disaster. the commentators were wondering why we didn’t look fluid and towards the end finally figured out it was because every time we hit a long ball, the ref would whistle a nonexistent foul, usually on Ibrahimovic. i’m all for protecting players from dangerously rough play, but he destroyed the game through overprotection.

    • Kari
      January 2, 2010

      Yeah, Villareal don’t like playing against Messi

      Exibit A: *

  11. Kari
    January 2, 2010

    This is just embaressing. More BS. for that Mondal dude from There needs to be an intervention man. Ignorant Madridistas should not be allowed to talk about Barcelona–lest they spew out stuff like this. There should be a limit to the amount of c*ap allowed on a footballing website.


    • eklavya
      January 2, 2010

      why do you call, BS?
      Unless….BS = Bull Sh*t?
      😀 Now that would make sense…

  12. eklavya
    January 2, 2010

    All I can say is that someone forgot to approve me……. 🙂

  13. January 2, 2010

    That was a very interesting game, completely fucked by the referee. Disgusting display.

    Give Villareal credit, they played really well. Marcos Senna was the best player on the pitch. I think Barca were a little rusty in that everything was operating at 85% and the machinery never got going. Frankly, we were lucky to even get a point out of this game, what with the penalty shout (definitely a penalty) and two or three real chances they had.

    If Messi was physically in Spain, he should’ve been a substitute. Could’ve used him today.

    • Diane
      January 3, 2010

      He was on the platform for the cup(s) presentation and in the stands for the game, but didn’t he pick up another knock in the Club Cup match?

  14. jordi
    January 2, 2010

    Well we never do really well just after the break.

  15. poipoi
    January 2, 2010

    I’m going to re-watch the game tonight, just to see how horrible we looked. Titi was MOTM, so there’s no need to say anything else 🙁

    • poipoi
      January 2, 2010

      Well, I’m re-watching it now and noticed something: the crowd was ON FIRE in min 0-15 and they ended silent in 45 … even winning. Specially for the lack of plays and, well the ref too. We don’t have the best “stadium crowd” ever ok. 🙁 But if you score the 1st vs vila in the 9th min, please score a second one in the 1st half… and even if you don’t, show some hustle and speed in the 2nd half!! I guess it’s just the christmas break but they bored some cules yesterday.

  16. Cule
    January 2, 2010

    can’t say im surprised after pep foolishly decided to leave iniesta, messi out of the lineup.

    • jordi
      January 2, 2010

      Iniesta is breakable, he just came back from injury, why would he start.

    • Kari
      January 2, 2010

      Messi was out of the squad since he was still on vacation–only he decided to come back early.Iniesta was coming back from an injury, so it was a good call to put him on the bench.

      Considering how we were playing, 1-1 is fortunate for us. Villreal wanted it more, it has to be said. They really pressured our defence and Senna was excellent.

      That said, the ref had the sh*ts. I call NORBERTUS!

    • poipoi
      January 2, 2010

      then, just bring on a running 9 like bojan

  17. Jim
    January 2, 2010

    Not good. There is a temptation to go overboard with a result like this but there are some obvious concerns.

    first of all, i don’t agree with the assertions that the ref ruined it for us. We got at least as many calls from him as VR did. We can’t blame him, especially if we are complaining at him ruining our long ball strategy !

    The real problem was that again a team got it right tactically against us and we weren’t good enough to impose our passing game on them. In passing I would say that if Messi were in europe never mind Spain there’s no way you don’t at least put him on the bench. Don’t use him if you don’t want to but apart from Iniesta nobody on that bench was going to be a game changer. Secondly the writing was on the wall from the approach to half time. Iniesta, although it was right to try to protect him, should have been on from half time.

    I know this sounds cruel on our youngsters but yet again, we see that our kids aren’t up to it, at least at the moment and maybe not at all. We can’t play Pedro, JDS,Busi or Bojan against a top side and keep our passing game going. I reckon Busi is the most talented of them all but unless he realises that for a DM simple is best he is going nowhere. His mistakes are becoming embarrassing as is the inevitable tumble as he loses the ball. Credit to Pedro for yet another goal but we need Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and usually Yaya to do this.

    Finally, a lot of our side went missing tonight. some from the start like Pique ( and this is becoming a real dip) and JDS but later Pedro, Henry and Ibra. I thought we really saw Ibra’s lack of mobility tonight although i wouldn’t accuse him of not trying. Certainly him as our plan B with the long ball didn’t materialise and in fact maybe skewed our game.

    The only reassurance I can draw from this is that I reckon VR played really really well tonight and moved the ball very well themselves. As champions of everything in sight,however, we need to expect everyone to be up for it, especially as they seem to have figured out how to cause us trouble.

  18. jordi
    January 2, 2010

    Well this clearly is going to be one long tough month but if we can manage to come out of it either still on top or within a good striking distance if we fall behind EE , i fancy our chances.The liga is long and as it stands we’re still 1st, have the head to head on Madrid and are 16 matches unbeaten.

    • jordi
      January 2, 2010

      My only request is we stop celebrating things before we play the yellow submarines 🙁

  19. Helge
    January 2, 2010

    Sevilla looked really shaky in defense at times against Atletico de Madrid. We haven’t been solid either, but I’m confident for Tuesday’s match.

    Visca’l Barca!

  20. ElShowDeJason
    January 2, 2010

    My observations didn’t alter too much from half time.
    Henry worked his ass of, played a hell of a match, but luck wasn’t on his side.
    Busquets played very well. Most of their attacks had to go to the flanks.
    Pedro! kinda disapeared in the second half.
    The defense wasn’t focussed. When we got scored on, everyone was exhaling after “clearing the danger”, even though the ball was still in play.

    • poipoi
      January 2, 2010

      the titi-jds connection worked well, ibra and the defense totally off

  21. majatt (Maximus)
    January 3, 2010

    I think the back passes killed the 2nd half, busquets needed to drop back a bit further to give puyol/pique an outlet. They just got pressured and passed back each time. Only in the last 10 I saw Pique pushing forward.

    Ibra needs to keep his shit together and pass.

    Henry was quite good.

    Iniesta was frigging AWESOME.

    Busquets on the ball play was good but he looked a little out to sea positionally.

    Yaya…where art thou? comest back to us!

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