Barça 3 – Sevilla 2: Last Minute Mwa-ha-ha

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By Levon

Culé since way before football boots were of the neon yellow and lizard green variety, Levon is a deep thinker with increasingly shallow thoughts. He lives in Barcelona with his gorgeous wife and daughter. The lucky bastard...


  1. Although I usually prefer some bites of opinion in-between re-narration this one is really cool! Well done.

    1. I’m here, fotobirajesh, and all is OK, thanks! And I don’t post comments because I’ve nothing to say!

    2. Yeah man.. You were missing for so long. I remember I asked you a question a few weeks gone but you were missing. I can’t even remember what it was haha

  2. Gooooooool Levon! super-crack! Immediately sending this to my comic-book nerd brother who refuses to respect FUTBOL! Thanks!

  3. This is AWESOME! Thanks Lev! Love the Tata quote about “FIFA virus” Also love the “…kicks babies in supermarkets for practice” line. This made my afternoon and helped me relive the game, except of course the final goal I missed b/c I was so angry I turned off the web!

  4. Thank you for the compliments. I had a lot of fun making it, but very time-consuming, so don’t expect another one any time soon, lol. I don’t know about being nerdy or anything like that (actually I do know, and the answer is n-o) all I can tell you is that I don’t own any comics… I just thought this would be an original way to review the game 😉

    Also, someone wrote that he preferred some bites of opinion, so bite this:

    1. I really don’t see us press as much as we thought we would when Martino arrived. Which I am not all that upset about either, because I still wonder if pressing is sustainable with both the players we have and the vertical style we are moving towards.

    2. Speaking of, Xavi played a lot of forward passes this game.

    3. It’s funny watching a match twice. It makes you realize that even when Messi has a bad match he is really, really very good (and I am not talking only about the two goals he was involved in)!

    4. I really commend Tello for his attitude. He renewed knowing full well that he would get less minutes this season and not even in his position. Playing on the right takes away his most dangerous move, and he was obviously less comfortable. Still made a couple of nice plays, though.

    5. Neymar ripped Coke a new ***hole, which Coke then used to sh*t all over us when nobody marked him at the last corner. Not sure who was assigned to mark him, which leads us to…

    6. Set pieces. An obvious problem. Sevilla could have scored from three corners had they been more accurate and had the ref let their first “goal” stand. We can talk about trade offs til our tongues turn blue, but when you are this weak at something it will get exploited. Again and again and again.

    7. Back to Neymar. Wow. Not for nothing did he play such a prominent role in the comic here above. I don’t want to be premature, but yes, this looks like a future balon d’or winner. People are critizing him for deferring to Messi too much, but apart from passing it back to Leo instead of shooting after the pulga-led break (from exactly the same position as his Federations Cup goal, no less), I really like his humble attitude and the way he tries to combine with his teammates.

    1. Add 1. I liked the thought of another commenter who stated that Tata might varies the intensity of pressing depending on the opponent. That would at least give us somewhat of an suprising element.

    2. Yes. Very much agree, and I often (read: once or twice) made that same argument last season, both for the surprise factor and for the sustainability of pressing.

    3. I remember disagreeing with you about the effectiveness of this proposal, And weather it can actually be applied from both physical and mental perspective.
      But i can be wrong, And hope martino figures out a way to make this work, If he ever decides to.

  5. Awesome work! The Alexis bit had me in splits 😀

    …And so all the big teams thrashed the little ones in the first round of the CL group stages…

  6. I’m sooooo pumped right now!!! I was just scrolling through the channels on AT&T Uverse to see what channel Barca’s Champions League game would be on. I think they dropped Fox Soccer Channel or maybe it’s now defunct since they don’t have the PL anymore. I digress, because upon surfing I discovered Uverse has finally picked up beINsport!!! No more streaming for me! 🙂 I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep now!

  7. “The Chilean Gerd Muller” 😆 Germans and Chileans the world over are in stitches.

    Good job, Levon.

    First match day of what should prove to be an absolute stroll in the park of a group stage — giving management more reason not to buy a much needed top quality CB in January. An absolute must buy for the difficult knockout stages of the UCL as Mascherano won’t get any taller to defend against those cardiac inducing set pieces.

    They score three, we score four. More offense is our best defense. Hide the women and children when we defend set pieces.

    Visca Barça!!

  8. Yo Its Mr.Levon,Bitch(Breaking Bad).

    Just so cool.

    “In Cameroon we don’t foul,We Improvise”that line and Image cracked me up.

    Well done and thanks for this out of the box awesome review

  9. Its funny how our serious defensive frailties on setpieces gives us a sense of humor, for instance,
    1. How many of us do breathe a sigh of relieve after we have successfully defended a setpiece?
    2. How many of us do check the clock(just to know if there’s enough time for us score if we concede) anytime we concede a setpiece in the second half?
    3. How many of us now consider conceding a corner-kick as good as conceding a penalty?
    4. How many of us said that little prayer when we conceded the last corner-kick in the sevilla game? I do all these things and thinking about them after the match gives me a good laugh of myself. I just hope we make it safely to the january transfer window with this defense and I also hope we wrap Pique and Mascherano in cotton wool after every match and keep them out of the reach of injury

    1. I do for 1,2 and 3. However 3 doesn’t really feel like a penalty to me. It feels more like in NHL where a player is sent off for a few minutes then the defending team is outnumbered. That is how it always looks like to me when we have a corner to defend. Outnumbered/outmuscled/outjumped.

  10. You could have tried using the live trace options in Illustrator rather than these photoshop filters if you were going for that comic strip feel. Anyways, nice attempt.

    It was a crazy game. Neymar was amazing in the first hour.

  11. I must admit I had a chuckle this morning:

    “To say that Cruijffism divides Barça is absurd. We all belong to Barça. Anything else is just personal differences or mental problems”
    Johan Cruiff

    1. Barca should do some sort of honor, give the old man a medal or something before kick off as a gesture of appreciation. Likewise Ajax in Amsterdam Arena. Or since Rosell is stingy, he could ask Ajax to do a 2 in 1 kinda thing.

  12. Wow Lev. How did you come up with this? Why? Must be time consuming.
    It reminded me straight of the Japanese football comic.

    1. Interesting read, but I’m not sure if I can feel sad for Bojan.

      It seems to me that he never had to fight for his place, being so much better than the rest of host teammates. And then he didn’t know what was going on when he entered the A-team and was not an automatic starter.

      And his position has not changed much in the other clubs. He should get over the frustration and start to fight, or he won’t be good enough even for Ajax, I think.

    2. To hell with Krkic. He and his entourage forced his way into promotion before he was ready, taking advantage of a weak head coach. He was in over his head from the start, and it only got worse. Too bad for him. He went to Milan and didn’t measure up. Went to Roma and didn’t measure up. Now the coach of Ajax is saying he is talented, but “must improve.”

      He made his own bed, and I don’t feel bad for him because it isn’t that comfortable.

  13. I feel kinda torn tonight, watching 2 of my favorite teams slug it out. Barca was the first international club or national team that I watched in 1992 (I wasn’t into football until I was 10). Ajax is the first team that I followed then in 1995-96, Barca entered my life, again.

    What saddens me the most is that how big of a gap there is compared to when I first started watching football. Back then Ajax was a heavy weight. Now they’re just a lightweight feeder club 🙁

  14. Xavi isn’t starting tonight, buzz is. This makes me very happy. Maestro needs rest. And you know that on the first match of the CL group stage, unless he was injured or kidnapped by goblins, Guardiola and Vilanova would be starting Xavi.

    Rotation is real.

    As for Sevilla, I don’t have many thoughts, but here are a few:

    — People need to stop with the CB stuff. That ain’t the reason.
    — Neymar is absurd. I know that I was (mistakenly) branded a cheerleader when all this transfer talk started happening, but I do recall saying if the dude is half as good as advertised, we are going to be in for some fun. He is. And then some. And he isn’t even fully integrated yet.

    When people talk about being able to beat a defender on the wing, this is what they talk about. If you give Neymar a 1v1 against a defender, 9 out of 10 times, he is past him and creating problems. We have not had this in a long, long time. Henry could beat them with pace, but not stop, stand then up then leave them behind. Messi’s goal was a delight, but the assist made the goal. There was much screaming about how Messi scored on my Twitter TL, but very little about the quality of the pass for the assists. That is a mistake.

    People still, and will always hate on My Little Pony. Can’t help that. If some savage doesn’t injure him, sky’s the limit. As Levon said, potential Ballon d’Or winner? Maybe. Very, very useful Barça player? Yep.

    And just wait until Messi and Iniesta figure out how to play with him. Xavi, by far, has passed to him more than any other Barça attacker, and that says something to me, which is that Neymar is proving himself in training, and gaining the respect of his teammates. That is crucial.

    — Sanchez. In Liga, he has 2 goals off 4 shots. That’s a hell of a conversion rate. Messi has 6 goals off 21 shots. Something worth thinking about when you laugh at the notion of Sanchez being a lethal finisher. Hell of a shot, hell of a goal at an absolutely essential time. He didn’t have many places to put that ball, and put it in the exact right spot. A defender and the keeper were there.

    I know narratives are consoling. Sanchez is wasteful, Song is a terrible CB, Mascherano isn’t a CB, etc. But really ….

    — Messi didn’t have a very good match by anyone’s standard, never mind his own personal standard. As people said, “This is why you leave him in.” I won’t argue with that, if they allow me to say “Maybe with a more useful, active player we don’t need last-second heroics.” I understand the international break. Then don’t start him. I know, I know … I’m a hater. The point still stands.

    — Valdes was poor on Saturday, unusually so.

    — Mascherano was absurd.

    — Was it the team’s best match? Nope. Was it good enough to win against an opponent playing its heart out? Yep. And of our starting XI, how many were on international duty, compared to Sevilla’s.

    I still don’t know how the hell to handicap this team. It could win nothing, or a treble. I still say this season is going to be fun, whatever happens. Let it happen, and enjoy.

    1. – Even I noticed Xavi passing a lot to Neymar. Must have impressed him a lot in training, or he realizes this what Barca needed.

      – I have a feeling that Sanchez new found confidence (his talent was always there) has to be linked with the appointment of Tata. Tata has at numerous times praised him and knows how he was utilized by Beilsa. So that confidence has translated into results.

    2. “Sanchez. In Liga, he has 2 goals off 4 shots. ”

      Even though this would normally cause me to say ‘small sample size theater’, I actually agree with your assessment. A little bit of confidence goes a long way, and Tata has clearly been able to engender that confidence in Alexis.

    3. Agree with some of this. Especially with regard to Neymar and Xavi (both the need for rest and the passing to Neymar – Xavi isn’t daft !)

      I know I’m a curmudgeon but you can’t talk about the quality of Neymar’s assist to Messi ( which I agree with ) and then attempt to say that Alexis somehow played a huge part in the winner. That goal was ALL Messi and Alexis hoofed it towards goal. Was I up with the rest of the Barca faithful in utter joy? Yes, but other than being in the right place at the right time (which is important) all he did was swing the foot.

      Mascherano wasn’t absurd. He played a good match, with some good ball winning and was partly to blame for the first goal.

      I’m also much more upbeat about our chances of winning something major this year, as I was last. This is the best team out there imo unless we are handicapped in some way through injury or fatigue. With Tata sticking to genuine rotation chances are we improve both of those.

    4. I didn’t say he played a huge part in the winner. Don’t go putting words in my mouth. What I said was that he had about one good place to put that ball and put it there. Messi’s run made everything happen, just as Neymar’s pass did.

      We should agree to not discuss Mascherano between us, and leave it at that. Not much point to it, really.

    5. Maybe if you’d said Messi’s run made everything happen the first time I wouldn’t have assumed from

      “Hell of a shot, hell of a goal at an absolutely essential time. He didn’t have many places to put that ball, and put it in the exact right spot.” that you thought he played a huge part.

      Why mention Neymar’s part in Messi’s goal and nothing about Messi then miss out Messi’s contribution and go to town on Alexis?

      Agreed on Mascherano. I won’t if you won’t . . . 🙂

    6. I’m literal in my writing. So it would have read “Sanchez had a huge role in the winner, which ….” Newspaper journalism has taught me not to leave anything to be discerned between lines.

      But just because Messi did an immense job, does not mean that Sanchez’s placement of the shot wasn’t worthy of note, particularly given the time left in the match, coupled with the general impression that he is a wasteful bottler of excellent chances. Which I think was pretty clear in the initial comment.

  15. Confirmed lineup
    Alves Pique Masch Adriano
    Cesc Busquets Iniesta
    Alexis Messi Neymar

    In my opinion this is our strongest lineup.
    Once again JDS and Sergi Roberto aren’t suiting up

  16. A match comments post is up, to keep folks from having to wait for Levon’s majesty to load before posting comments. Have at it over there.

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