Barca v Sporting Gijon 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.

52 Comments

  1. jnelson1731
    January 30, 2010

    That was a horrible match. We really miss Dani Alves (our mids were reluctant to work in Puyol on the right, mostly keeping the ball on the middle or left). Ibra is in some kind of psychological pit. He is not enjoying himself in the least. Remember our first few games when he, Messi, and Xavi were nothing but smiles? If Ibra is to do well, he has to be enjoying the game. I mean, I haven’t even seen MAD Ibra. Or maybe MAD Ibra is just not the same as MAD Messi. It clearly looked as though we shut it down in the second half and couldn’t start the machine again as Gijon decided to play the last 15 mins. That was just a shitfest on our end. Marquez didn’t give away any goals and he moved fast in the open field, but he was soooo slow reacting to the ball at his feet in the second half, kicking a defender with the ball because he didn’t even care to look WHERE he was kicking. Busi had some solid moments after getting owned early on, but then his feet started to give and he became a little too relaxed with the ball. Messi? Pass the DAMN ball! Haha. There were a ton of problems today…

  2. Tim
    January 30, 2010

    Nice goal today from Pedro a.k.a The Spanish Landon Donovan. I really wish Phil Schoen would shut up.

    • Jose76
      January 30, 2010

      I was flabbergasted when I heard that nonsense.

      • Boat Forever
        January 30, 2010

        I’m sorry, but you were referring to?

        • Tim
          January 30, 2010

          At one point, Phil Schoen called Pedro “The Spanish Landon Donovan” I just had to mute the TV at that point for a little bit. I can’t stand that guy sometimes.

  3. poipoi
    January 30, 2010

    ibra has to stop complaining and start scoring. I totally agree with jnelson, he doesn’t seem to enjoy playing in the best team ever… yet I hope. on the other hand today p! not only tired his defender, besides he scored… oh what a player 😉

  4. Hilal
    January 30, 2010

    What the hell happened to Depor? I was expecting them to make it tough for Madrid and it looks like they didnt even show up. A pretty pathetic display from them so far. They just conceded a second goal and the first goal they conceded was so soft. Very dissapointing…

    I guarantee when we go to their stadium they play 10 times better than they are playing now…

    • Kari
      January 30, 2010

      Already did. 1-3 for us.

      Though, I agree. They are playing pretty cruddy–although, their best players, Guardado, Filipe Luis, Riki, Mista…etc. are injured.

      But here’s to an epic Depor comeback. 2-2 please!

    • Boat Forever
      January 30, 2010

      Yeah but we might get to play 20 times better than we are right now, with Ibra hitting his best form, Henry getting back the famous pace of his & the kids like Pedro & Bojan gaining more confidence!! So yeah, we might not lose points 🙂

    • Madridista
      January 30, 2010

      its never madrid that plays well its always the opponent that gifts them the game zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • jordi
      January 30, 2010

      It only took them all of 85 minutes to show some fight :>

  5. Jim
    January 30, 2010

    Just watched the game and checked out the Live Blog. Bit pessimistic guys. We owned that team. Yes we weren’t really firing on all cylinders but this was away from home on a terrible pitch and we produced a passing performance to be proud of. Until the last five minutes they had chased us all night and even then they didn’t create anything.

    Our problems tonight have been our problems for a while. Up front there is not enough movement with Pedro and Ibra not hacking it movement wise. When you add Messi coming inside and continually getting the ball stuck so he can’t run well we don’t have a lot of options.

    I thought Iniesta and Xavi were superb ( again). They deserve better up front. My only complaint would be as jnelson said that they did seem to ignore Puyol when you get the feeling Alves would have been fed regularly. However, I have to say that Puyol didn’t cover himself with glory when he did go forward. Against that side the wings were our best chance but we didn’t really make use of them resulting in the game being a bit narrow and a harder job hitting through balls.

    I confess i don’t know what to do about Ibra. He is so slow……

    • Alexinho
      January 30, 2010

      I also think there’s some pessimism floating around.

      1) Ibra. I didn’t notice that he wasn’t “enjoying” his game, but in retrospect I think that is the problem. But looking at his play in general, I think he’s too content to pass the ball back into the midfield first-touch rather than turn and create some space…wait a second, Eto’o ALWAYS did that with his back to goal. I think Ibra did poorly but let’s face it, our center-striker never gets a lot of time on the ball. He either scores what comes to him or he looks crappy. An attitude adjustment is probably in order but if anyone’s expecting an Ibra that Messi’s his way through defenders or makes rip-roaring passes consistently cutting through defenses, I just think they’ll be disappointed even when he plays his absolute best.

      2) Look back at the last five minutes of the first half and gaze at the dominance the team was oozing. I couldn’t believe how long we had the ball, and almost fell over when we didn’t score. The second half was boring as hell, but if they had made it two in a row in that 40-45′ stretch we would be talking a second half that was effectively garbage-time. And hell, there were at least two points in the second half (engineered by Xavi it must be said) that we really should have scored from as well. Sure, last year we were in the box all the time etc. etc., but find me one team that can pass the ball around with such consistent excellence. I didn’t think so. Yeah.

  6. auld super
    January 30, 2010

    Madrid just won so it’s 5 points again. Worrying performance tonight by Barca lets hope it’s a one off because it was awful to watch. Getting concerned with Ibra too.

    • Jnice
      January 30, 2010

      I’m not worried. I don’t think we played too poorly besides the finishing. Our possession was great and we defended well. Our finishing was just so poor. Too bad that guys dive at the end of the game earned Puyol a yellow card, which means he is out for the match against Getafe. Let’s hope Dani is fit by then.

      • Boat Forever
        January 30, 2010

        How would you rate that had it happened while playing Getafe!?

          • Boat Forever
            January 30, 2010

            At least now he’ll be missing Getafe match at home… Had the same thing happened against Getafe, we’d have missed him for our trip to Ath.Madrid!!

  7. Eklavya
    January 30, 2010

    Kxevin are you going to rate Botia as well??

  8. Jnice
    January 30, 2010

    LOL, if you guys and girls want a laugh, go to as.com and look at how hard they are trying to show that the refs favor us. Saying Messi should have had a red and what not. Ridiculous.

    • Alexinho
      January 30, 2010

      The one linesman (far side) was particularly poor, it must be said, but it hurt both sides.

      • Jnice
        January 30, 2010

        He messed up on the Pedro goal, but Ibra was through twice, but he was called for offsides. So yeah, hurt both sides.

        • jordi
          January 30, 2010

          They even showed video of rafa of what “could have been a penalty” wtf?!

          I bet one day they will review one of our games and scream that one of players wasnt wearing regulation length sleeves or socks.

          • jnelson1731
            January 31, 2010

            HAHA! I dont know which is more probable: them complaining about our sleeves or socks, or one of our players not having regulation sleeves or socks. When they get Weligton suspended for life, then maybe they can speak about red cards.

  9. Alexinho
    January 30, 2010

    Interesting that Henry never featured, isn’t it? Saving for Getafe or…?

  10. Lumi
    January 31, 2010

    How can some of us say there is no problem. Only poor finishing. Please is that not a problem? Sporting made us play a fast game and we are on a high tempo we tend to play direct and loose the ball quickly.

    Secondly, is Pep going to buy someone this winter or not?

    • Jim
      January 31, 2010

      Lumi, I’m not sure, after dominating possession so completely, how you think that we lost the ball quickly or have I misunderstood you? . I’ve seldom seen us dominate a match more with our passing. Also, as someone famously said (although I can’t remember who) finishing is only a problem if you don’t score one more than the opposition so it hasn’t been a problem all year.

      However, I would agree that we need to look at our movement in the box and how we can utilise our FBs better to improve our options. We also need to find a way to integrate Ibra given his strengths and weaknesses.

      There are one or two areas of the team that are only going to be exposed when we play against the very best although ironically I’ve a sneaking hunch that that’s where Ibra might just shine.

      On a side note, that’s why I’m still in favour of starting Henry. Pedro is doing really well in terms of his finishing but I’m not seeing him adding to our possession game or creating for himself. Henry, if we can get him on form, can do all those things. If we play Pedro I feel we might just fall a little short at the top level. On the other hand Henry needs to seriously up his game. I think he needs a run of games playing wth our A team to see if he is going to recapture it and if not fair enough we go to plan B.

  11. Lumi
    January 31, 2010

    Can someone pls answer why Pep refused to use YaYa

    • auld super
      January 31, 2010

      It looked like he was determined to use no subs in that match. I don’t know why.

  12. Helge
    January 31, 2010

    Arsenal is once again losing their last title chance of the season (unless you think they can win the CL).
    They’ll face Chelsea away, which should definitely be a loss, and after that it’s Liverpool. They may even drop out of the top 4 🙂

    Should increase our chances for Fab, how long does he want to play at a club that is playing good, but in the end always loses out on winning any title??? Come back to where your real home is!

    • Hilal
      January 31, 2010

      Let them keep Fabergas, we dont need him, not yet anyways. Would much rather spend the money on a world class left winger, which we do need. No point spending 40m on a player who is not going to feature all that much. Who is he going to replace? Xavi? No chance. Iniesta? No chance. He would just be a ridiculously expensive bench player.

      • yogi
        January 31, 2010

        i do not want cesc now. maybe not for another few years, if ever. he is good but for us, he will only destablize rather then bring something.

        • BA
          January 31, 2010

          take half the money we would consider spending on Fabregas and offer it to Arshavin. he’s the only Arsenal player who shows up for their big games anyway.

  13. jordi
    January 31, 2010

    Why does Txiki include options to buy in all our loan deals.Seriously, ok we loan K9 to Fiorentina, fine as Mutu is banned again, but why the buy option.And a two year loan ? Its like we are begging for what happened to milan and gourcuff to happen to us.

    • jnelson1731
      January 31, 2010

      I dont undestand that either! So…why did we buy K9? In other words, this new agreement means if he IS good enough to play for us, Fiorentina will buy him. If he IS NOT good enough to play for us, we get him back. HUH??? So, I expect the same with Henrique soon, and I also expect us to sign Giuliano (with Traffic Sports Agency) and give him away in a similar deal. What is going on here!!?

  14. ElShowDeJason
    January 31, 2010

    Anyone watching ManUtd v Arsenal?
    Fabregas is having a godawful game. I reckon JDS could to better.
    Rooney… Now he is worth breaking the bank for. Runs all the way back to defend, blistering pace when counterattacking, the long shot, the finishing.
    I’d rather pay 60 for Rooney than 30 for Fab

    • Keano
      January 31, 2010

      Agree spectacular he’d bring back the hunger eto gave us but its unlikely. Doubts over his adjustment to barcas play like alot of english players. Man u are very much a counter attacking team and theres not much opportunity to play counter for Barca. But agreed hes awesome and likeable not like pre Madonna TB

      • ElShowDeJason
        January 31, 2010

        TB?
        No, we don’t play much counter attack. I think that’s a plus though… It gives us another dimension. Or a plan B when we need to steal the points.
        If we win a ball from a corner, and send messi, alves, Rooney running up, we could score alot more goals from our counters, which are many times wasted.

        • Keano
          January 31, 2010

          Its the agression i like, something our new BFG lacks

  15. Helge
    January 31, 2010

    You won’t get Rooney for 60m. I actually see Rooney as a serious contender for FIFA WPotY if he performs well during the WC. He’s on the same level as CRon and Messi…

  16. Eklavya
    January 31, 2010

    So K9 joins Fiorentina officially.

  17. January 31, 2010

    *Puts on his Rooney Fan Club hat*

    Considering how well he performs for England and how Capello has built an entire system around him, I can definitely see a defining performance in the WC vaulting him to the Ballon D’Or/FIFA WPOTY. The guy is not only a beast but also a self-less team oriented beast. He reminds me of Tevez 😀 *ducks for cover*

  18. auld super
    January 31, 2010

    Yes some of these Txiki dealings look mighty suspicious alright. 15m for the guy and they won’t even take him and see how he gets on for 6 months then maybe loan him out for a year. I think Pep would be much happier with no Txiki and he really would be no loss either.

  19. jordi
    January 31, 2010

    Valverde got the sack from Villarreal today.

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