Barça 7, Valencia 0, aka “I got nuthin'”

What a bonkers match this was, a display that makes you wonder if we will ever be able to get our minds around what happened.

— Busquets was MOTM on a day where Messi got a hat trick, and Suarez got whatever you call four goals.

— Neymar got a shove, a slide, a cut, and angry, dominating a match even if he didn’t get a goal.

There was worry going in, because of a slack performance that saw Valencia grab a late equalizer. But in hindsight, the scoring chances in that match were such that such a thing shouldn’t have been possible, proceedings done and dusted before that collection of unfortunate events happened. Today Barça demonstrated the verve and killer instinct absent on that day. It wasn’t vengeance, as some suggested. It was just a job, an event that made you think of Clint Eastwood at the end of “Unforgiven.” He is pointing a rifle at Gene Hackman’s face, and the character says, “I don’t deserve to die like this.” Eastwood’s avenging angel says “Deserves got nothin’ to do with it.”

Valencia wasn’t anything. This wasn’t revenge, wasn’t anything except a day’s work at the office. Valencia could have been anyone in the league, most teams in world football. Today’s match was about a great team discovering what it was like when everything is working at the highest level. A jazz combo has a cutting contest, and all of those notes a player had been trying worked today, and his bandmates could keep up, and everyone who was there talked about it for years, about what a sound that was.

But Barça also played with the ruthlessness and focus of a team with somewhere to go, as if Luis Enrique told his players, like a work detail on a grim Thursday, “Finish this job and you can have the next day off.” Barça went about its destruction like a team that wanted the return leg to be irrelevant, that understood the value of a little work today meaning big dividends next week, as the pummelling made the second leg basically a rotation extravaganza.

It’s easy enough to say, and many will, that one of the most distressing signs for Valencia coach Gary Neville was that at one point in the match, Barça and Valencia had the same number of fouls. This is because about the only way to deal with Barça now is to harry, press, harass and kick, spreading the fouls out and disrupting play. Malaga did it, Athletic did it, Atleti did it. They all lost, but at least for a time they had hope.

And today showed exaclty WHY teams come out and kick Barça. Valencia came out with a defensive-minded posture but no real commitment to the task. Sure, there was a petulant shove on Neymar by Barragan, but Barça had space to play, almost as if Valencia still thought ordinary rules applied, that like its predecessors, you could give Barça possession, watch them do that cool elf dance, then stick a boot in at the last second as they got within sight of goal. Form argued for this approach, after all, as seemingly all of football lined up to say that Barça was fatigued. Give ’em the ball, then.

As Graham Hunter said, this Barça is like a cousin of the Guardiola side. But this one has a muscle car, thinks time getting there is time wasted, sometimes eats with his hands and by the by, yo mama. This is a team that if you give a sliver of an inch, if you don’t play with the unfettered, demonic fury of an Atleti, they will dance around you and kick your face in.

Football isn’t theory for this group. There won’t be sonnets written of its prowess, unless “Man, they got in that ass” counts as verse. This team wants to destroy — but in the most efficient manner possible, because it has other things to do. It’s cruel in a lot of ways. Guardiola’s Barça didn’t anger as much because it was all so beautiful. Even opposing players wanted to be like that, flawless triangles and glittering players. You could admire it even as it slit your throat. There was nastiness when Mourinho entered the picture, but even that was the classroom bully, sneering as he spray painted on the class art project.

This Barça isn’t all that likable. Suarez preens, falls and sneers, elbows, shoves and moves constantly. Neymar removes the good-natured quality of the Ronaldinho flicks and tricks, bringing them into the all-business modern era. “You kicked me? How does that sombrero fit, jackass?” Even Messi is a bit nasty now, handing out nutmegs like business cards.

The earlier, Guardiola cousin was a collection of football aesthetes led by a genius. Most of them hadn’t even discovered sex yet. In the wake of the sprite baby boom these are players with lives and families. They don’t want to hang around all day, absorbing theory and learning a preternatural control of a game that is, by all rights, uncontrollable, while Xavi trims the Camp Nou pitch with nail clippers and a laser measuring tool.

These guys want to kick you in the face and get home to their families. Valencia understands the difference now, that this group is led by a hard-edged little thug, and the approach shows that. Yes, there are goals that are art, but there are also plenty of smash-and-grab goals, the art of which is in their suddenness and devastation. Alves to Suarez and goal. Neymar to Suarez and goal.

The second goal today was an aberration, as Aleix Vidal made a run into space, exactly what his role in the XI was, a different thing than Alves. He just touched the ball into the path of Suarez, who came charging in late. 2-0. The ball was in the box so quickly, and Messi was running toward goal, sowing panic. As everybody watched him, Suarez strolled in. But the third goal was a high-wire act at full speed, all backheels, half-touches and glitter bombs, a Barça in which Messi isn’t the most dangerous player, until he pops up to destroy.

That fourth goal was a work of art in the buildup, a slicing and dicing easy to forget because of the Suarez backheel that perfectly found Messi in full run, as he shrugged off a defender who was trying hard to foul him, then slotted home. The fifth goal was hard work, as Neymar made a run and Valencia stopped him, for once executing the plan right, but a hard-working, forechecking Messi worked the ball loose, rounded the hapless defender and wham. The best player in the world isn’t supposed to be running around, pressing with a 4-0 lead. Number six was another workers’ goal, a counter at the end of which Adriano just put a ball up for Suarez to run a smash home, again the absurdity of the best 9 in the game running for a ball like it was 0-0, early in the first half. The final goal was just kicking a team when it was down, as Suarez easily got goal side of his marker. Arda Turan found him, and he slammed it home. Many goals, scored many different ways by a team with the best of everything.

What makes this group so confounding is that it can also put on the dancing shoes. Watch the buildup of that fourth goal that began with a Neymar dance, continued with the ball pinging around in a one-touch blizzard of influence peddling before ending with a logical, inevitable goal even as the movements were performed at the highest level.

This was also a day of highs and irrelevant opponents, a day where the unthinkable — for opposition coaches — happened, and Messi, Neymar AND Suarez all had a great match.

It’s usually one or two of them, but never all three. And never all three at a time when Busquets was playing a different game at a different level, and Iniesta was beating.out his usual unplayable rhythm. It isn’t fair, really that all of this happens at once.

If you look at the passing chart of Busquets, it wasn’t as if he was everywhere. He was in fact everywhere. Today’s matches make an opponent rail against the unfairness of it all. Yes, Valencia is a hot mess right now, and Barça took advantage of that. But admitting that Valencia is in a down phase shouldn’t diminish the quality of the display that Barça put on today. The goals were of the highest quality, the best players as part of the best team and also working the hardest. You just don’t see that very often, matches when everything comes together, and those moments are worth celebrating. Maybe football is theory after all.

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Written by:

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.

59 Comments

  1. Ultracule
    February 3, 2016

    “Many of them hadn’t discovered sex yet”

    😀 Right.

  2. LAcule
    February 3, 2016

    we may never see football like this again. unbelievable is perhaps the most overused term out there but its the only thing you can say about this iteration of barca when they play like today. pure videojuego status.

    i hope you are all enjoying it as much as i am. hard to see the team not taking down major silver this year!

  3. Tommy11
    February 4, 2016

    Great match! I don’t think the quality of the opponent should be in question because it was a coachless Valencia that earned a draw earlier in the season, completely obliterating them is perfect response. And I love it.

    Drawing parallels with the match against Atleti, leading at half time, opponents down by 1 man, I think the players decided to show the world that they could still hit a team when they’re down. The fact that they reserved energy against Atleti doesn’t mean they can’t. This barca chooses when to kill an opponent or give the opponent hope. I like that kind of control.

    Really, if there are no sporting consequences, Valencia should turn down the return leg because both sets of players would appreciate some rest.

    In this blistering form, I feel for Arsene Wenger and Co. Up next is another team from Valencia, Levante. Bring it up!!!

  4. mr.undercover
    February 4, 2016

    One of the best performance of the season if you exclude the classico because it gave different taste. Neymar was fantastic, I want him to continue playing in such high level and enjoy himself, he can showboat and makes tricks when ever he see’s it possible.

  5. February 4, 2016

    Saw this in Guardian comments.
    “You see teams go to the Nou Camp and get beat 5, 6, 7-0. Barca are a good side, well they’re a great side. But if I was involved with a team who got beat 7-0 there I wouldn’t be able to look my family in the eyes any more”
    Gary Neville, 15/04/2015

  6. February 4, 2016

    Anybody think that red card was harsh. Well by rule, its the last man and all. But he did get the ball, before the contact with Messi. And by then, they were already facing a big defeat. These are times, when I think refs can show some consideration to the losing team.

    • Huckleberry
      February 4, 2016

      I don’t even think the tackle was incorrect.

    • Jim
      February 4, 2016

      Sorry, guys. Pen and red card although I wasn’t sure first time I saw it. Watch the last Slo mo from the keeper’s POV . Messi’s last touch with his right foot steers the ball to his right and then the tackle comes in on him.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NOs-H8Q6CYA

      Great call by the ref although when it’s as close as that I reckon there might be a case for just the booking and penalty ( which in Neymar’s case just reduces the punishment to a yellow ). 🙂

    • February 5, 2016

      Of course Jim, its a penalty. All am saying is the ref could have just kept him in play, considering his team was already losing big, and that was not a very dangerous tackle…

    • Jim
      February 5, 2016

      The problem with leaving him on, Fotobirajesh, is that decision would have been wrong according to the way ref’s have been told to interpret it ( ie. Goal scoring chance, last man back etc) . He might well have found himself mentioned adversely in the supervisor’s report and marked down accordingly. Certainly would have in this country. Mind you, given the quality of refereeing in Spain, do they even have supervisors sitting up in the stands for every La Liga game ?

      However, as I said, given the closeness of the decision and the lack of intent to hurt coupled with the penalty I reckon that would’ve been enough.

    • February 5, 2016

      I am sure (even if I know nothing) that wont be happening in Spain. Especially when its a decision which is against Barca. See how Luis ban is reduced to just 1 match.
      I really dont like playing against a 10 man opposition for a whole half and even more. Unless its a dangerous tackle, I always feel sorry for the 10 man team.

  7. Kd
    February 4, 2016

    Wow!! Was waiting for this. I didnt go to work today cos I wanted to watch the game once more 🙂

  8. Kd
    February 4, 2016

    And yes Foto he did say that. But i liked this more:
    “Gary Neville needs to sit himself down and then get up and show himself on the big interactive screen where he went wrong.”

    • xris
      February 4, 2016

      😀

  9. Kd
    February 4, 2016

    Yup that red card wasn’t a red. Also, I think Neymar needs to start taking proper penalties and not 1 step kicks.
    But boy oh boy what a recital that was. It was an orgasm. Like poetry at its finest. Did not matter if the other team wass Valencia, and as Kxevin pointed out the other team was inconsequential Oh, how I love this team!! .

  10. xris
    February 4, 2016

    pure joy to watch and as already pointed out everybody played a perfect match. I missed the introduction and the start of the match (and was a little absent minded when i started to watch) and having watched the game on not-so-good stream really admired bravo’s passing over half the field 🙂

  11. mr.undercover
    February 4, 2016

    It was stegen in the post not bravo!! LOL

    • xris
      February 4, 2016

      i figured that out after couple of minutes 🙂
      as i said, the stream was quite awful and i was absent minded before i started to watch the game

  12. February 4, 2016

    What a staggering team this is. I never thought the team/squad of the 6 trophies under Pep could be bettered but this team really is better. It really is unfair to other teams and while Valencia did play very poorly, I don’t care who the opposition would have been, when that many of our players are on there is just no chance. Hell we are beating top quality teams when the a lot of players are off so when they are tuned in like there were yesterday the opposition is done for. I cant think of a better way to describe it other than “unfair”.

    We are so lucky to be witnessing this. To have so many players playing at such a high level it really is remarkable.

  13. Kd
    February 4, 2016

    The team is simply phenomenal. I think i’m gonna write a short artcile titled “How Barca made nutmegs sexy again” The degree of various skills on offer was staggering. N I was laughing my head off when Cheryshev came on. Oh n Pique Matheiu combination has some pace!! Its quite interesting to note that Mathieu looks so self assured as a CB. He’s always “catchin up” in the LB position.

  14. Manish
    February 4, 2016

    Great play by Barca… but it just goes out to show how difficult is it to manage a team. It was easy in the studios for Neville. Time for Benitez to step in..

  15. Jim
    February 4, 2016

    Ok, what we gonna talk about now ? Damn this team curbing the bitchin’ an pitchin a fit like that . . .

    Ho, hum…. Anyone here a wine lover or coming over to Scotland in the summer and needing some advice ? Come to think of it I’m heading to Oz via the land of the free for my retirement holiday. I’ll need some advice on where I can watch the team in NY, Vegas, LA and Honolulu ( especially important as that’s the Arsenal CL second leg) .

    God, this is dull. Surely we can’t play this well again? Come back Masche. All is forgiven.

    • Jim
      February 4, 2016

      🙂

    • Davour
      February 4, 2016

      You want something to complain about? Filipe Luis’ ban for assaulting Messi has been reduced from 3 to 1 game… in La Liga, words are clearly worse than violence. Apparently the committee did not feel the ref explained well enough what was so dangerous with the tackle. Obviously self-evidence is beyond them.

  16. luisthebeast
    February 4, 2016

    I respect China.They are the biggest country.But what s going on?First to change the hour of LaLiga games so they can watch them.Now the ridiculous offers for players.42m for Martinez?Really?I cant say if it s money laundry or they lost their minds.Then what?The CL final to be played there?Ok we have capitalism and football is business but things are out of control.And the worst is yeah Qatar is a country that many people say that they support terrorism but lets not pretend that China is a heaven with great democracy.They have huge problem with human rights.But who cares?I would want all the football clubs in the world for a summer not spend for transfers but to give the money to Syrian refugees.Do something good for humanity.

  17. luisthebeast
    February 4, 2016

    I wish our club decided to not have sponsor next season but to have in front of the shirt something like «peace in Syria» until the war ends.And to donate our budget for transfers.It would be special.

  18. Jim
    February 5, 2016

    It would certainly be special, Luis. Neymar and Messi in the EPL for a start.

  19. luisthebeast
    February 5, 2016

    Jim forget about the part to donate our budget!Dont u think that such a move by the club would be in longterm generate more money?Imagine how many people,not Barca fans,would buy the shirt!Or companies and other people who would want to work with the club!When we had Unicef and not a sponsor,we had also big budget!And we can also sell Adriano,Douglas,Sandro to Chinese teams for 60m;-)

    • Davour
      February 5, 2016

      I think it really would create a huge revenue, having some peace message on the shirt, but maybe not 65m euros, or whatever the shirt-sponsor-money was… Problem is we need money now, with all the renewals and whatnot.

      However. Instead of playing with an empty front, as has been suggested, an appropriate message would surely be better!

      And if it does not work out: I have always wanted to see how Messi fares against Stoke anyway…

    • February 5, 2016

      It won’t create huge revenue. In order to compensate for that lack of sponsor, let’s say that for some reason Nike decides to gift Barça 50% of the profits from every shirt sold over the contractual expected sales. One stadium shirt, original, costs between 70 and 85 Euro. Discounting cost let us make another assumption that allows us easy maths, and lower the profit that is sent Barça´s way to 65 Euro per 2 shirt sold

      In order to compensate for the lack of sponsor, Barcelona would have to sell 2 000 000 shirts ABOVE the current 1.2 million.

      That would be the day, you know.

    • Davour
      February 6, 2016

      It would – Barca-shirts with peace message would be the new uniform for anti-war rallys and various protests! Or maybe not.

  20. Davour
    February 5, 2016

    Also, intersting stats: Rakitic is the player most frequently used by LE during his tenure so far (not minutes, but nr of games), followed by Messi, Busi, Ney, Masch and Alves.

    Well, we knew he, LE, loves utility!

  21. Jim
    February 5, 2016

    We still have UNICEF, Luis. Whether it’s on the front or back we still make a contribution. What you suggest is admirable but no, I don’t think it would generate more money. If folk want to give to charity their first thought isn’t gonna be to buy a football shirt, if they’re not a football fan it wouldn’t occur to them and if they are a football fan they’re not gonna buy a Barca one unless they support Barca, in which case they probably buy one anyway. The only category I would see your proposal bringing in would be what I would Call the ” Kxevin” category, people who won’t buy a shirt for ethical reasons because they believe it should be kept clear of advertising. I’m not sure there are that many of those.

    Before I forget, hell yes, sell anyone we can to the Chinese at Martinez prices !

    I’m not sure folks, despite Peter and Kxevin’s efforts, understand the financial nightmare we are heading towards. Winning last year’s treble cost us big time, if we win it this year it will do so again. The renewals coming up are HUGE ! Busi has been underpaid, Messi we end loaded his terms last time and have only just started paying and you could argue that this next one will be his last big one. Same with Pique who is in a pretty strong position for negotiation. Neymar will eventually become the best player in the world, maybe over the duration of this next contract. He has clubs lining up to pay his buyout and RM with, I would argue, none of the top five players in the world. They must be seething.

    We have the stadium renovations plus other building coming up and we have a crop of younger players coming through towards their first big contract. We are in deep doo doo. We probably do need a younger CB in the summer but if we buy anyone else I’ll be astonished. We have the mix of older, more expensive, players to younger cheaper ones way off, imo, and will have to rectify it. Not sure any club can actually afford to have the three best forwards in the world at the same time.

    So, even with a sponsor, I reckon hard decisions will have to be made. Nolito was a no brainier in these circumstances. I just wonder if the stadium renovation will be next to go. I know I’m turning into a bit of a cynic, Luis, and your ideas would be great in better times but if we want the best team on the park we need to start looking for more not less revenue streams.

    • Jason
      February 5, 2016

      Isn’t there some renegotiation of Nike sponsorship on the horizons? I can’t recall the details but from what I understand we do not maintain a similar jersey deal as other clubs. And the renegotiation should yield us an influx of cash. Not sure how far down the line this will happen but I assume it will help aid salaries and operational expenses.

    • February 5, 2016

      I know of a simple revenue stream, which many might know too.
      Barca can create a special socio group called – World Barca socio or Non Resident Barca socio – or something like that. By which people like me and from Africa or Iceland, can pay may be 25Euros or 50 Euros and be a Non Resident Barca socio.
      Am sure, millions will join, all over the world. I even got an Oviedo share, just for the love of football, and so did many others. With such a large fan base from all around the world, am sure, millions would love to be a Non Resident Barca socio.
      25 or 50 Euros is not a small amount for me, but I am absolutely willing to pay that to the club who gives me so much enjoyment.

    • Jim
      February 5, 2016

      I’d stump up for that but better would be a reversal of the previous ruling that we could no longer be socios.

    • Davour
      February 5, 2016

      Fine line between a realist and a cynic, no? Funny that winning everything would be expensive… you mean that we lost money on the treble? Can’t see how that is possible, but then again, I am humanities person… Would bonuses, etc. cost more than the CL revenue would bring in, for instance?

      Main thing I guess is what you point out: it is not normal that one club has the three best forwards (including the current best and coming best player), the two best mids and, to me, the best CB and top 3 LB. I am sure both Busi and Iniesta have been underpaid, maybe Piqué, too.

      On the bright side, we really don’t need that many signings, if the key players stay. A youngish CB, promoting Samper & Rafinha returns. Perhaps Bartra will leave, but he will bring in money, Adriano is doubtful, and maybe Alves, too. But especially the latter would also bring a transfer fee. Vermeelen I don’t know. We must hope that Masch and Mathieu last another season. Iniesta will, for sure, probably two.

      This is when you realise that, for all the talk of family and fun, the players are generally products looking for the greatest possible profit. Neymar turns down some money but he will ask for more because of it, and does not seem to me to be a one-club-player (from a European perspective), so he will leave if he is not paid. And it is not like the MSN will say “Hey, we’re having such a blast together – screw that pay rise, club comes first!”

      La Masia golden days are over – this time around we must buy the Xavis, Iniestas, Busis and Messis and so on. Consider that the remaining backbone – Piqué, Ini, Busi and Messi – cost nothing (nearly, Piqué was bought back for 5m pounds). Back to normal…

  22. Jason
    February 5, 2016

    Sport is so interesting. You think American sports that maintain salary caps really got it figured out. Several years ago when Lebron James and Chris Bosh moves to the Miami Heat to team up with Dwayne Wade they all negotiated salaries lower than their market value in the attempt to team up and create a championship dynasty. It worked! Player associations and ownership tussle back and forth on labor agreements to push the cap upwards or downwards but at least it’s set and everyone has to play under these rules.

    I know UEFA has established their fair play guidelines but the little I understand it seems like a crock of shit a la the Manchester City stadium naming rights sale. Without the existence of an actual salary cap, wealthy owners are setting the bars way too high for transfer fees and salaries..

    • georgjorge
      February 5, 2016

      Yes, I’d be interested as well in why salary caps (either per player or per team) wouldn’t be good for football, with complimentary control mechanisms of course. It seems to me that more and more football fans are getting fed up with a handful of rich teams (ours included) buying the best players and coaches and creating an oligopoly that leaves many other clubs unable to compete. Of course there’s always Atlético or Leicester, but still…

  23. luisthebeast
    February 5, 2016

    Some things i learned today from articles i read:Chinese President want China to have a big championship with great names,players and coaches.In second division there are names like Vinyals!He is coach of a team!It s big plan for the coming years and it seems China will take the place of Russia and Ukraine,as big spenders for yoyng Brazilians or players over 30 from Europe Clubs.Also Qatar seems to have some problems with the price of oil going down and they start to put taxes that they dont existed until now.I hope the board analyze what s going on in the world and find the best solutions!

  24. Tommy11
    February 6, 2016

    Good times on the pitch as per results, records and Valencia play but like Kxevin mentioned in an earlier post there are plenty off-the-pitch issues that are potentially harmful to on-the-pitch performance.

    One of such issues is this tax evasion ‘epidemic’ that we find ourselves in. Messi, Mascherano, Neymar family, Ex-president and current president. Why does it seem like it’s only Barcelona players that are evading tax?

  25. luisthebeast
    February 6, 2016

    The problem of Manchester City is not the coach.It s their mentality and the people who signed all those average players.Otamendi Mangala Delph and others are good for a mid table La Liga team.Txiki made a good job here but there is a big fail.

  26. luisthebeast
    February 6, 2016

    Also it s funny how Barca fans say that Pep will find a not so good squad.Yeah but his new team is one of the richest in the world.Dont try to make him an hero or superman.Klopp have a much more difficult job.

  27. Jason
    February 6, 2016

    I mean can’t we all agree to be honest that Pep Guardiola is overrated. Not that he isn’t a class coach but that he isn’t some masterful individual that wields footballing rainbows and unicorns. He improved Barca, unleashed Messi and brought up Busquets. What he has accomplished at Bayern is beyond me.

  28. Cyclops
    February 6, 2016

    Seriously, play without sponsors?
    That would effectively turn Lord Douglas into our new False Nine…not good, not good..its got this apocalyptic vibes around it
    But yeah, the bright side of it as always,(Davour looking at you) It’d be great to see Messi do it against Stoke on a cold saturday Night, hehe

    But really i’d say, these are just a part of the Normal Events Progression in our good ol’ earth…The astronmical Fees we’ve got here is just a reflection of the way things are panning out globally..Things are getting costlier, more expensives, and more ridiculous..All this talk about transfer rules and whatnots is a miserable attempt to try to insulate the football world against the outside world- thats folly, and as seen, its failed Miserably
    i mean, when people pay thousands of Dollars to watch a certain Floyd Mayweather do his depressing fights, what do you expect?? At least cheryshev dosnt cost as much, so there’s still hope for us….

    Guardiola over-rated, mmmm, thats a long one…But what i do know for sure is, the Bayern Squad is overrated, lol..
    But seriously, its been said over and over again, Pep just met the Right squad with the right tactics..Now we cant say that same “right” squad existed at Bayern, can we?..
    i Knew pep would try to transplant the so-called tiki-taka to bayern, i thought it was laughable, didnt really expected him to achieve as much as he has..For crying out loud, that bayern squad hasnt got a certain leo Messi, Xavi, Iniesta- names that perhaps pep and his infamous System wouldnt have moved an inch without them..In other words, give him the exact Barca squad of 2010 and he might just replicate what he did back then
    But right now if he’d only allow himself to adapt to the players he inherit in he’s new team, he might just do some good things again- like defeating RM in 2013 UCl with the right tactics, instead of trying to tiki-taka them away into oblivion, we all remember how that panned out..and oh, what was the scoreline again when we met last year?

    In other news, Leicester city pummeled Mancity 3 1.. Apparently rumours about The CIA cloning Atletico back in 2014 was real afterall..
    After all said and done, there’re the real Deal..thought that along.. Particularly thought people were deluding themselves with the thinking of leicester being a ‘small team’ and with time- when the league gets into crunch time and they still lead, people will change their opinion about them, and take them seriously.. Happening already

  29. Cyclops
    February 6, 2016

    …And ofcourse yeah, the Quality or Misquality of Valencia shouldn’t take nothing away from the Sublime performance from the guys..Afterall as someone rightly alluded to, when we were Leading Atletico at Halftime(player-wise, hehe) we practically hopped our way to the End of the Match, and anyways its the same Valencia(Or not, because, a Coachless Valencia > a Gary Neville’s Valencia) who got a draw against us..
    And did anyone send Gary the Memo that the league game’s still around?…someone said, Apparently The Sky is the Limit for some people, lol…I mean, thats like the Bright side of it Gary, Benitez for example was a flop, but he never got to The Sky, his Limit was in his EX..i mean errrr..EX..p..anyol..thrashing..6 0, lol, trolling is legal eh..?

    But the Game against Valencia is like a case in point, why Teams has resolved to Press us like Crazy…So expect Levante to come up with some Super-Man pressing tomorrow, but then still expect their coach, at the End of the Game to say something like; “You see teams go to the Nou camp, and get beat 7, 9, 11-0. Barca are a good side, well they’re a great side. But if i was involved in a team who got beat 11-0 there i wouldn’t be able to look my family in the eyes anymore”….

  30. Cyclops
    February 6, 2016

    Ooops, Scrap that, the game’s at the Estadio ciudad de valencia, rather than the Nou Camp…So the Coach Might not be saying that afterall..sucks, i kinda like those Lines…

  31. luisthebeast
    February 6, 2016

    Who plays madrid next game??Bilbao.Who Bilbao player send off today with 2 yellows??Inaki!!What a surprise;-)

  32. Jason
    February 6, 2016

    The Leicester run has been entertaining and good for the league. Too bad their team will get pillaged come summer time. its a surprise non-European competing teams don’t make greater runs at their domestic leagues. I hope they hang on!

  33. lala10
    February 7, 2016

    Enter Your Comment…Barcelona can sometimes be utter shit to watch. Utter useless boring shit. Should have lost the match to serve the bastards right

    • Jim
      February 7, 2016

      Wow ! Bit severe ? I agree it wasn’t much fun to watch and I’m not one of those who thinks we have a divine right to win or can step it up and score whenever we want but we seem to have been playing every three days since the New Year, we are bringing our A game to the big ones and we came out of it with three points. We haven’t been beaten in ages and we’re on course for another treble in February, a month we traditionally struggle in.

      It’s not THAT bad, is it ?

    • Davour
      February 7, 2016

      Yes, because it is a competition, not a circus. Results are what counts. The game against Valencia should be entertainment enough for a few weeks, no?

  34. Tata2
    February 7, 2016

    I take the 3pts and rest for busquets happily

  35. Tommy11
    February 7, 2016

    I’m with you 100%. We can be awful at times and please don’t bring up the excuse of tired legs, 1 match every 3 days etc . Nobody brought that up when we pummeled Valencia. If we had lost, they would ve woken up. Playing that kinda nonsense against the bottom team in d league is shit.

    • Davour
      February 7, 2016

      Valencia was a cup game with a return leg – winning with a margin had a point. Against a Levante packing the box, 2-0 will do fine. Messi’s 1-0 was wrongly disallowed, too, and that was pure beauty. And about the tired legs: not necessarily tired, but avoiding being worn out, I’m sure. We were slow, but not awful; without Busi and with Alves playing badly (and Vidal did not improve the position much, with poor control of the ball), things looked worse. Still, SR did well enough.

      We need patience and tolerance; if they look like this against Arsenal, I would be worried, not before.

  36. TITO
    February 7, 2016

    It was clear that we could score any time.we wanted, and we should have killed the game much earlier. One goal up is nothing, even against Levante, it would have been stupid to lose points there when we can save those droping points in much hostile grounds.

  37. Davour
    February 7, 2016

    On a different note: it will be a tiresome 6 months in terms of transfer rumours now that Pep joined Man City, especially after Ney mentioned his desire to play under Pep. I don’t hold it of impossible that Neymar would make that move, really, depending a little on other players joining the club. If Barca wins another CL, or even treble (not likely, though), he may feel he has had his party.

    But on top of that, there are rumours about Busi (for a ridiculous 35 m pounds, espnfc “reports”), Suarez, Messi etc. re-joining Pep. No they won’t.

  38. lala10
    February 7, 2016

    Enter Your Comment… It was against Levante and they coasted vs Valencia just as they had against Atletico. Its a worrying sign that the team may be a little too arrogant.

  39. remedybcn
    February 8, 2016

    This game was int he bag too quickly really I wanted some action but anyway, back to the cannabis club at http://www.remedybarcelona.com

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