Almeria/Barca 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.

134 Comments

  1. Kari
    March 6, 2010

    Hectored thrice. This just keeps getting better and better.

    😛

    Here’s to a Sevilla win, and a good performance from us!

    • eklavya
      March 6, 2010

      3*Hectored + no “First!” = New BFB record
      Congrats Kari! 😉 lol

  2. Helge
    March 6, 2010

    Isaiah got the line-up right! Congratz

    I wanted to say “hopefully the prediction will also come true”, but then I realized there’s no prediction 🙁
    So I’ll give mine: Almeria 1-2 Barca, goals by Pedro and Ibra.

  3. Helge
    March 6, 2010

    Neither Goitom nor Uche starting for Almeria… is that team really coached by Juanma Lillo? 🙂

  4. ooga aga
    March 6, 2010

    my computer wont load the live blog, so i will say it here. this game makes eto’opologist look right. its true when we havent had ibra in the game our football is dynamic and full of goals. dude comes out, were down to 10 men, we score right away. lets see what the rest of the game has…

      • March 6, 2010

        Or is it us saying “Whew! The new guy is out, so now we don’t have to figure out how to try to play with him?” Every situation has two sides. If you give a kid a toy, and he uses it to hammer nails, is it the toy’s fault?

        Just asking.

  5. eklavya
    March 6, 2010

    Crazy match. I would have liked a last minute goal ala Osasuna last season though…

  6. March 6, 2010

    how much does real pay phil schoen? he’s so effing annoying.

  7. jordi™
    March 6, 2010

    Ihate dropped points which are self inflicted.

    • March 6, 2010

      Very true, jordi. Both goals have Captain culpability, which is unfortunate.

    • jordi™
      March 6, 2010

      BTW he cleaned up the defender similar style to ibra last week when his goal was disallowed.

  8. Kari
    March 6, 2010

    YES! Sevilla lead, own goal by Alonso!

  9. Keano
    March 6, 2010

    jimenez ‘wise guy, joe pesci sounding mafia hitman’

  10. Kari
    March 6, 2010

    Messi better not be anything less than an 8, Kxevin!

  11. Kari
    March 6, 2010

    Crud, Sevilla injury. Looks like Konko. Adriano is coming on. He was pretty good against us, wasn’t he?

  12. Keano
    March 6, 2010

    That stanckevicus looks like poulsen-i wonder will he do a number on kaka

  13. jordi™
    March 6, 2010

    WOW a fk that thonboy didnt shoot !

  14. messi_fan
    March 6, 2010

    I got scared everytime I saw Puyol near that ball :(. On the other hand Maxwell and Milito were good and Yaya was pretty solid. Busquets was disappointing. Alves was horrible defensively and average offensively except for a few good moments after Ibra was sent off. Either Henry or Bojan should have been subbed on. My 2 cents.

      • messi_fan
        March 6, 2010

        Didn’t like his positioning defensively. And I expected him to have more of an impact offensively.

        • Kari
          March 6, 2010

          I dunno. It was his sliding tackle that put Soriano off when he had the goal begging. He was calm on the ball and didn’t give any cheap balls, like we were guilty of doing in this match

  15. Kari
    March 6, 2010

    Lass just rugby tackles a player, and steps on his leg, and it’s a FK to EE? The heck?

    35th min. Still 1-0 Sevilla

    • Kari
      March 6, 2010

      Presumably injured. Kaka misses from literally 2 yards. EE pressure but Sevilla defending out of their minds. Can they hold out until halftime?

      • Keano
        March 6, 2010

        Prob is seville have no one to dictate the pace of the game, its wave after wave of rm attacks. Renato in, capel out.

    • jordi™
      March 6, 2010

      Kanoute warming up and OFabuloso is injured i think.

  16. y2k156
    March 6, 2010

    Think sevilla are playing 4-2-3-1 with 3 being all wingers. sadly i do think that RM have a goal or two in them so am really hoping that sevilla score another one. they got serious pace so that is always a possibility.

      • Kari
        March 6, 2010

        Oops, that wasn’t meant to be a reply..

        Anyway, I think EE are really anxious because of our result. Thus, they really want to score and are committing a lot of men forward, but that can always backfire. The more this goes on, the more frustrated EE will get and that will work to Sevilla’s advantage.

        They’ll get hit on the break, if they’re not careful.

  17. y2k156
    March 6, 2010

    i some how hate lass diarra character more then even TB.

  18. Ryan
    March 6, 2010

    Good to see Palop doesn’t just play great games against us! Keep it up Sevilla!

  19. jordi™
    March 6, 2010

    Palop’s greatness is not diminishing with age.

  20. y2k156
    March 6, 2010

    go sevilla. they have become my second team in la liga this year just because they are fun to watch.

    since their goal though, they have gone on back foot and are not really playing well. hope this will change after ht.

  21. majatt
    March 6, 2010

    Just watched the replay a couple times, its very difficult to see if Ibra punched the guy from the angle but the ref certainly didn’t see the play. The game actually played on for about 10 seconds before anything happened with another marker picking up Ibra.

    Ibra had a torrid match up front, not all his fault as we lacked urgency in the early part of each half. Something Pep has to find a way to weed out. They looked too comfortable and conceded then started to run. In good matches that energy is there from the start.

    Good match from Pedro and Messi, I liked iniesta when he got inside and Xavi on his rare run foward also looked dangerous. Milito and Maxwell were outstanding defensively but spent too much time on the ball imo.

    Sevilla…keep that 0-1 score going eh? We’ll thank you with an ass whooping when next we meet :-).

    • Keano
      March 6, 2010

      ibras having a torrid match a little too often

  22. y2k156
    March 6, 2010

    Sevilla are more or less 5-0-4 right now. hope they do get some one to keep possesion now otherwise, it will be just RM all the way.

  23. Kari
    March 6, 2010

    You know what Sevilla need to do?

    They need to give Navas the ball. He’s up against Marcelo at LB. MARCELO at LB. Even if he braided his hair to make him more aerodynamic, Navas will eat him alive.

  24. majatt
    March 6, 2010

    Bloody brilliant 0-2 to Sevilla, its GO TIME Sevilla!

  25. eklavya
    March 6, 2010

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL 2-0!!!!!!!!!!

  26. y2k156
    March 6, 2010

    I have now been haughing for last few minutes. mr iker was not exactly great there was he. man, that has made my day.

  27. y2k156
    March 6, 2010

    shucks. sevilla will have to play to win otherwise sadly i do see ee with another goal in them. go sevilla.

  28. majatt
    March 6, 2010

    I hate to say this but madrid have been immense in this come back.

  29. March 6, 2010

    Unbelievable stuff. I have to say, they look a better team than us right now.

    • jordi™
      March 6, 2010

      We pasted Sevilla @ home if you recall.

      • March 6, 2010

        Yeah, but that was a month ago. In the last three weeks, they have outplayed us.

        • jordi™
          March 6, 2010

          Im blinded by the hideous white sorry 😀

          • Keano
            March 6, 2010

            size of their squad, we haven’t got a striker that can score. Its frustrating

  30. Ryan
    March 6, 2010

    They just had to hold on for 3 more minutes…

  31. y2k156
    March 6, 2010

    well, this breaks my heart. cannot say that that ee did not deserve it. sevilla played well to take the lead and then for some reason stopped playing football. stupid cows. ee kept on coming and won fairly. so now we are level on points. race to end begins.

  32. Helge
    March 6, 2010

    FUCK REAL MADRID!!! MAY THEY BURN IN HELL FOR ETERMITY. THIS LA LIGA WILL BE THEIR’S.

    I am pissed now, sorry. Maybe Lyon can console me, but from now onm I would only bet on Real, as far as la Liga is conderned. Damn those fucking Bastards !!!

    • jordi™
      March 6, 2010

      Why should we give up, they shaved down a 12 point lead last year and it seemed impossible, today we’re not even behind but level on points.

      • Helge
        March 7, 2010

        That’s true, but do you see us winning in Sevilla and Villarreal? And where will Madrid give away points?

        • Lou
          March 7, 2010

          We won at Sevilla and Villareal last year.

    • Helge
      March 7, 2010

      Sorry, I got carried away by emotions and alcohol yesterday 🙂

  33. jordi™
    March 6, 2010

    I feel physically sick.It annoys me that without throwing away poins @ Osasuna, Athletic, and now today, we’d be clear by about 8 points.Its 1 thing to be taken down, but its another to do it to yourself.Still we shall masacre them at the bernabeu and end it there.

  34. Keano
    March 6, 2010

    Don’t blame madrid, we threw away the lead. Ibra can’t score-henry can’t play- yayas form is gone. we didn’t buy right- Madrid press campaign worked, thats who I hate

    • Keano
      March 6, 2010

      They can bench their under performing striker and have higuain
      We bench ibra and we’ve no one to replace him

      • jordi™
        March 6, 2010

        well thats expected when you spend a quarter billion euro ,no?

        • Keano
          March 6, 2010

          Why didn’t we spend it thou? 10-15 mil extra on a backup

          • jordi™
            March 6, 2010

            Cuz we actually had a budget and every player we went after had an inflated price, i.e Felipe. We did buy a back up though, the only mistake we made was loaning him out.Twice (Keirrison).

            Also keep in mind they didnt even spend their own money, they spen money they borrowed from the bank, and getting rid of Sneijder, Robben and RVN could still cost them in the end.It isnt all sunshine decision wise on their side,

  35. Keano
    March 6, 2010

    coupled with the ongoing problem of failing to make a profit or break even on transfers- Henrique loan, hleb loan, caceres loan, madrid actually made money on robben and co- budget or no budget thats bad business

  36. y2k156
    March 6, 2010

    i also have to sadly say that i think EE for title seems surer bet today. they do not play as good or as attractive as us but goddamn they are effective. we do need some one to score a few along with messi.

    i am not losing any sleep on this though. we are level on points and as this is spanish liga, we are top on head to head. from now till end, we have tougher run in but we can kick their asses again in bernebeau. so things are good for us but to win the league is going to be a challange.

  37. eklavya
    March 6, 2010

    What is this? The BFB community thinks EE is going to win La Liga? Unacceptable! :@

    • jordi™
      March 6, 2010

      Im with Xavi, no matter how far behind EE are they and their fans believe we can win, we on the other hand, even when ahead or level on points believe we’ll lose it.If theres anything to admire about them (not their money or players) its their self belief.We have more now than i can ever remember but still not to their level, they still trump us in this regard unfortunately.

  38. cleareyesfullhearts
    March 6, 2010

    cleareyes the sevilla fan, here again.

    sorry about the result today…obviously a very disappointing end for us.

    i would say in our defense that we didn’t stop attacking, or lose control of the game, until konko’s injury. it wasn’t as if we scored and then let up or something…we just continued to have really bad luck injury-wise (as we have all season), and as soon as konko left the match, our middle just collapsed on itself, and real began to take over.

    real have been on extremely impressive form since the lyon loss…it’ll be interesting to see them in midweek. (and you guys, too. good luck!)

  39. Bill
    March 6, 2010

    Jordi’s right. Madrid hasn’t passed us as much as we have slowed down. And we are wondering about why we didnt spend more $$$ to buy a back up striker? This was the biggest problem of the deal we did in the offseason. Now we will have to spend more $$$ to cover up the mistake we made. The best deal we couldve made last offseason was NO DEAL at all!

  40. Jim
    March 6, 2010

    I’m not as pessimistic as some seem to be at the moment. Yes Ibra has been a problem for our system and it was happening again today before his red card. (Not sure if it was deserved or not- Sky didn’t show a replay which is odd – didn’t look like one on first glance)

    However, as i think Kxevin said on the Liveblog at least now we’ll get a chance to see if he is the problem or not against Valencia. Tough game, we need to win, what type of football can we play? That’s why i was hoping Henry would play today. I’ve a feeling we may end up with him at CF for the next while. He certainly moves more than Ibra and can make better runs. However, he isn’t exactly in a great vein of form.

    Bottom line is it’s still in our hands. If we deserve to win La Liga we should be able to go to Madrid and beat them. They haven’t come up against a team as good as us and won’t hold back so it’ll be an open game which should suit us. Defensively they aren’t great. We have a few weeks to sort out our problems – let’s hope Pep has learned and uses the time wisely.

    • Jim
      March 6, 2010

      Meant to say – really proud of the effort with 10 men, especially coming after International matches – and nobody more than Messi.

  41. Lou
    March 6, 2010

    In a way the Madrid- Sevilla game was rather similar to ours. An own goal and a another goal that really shouldn’t have been conceded. But they won and we drew.

    We were pressing at the end and had a great number of chances, and so did they. The difference? They scored, we didn’t. I think this comes down to some combination of:

    1) Luck. Had one of our many chances gone in we would be praising a gutsy comeback. (Also, Madrid didn’t have their center forward sent off for being tall).

    2) Desire. We did really well pressing for an equalizer and for about 10 minutes afterwards, but by injury time I felt like we were slowing down. It was like we were okay with a draw. In contrast, Madrid poured forward, took off defenders and took lots of risks. It paid off.

    Still, tied on points and having won the home match against of our them is not a bad place to be. Let’s see how the team reacts against Valencia. Not having Ibra sucks, but remember that we won against Inter without either Messi or Ibra.

    • March 6, 2010

      I don’t know about this “luck” thing to be honest. I recall at least three shots Madrid hit against the cross-bar or posts before going in front. We didn’t create one third as many real chances as they did.

  42. SoccerMom
    March 6, 2010

    Geez Louise! Can’t SoccerMama stay out late for half an hour before the shenanigans start? She comes home and the place is a mess. Pep up in the nosebleeds, Puyol down in the dumps and Ibra out on the street. Plus a certain referee deserved some injury time of his own, or at least a few lashes with a wet whistle. Almería played so dirty that every time the wind blew the wrong way they stopped, dropped and rolled in the mud. Ug-oh. Now it’s time to play whack-a-Bat.
    PD. Why kick out coach if he can coach from his I-phone?

    • Bill
      March 7, 2010

      Soccermama, this has got to be one of the funniest lines I have read on this blog, and there have been many. Pep up in the nosebleeds, Puyol down in the dumps and Ibra out on the streets? Your imagery left me in stitches!

  43. poipoi
    March 6, 2010

    I did not watch the game but this looks bad, no wonder why people are getting pessimistic… EE is ahead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    the radio commentators said we played really bad. did we?

    some folks me included were saying in the beggining of the season that the list of players was short, today guti and van der vaart came in for EE to win the game. I don’t say they are players to envy but who could have done it for us today????? the youngsters, but wait… they have only played two games each!!!!!! thank god pedro! appeared this year ’cause if he didn’t I don’t know where we would be right now. Sign someone good or make the youngsters play more so they fit into the team.

    I won’t say anything on Eto’o vs Ibra. People said we needed a plan B and I agree, a change in the team and that’s why we signed the swedish OK. To me a more important thing is to offer some plan B in the midfield, other than xaviniesta or one of them+muscle, being the muscle keita busi or yaya. Well I’m claiming for a plan C not B we already have a B, but putting muscle in the midfield should be plan C not B, being more vertical should be plan B 😉 We should have signed a really offensive and scoring midfielder that could also play left wing like DAVID SILVA or RIBERY. Ball control is great and it is our bussiness but the change I feel we need it verticality, and specially movement without the ball (desmarque). We have two brains Xavi and Iniesta, it is not that bad to play with one brain and a scorer AND YAYA in the back. Playing with one brain and a muscle midfielder with not much creativity or danger shouldn’t be our style I think, not even in the CL.

    • poipoi
      March 6, 2010

      I gotta add that I love keitee but I think I could like silva or scarface more 😉

  44. Larm
    March 6, 2010

    maybe results like this are the gods way of saying shoot more. we pass too much. yeah it looks pretty, but when we have easy shots on goal you got to take em, not pass it out to the wing.

    kevin always talks about how messi will become great when you dont know if he will dribble pass or shoot. its the same with barca, we just gotta add the will to shoot to the team resume.

    that and somebody needs to tell ibra that part of playing the game as a foward is to go on runs.

  45. jose011
    March 6, 2010

    while this may not be the current topic of discussion:

    i just thought of something that cesc would add to our midfield.

    a guy who scores. he’s been in pretty good goal scoring form for arsenal this season. he has a great shot, quick to find space in the box, good, pacey dribbling in those tight spots, cool finisher…

    i’m actually in the camp for not buying him next summer, but i this just occurred to me watching arsenal v. wolfs highlights.

  46. stowe
    March 6, 2010

    it’s sad to see how down we all are. the season is not over. we had a bad night. trust the team. trust the coach. i don’t think we need to make huge changes in personnel. we all know that we need something more on the left, and we’ve known this all year.
    let’s not freakout

    on other notes, i didn’t see the game. how did the puyol/milito pairing workout? they scored twice, so it doesn’t seem like it worked

    • jordi™
      March 6, 2010

      Gabi was fine, but Puyi didnt cover himself in glory to put in mildly.

  47. Jnice
    March 7, 2010

    I’m a pessimist, so naturally I think negatively, but this is all I’ll say:

    It’s ridiculous how we can dominate teams and still manage to drop points.

    If we don’t beat Valencia next week, we can kiss the league goodbye.

    Since Ibra won’t be available next game (imo, wasn’t a red, look *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIYRi_Dq2CE&feature=sub), we will score 100 goals, right?

  48. fcbfan
    March 7, 2010

    how predictable. Every time we draw or have a bad game, Let’s get Silva, Cesc, Ribery is out … … I am as disappointed as the rest but not surprised by the result seeing how we struggle to get points after international breaks. My only complaint is about the Puyi Gabi pairing, probably not a good idea, at least not for the whole game. oh well. trying not to go down intopesimism here… come on you know what this means, that tthe team got to start getting their act together, and that we’ll have to go to Bernabaeu again to give them another spanking. or else, we probably don’t deserve to win the league.

  49. jnelson
    March 7, 2010

    HAHA alot of pessimism around here, but why? The season is FAR from over. I’m not at all disappointed with our performance. I am, disgusted with Almeria, as I was after the first match against them. Talk about pitiful, did they really even try to win? rolling with an occasional (they had 29% possession) counter attack isn’t exactly trying when you are parking the bus for more of the match than we have possession (71%). I mean, we played almost the entire second half with all of our outfield players between the half-way line and their 18, with all of theirs basically in the box and perimeter. PITIFUL. I admire Lillo, but really, REALLY? Hugo Sanchez is a disgrace, and you sir took a page out of his 1 page playbook, only differing slightly, mostly by marking Ibra with Chico, it appears. Of course Sevilla blow a 2-0 lead to EE. Go figure. I wish we had mids who could shoot. I know Iniesta had one or two great efforts with control and passing, but he sucked today. Completely. How many times have we seen him lately destroy our rhythm with lose control or bad positioning and awful give-aways? I hope he gets back in sync. And WTF? P! PASS the ball. He had 1 cross to Ibra early on that was easily cleared, but that was it. I would have liked Henry in. Apparently, Pep’s plan for Messi on the left wasn’t working, cause that ended soon. Puyol’s own goal was really unfortunate, but I’m not looking into that. His and Alves’ job covering the right side was awful though. Who’s fault was that? Alves? I really thought they would test Maxwell on the other side because I really thought he was getting unnerved. Interesting. I loved Ibra’s dirty play. I wish he could freakin punch someone cause the harassment he gets is UNFAIR. All people do is kick him and tug on him all match and anytime he does that HE gets called for the foul. Spain just doesn’t know how to ref him. Messi was AWESOME, but not perfect. Did anybody see the sequence when he was surrounded by 4 or 5 Almeria players and someone retained possession, flicked the ball to a teammate who returned it, then he passed it ahead to Iniesta, I think, whose run was awful, but still Messi got the ball back and trucked his way toward goal. That would have been one of the greatest. Thanks for screwing up that beautiful sequence whoever that was. I love all our players, just some constructive criticism. Honestly, we can’t win every trophy every year. We have greatly changed the dynamic of our team with Ibra’s addition. We much work to do, yet we are STILL the favorite. We own the head-to-head, but like Pep said, we cannot make mistakes. Oh, 22 shots on goal and 8 on target. Almeria, you are pitiful. How you let yourselves be picked apart and dominated by 10 men, mostly midgets, is beyond me. INSERT DROGBA CLIP

    • Bill
      March 7, 2010

      Sounds like the chicken and egg situation here. What came first, them giving us possession or us taking that 71% possession? Besides, we can’t build a whole team and system based upon possession, and then complain that other teams are giving us possession!

      You kinda sound like the parent who is pissed of at everyone else when their children do something wrong. 😉 It’s endearing, but it’s time barca looked inwards. You simply cannot have 70+% possession and come out with a draw, or let the ref decide the outcome or squeek through teams. IT SIMPLY SHOULD NOT HAPPEN

  50. ElShowDeJason
    March 7, 2010

    I can’t believe what people are saying…
    I’m just as mad that we pissed away a 5 point lead, but saying that Madrid will win the League? That’s rediculous… We’re still ahead in thanks to our head to head.
    Keita and Abidal will be back. Ibra’s scoring ability will come back too.
    Before y’all keep throwing him under the bus, Don’t forget that he got the only goal against Madrid, as well as 3 or 4 other game winners.
    Messi always gets crap when he plays for Argentina because he isn’t utilized correctly, and his team-mates aren’t used to his style of play. Henry went throgh it but adapted some. Ibra still has to adapt to us, and we need to keep adapting to him…
    I’m still in disbaleif of the pessimism going around. Frustration is acceptable… even outrage, but not this, not this…

  51. Jnice
    March 7, 2010

    Oh and I must say, that first goal was soooo preventable. Dani tried a cute pass inside instead of playing it wide and it led to the giveaway which, once I saw we gave away a corner, I told my buddy, “watch them score on this.” Of course they score after they had literally touched the ball 3 times and that fucked us all up.

    It really bothers me that we can dominate a match and still ended up losing points. Really, really irks me. Especially because I feel like it doesn’t happen to others teams much. Some teams perform half-assed and win 3-0, while we dominate with 80% possession and sometimes struggle to win. WHY?! Aren’t we trying to play the game the way it is supposed to be played, football gods?

  52. Kxevin
    March 7, 2010

    Everybody should just buck the fuck up. Concessions? Already? Last time I checked, the Liga still had a ways to go, and both clubs are EVEN on points. Neither side is going to win out, so we will see what we see after El Clasic.

    Yes, we have issues, many of which will be documented in my rather cranky match review. Which does not mean that I have lost faith in my beloved club. That’s just not how I roll. Until it is mathematically impossible, I will continue to believe that we can win the Liga. There is nothing even close to that looming on the horizon.

    They won a match because of a crucial Sevilla injury? That’s life. It happens. To hell with them. We have to take care of OUR business, and karma demands that fans are a part of that deal. Last season was glorious. This season is less so. This doesn’t mean that we give up with so much of it left to play for.

    • Cesc Blanc
      March 7, 2010

      well, winning the league will certainly be difficult. It’s 5 games until el clasico, and apart of Atletico Madrid, I can’t see any team taking points off Madrid, which given the fact that I mention Atletico as the team of hope, shows how bad it is.
      On the other hand, we have 5 games where we could drop some points but don’t have to. At this point, I will be very happy if we don’t get into Clasico in 2nd place. IF that happens, we can talk about the league. Right now however Madrid are in the better position.
      Let’s hope for some help from Lyon. IF Madrid get knocked out of Europe, it will be for worse for them than better, because the big goal for them was the final in the Bernabeu. Plus Pellegrini will be under more pressure etc. They have enough depth to win the upcoming games even with Drenthe, Benzema and Van der Vaart.

  53. messi_fan
    March 7, 2010

    You know something I just studied? 2/3 of our big forwards are in a funk, Iniesta has been inconsistent, players have been injured left right and centre, Madrid is playing out of their mind and we’re STILL tied at the top on points.

  54. Lou
    March 7, 2010

    Another plus: no more international breaks this season!

  55. Bill
    March 7, 2010

    On lighter note, the Henry interview:

    //http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/international/article7052446.ece

  56. Hilal
    March 7, 2010

    I have to say it is a little sickening reading some of the posts on a lot of Barca forums. The defeatism and negativity is ridiculous. The blame heaped in Ibra is unjust and the speed at which fans are turning on their own players is shocking.

    Sometimes I feel the defeatest attitude of a lot of the Barca fans translates onto the pitch and is reflected in the way the players perform. The same way (and i hate to say this) that the Madrid fans’ relentless self-belief translates onto the pitch.

    Like Kxevin quite rightly said….buck the fuck up. Support your team and believe. It is in our hands just as much as it is in theirs. We can go to their house and beat them just like we did last season, even if we dont we can still win the league, a draw would keep us in the drivers seat.

    If anything we should be proud as Barca fans that our team reacted so well after going a goal down AND a man down, away from home and still dominating the game and getting an equaliser. It is one thing to be a little spoilt, as we all are, its another thing to completely disregard the effort shown by our players. We are in a funk, just like we were at the same point last season and I am very confident that just like last season we will fight our way out of it. Just you watch…

  57. Kari
    March 7, 2010

    …The heck?

    Some of, if not most of, you people are talking as if EE is 12 pts ahead of us! Have you forgotten that we’re AHEAD of them because of head-to-head. It’s like THEY’RE the ones who’ve won 6 titles and are the best club in the world, and we’re some half rate-team that can’t play football anymore!

    Give me a break!

    Alright, we drew. Yes, we DREW. Something we tend to do after the international break. And we did it with 10 men, down a goal, and with our Captain’s confidence shot. Shocking, isn’t it with all of you acting as if we lost 3-0 and got our arses handed to us.

    Being disappointed with the result and our play are understandable, but this type of…I don’t even KNOW what to call it, is UNACCEPTABLE.

    ‘EE is a surer bet for the title’
    ‘I just don’t see them dropping points’
    ‘We need to buy so-and-so’

    Nice to see you guys have SUCH confidence in our team.

    /rant

    • Jim
      March 7, 2010

      Not sure why you think Puyol’s confidence was “shot”. I did think he had a hard task all day covering for Alves and maybe could have done more at their first goal although my Sky Planner has given up the ghost so I can’t rewatch the match. Wait, maybe that’s not such a negative . . .

  58. March 7, 2010

    I will support the team even if they finish last and get relegated, no doubt about that. But we can’t ignore that they are not playing well, and haven’t for a while. I think the last complete game they played was against Sevilla, which was around Jan 20 if I recall correctly. In the meantime, Real have been on a high-octane run, scoring goals and winning close games with spirit and verve. Yes, right now in my opinion they are favorites, though things can of course change. But there are too many chinks in the armor right now.

    At least we’re home for Valencia. I’m very interested to see how the team responds, and who plays. I wonder if Pep will play Henry, or go with a midget front three (Messi, Pedro, Bojan). We can only hope for the best.

  59. theBL
    March 7, 2010

    guys…

    ibrahimovic has been offside 42 times this season, more than ANY OTHER PLAYER IN LA LIGA.

    for the record, i thought the red was a bit harsh but maybe i need to see another replay. i’ve been travelling recently and haven’t been able to put my full attention to barça as i wish i could’ve, i feel guilty in some ways because they haven’t been playing well in my 2 weeks of travelling.

    its disconcerting for sure whats going on but still, its a marathon not a sprint.

    i reeeeeeeally want to keep giving ibra the benefit of the doubt but damn, its getting hard. he needs to step it up big time, hes got a lot of pressure on his shoulders in his first season in a new league and new team so its really tough for a guy who has always been a streaky player.

    we’ve got valencia and madrid has tough games too coming up, including the toughest of all… us.

  60. jordi™
    March 7, 2010

    These were Xavi’s words a year ago. and its the truth.

    “tenemos mentalidades muy distintas. Si el Barcelona estuviera a diez puntos del líder, consideraríamos que ganar la Liga sería prácticamente imposible. Ellos piensan que pueden.”

    Ill just say they are playing their best football, just to be level with us.How long can they keep it up? Not till the end of the season for certain.They cant play much better than they are currently, but we can play twice as good as we are.The question is whether or not we will.There is no reason to stop believing in the team and there is no way they can be favorites.If being the defending champions of everything doesnt give us belief.Im afraid nothing ever will.

  61. Cesc Blanc
    March 7, 2010

    something else we should have a look at is the fact that ever since Keite and Bilal are out, the big homie is scoring less and our game has become more and more predictable. With Keite you had Xavi playing more advanced, faster ball circulation, and someone popping into attack to be with Ibra. Now you have neither.
    Further, Abidal on the left also crossed early and somehow into his path, which he lacks now too. (Funny enough, Abidal and Ibra connected better than Maxwell-Ibra, although the latter 2 play now for 6 years together or something).

    • Jim
      March 7, 2010

      I think I can recall one decent cross this year that Abidal has put in and, in terms of offense only, Abidal can’t look at Maxwell. Keita, also, contributes very little in terms of assists although he did impress me with his burst of games when he got into the box regularly. We still have a problem of not enough bodies in the box.

      • Cesc Blanc
        March 7, 2010

        well, that’s exactly the point with regards to Ibra missing Keita. Keita moves without the ball into the box, Keita offers a second option for crosses so defenders have to be extra careful etc.
        Abidal has already two assists but again, he adds additional width because he is fast as hell and can easily run down the baseline and track back, which Maxwell isn’t. Maxwell hardly ever runs down the whole line.

        • Jim
          March 7, 2010

          I’d be happy if Keita could offer that but since that burst he hasn’t really been doing it and to put him in means we have to take someone out – or play iniesta on left wing.

          Abidal may be fast but you can’t say he carries any threat on the wing. He turns back 9 times out of 10 and is one of the poorer crossers of a ball i’ve seen from there. Maxwell is much better technically but doesn’t have the pace sine his injuries. However, he can beat a man and I’d like to see him coming inside on occasions as he has started to do. In the absence of a decent LW option this could be big for us if either can start carrying a threat.

      • March 7, 2010

        Wrong. There have been a number of very good crosses that Abidal has put into the box, all of which weren’t finished as they should have been.

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