CL Liveblog: Inter – Barça (Semi Leg 1)

Visca el Barça! Let’s do thiiiis. Launching just prior to kickoff.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. we can get through with a 2-0 which is not an impossible scoreline at the camp nou, but all inter milan have to do now is park the bus and with the likes of lucio, samuel and cesar, we’re in trouble!! and frustrating us to a 0-0 draw in a champions league semi final hasn’t been impossible either.

    this really blows… i hope uefa lose out on all their endorsements because a final without barca or an english team won’t attract tv sponsors and endorsement deals. haha that’s the only thing i have to hold on to right now. so bitter. tralalalalala

  2. News right now is that Messi has a broken Maicon’s incisor. I wonder how long that takes to heal.

    1. By the way how can UEFA allow the ref and even the linesmen to have the same nationality as Inter’s coach…This simple detail can influence a match.

      This Portuguese referee Olegario Benquerenca really showed favoritism towards Inter……I guess I now know how Chelsea felt last year 🙁

  3. To be honest this has been coming since we lost Iniesta again. Xavi has too much to do on his own. Messi hid that for a while with his outrageous form but that can’t last. Who did we have in the team tonight that you thought could create something on their own? My answer would be Xavi and Messi. It’s not enough.

    I’m also frustrated at Maxwell though I’ve been his biggest supporter. What he did for the first goal is what he could do if he adopted a more aggressive mindset. We need him to drive at defences although putting him up front wasn’t the best move. That was the biggest mistake of the night for me. I can understand Pep taking Ibra off. Whether injured or not doesn’t matter. I don’t want to see him again till he’s fit and then he’ll get a couple of games from me to see if he’s prepared to put himself about enough and make the right runs time after time to prove he’s Barca standard. And in saying that I’m probably admitting defeat – I’ve always said that to win this year we need him and Henry playing well. What was unforgivable was that Henry wasn’t brought on when Ibra went off. We needed him as CF and Messi behind him. Henry knows the runs to make and his timing of them is much better than Ibra’s.

    Having said all that it may also be time to look at how high we try to hold our defensive line. It borders on the suicidal at times.

    Unfortnately, what this might provoke is Pep resting two or three for the weekend to give them a chance to recover for next week. you take either Messi or Xavi out of this line up and your left with lightweights who can’t shape games.

    Maybe the above is a little pessimistic and a good Barca performance at home is capable of turning this around but Andres I’m sure missing you and your mate will be as well. Didn’t like to see him throw up his arms in frustration at the lack of movement ahead of him when he had the ball in a great position just outside their box. That speaks volumes.

    1. At least we play Xerex at the weekend where Pep can play a similar lineup to that of the game against Athletic before the 2nd leg against Arsenal.

  4. Inter wanted it more. We looked sooo uncomfortable on the ball…even Xavi was rushing at times but I can see that Mourinho knows both Barca’s weakness & Inter’s strength all too well. Some comments on the match:

    1) What he did was to shut us down through the middle (indirectly making Messi & Ibra’s life no easier) and force us to the wings which is why Pedro! was so immense today. He knows that we cant beat Inter in the air so he allows us to play the ball out to the wing therefore restricting out link up play. I bet if Pep played Messi as a RW, we would have seen a better performance from both Messi & Barca.

    2)As much as I love Busi, this was not his game. I can only hope that this defeat will open Pep’s eyes & show him that Busi does not deserve to start over The Yaya in the DM position. He plays better in either Xavi or Iniesta’s postiion IMO, not The Yaya’s.

    3) It’s sad that Pique, in 10 mins, did more as a CF than Ibra *sigh* Just a little more mobility up front would have given us a better shot at goal. And IMO, Pique cud hav scored at least once in the last 10 mins.

    4) Julio Cesar should be banned from playing anywhere in Europe.

    On another note, how bout that Materazzi-Balotelli bust up in the tunnel after the game huh

    1. Some fair points, iBlau but can’t agree on Pedro having an immense game. To me he was invisible again. I know he scored a goal and it sounds really mean to criticise him as he is busting a gut but he had chances to create something and didn’t. I don’t remember him running / dribbling past anyone or starting a move. No he wasn’t alone in that and he wasn’t the worst tonight but he’s like that most games and he did occasionally have a 1 on 1.

      Btw, i noticed some negative comments about Valdes on the liveblog. I didn’t see him put a foot wrong. Did I miss something? I also didn’t see what Cesar did to incur the wrath. Why should he be banned?

      However, if ever I doubted our need for a LW who can either go past people and/or score a hatful I’m now a convert.

    2. I disagree partly in your 3 here… Yes pique could’ve scored, but Ibrah never got the ball when he was there, the comparison isnt fair.

      and def. with you in number 2. Yaya would’ve made a world of difference.

      Vamos al Camp Nou !

  5. Man. Just finished watching. I really can’t stand it when I have a massive amount of work to do during a day, stupidly take a couple hours to watch Barca, and get rewarded by the gods dumping a bunch of toilet bowl cleaner down my throat. Not enjoyable. And Julio Cesar – kind of talented, the son of a bitch.

  6. After re-watching the match I am now starting to realize why Barca are so keen on signing Fabregas….with Iniesta being injured so often it only now makes sense why Pep want him back so badly. Xavi can’t do it on his own all the time and Messi is at his best on the wing cutting in not in the mid helping out Xavi.

  7. We suffered again from a lack of urgency when needed, and an inability to have the killers edge both on offense and defense.

    We can talk all we want about the call against Dani, which wasn’t a penalty. A foul, yes, but a penalty? No. I know this sounds ridiculous to say it was a foul but not a penalty, but anyone who watches a lot of footy knows that fouls in the box aren’t always called for a spot kick. A lot of it is based on the “clear goal scoring opportunity” rule. Anyway, it was ridiculous Dani received the card, but let’s move on.

    Messi get’s fouled. Everyone looks at the ref and complains, and by the time we refocus ourselves, Maicon’s practicing for the ballet with his twinkle toes goal. It sucked, but it happened because we let our guard down.

    The third goal was sheer luck. In development, it took skill. But the ridiculous bounce off of Sneijder perfectly fell to an offside Milito, all while the assistant referee was checking out the hottie in section 213. It was dumb, but again, that’s the game for you.

    We need to go out and win 2-0. I don’t see them scoring because we’ll have the more strategic lineup of Milito-Pique, which I’m excited about. However, if we score, they’ll simply shut down even more, and perhaps, we may see the most intentionally blatant “bus parking” in the history of the CL.

    Piss. I hate losing.

    1. Really didn’t like to see Messi getting distracted with the ref while they went on a break and scored. Not sure it would’ve made a difference, but come on.

    2. Not sure how a tackle from behind which is a foul can be anything other than a penalty. It doesn’t have anything to do with goal scoring opportunity. The only reason I can think of for an indirect free kick like that would be obstruction which is possible. In reality though that rarely happens as obstruction in the box is usually tied to a goal scoring opportunity and therefore a penalty. I do agree though that there’s no point in us moaning about it.

  8. We need someone to compete with Alves for the right back spot. He’s been crap most of this season but yet is an automatic starter. That speaks volumes.

    1. He’s been doing the job well enough, he’s had a few bad games and ref’s are not helping.
      He’ll recover form.

    2. it’s somewhat comical how quickly we dismiss our Brazilian after we pretty much told him his poo smelled like roses after our Deportivo match and that bycicle kick of his.

      just an observation.

  9. no body has the right to complain against the referee, i know he’s been crapy all night long, but last season tom Henning ovrebo gave us a great advantage against chelsea … so keep it

    we were crapy, Messi, Alves, Puyol, all of us were tiredand that’s the main reason.

  10. Great, now Xavi, Pique and Pedro are all whining about the referee. I really don’t like the way we lose sometimes. Let’s focus on what we can do better, get pissed and take them out next Wednesday.

  11. The truth is , if we are honest, we didnt do enough to get the 1st goal.It just came out of the blue and since the team didnt have to work to get it, they coasted and felt they could up the tempo if they needed.It seemed they were satisfied with the away goal because after the half they came out doing the same things and got punished.Then when pep was about to make the abidal sub to secure the left, they scored again.This game was perfect for andres to come on and help with possession at halftime but sadly we didnt have the option.Yet another game where we come out with more cards and suspensions than the team which has been overtly physical.Its ridiculous.

    1. It’s true, there was a sense of urgency late in the match that wasn’t present before we were down 3-1. It’s too bad.

  12. Well, thanks to Comcast and a glitchy DVR, I have no match, and no TV. So you all will have the joy of an Isaiah review. Apologies.

    1. Well at least u missed it this match is so hard to shallow. I still can’t believe we lost 3-1

  13. Just finished watching some Web highlights. We were terrible, and deserved the hiding that we got. From what I saw, everybody is clustered around the ball on the first goal, and Sneijder is standing there by himself. The second goal was schoolboy defending. Get on with it. The third was offside, but they blew an offside call for Inter in the first half, so those even out.

    We are NOT Chelsea. We lost. The ref didn’t stand around while Maicon scored, the ref didn’t have everybody around the ball, leaving Sneijder alone. If Alves marks his man, that goal doesn’t happen. When the Chelsea folks came here, ranting about Ovrebo last season, we laughed at them, and told them to grow up. Now let’s check the mirror. Because reality is that we played well enough to advance, so we did. The ref missed calls for both sides. Going on match reports and Web replays, looks like the same thing happened here. That’s life in football.

    Most importantly, why are we turning on players who wear the Blaugrana? If Henry isn’t playing, whose fault is it? His or Guardiola’s? You have to at least try him. I’m sorry, but you do. If Busquets doesn’t play well, that’s part of the game. He’s played well often enough this season where I’m sure that he’s still on the plus side of the ledger. A fit, focussed Barca doesn’t allow ANY of those goals. But we did, and have to deal with it. We beat them 2-0 at home in the group stages, we can do it again.

    And if we can’t, then we go the hell out like men, not whining little babies. The ref this, the pitch that. Recall that we beat Chelsea on a festering quagmire of a pitch, with mud patches. We beat a team during monsoon season, where puddles were stopping the ball. We had a shit match. That’s two in a row. I wouldn’t bet on three.

    Squad depth and injuries are affecting us now, at the wrong time of the season. Everyone here says that they looked tired. I can buy that. They looked tired at Espanyol. Last season, key players weren’t hurt. This year, no Iniesta means that a determined side can shut down Xavi, which kills the engine that makes us go. Big difference. Who picks up the slack? Nobody, as I see it, which is a problem. But it’s a problem that Guardiola will have to solve, or we will go out.

    Ultimately, the reason that it’s so difficult to repeat as Champions League winner is because you play so many more matches. Not only that, but then you have the various Super Cups, and World Club Cups, etc, etc. Six trophies means that you’re playing a lot of matches. We’re seeing fatigue injuries. Tired muscles are brittle, and brittle muscles tear. You can’t stay hydrated, and bad stuff just happens.

    Last season, we were able to use Gudjohnsen, and Hleb, and Henry was fit and playing well, and Krkic was contributing in the second-tier matches. Henry can’t get time, so he can’t get match fit, so he can’t play well. It’s catch 22. Krkic isn’t ready for the big stages such as this one, which is another handicap. We have NO midfield support. Should Txiki B and Guardiola have brought in someone? How can you predict that Iniesta will be suddenly made of glass?

    Are we really that spoiled after one glorious season? Really? Suddenly we expect to win everything? It doesn’t always happen that way. Inter played a good match from everything that I read (and saw). So hats off to them. We will have to play a better one if we want to advance.

    So let’s make it happen next week.

    1. I completely agree with you about turning on players and/or coaches. I posted this below, but it’s worth repeating: “Players, Supporters, United we are strong.” This is the truth of the matter. If we turn on one player, we are turning on the whole club because disunity–even among the supporters–is what will keep us from being the best. This is a great opportunity to band together–players, supporters, coaches–and to show that we are the best.

    2. Here here! I’ll repost

      Tot el camp, és un clam
      som la gent blaugrana, Tant se val d’on venim
      si del sud o del nord
      ara estem d’acord, ara estem d’acord,
      una bandera ens agermana.
      Blaugrana al vent, un crit valent
      tenim un nom, el sap tothom:
      Barça , Barça, Baaarça.!

  14. The fat lady may be on cue, but she hasn’t sung yet. Don’t lose hope and keep the faith. This tie isn’t decided in one leg.

    1. Amen. What happened to the “som un” days?

      And what about the anthem?

      Players, Supporters
      United we are strong.
      We’ve achieved much over the years,
      We’ve shouted many goals
      And we have shown, we have shown,
      That no one can ever break us.

      If Barca are the team I think they are, we will still go through. We’ve put ourselves in a heck of a place, but I am hopeful, as we all should be. If Inter decide to park the bus, all it will take is one goal from us to panic Inter. Just one. Maybe we should make a commercial: “Volem un”–We want one. That’s all we need to be right back in it.

  15. The committee also havent rescinded Dani’s suspension, but we should be able to beat Xerex without him 😉

    1. maybe we even have a better chance without him. Puyol as right FB as he’s suspended for Inter anyway.

  16. I think that people saying “we should just shut up about the ref” miss the point to some extent. I agree with you that we have no one but ourselves to blame for the loss, and that champions man up and play through this. Regardless of the ref, we should have won this game if we played a “good” match for us. We were dijointed, partly due to inter playing well, but also due a little more to our own poor play.

    However, when breaking down the match IN ITS ENTIRETY, objectively, it is still necessary to talk about the referee’s performance and impact on the game. And with that having been said, it is necessary to note, when reviewing the game, that the referee affected the outcome negatively for us. At the very least we can point out a fact–Milito was offside. 2-1 vs. 3-1 is a huge difference. If the linesman doesn’t blow that call, we would be favorites instead of longshots. It is also perfectly legitimate to note the fact that somehow we ended with 6 yellows to their 2, and that is ridiculous. We shouldn’t dwell too long on the penalty appeals, or the Maicon goal that happened after Messi was pushed off the ball (whether it was a foul or not is up to you). Claiming that the game was rigged is ridiculous as well, but pointing out that the ref was poor is objective, and necessary to gain a full view of the game.

    All of that having been said, I think the reasons for the loss today are somewhat around the following: 50% was that we played poorly. 35% was that Inter played well. 15% was that the ref had the stank.

    1. I’d add to that what we are also seeing is the exhaustion catching up with players…will and love of the game and to play for your colors can only take you so far and I believe our Barca team is at that point.

      …Todo el campo, es un clamor,
      somos la gente azulgrana,
      no importa de donde vengamos,
      si del sur o del norte, eso si, estamos de acuerdo,
      estamos de acuerdo, una bandera nos hermana.
      Azulgrana al viento, un grito valiente,
      tenemos un nombre, lo sabe todo el mundo:
      Barça!, Barça !, Baaaarça !!!!

      On a personal note one of the reasons I came to this site was for critical examinations of the futbol. It seems that of late, there are enough individuals that can just be hella nasty. I understand the frustration, boy do I, but I personally, IMHO, want to hear real critiques, assessments, deconstruction, of the matches. Maybe I need to just ignore these nastier comments and what I desire is only found in some magical futbol realm. *sigh*

      And why we are cules

      Tot el camp, és un clam
      som la gent blaugrana, Tant se val d’on venim
      si del sud o del nord
      ara estem d’acord, ara estem d’acord,
      una bandera ens agermana.
      Blaugrana al vent, un crit valent
      tenim un nom, el sap tothom:
      Barça , Barça, Baaarça.!
      Jugadors, seguidors, tots units fem força.
      Son molt anys plens d’afanys,
      son molts gols que hem cridat
      i s’ha demostrat, i s’ha demostrat,
      que mai ningu no ens podrà torcer
      Blau-grana al vent, un crit valent
      tenim un nom, el sap tothom
      Barça, Barça, Baaarça.

    2. And even though most of us here who follow this blog come from different corners of the earth – I come from Southeast Asia where watching matches on TV means going to work the next day all wonky because you had to wake up at 3am to catch it live – it doesn’t make us any less of a cule than the city dwellers that roam Las Ramblas wearing scarlet and blue.

      We rejoice together when we win, we mourn together when we lose. This is what Barca is all about. Let’s rally around that crest next week and will our team to victory. Because even if Pep, Messi or Laporta don’t hear our battle cries through our TVs or computers, they know that our support will never waver – not even if we lose the tie to Inter next week, lose the league at the end of the season, or fall to relegation in twenty years. They know that we’ll all still sing the anthem we all love with pride in our heart, WIN OR LOSE.

      Keep the faith! FUERZA BARCA!!!!

      On another note, I love how my wife sings “Tot el camp” as “Dogs and cats” whenever I force her to sing the hymn with me.

  17. Great words, Kevin. We were just flat out beat today. One word to describe our play: stale. Oh, and what happened to Keita! Eeeessh

  18. if a bad ref.+ 14 hours on the road+ missing key players+ compact schedule are all not excuses, our team should never ever loose a point or even draw

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