World Cup Liveblog: Spain – Honduras

Join me just before kickoff for a liveblog of the Spain-Honduras match. It’s a must win for La Furia Roja and they’ll be firing from the hip from the word “go”. This should be a good one for fans of Spain.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. Blow-Grenade
    June 21, 2010

    Line ups? Is this the correct lineup:
    Casillas, Ramos, Pique, Puyol, Capdevilla, Navas, Cesc, Alonso, Xavi, Torres and Villa!!!

    Looks good to me!!!!

  2. Blow-Grenade
    June 21, 2010

    Looks like

    Ramos Pique Puyol Capdevilla
    Navas Cesc Xavi
    Torres Villa

  3. Blow-Grenade
    June 21, 2010

    Correction people looks like its going to be

    Ramos Piqué Puyol Capdevila
    Xabi Alonso
    Navas Xavi Silva
    Torres Villa

    • Ryan
      June 21, 2010

      Nice! I was hoping they’d go with just one defensive mid for this game, seeing as they’re going to have so much possession and could use the extra attacker.

  4. moony
    June 21, 2010 says it’s gonna be a Sergio-Xabi-Xavi-Navas midfield [ *]

    where the hell is Iniesta?

  5. BA
    June 21, 2010

    consider me sold on Villa playing on our left wing.

  6. Euler
    June 21, 2010

    Villa was better attacking from the LW today than he was in the center.

    He had more space and was more difficult to mark him on the wing and he exploited that space brilliantly.

  7. Helge
    June 21, 2010

    That was far away from a convincing win. Spain will be the underdogs against Chile, if they don’t finally get their engine started!

    Navas crossing is horrible, Torres first touch and finish is the worst I’ve ever seen from him, Xavi passed to much instead of trying to score a goal, Cesc comes on and does the opposite (where he should have passed the ball to Torres, right after he came on)… My rating for the whole team: 4/10.

    • Alex
      June 21, 2010

      Guess we saw a different game. Utter dominance, lacked better finishing is all. Give the group a few more practices to mesh and get their game-faces on, Chile is in trouble.

      • Helge
        June 21, 2010

        But where should Torres and Co. have gained self-confidence if not in this match against Honduras?
        And I strongly feel that converting chances will be quite essential against Chile…

        • OhYes
          June 21, 2010

          self-confidence? Are you serious, they were passing in the box like it was easy. People who lack confidence shoot too quickly, panic, or just do silly things. They were having fun out there. Created no less than 100 chances. Lacked the finishing, yes, but played great. Defended decently although there were a few lapses.

          Let’s not get crazy with the expectations here and give them some slack.

          • Helge
            June 22, 2010

            I just meant to say that, Fernando Torres for instance, will not have gained confidence yesterday with his poor finishing and first touch. En contraire, it will rather give him sleepless nights…

  8. Eklavya
    June 21, 2010

    Whoever thinks Villa can’t play on LW needs to go watch this game.

    Talking about Villa, he needs to improve his penalty kicks. Wth, this is the 3rd time he’s completly missing the target.

    Spain’s mid players should have shot more I think. The one Mata’s cross was better than Navas’s whole game.

    • Ryan
      June 21, 2010

      Navas had a great cross that Xavi just skimmed with his hair though. Such a close one. And Navas did earn the PK, even if it wasn’t converted.

  9. Hilal
    June 21, 2010

    Great game. Spain should have scored like 6 goals. Torres was poor and Villa was absolutely brilliant on the left. He exploited the space there extremely well, which bodes well for us next season. Anybody who thinks swapping Ibra for Torres is the answer to anything needs to go rewatch this game again and please explain to me how Torres is a better player…

    Navas is a waste of time. Wow. Not a single decent ball into the box all night. If Del Bosque wants more direct play he should bring on P!. He is definitely a better crosser.

    Oh and Sergio haters take note…. he was excellent tonite, again. It is starting to become a habit and at 21 he has locked down a starting spot in the best midfield in the world.. Yaya for 30m? Yes. Please.

    • Miguel
      June 21, 2010

      i thought navas had an assist in to the box for villa to score & he was fouled on that penalty villa missed. i didn’t like him out there either but he wasn’t a “waste of time.”

    • vicsoc8
      June 21, 2010

      Busquets was fantastic. He always seemed to be playing at the right speed. Slowing the play down and taking touches to allow his teammates to get forward, but playing brilliant one touch to speed the attack up and spread the ball when necessary.

      His positioning in defense is great too. He’s not as strong, or fast, or physical as Toure, but he always seems to be in the right place.

    • Ryan
      June 21, 2010

      Torres never does seem to have all cylinders running while playing with Spain (that New Zealand hat trick aside). Maybe if he had an extended period where he wasn’t injured he could show some more for la furia.

  10. ballbeav
    June 21, 2010

    were they just saving iniesta for later? why didnt he play?

  11. Ciaran
    June 21, 2010

    I thought that bar a few individual performances Spain were good.
    Torres was no where near his best (and no where near Ibra’s level for the record).
    Navas’ crossing was terrible and I think that if they are lining up in the same formation surely Pedro would get the nod.

    The biggest problem tonight was Del Bosque’s substitions. Fabregas was right to come on but it should have been for Xabi Alonso and moved Xavi slightly further back.
    Pedro should have come on for Navas and Silva on for Torres. There was no reason to take off Xavi or Ramos when you may be reliant on goal difference come the end of the group stages.

    • Mast
      June 22, 2010

      As soon as they had 2 goals in the bag, any win against Chile will be enough. There was no NEED to score more goals..

      But I would sure have like some more 🙂

  12. Kari
    June 21, 2010

    The Story of the liveblog: I hate Ramos and Villa has a crazy workrate, is better on the wing than Eto’o ever was and whose centre forward abilities remains to be seen (as Torres, who was a real waste of space, plays there) until he plays for us, me thinks. Love his play today (not counting the pen, but we didn’t buy him to take penalties anyway. Okay, sad excuse for the miss. He should have buried it).

    Busi has a good game (again). This might be “controversial”, but as much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE Yaya, the truth is he made his career with us having come from Monaco. As much as I want him to stay, if he isn’t happy being part of the best team in the world and wants to leave, then by all means he should go. We bought him for under 10m and it looks like we’ll sell him for ~30m. Good piece of business if you ask me. We’ll discover, or develop, another Yaya, and the club’ll roll on.

    (I’d still like him to stay though… but we can’t keep a player against his will and why the fudge did he hire such a douche as a agent? Why, Yaya, why?!)

    -Navas = P! needs to start the next game. He was a G, what happend?! (I’ll tell you what. A EE link happend. He contracted the virus without even being on the team yet. Kaka obviously showed the extent of the virus, while Thong Boy is immune. Since he was born with it.)

    -Messi plays tomorrow and could captain! the game. Maradona’s last Argentina goal was against Greece, Messi’s first of the tournament could come against them as captain. Can’t write a better script than that. 😀 VAMOS MESSI! If Thong Boy can score for Portugal, then you can hit a hat-trick and mind control the ball into the net Yaya-style.

  13. Kari
    June 21, 2010

    And how about Pique being phyically abused every time he’s on the pitch this WC?

    Kick in the face vs the Swiss and now blood gushing from his mouth vs Honduras.

    With his track record so far, I’m a little scared for him when he plays Chile (not implying Chile is violent or anything. Just that Geri has had some, err, bad luck).

    Come back in one piece, Pique! We need your height and Piquenbauer-ness!

  14. ballbeav
    June 21, 2010

    someone needs to step and and grab this tournament by the nuts

    • Jnice
      June 22, 2010

      Lionel Messi. I can feel another great performance today with goals.

  15. Jose
    June 21, 2010

    Great game by Spain.

    Though Villa hit one of the Honduran players. Don’t bring that kind of trash attitude to Barca, guaje.

    • Alex
      June 21, 2010

      The defender was stepping on him, during the replay you could see Villa yell “No me pises!!!!!!!!!!!!” (Don’t step on me). Not really an excuse for a bitchslap to the face, but the defender playacted that tiny slap almost as good as the Italians.

      • Jose
        June 21, 2010

        Doesn’t justify it. We are supposed to be better than that.

  16. Luke
    June 21, 2010

    Villa was marauding today on the left, his pace and width set up at least 5 separate chances by providing width, passing, and then cutting inside into the box to receive passes or dribble around defenders. There were 3 separate passes made to Torres that were utterly whiffed on. Ibra or Messi would have been there, or Pedro. I won’t pill on the Torres parade because, well, deep down I like ol’ Freckles (even though he played poorly).

    Point is that he was on point today and on the Left he is going to be so dangerous. Pique played very well marauding forward but missed a couple of marks he should have had. Puyol passed well but his marking was still slightly off. Capdevila is absolutely awful on the left in the back, he missed easy marks, slow balls, and was lazy in the air.

  17. Jim
    June 21, 2010

    Problem for me is that I keep expecting a Barcelona-like performance and Spain don’t play quite the same way. With two holding mids a lot is expected of Xavi. However, it worked till Xavi went off. Iniesta should have come on at that point to keep the ball a bit better, maybe even for Navas as Honduras couldn’t park the bus any more.

  18. BA
    June 21, 2010

    there were a few good performances, Villa obviously and surprisingly Busquets, but overall i have to disagree with alot of the consensus here as i thought Spain didn’t play (relatively) that well and that other teams in the competition will be heartened by their play this game. a continued, needless adherence to the double pivot, Xavi isolated when pushed further forward as a result, Torres awful, most of the incisive play coming down the wings instead of through the middle as you would expect from a team of Spain’s passing excellence, it goes on and on and on.

    they should have won this game by 4 or 5 goals, not 2 individual moments from David Villa. they should have dictated the play as completely as the disparity in squad quality demanded; instead, they looked twitchy and inconsistent. Brazil, certainly, will not be intimidated by a performance like that.

    • Ryan
      June 21, 2010

      Perhaps this slow start will be better though, than the countless times Spain has charged through the group stages, only to fizzle out in the elimination rounds? I really wanted Villa to tie Higuain’s goal tally with that PK though, dangit!

      • Kari
        June 21, 2010

        Agree completely, Ryan, on Spain and on Villa.

        I think I jinxed him during the liveblog. Bag a hat-trick against Chile, Guaje! 😛

  19. jnelson
    June 21, 2010

    Good game today. I was not surprised at all at Spain took their foot off the gas with over 20 to play. Reminded me of a certain club, but this time GD really mattered. I thought Busi was tops, although Villa’s 2 goals (especially the first) makes him hard to overlook. Not a lot of great play from Torres. Also, I’m not diggin Capdevilla. LB definitely looks a weak spot. Where was he all match when Ramos was marauding forward? And when he wasn’t? He doesn’t impress much. I really liked the line-up though. I’m not sure where Iniesta could have fit in, but this was a Xabi Alonso match with passing starting from deeper than the last game. So many weapons! Oh, and Navas did not fail. Watch any game this tournament and you will see everyone missing crosses all game long.

  20. Benj
    June 21, 2010

    Ah that was well worth getting up at 2.30am to watch! (Curse living in Oz!!!!)

    Just thought I’d give a quasi rating thingy:

    San Iker – 7.5 – Didn’t have to do too much, could have talked better with his defence when rushing, but good distribution and wasnt concentrating too hard on his girlfriend this time.

    Captain Caveman – 6.5 – Strong at the back but a little unsure at times, wasn’t inspiring but no Marquez moments.

    Piquenbauer – 8 – Thought our beast did really well, pushing forward to add height to the attack and proving, through bloodshed that Barca players are indeed human and not robots created to play the socks off any team.

    Capdevila – 5 – Still on of the weak links in this red and yellow chain. Not very adventurous going forward, not very comfortable on the ball and not very creative in his passing.

    Ramos – 5 – I hope we don’t sign him (despite what Puyol thinks of him). Tries hard, gets in space up front but can’t cross, can’t shoot and can’t take on players (bar that one move where he completely skinned the left back!)

    Xabi Alonso – 6.5 – Didnt do too much, moved around, did his usual pass and move, nothing spectacular as his shot last game but I though he would be swapped for Fabs.

    Xavi – 7.5 – Marauded around, playing passes everywhere, hit a couple stray and probably could have got a goal or two if he just shot!

    Soggy B – 8 – Honestly, as someone that isnt a huge fan of our mini-Pep, this guy was pretty epic. Strong on the ball, no silly shenanigans in front of defence, passed well, and did anyone else see that little step over where he skinned two players and was clear through on goal? SHOOT BISCUITS, SHOOT!!!

    Navas – 5 – And thats only because he got us a (failed) penalty. Weak on the ball, can’t cross, I lost count after 15 crosses that his the defenders in the chest. We need P! or Ini or someone else on that right flank.

    El Niño – 6 – For getting into space and making a nuisance, drawing a player or two off he-who-will-be-discussed-soon. I would have loved him to have taken the peno just to get his confidence up, but oh well.

    El Guaje – 9 – Epic cutting in from the left, the first goal, fantastic! The second, great aswell. He only loses a point for missing the peno.

    Apologies for the lengthy comment.

    Oh and the folks got back from Spain last night just before the game and brought me my Villa España home shirt :D.

    Now to get the Barca one.


  21. Kxevin
    June 21, 2010

    Now, Villa’s performance today won’t put paid to the notions that he should be leading our line, because people still think that a certain big Swede can’t. But I think (solely my opinion) that this match today showed exactly why we signed Villa, not to lead the line but to work in triplicate with a striker and Messi, interchanging positions and driving defenses crazy, but mostly as that Henry type coming in from the left. That first goal of his was exquisite.

    If we don’t do anything stupid in the remaining transfer window, we have a shot at being even better than we were in the year of the treble.

    Torres, on the other hand, continues to underwhelm for me.

    But of course, expect Sport and EMD to say “See? That’s why Barca should sell Ibrahimovic. 😀

    The fundamental reason that Spain will never look like Barca is that they don’t have one crafty little Argentine running around, nor do they really have that attacking from the fullbacks to the same extent. I’m not yet convinced that they have what it takes to win this thing. Brazil look very, very impressive.

    • Jnice
      June 22, 2010

      According to Sport, Villa and Torres were a devastating duo…huh? I saw one player who was devastating and another who was poor, but maybe my screen was fuzzy.

      Also, am I the only one who was not impressed with Cesc’s attitude? He came on, had a perfect opportunity to give one to Fernando and chose the harder, more selfish option. Then, when he wasn’t getting a ball, or an attack broke down, he started to pout. Same type of shit Kaka and Cristiano do. I mean, I know he was mad because he wasn’t involved last match and was a sub to start this one, but that bitchy attitude needs to go. Even the ESPN commentators (who wrongly went with the English version of the Iker and Sara events) acknowledged that Cesc look pissed getting of the bus prior to the match. F off, Cesc.

      • jordi™
        June 22, 2010

        But Thats the type of attitude we want or bench next season for sure…

        Hopefully he realizes he’ll hardly get a full game and stays at arsenal.

        The fucks at MD think loaning ibra out is some kind of solution.Its like a competition to come up with the worse economic deals ever.Sport was leading but with this, MD take the lead.The last paragraph gives it the edge i think.

        • Jnice
          June 22, 2010

          Their “Let’s get rid of Ibra” campaign is pathetic. They talk about how much we still have to pay to try and play to our economic feelings and then talk about a loan. Ibra on loan. Say that aloud and try not to laugh.

  22. Benj
    June 21, 2010

    True Kev, He showed today that he can do that, play in from the left (goal #1) and also that he’s a pretty ambidextrous player, so could easily swap with Messi.

    That truly is an attacking Triumvirate to be feared.

    So are we still predicting about 3 milliseconds delay from the sale of Toure (APPARENTLY happening today) to the capture of he-who-shall-not-be-named?

    He looked pretty fierce as soon as he came on, could have been a bit more generous with his passes but promising nonetheless.

  23. ballbeav
    June 21, 2010

    so as far as well all know iniesta is fine he was just being rested?

  24. Kxevin
    June 21, 2010

    Iniesta was being held out as a precaution, but also because he was suffering effects from that first knock that he took.

  25. cliveee
    June 21, 2010

    continue to echo other folks here. Busquets was the second best player. great touches, worked really hard, running around the midfield, ghosting around to shut down passing lanes, clever one touch to keep the attack rolling smooth. really effective.

    Guaje will be very very strong in the left wing area. even with a under-performing Torres with him, he was still able to turn in 2 goals single-handedly. i am really glad to see those plays from him.

  26. jordi™
    June 21, 2010

    seems like gai wants to stay after will be interesting how this pans out.


    • Jnice
      June 22, 2010

      Fuck off, Gai. Go to the premiership and play 0 minutes.

  27. Jim
    June 22, 2010

    I think the good thing about Villa isn’t that he will replace Ibra leading the line but that he can if Ibra doesn’t hack it.

    I am starting to worry about Iniesta though. He is far to good for people to start regarding him as a jack of all trades so he fills in wherever he is needed – the kind of Joe Cole figure. That’s a quick way to start benching him. I want to see him about ten feet from Xavi, both for Barca and Spain.

    For that reason I still want Spain to get rid of the double DM. That cripples their attack imo.

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