Barca v Racing Santander LiveBlog

It’s here, and we’re ready. So get all that negativity out of your systems. Because we’re on, and our club needs the positive karma.

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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.

99 Comments

  1. Jim
    August 29, 2010

    Team could do us all a favour by turning it on tonight. Let’s go !

  2. Dave
    August 29, 2010

    Some said we were looking at Robinho.No robinho, Juan Mata is the man. Can drop Messi into mf to help or replace Iniesta/Xavi, while a forward line of Mata/Villa/Pedro overruns defences.

    • Helge
      August 29, 2010

      I’m not really convinced by either of them.
      Luis Suarez would be a good option, and afaik he is allowed to play in the CL after the groupstage (which we shall pass without him^^).

      • Dave
        August 29, 2010

        Funny, Suarez doesn’t convince me. Mata is pacey,great understanding with Villa,terrific technique and is a great finisher. Plus he left footed(which would give us real width. Finally hes Spanish and a former Madrid Youth

        • Hilal
          August 29, 2010

          I would take Mata or Suarez over Robinho. Dont think we will get anyone though. I think we have our squad for the season, but who knows, with the way things are going we could sign Robinho for 30m

  3. DontPanic
    August 29, 2010

    Valdes
    Alves Puyol Abidal Maxwell
    Xavi Busquets Keita
    Iniesta Villa Messi

    • Jnice
      August 29, 2010

      Why did I ever think I could guess Pep’s lineup?

    • Blow-Grenade
      August 29, 2010

      Love this lineup. God cant wait for the game to start. Waiting for a ton of Golazo’s.

    • DontPanic
      August 29, 2010

      Puyol was supposed to be in the starting lineup, but it seems he felt some discomfort in his thigh. I don’t think it’s too serious.

  4. vicsoc8
    August 29, 2010

    Abidal at CB to get him used to playing there I guess.

  5. vicsoc8
    August 29, 2010

    Messi central, Iniesta right, Villa left

    via barcastuff twitter

    • Blow-Grenade
      August 29, 2010

      These three people are interchangeable in their front line positions. That is the beauty of this lineup. Let me just enjoy Messi and Iniesta’s movement off the ball.

      • csidle
        August 29, 2010

        Iniesta can not play as a central striker. No.

  6. Euler
    August 29, 2010

    One of the most critical questions the team faces this season is whether or not Eric Abidal can play with quality at CB.

    If he can then the back line will be solid. The squad has great depth at full back. As long as Abidal can move centrally the squad will also have strong depth at CB. Abidal slots in as the 4th CB and Fontas can then be integrated appropriately as the 5th CB.

    Abidal however has struggled repeatedly playing CB, especially with his positioning. The risk of experimenting with a CB is higher than at any other position.

    Pep’s plan for the back line over this long season greatly depends on Abidal. It’s a good idea to give him more league experience there against a relatively weak opponent rather than injecting him into a major match when needed.

    • Lev
      August 29, 2010

      damn euler that’s some sharp analysis dude

  7. vicsoc8
    August 29, 2010

    I’ll be watching Henrique closely as well.

  8. Lev
    August 29, 2010

    btw anybody on here as happy as I am about Inter’s loss to Atletico Madrid? They can’t get 6 trophies like we did 🙂

  9. Jim
    August 29, 2010

    I’m guessing this is because we don’t expect a lot of defensive work so fair enough try out Abidal as CB but it still worries me

  10. Kari
    August 29, 2010

    As Miguel said during the liveblog:

    Let’s see you call that offside, b*tch!

  11. jnelson
    August 29, 2010

    Wow, that was a sloppy game. Can any Ibra-hater tell me how many times our 40m man was offside? Great goals, but definitely several steps back from the SuperCopa Second Leg. And now International Break, right?

    • vicsoc8
      August 29, 2010

      He was offside once or twice. He was called offside 6 or 7 times.

  12. Lou
    August 29, 2010

    You know I’d almost forgotten how crappy the refereeing can be in La Liga…

  13. M
    August 29, 2010

    Definitely a better performance than last year’s opening game, and an away win is always nice too.
    The team has started where they left last year, and the development of players like Maxwell and Busquets is clearly better than any additions in the market, the midfield and front line kept changing positions like it was half of the season, rust? I don’t think so.
    Keita’s performances are getting better and better that I’m beginning to feel he’s a cantera product
    The exquisite back heel from Villa deserved a better finish from Messi, the two feel like they’ve been playing for centuries together.

  14. Jnice
    August 29, 2010

    Guardiola: “Ibrahimovic? This is not the time or the place. I wish him all the luck in the rest of his career.” (barcastuff)

    Well, I guess we’ll have to wait till Pep retires and writes a book to find out what really happened. I’m done with this now.

    • jnelson
      August 29, 2010

      Ahh, for real? No answers….How convenient. When can we pre-order that book? haha.

  15. Helge
    August 29, 2010

    An effortless victory without much glory, I’d say. Can’t wait for the next match.
    International break after the very first playday REALLY sucks 🙁

    Well, at least Barca B plays next weekend against CD Xerez.

    And now, good luck to Mallorca, steal some points from the EE!

  16. Lev
    August 29, 2010

    Come on Pep, now is the perfect time and place since with the international break coming up we will have two weeks two digest and accept your explanation!

  17. iBlau
    August 29, 2010

    Off-topic but Milan is KILLING Lecce. Their movement, pressure, chemistry is on point. Ronnie is having the game of his life. Score is 3-0 at the half.

    • Jnice
      August 29, 2010

      Milan is ballin’. Ronnie is still great, forget the haters. Pato and Ronnie together is pure gold.

    • Kari
      August 29, 2010

      Just so you know, I’m pretty sure Lecce just got promoted…

      Milan is my Italian team, so to speak, so I’d love for them to do well, but they have a habit of flattering to deceive. And Pato getting injured always screws them up because 1) he’s boss and 2) he’s their fastest player (and probably the youngest starter).

      Hopefully, Ibra (who has not taken the high road Txignasty style) helps them out and they have a solid season, winning the Scudetto and kicking EE butt.

  18. messi_fan
    August 29, 2010

    Never expected Pep to go into details. He just wants the whole thing over with.

    Pretty decent performance. Not as good at the Supercup but then again, that would have been difficult to repeat.

    Not too concerned about the Villa offsides. They were very tight.

  19. Lev
    August 29, 2010

    If he wants the thing to be over with Barça should give clarity. Mallorca almost scored right before halftime. Score is still 0-0.

  20. Off topic, but EE really look like shit. Remember, this is a league where 2-3 losses will doom you, and Mo has never been the coach of a team than won 95% of their games, lots of draws and a decent amount of losses at Inter. The only reason he didn’t s suffer for those was because Roma, Juve and ACM all choked! Having said all of that Ronaldo will get a penalty in the 92 min and the will pull it out of thier ass, even if they are void of any ideas offensively.

    • Jnice
      August 29, 2010

      They will still pull out the victory, so nothing new there.

  21. Milan are going to win the group against Madrid lol. The new trident of Ibra, Ronni and Pato will be amazing. Pato is the perfect striker to pair with BANGS.

    • Helge
      August 29, 2010

      Don’t get blinded by a sinlge match from AC Milan. I still think that the whole defensive part of their team is too weak to compete for any title.

      • Ryan
        August 29, 2010

        But they got Gooch to unleash from the bench!

  22. Lev
    August 29, 2010

    yeah i remember how frustrating last season was – EE playing horribly and winning at the last moment

    • Yeah, but they attacked well last season and could almost turn it on in an instant. With Mo holding his boys back for 70 minutes each game, and Madrid not playing a free flowing game, I dont see them pulling out games in the last seconds this year. Overall if Mo stifles his own players, like he did at Inter, we win the league by 10 points, if he lets them play a bit, al la Chelsea, we only win the league by four points. Lastly, goal difference will not be an issue with us this season, we will be + 30 on madrid, and Athletico may be +15 on the E.E.

  23. Jim
    August 29, 2010

    Its the only answer Pep could give really. Whether anyone will let it lie is another matter. .

    i enjoyed the match. We were a bit funky in places but moved the ball well enough. The effort and desire were there for all to see until we went three up.

    Sods law that after talking about a smallish squad we pick up two injuries in the first match. Hope Xavi’s is a tactical one to avoid the international but he’s not the sort. whatever, you don’t mess with an achilles problem. Leave him out for a couple of weeks.

      • Kari
        August 29, 2010

        Puyol before the game. He was supposed to start before the game, but Pique took his place. Good thing too, I have to admit.

        Puyol that lacks a step or 3 and CB Abidal? Uff…

    • Kari
      August 29, 2010

      Well, personally, I think those “injuries” really were tactical ones. A case of our team saying, “Man, we really got screwed because of the Mexico friendly and now they have to go all the way to Argentina?! Let’s just say Puyi and Xavi–the older players who can’t play as many matches anymore–are injured so they get a week’s break”.

      According to Pep’s twitter, Xavi said: “My Achilles’ heels hurt. I could have go on but we decided it was better to not continue”

      Hmmmm

  24. Helge
    August 29, 2010

    I like this comment:
    Guardiola: “Abidal played because we’ll need to rest players during the season. He’s also very confident at the moment.”

    Against the weaker opponents, it will be crucial to not play our very best line-up, this goes for la Liga AND the CL groupstage.
    Xavi has felt slight discomfort in his Achilles heels, maybe he can stay away from international duty. That would be awesome 🙂

  25. Madrid with a defensive lineup…..potential champs my ass!!!! Rolling out a 4-2-3-1, with Lass and Xabi playing DM.

  26. sab
    August 29, 2010

    meanwhile EE doesnt loook inspiring.

    1 0 to EE

  27. Lev
    August 29, 2010

    barcastuff:

    Busquets: “Ibrahimovic? That was an issue between a player and a coach, it has been solved now.”

    lol

    • Lev
      August 29, 2010

      honestly though if it was between player and coach it is only fair that Pep explains the cules what went wrong, what led to us losing so much money over Zlatan

  28. Quote from soccernet

    “Jose Mourinho will surely have to change his team in the second half? With Mesut Ozil on the bench, Real Madrid have a potential matchwinner among their subs.”

    Yes sir, having to count on the kid to do something because you only have 3 shots, 1 on goal and none from inside the box….Stay classy Madrid.

  29. Kari
    August 29, 2010

    I’m debating whether or not I should watch the EE match. They tend to score when I do…

      • Kari
        August 29, 2010

        When I do watch is what I meant. I guess it didn’t go without saying.

        Looks like they’re going for the “play like crud and score at the death” tactic. Sigh.

  30. Helge
    August 29, 2010

    Mourinho going all-in … with 3 defensive midfielders 😀

  31. August 29, 2010

    They’re going to score in the 87th minute after a mishap in the box.

  32. GREECE BARCA
    August 29, 2010

    very good game!messi was man of the match!i am so happy with villa.s perfomance!

  33. Regardless of the outcome of todays EE game, this does not bode well for madrid. Al la Man City, to many stars cant gel quickly.

    • Kari
      August 29, 2010

      As much as I’d love too, you can’t make assumptions on a whole season based on one game. And ONE Estadi is a tough place to play at. We somehow didn’t lose there last season.

      Slow start is inevitable, but it’s good for us if they drop points early…

      Not gonna happen though. They always find a way to score.

      • Kari, I understand what your saying, but for me it is a combination of all the new faces, and the bus that Mo drove onto the pitch. I don’t think that a semi negative team stands a chance against us in the long hull.

        • Kari
          August 29, 2010

          Hopefully, that proves to be the case.

        • Madrid
          August 29, 2010

          what bus are you talking about ? how can a line up of lass alonso canales di maria ronaldo and higuain be called a bus ? the only DM in that line up is Lassana Diarra how exactly is that a bus ? do you anything about football at all ?

  34. jordi™
    August 29, 2010

    What a shower of shit, its a miracle my eyes havent bled watching them

  35. Kari
    August 29, 2010

    I’m not watching. Did they not win yet?

  36. Vj
    August 29, 2010

    They dropped points.. Thank you Mallorca!

    • Lou
      August 29, 2010

      Actually, if the Liga ended today we’d come in second behind Sevilla.

      To be serious though, it’s a long season and we have a really tough game away to Atleti coming up…

  37. Kari
    August 29, 2010

    Yeah!! Gracies, Mallorca. Hope they won’t be as tough for us! 2 point gap already!

  38. vicsoc8
    August 29, 2010

    I have work to do, but two favorable results in one day makes me want to break out the bubbly!

  39. Jnice
    August 29, 2010

    Madrid makes my day when they don’t win. It’s sad, but true. And who cares if we lost our first match of the 08/09 season… we at least played well.

    My weekend is complete.

  40. Lev
    August 29, 2010

    gracies Mallorca!!! 0-0 what a great end to this weekend!

  41. Euler
    August 29, 2010

    RM demonstrated little coherence in their play today. Once again, as expected, it was a series of parts operating independently.

    There was very limited build up in their play. And they are asking a great deal out of Canales to try to guide the attack as a 19 year old.

    One of the tensions both Canales and Ozil will face in Madrid is that Cristiano Ronaldo’s style of play has evolved in a direction where it can create tension with the play of the central midfielder. So much of their attack gets shunted through Ronaldo on the flank they become predictable and it can starve play in the middle. Young players like Canales and Ozil – players C. Ronaldo may not give much weight to may have difficulty finding balance in their play.

    That become partly clear with how much trouble RM had figuring out Mallorca’s high line and off side trap.

    RM also didn’t look very solid in the back outside of Carvalho.

    All that said, credit to Mallorca. They played a tactically astute match and executed what they wanted to do. They broke up RM’s play and left them very fragmented.

    Flo Flo cannot be happy.

    • vicsoc8
      August 29, 2010

      They cut to him while I was watching, he looked like he wanted to go drown some puppies.

  42. GREECE BARCA
    August 29, 2010

    why so little comments here about our game?what happening?i am so exciting with our team!villa is the perfect man for us!we are gonna kick ass this season!

    • Euler
      August 29, 2010

      There was a live blog. There are dozens and dozens of comments about the game while it was going on. Look at the top of this thread.

    • Ryan
      August 29, 2010

      That’s because most are in the live blog, I’d imagine.

      In any case, it’s great to see Iniesta scoring. 😀

    • Dude, we who are here all the time, have a set way…LIVE BLOG, then talk shit about Madrid and enjoy watching them drop points. Why dont you come to a live blog sometime and participate in our tactical and match discussions before riding us about talking Madrid post match.

  43. GREECE BARCA
    August 29, 2010

    this team has so quality and chemistry that make me sooo optimist!i am sure that this barca will be the best we have see!pep works magic for us!

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