Liga Liveblog: Barça – Hércules

Ethan saves the day and gets the liveblog up and running. Awesomeness ensues.

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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.

76 Comments

  1. Vj
    September 11, 2010

    FIRST home game in the Camp Nou!

    First time Barca and Barca B playing together?

    • Kari
      September 11, 2010

      WHOA!! Bojangles is starting! And SMasch! And CB!Abidal. NO XAVI! Courtesy of Pep’s twitter:

      Valdes

      Adriano Pique Abidal Maxwell

      Iniesta Mascherano Keita

      Bojan Messi Villa

      Pep defies all

      • Jnice
        September 11, 2010

        I guess Pep has his mind towards Panathanaikos on Tuesday. I think Alves, Xavi, Busquets, and Pedro will all start Tuesday.

        Still, I don’t why I tried to guess the starting lineup.

      • y2k156
        September 11, 2010

        thats some line up. has anyone guessed pep’s line up correctly in last 50 matches. i kind of think not. that too considering our small squad size.

      • September 11, 2010

        I recommended this game approach in my preview but didnt expect that pep will go for it!

  2. ajani
    September 11, 2010

    BONA DIADA A TOTHOM!!! 🙂 ok now let’s beat some hercules

  3. GREECE BARCA
    September 11, 2010

    guys i am working i don.t saw the game we were so bad?

    • jordi(TM)
      September 11, 2010

      Worse than that unfortunately

    • Kari
      September 11, 2010

      Define “bad”.

      If by “bad”, you mean ball watching, tentative, clueless and flat, then I’d say we were sh*t. 😀

  4. Eklavya
    September 11, 2010

    I forgot the match was on.

    FAIL.

    • Ryan
      September 11, 2010

      Actually, you missed all the fail by forgetting the match.

    • Kari
      September 11, 2010

      Didn’t miss much, unless you wanted to see Barca circa 07/08

  5. jnelson
    September 11, 2010

    What a dark day for futbol. Inter Juniors. When will it end? I’d be embarrassed and disappointed if MY team started wasting time in the 30th minute of the first half. Just saying…

  6. Diego S.
    September 11, 2010

    This is a sad day .. I’m going out for a walk

  7. theMaginator
    September 11, 2010

    The only one I spare from my rage is Valdez (our Valdez).

    I hate defeats so much.

    Excuse me while I go take this out on some innocent drivers on the road.Hope I get back.

  8. majatt
    September 11, 2010

    I’ve held my tongue on macherano, but now that I’ve seen him. I have to say he isn’t as bad as I thought he would be but at the same time he can’t play with Keita AND no Xavi.

    Messi? Didn’t seem to want to take on players (reminded me a bit of Rooney in the WC) seemed to be saving himself for a moment that never came.

    The crosses need to stop, Ibra is gone.

    The shots from range with the keeper totally settled also need to stop, its a waste of possession.

    Why take corners into the box? What happened to the short and then pass(maybe cross)? We don’t have many tall players and the only place we are really vulnerable is the counter. I’ll admit Pique was close on few occasions but whatever.

    I don’t think Hercules was great, they were efficient well organized and took their chances. Kinda genercic but it is what they did.

    We wasted sometimes 20 passes of build up on a cross into Bojan/Villa. So. Frustrating.

    Hopefully Bojan will stfu about getting the #9 and actually earn having it on his back. Oh and Pedro! 🙂

    Dear adriano, this is barcelona not a pool platform…busquets and alves were on the bench I didn’t expect to see diving with no splash.

  9. jordi(TM)
    September 11, 2010

    I dont even feel devastated.

    just.

    numb.

    On the bright side, we got our annual shock result out the way nice and early this year.

      • Eklavya
        September 11, 2010

        Me too.

        Me: “Huh?…how did that happen?…Whoa…oookaaay”. 😐

    • jordi(TM)
      September 11, 2010

      Well now ive officially spiraled down to depressed 🙁

    • Kari
      September 11, 2010

      Ouch. It was a home game, right?

      Ouch. 🙁

    • Diego S.
      September 11, 2010

      Get ready for “Pathetico”

  10. Kari
    September 11, 2010

    Well, like typical Cules, some people will be drowning in their pessimism, but these things happen. I’d be more angry if we had good chances and the defense brought us down or the other team was dirty but none of that was true.

    We were just crap. Plain and simple. With nothing else to blame but ourselves. We’re always like that after international break, but still. No excuses, really. Hercules defended so well and were deadly and quick upfront. Well played to them.

    Tuesday we have Pana. Let’s kick some Greek butt (no offense Greece Barca)

  11. Euler
    September 11, 2010

    As bad as this match was in terms of this match itself it is even more concerning long term.

    Andy team can play like garbage on a given day. Unfortunately today was Barca’s day.

    But this match exposed structural flaws on the team that are significant and may be with the team for an extended period of time.

    That’s the biggest concern. It’s not even dropping those points to Hercules (though that’s going to hurt them in terms of taking La Liga – no team will take Hercules lightly now and RM will be warned).

    The bigger concern is the structural flaws exposed and those are related to limitations in squad depth and lack of diversity of skill set on the front line.

    Let’s hope Milito can stay healthy and that Fontas is indeed ready.

  12. Euler
    September 11, 2010

    Amazing stat from Opta sports via Pep:

    Hercules have completed 157 passes, Barcelona have completed 654 #fcblive [via @optajose]

    That is staggering.

    • jordi(TM)
      September 11, 2010

      Im shocked we completed so many.It appeared like we gave away half that amount

      • Kari
        September 11, 2010

        Well, I can believe that. After all, it seems like Abidal and Maxwell saw the most of the ball. There was a good 5 minutes where all we did was pass back.

      • Euler
        September 11, 2010

        That’s in line with the disparity in time of possession. Lot’s of possession. Which was largely comprised of lots of passing. But most of that passing and possession didn’t build play.

        Hercules dropped back in two banks of 4 and was content to allow Barca to run play wide up the flanks and pass along the perimeter of their defensive block.

        The passing wasn’t memorable because so much of it was along the backline and wide players with few incisive, dangerous balls. The final ball were crosses from wide that offered little threat.

  13. Eklavya
    September 11, 2010

    Well, we lost at the beginning in 08-09 too…

    • Eklavya
      September 11, 2010

      …against a newly promoted team…

      • Helge
        September 11, 2010

        hehe, is that supposed to be an omen?

      • BA
        September 11, 2010

        this loss was nothing like that one, is the difference.

  14. Dave
    September 11, 2010

    Hey all missed the match, by the sounds of it we lost-we’re we that bad???

    • jordi(TM)
      September 11, 2010

      The game in a picture

      *http://is2.okcupid.com/users/170/496/17149760282109422309/mt714031994.jpg

  15. Roz
    September 11, 2010

    Any1 else have a bit of a headache?

    • Kari
      September 11, 2010

      I do, but that’s because I have a cold. On my feelings on the match, well, the above pretty much sums it up. Like jordi said, at lease we got our yearly shock result out of the way.

  16. Luis
    September 11, 2010

    I am more willing to make excuses for this team. The international matches and Argentina clearly messed them up not to mention the world cup and stop start nature of the season. I actually thought we weren’t that good in our opener and that might have led to complacency. I’m not too worried about our attack Euler as villa and co have not yet fully gelled. Pedro villa messi trident has potential like we’ve never had and it’s too early to judge them

  17. Lou
    September 11, 2010

    Disappointed with the result of course but, oh well. Both Barca and Madrid will drop more points this year, so it’s not like this decides the league.

    After the first goal the team just looked totally short on confidence. no one seemed to know what to do. It’s sort of like when Bojan is short on confidence and you can tell he really just isn’t sure what to do when he has the ball. Almost everyone seemed to have that same hesitation. It’s a big problem because our system requires everyone to be on the same wavelength.

    The ground looked terrible though. It was really cut up and looked dry. I don’t think that is an excuse for the defeat, but it sure didn’t help.

    Still I thought Mascherano was good, and both Pedro and Messi were lively. And special mention to Pique for playing despite a facial injury. For the second half he seemed to be playing midfield, defense, and forward all at the same time.

    Hopefully we’ll do better on Tuesday!

  18. GREECE BARCA
    September 11, 2010

    ok i see we were soo bad..i wil see the game tommorow..and barca b lost 5-1?wtf?here in greece is a raining day and now i am so down!i hope tuesday the team be ready cause panathinaikos is a dangerous team if we play like today.

  19. Jim
    September 11, 2010

    Ok. It’s early season stuff and we’re lucky we had a cushion over the EE which will now be gone. Let’s use it to establish some basic concepts.

    you start with your best side – and if things are going well you sub them out. Elementary ! If Puyol is fit he plays every game. His reading of the game and talking to his back line is exemplary.

    You never, ever , ever play Abidal at CB again – ever.

    Iniesta on the wing results in very little from him for most of the game because we don’t look left for passes and we don’t have the comfortable possession to let Xavi lift his head.

    You can’t play Abidal, Keita, Masch, Adriano and expect to have good slick passing. It will slow down because they’re not technically as good.

    Bojan, you maybe have one or at most two chances left to show you can add something to the side rather than benefitting from what others do.

    Villa is better coming in from the left. Am I the only one to have noticed that? No, I didn’t think so but where was Pep when this became obvious?

    Alves in defense is a total disaster positionally. Did I just see Maxwell having to race twenty yards to block a shot with him nowhere to be seen?

    What did you say to them at half time, Pep? Moving the ball quicker was a no brainer but nothing about crosses being hard and low and needing someone attacking the front post ?

    Lastly, I don’t think I can stand another Busi in the team. I am so glad the ref booked Adriano for feigning injury. Over to you now Pep. Reinforce that with him. I never want to see that again.

    I was SO looking forward to this and it was a massive disappointment. I know we’ll put it right in the CL but this was avoidable.

  20. Kari
    September 11, 2010

    Poor Cuddly, why do I get the feeling Kxevin will rate him a 0?

    • Eklavya
      September 11, 2010

      Holy crap, ahaha I didn’t think of that!

    • Jim
      September 11, 2010

      He may not be the only one to fail to trouble the scorer.

  21. Dave
    September 11, 2010

    Wow thats bad- glad I missed it, did they park the bus?

    • ElShowDeJason
      September 11, 2010

      Nope. thats that bad part. We lost going toe to toe.
      They came to play. and Played well.

  22. Roz
    September 11, 2010

    RM Tied 0-0 with Osasuna. Really hope it stays that way.

  23. Jim
    September 11, 2010

    They parked several buses, Dave but kept a scooter for quick getaways.

  24. SoccerMom
    September 11, 2010

    I got home just as the match was ending …
    Stumbled over shoes and overcoats and toys to get to remote …
    Pressed ‘ScoreGuide’ button, then ‘Soccer’, then ‘La Liga’ …
    And was reminded of a scene from ‘A Night at the Opera’:

    Groucho: Has the opera gotten out yet?
    Doorman: In about five minutes, sir.
    Groucho (to cabbie): Hey, I told you to slow that nag down! On account of you, I nearly heard the opera!

  25. Jim
    September 11, 2010

    Just about to watch AC Milan on ESPN on a free weekend pass. Anyone else?

    • Jim
      September 11, 2010

      Or rather I’m not. due to technical difficulties with ESPN. Way to go guys in persuading me to fork out extra.

  26. Lou
    September 11, 2010

    You know I’m not saying that Barca fans are saints or anything, but they really cheered on the team, even when they were 2-0 down. I’ve been watching the first half of the Madrid game and the noise at the Bernabeu is mostly whistling (for both Ossasuna and RM), interspersed with silence.

    • Kari
      September 11, 2010

      I’m sure it’d be like that in the Camp Nou as well if EE just lost 0-2 to Osasuna and we were playing Hercules.

      Meh. If EE gets another draw (and that’s a HUGE if), then that will make my day. Still won’t save me from feeling like crap though. Curse the weather change! Ugh.

  27. Flyzowee
    September 11, 2010

    I also feel sorry 4 boyan whenever he got seemingly harsh ratings fron kxevin, but i gotta say kxevins been quite rite.
    His hardcore approach to analysing boyan (and all the players) is spot on!
    O.K so hes the darling boy of the team, i accept dat but its a cruel, wicked cold world out there. That smile of his is all gr8 but to put it bluntly hes gotta grab these opportunities, there will NEVER be a clearer path 4 him.
    People talk about ‘breaking the bus’- well an early goal is the ultimate solution. Fate handed this solution to boyan but it wasnt to be.
    p.s. we are a sorry site w/o xavi, it scares me, how will we survive if theres no one lyk him?

  28. BlaugranaDOOM
    September 11, 2010

    Ha, bad loss. Should be a good wake up call for us going into a tough month and getting qualified for CL.

    Points:

    1) After international week (when we always play poorly), Pep puts out our 9th best lineup. Big mistake.

    2) Mascherano (who in general played well) got suckered into giving up a needless foul (and probably should have been sent off), leading to a very sloppy goal. He needs to be smarter.

    3) For us to get into a rhythm, we need early goals at home. Bojan needs to bury that sitter. He wasn’t brave enough and half hit the shot while expecting the goal keeper to save it. Pedro would have scored that.

    4) Defense needs to be sorted out. Move Abidal to left. Pique and Milito should be the starting centerbacks. Maxwell and Abidal can rotate. And Abidal can go to centerback when we are up by 3. Maxwell can sub as left wing when we need more toughness.

    5) Not worried. We have lots of time to get into a groove. We will drop more points. So will Madrid.

  29. BlaugranaDOOM
    September 11, 2010

    PS Ethan…help a brother out. I just wanted to join the club during the live blog…:(

    • Euler
      September 11, 2010

      The chat software only supports a certain number of people joining at one time. If that limit is exceeded more people can’t join and comment.

      • Ethan
        September 11, 2010

        ya, it got difficult trying to stay up with everyone wanting to join the chat, i couldnt help everyone. tried my best.

  30. Dave
    September 11, 2010

    I think this is Bojan’s make or break year-he can’t hide with number 9.
    Judging by accounts we missed a big man.
    Ive spotted this along time ago, but Barca die a death without Xavi

  31. Helge
    September 11, 2010

    Crazy starts to the leagues. Neither Barca nor Real got 6 points from the first two matches. In England, Chelsea was the only team to get 6/6 points, in France Olympique Lyon and Marseille are stuck in the lower half of the table after 5(!) playdays, neither Inter nor AC Milan will have a 100% record after just 2 playdays, Bayern Munich is 5 points behind the leader, Schalke starts with 3 consecutive losses, ManUtd is 4 points behind Chelsea, ManCity is sucking hard (same as Liverpool), AS Roma gets owned by Cagliari etc; To be honest, I can’t remember a start into the new season with sooo many surprisin losses and disappointing top teams.
    To top it all, Mourinho just succeeded to win his first home match with the “perfect result”, which is 1-0.

    I’m really shocked and depressed right now, but seeing other big teams fail reduces the pain a little bit.
    I hope Pana will feel the wrath of Barca on Tuesday.

  32. Jnice
    September 11, 2010

    Unfortunately, this loss ruins my weekend. Fast forward to Tuesday please.

  33. Eklavya
    September 11, 2010

    I hope Federer wins, otherwise this whole day is gonna be a fail!

    Meanwhile, Milan is losing 2-0! Happy Ibradibra!

    • Helge
      September 11, 2010

      Hehe, and I hope that Djokovic wins, otherwise MY weekend will be a total fail (it is a guaranteed fail whatever happens… but Djokovic winning would turn it into a bearable fail weekend^^).

      There is no Prediction Challenge this year, but I say here and now: Atleti to finish at least top3 (I even count them as a serious title contender).

      • Helge
        September 11, 2010

        No, 3rd set is being played right now. First won Federer 7-5, second won Djokovic 6-1(!), right now 3-2 for Federer, but Djokovic serves next.

  34. Kxevin
    September 11, 2010

    Hey, looks like Milan is doing the exact same thing as us, losing 2-0 to newly promoted minnows. Ibrahimovic just hit the post on a penalty kick.

  35. Eklavya
    September 11, 2010

    Federer got smacked 6-1 in the second set…damn!

  36. Eklavya
    September 11, 2010

    Oh and ManU were winning 3-1 but then somehow tied.

    • Helge
      September 11, 2010

      Yap, like I said, seeing the other big teams around Europe fail is a very small kind of solace…
      Anyway, I think this la Liga season will not be finished with 99 points by any team, more like ~85 points. And Real will not score as many goals as they did unter Pellegrini, that’s for sure 😀

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