Liga Liveblog: Athletic – Barรงa

Ethan comes through with the livebloggin’. Three cheers for him and three cheers for Barรงa: hip-hip-hooray! (x3).

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. Oh! Ethan’s back from Disneyland? I wonder if he took a picture with Mickey, like Messi.

    I’d like to see a win and no injuries. At least Messi isn’t available so this can’t happen to him:


    1. I couldn’t find Mickey! That little guy is good at hiding! But Alas’ i am back to run the liveblog for everyone.

  2. Arsenal, or Almunia to be more specific, concede a penalty after dominating Albion.

    But Almunia saves! That was surely the best chance for WBA to score…

    1. Oh snap! Now Albion have a 2-0 LEAD O.O

      Well, this is the first time the new CB pairing of Koscielny and Squillaci has been “tested.”

      I guess this will be their Hercules result….

    2. But not against us in the first leg of quarters last year. I guess playing us is the ultimate motivation/confidence boost for goalkeepers.

  3. Damn, I would go nuts as an Arsenal fan ๐Ÿ™‚

    Losing to a not even strongly playing West Bromwich Albion at home, although they could have closed the gap to Chelsea! Arsenal will probably lose next weekend at Stamford Bridge which means they’ll be 7 points behind Chelsea. Will they ever win the PremierLeague again?
    It has happened sooo often that Arsenal slips against smaller opponents, especially when they had the chance to get closer to the top…

    And blitzen, I don’t want to meet trouble halfway, but I fear Liverpool will not be anything more than a mid-table Premier League team for the following years. Torres will leave ASAP, that’s for sure and even comprehensible. The rest doesn’t have enough skill to fight for the top4 (with the exception of Gerrard, naturally).

    1. I don’t care if they stay in the mid-table, I just want them to stop playing like shit! Sadly, I agree that Torres will be leaving, but he really deserves a better team. I just hope Pepe Reina doesn’t leave as well.

  4. The big boyz across europe are being put 2 da sword.
    Barca is warned.
    Same thing happened on da day we lost to Hercules.

    1. Well, we lost 2-0 to Hercules at home. And talk about shambolic defending. Just goes to show, right?

      Interesting that Gunners fans were screaming in the off season about Wenger’s refusal to add quality back line help, and at keeper. Hmmm.

      Standouts for Citeh in the 1-0 over Chelsea, by the by, were The Yaya and Vincent Kompany. As Ferguson noted, Chelsea had yet to play a good side. The first time they did, they went down, right on the heels of the Carling Cup dump.

      I’m telling everyone, years after World Cups, some crazy stuff always happens. I’d keep my Calm Pills around this year, is all I’m saying.

    2. Yup,

      but Arsenal really only have themselves to blame. WBA’s defending has been just as bad (maybe even worse) in the first half. Arsenal couldn’t take their chances. Typical Arsenal to flatter to decieve. Just wish they would just get some quality instead of trying to bargain their way through things that are half as good.

      2-3 now, wonder if they’ll get their win.

    3. That’s the problem with Arsenal since ages, most of their title blows seem to result from their own errors and the inability to use their full potential ๐Ÿ™

    1. In all honesty, I’m not emotionally invested enough with Arsenal to consider myself a fan. However, they are the team I want to see do very well (read: win the league) in the EPL, so I guess you can say supporter?. I like the way they play football and how they are dedicated to youth, and well, I guess they’re the closest team to Barca out there.

    2. I felt the same for the past few years. But something changed this summer. All that bickering between Arsenal and Barca club/fans left a sour taste. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I wouldn’t be too sad if Arsenal had a bad season this year. I know that would unfortunately increase chances of Fabregas coming (don’t want him!!!) but thats just the way I feel.

    3. Oh, I feel ya, DontPanic. 100%

      Their fans really pissed me off, and sometimes I think that as well. However, I always try and separate the fans and the club. There are some really annoying Barca fans as well, who have that same swelled up arrogance and self-righteousness.

      But sometimes, it’s hard to remember that–especially when the trollers come here.

    4. i guess the whole barca-arsenal thing is fueled by stupid articles that they call “news”, saying a barca player wants fab to come once every week. that’s why i hate the transfer month.

    5. Denied!

      I wonder what do Arsenal do with all the ‘financial stability’ and the ‘record-breaking’ profits.. Spending some for a decent GK was obvious..

  5. Frankly, West Brom has been impressive this season. 6 games into the PL, they sit fifth on 10 points (1 point from second place), and that’s with a league schedule that has had them play Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal away, and Spurs at home. And as a bonus, they eliminated Citeh from the Carling Cup.

    1. Which means they only need 6 points to have as much as Derby County gained through their whole season in the EPL.

  6. Anyone have any knowledge on playing football manager 2010- Messi keeps getting injured and Ibra is impossible to work with, so much so I gave him a ‘leave of abscence’. Wait am I just describing real life?? Seriously thou any suggestions missed both for el classico and lost 0-1.

    1. messi keeps getting injured?
      messi has been a machine for straight two years in a row.
      And just a horrid tackle suffered that should leave him out of action for three weeks , and he did what , return after 4 days to training?

    2. How to handle Ibra in THE GAME
      How to make Messi less prone to injury IN THE GAME-am I over training him


    3. When news of the big guns going down spreads across europe, its an instant psychological boost to all mid and lower table teams across europe.

      You can be sure all la liga minnows will be pumped up 2nite.
      Im watching to see if Milan will escape the virus.

    1. Nor I. We did the work, they reap the benefits. That arrogant bastard is healthy, fit and has something to prove.

    1. Why, so I can tear my eyes out?

      I’m a proverbial jinx, so I’ll stay clear from that match. Knowing me though, I’ll probably pop in from time to time, so if EE score, it was because I was watching…

    2. I feel the same way! Every time I pop in to their gamecast, they are tied… then I start getting interested and they score….

    3. Ronaldo misses a wide open goal!

      Levante appears to be playing rugby, or water polo, or something, but they are all heart. Scoreless and and almost halftime.

  7. Just watched the first half of that W. Brom/Arsenal match, and I’m still waiting for the evidence to support the statement that they can’t win with Almunia between the sticks, as so many of their supporters claim. He looked, and has always looked, a damn solid keeper. And I recall the time when people said we couldn’t keep winning with Valdes between the sticks.

    I popped in briefly to the EE match, and saw a Levante player pick up a foul for being near Thong Boy when he slipped and fell down, so I turned away.

  8. Barcelona line-up (unofficial): Valdรฉs – Alves Piquรฉ Puyol Adriano – Xavi Busquets Keita – Pedro Villa Iniesta #fcblive

    1. Well, I got the Here Adriano part right, others were right on the call for Keita for the midfield steel alongside Busquets. I did think that Krkic would start this week, because he always does well against Bilbao, even though his play hasn’t really warranted a start.

  9. This game is hilarious! Levante diving all over the place, I don’t they have had a single shot on goal, and STILL Madrid can’t score. MouMou not looking happy, and I think Cronald is going to burst into tears any second. Cross your fingers and toes Levante can hold them off for another 20 minutes. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. I’m all for EE dropping points…but teams getting points off of this kind of play encourages that behavior and sooner or later it will affect us.

    2. So yeah I would love them to nick a late goal but a small part of me would like them to not profit from fouling and diving so much.

    3. Oh, I agree, but I still can’t help chuckling. This game is utterly shambolic. RM has completely lost their cool.

    4. blitzen, why must you always get my hopes up (Freud’s displacement of blame comes into effect here)?

  10. If Mourinho is going to complain about teams playing reserves against us, he should note the favorable refereeing decisions that his club gets. Levante got hosed.

    Just saw all three goals, and Almunia’s defense killed him. For sure, that second one was an elementary stop, but the shot was also coming with some serious pace on it, after his defense was taken to the cleaners. Seems to me that instead of people saying they can’t win with Almunia, they should be saying they can’t win with that back line. That defense was pretty horrific.

    1. Do Arsenal fans really believe that their two starting CB who are BOTH new signings, would be that solid together? I think most of them felt that because they hadn’t conceded goals in the thrashings of Braga and Blackpool(?).

      A keeper is only as good as the defense in front of him, and a defense is only as solid as the goalkeeper behind them. Almunia is under pressure and basically had his job dangled on a stick in front of that Fulham keeper.

    2. “A keeper is only as good as the defense in front of him, and a defense is only as solid as the goalkeeper behind them.”


  11. We won’t be able to play Mascherano against Levante at all. Refs are already way too eager to show him the yellow, and if you combine that with Levante’s aquatic acrobatics, he’ll get sent off in no time.

    1. The red for Villa? Nah. Players should know better than to throw a slap/punch/whatever at opposing players (especially by the ref). Villa deserved the card, unfortunately.

    2. I was talking about Bilbao’s red card.

      Villa’s was pure stupidity, poor finishing from him in general. Or does he not want to play against Valencia and hopes for a 2 match ban?

    3. Oh ok, got it. Apologies. And I think Villa was just (rightly) frustrated with his play. He’s going to suffer now in Pep’s doghouse, I think.

  12. hahaha who said Keita doesnt score? who was saying our midfield doesn’t score hahaha. what an exciting game of ups and downs. and three goals from our midfield hahaha

  13. harsh red card for AB.and a justified red card for villa.

    and i think this the best i have ever seen barcelona play without messi.(well after the IM game in the CL).

  14. Great game by us. Our midfield really came through for us today. On a day when our forwards were lacking a bit (I’m looking at you Villa), Ketia, Xavi and Busquets came through for us in the clutch.

    Our lack of urgency in initiating our offensive attack worries me a bit (as Kxevin mentioned at one point, it’d be nice to have someone streaking down the wings and hitting the defense before they set up shop), but it’s hard to argue with the play and result today.

  15. I got the last laugh Eklavya ๐Ÿ˜›

    I think its the 1st time all 3 MFs scored, while the FWs didn’t..

  16. LiveBlog quit on me in the second half and I couldn’t get back in. ๐Ÿ™

    Never mind, we won! And Xavi scored! And Busquets, although I think Pedro! should be equally credited for that. Anyone else *coughBojancough* would have let that ball go out, but not Pedro! He is SO freaking fast, he caught it, passed to Busquets, and GOL!

    1. lol, at least you were in at one point. I was out in the cold the entire time!

      Btw, thanks for the links to streams guys. I’ve had a hard time finding reliable streams, but the one that Kari gave out worked like a charm.

    2. i got some of your comments in there that i could see and keep up with, but i ran out of room on my approvals early this time around. Ton of people joined the liveblog today.

  17. for some reason I couldn’t comment on the live blog, Well I did comment but it never showed up on the wall.

    Anyway, congrats on the win, was a very tough match. First half we dealt with the pressure from Bilbao making little short passes. After the red which I thought was a bit harsh, but it kept things clean throughout the match.

    Second half, I reckon Pep made a smart decision to put in Maxwell, especially after that red card. Maxwell didn’t do match but he helped by staying wide and being a threat, and he was amazing with the limited times he had the ball.

    Was a bad day in front of goal for Pedro and Villa, a lot of chances missed. But that is normal, the pitch is wet, the ball is wet. There was a chance though when Villa could have faked his shot as the defender tried to bloke his shot after villa broke into the box.

    MOTM, I donno, its between a lot of players, Alves also had a good game.

    I leave the rest for the reviews ;P

  18. Those who couldn’t comment:

    Blame Ethan for being chased off by goblins while making Messi polls based on what Kxevin said and looking for Mickey! ๐Ÿ˜›

    1. lol yes, blame the goblins and mickey. the thing with the liveblog is that it only allows so many people in. everyone else is a guest after that, and moderating all those comments while the game is going on is pretty difficult. stayed up with it for awhile and then when there were times when the liveblog was going crazy with comments it was hard to catch comments or keep up with them. best way is to get in early on the liveblog, bc after the first 20 min or so, its a hit or miss whether i can get u in, and how often ill be able to moderate comments.

    2. Exactly. It’s why we encourage everyone, whenever possible, to volunteer to run one. It’s a tough, thankless task that is underappreciated. There are 50 unmoderated slots available, and once those are gone, that’s it, unless someone leaves. The space is more popular now, and so are the LiveBlogs. Ethan’s advice is good.

  19. What a truly fantastic win. I loved everything about it– the difficulty of the crowd, the atmosphere, the rain, the control we exhibited in just taking the sting out of the game. What a win. Whether we win a trophy or not this year, this game will be one to remember.

  20. So , we faced two very strong teams in bilbao and atletico , and won , quite comfortably. And villa still lacks some things and pedro hasnt picked up form.
    I believe in this team. They can do wonders.

  21. So, I made the point over at the Arsenal Offside that two seasons ago, people were saying the same things about Valdes that they are saying about Almunia. A better defense made Valdes a better keeper.

    The parallels between our two clubs are amazing, from style of football to reactions to unexpected losses to weak clubs.

    1. Except VV was young and learin’ while almunia is 33.They should be glad its not fabianski though, who actually hits shots into his own net.Appalling keeper.

    2. True, jordi, but keeper quality is keeper quality. Almunia is a good keeper with a shit defense. More opportunities to screw up mean you will screw up more. It’s the law of averages. Our midfield lockdown and defensive pressure means that Valdes hardly ever sees the ball, and when he does, it’s from a position of control (only one angle, shot from distance, weak effort thanks to a contested shot). Look at how bad Casillas’ defense was making him look year before last, and he definitely ain’t a bad keeper.

      Did Almunia screw up? You betcha. But he got a lot more help than he needed from his defense. Two nutmegs, when a nutmeg was the only way the attacker could keep the effort going, was just crazy, and not in a good way.

    3. ‘The parallels between our two clubs are amazing, from style of football to reactions to unexpected losses to weak clubs’.
      Mostly because they’ve tried to imitate everything about Barcelona

    4. great match today, congrats to all

      i don’t agree that there are a lot of parallels with arsenal, our style depends on our youth, arsenal’s style depends on imports (some of these imports are our youth, fabregas and merida)
      also we have a good winning percentage against the other top clubs in Spain unlike arsenal who find it very very hard to beat the top teams in their league, and finally we win trophies arsenal doesn’t

    5. Yeah, for me the EPL club most like Barcelona is West Ham. I might be biased due to geography but they’re not nicknamed the ‘The Academy’ for nothing, and if they didn’t sell all their best graduates I think their playing style would be a darker shade of the pale imitation of Barcelona’s that it currently is. ๐Ÿ™‚

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