UEFA Super Cup Liveblog

It’s so going to be on, thanks to reader Soto being the man behind the mask for today.

Remember, the game is being broadcast in the US on Fox Soccer and Fox Sports en EspaΓ±ol.

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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.


  1. Tutomate
    August 28, 2009

    Coolio, thanks Isaiah and thanks Soto.

  2. SC
    August 28, 2009

    Thank god it’s being televised! Leaving work after lunch to catch it. I’ll try to hop on the live chat… thanks for running it, soto!

  3. JeffP
    August 28, 2009

    No Kev. Cannot be true. The next The Mirror prints the truth will be the first.

  4. JeffP
    August 28, 2009

    I think EMD is reporting is off of The Mirror article. The better question is, Why would ManCity want to get rid of him?

    It’s all BS.

  5. Cesc Pistol
    August 28, 2009

    I’m actually nervous today. Weird gut instinct kicking in. Anywho, I might just be on liveblog properly today as the match is on the telly.

    BTW to all the Indian cules: Is Liga gonna be on epsnstar? Cos I think Sky didn’t buy the Liga rights yet and we get our feed from them directly.

    If not this season is gonna be hellishly tough to follow Liga. (not that it was easy anyways but atleast we got 3/4 matches every weekend on the TV. The rest could be streamed…)

  6. August 28, 2009

    JeffP, ah, I didn’t read the EMD article very thoroughly. All I did was upchuck a little in my mouth and move on.

  7. August 28, 2009

    LINEUP: ValdΓ©s, Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal, Xavi, TourΓ©, Busquets, Messi, Ibrahimovic, Henry.

    I got it right!

  8. August 28, 2009

    That must be a mistake. Now Isaiah correctly guesses Pep’s lineups?!?!? Pep is losing it!

  9. OhYes
    August 28, 2009

    Good luck running the liveblog, Soto…it’s not an easy job. πŸ˜› Thanks!

    Great line-up. Not what I wanted, but oh well. I guess over the long term, the SuperCup will provide the type of morale boost that overrides fatigue.

  10. Soto
    August 28, 2009

    okay, guys. I’ll be launching the liveblog in a few minutes in order to have time to settle in. So if you are hankering to get started, get ready. Plus, for those of us without FSC, we can start tracking down the online feeds.

  11. ElShowDeJason
    August 28, 2009

    hmm… Unless Robinho somehow learned to be a CAM.

    i would have snapped him up with the quickness… But then we signed Maxwell, and promoted P!, and we have Bojan, to play the wing. So our wing depth is fine.

    unless pep wats him to play striker, but Robinho WILL not play second finddle to the BANGSTA.

    So, like i said, if he suddenly learned to ply CAM, sure, if not, no thanks.

    and, as to why they can spare him. They have TOO many strikers, and TOO many people earning TOO much money. I dont think they need the cash (obviously), as much as they want to decrease operation costs.

    Without Robinho they have: Adebayor, Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz, Belamy, and have Jo out on loan to Everton. It seems at this point that Robinho is a luxury rather than a necessity.

  12. txikidracula
    August 28, 2009


    that’s the official lineup.

    foxsoccerchannel i love you!!!

  13. Kxevin
    August 28, 2009

    Damn. Hell of a starting XI. Swap Iniesta in for Busquets, and that’s the strongest lineup in the world….hell, the known universe!

    Going on blackout now….review to go up later tonight, folks.

  14. ElShowDeJason
    August 28, 2009

    Ibra hunched over is still much taller than an upright Messi.

    I wanted me some Busi! Grr… Not that I mind Keita.

  15. ElShowDeJason
    August 28, 2009

    UGH! the commenter is a second ahead of the video! Annoying!

  16. ballbeav
    August 28, 2009

    put yaya as #9 or on the left, he’d do more.

  17. ballbeav
    August 28, 2009

    ibra with some HORRIBLE touches. ugh.

  18. eklavya
    August 28, 2009


    2 DOWN 4 TO GO!!!

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  19. jordi
    August 28, 2009

    Inter fans judging us on this performance. Good, by the 15th we’ll be up to speed and we’ll show them and the world how we roll.Again.

  20. Kxevin
    August 28, 2009

    I’ll have to wait to watch the real match, as opposed to a blurry Web feed, but I don’t think that Ibrahimovic was as bad as many are making him out to be, from what I saw. He totally hosed off that Henry pass. I’ll take Henry 1-on-1 against any keeper alive. I’m sure that Guardiola will show the video and make sure that he understands.

    But at some sites, they’re already hurling the “lazy and selfish” card. He definitely wasn’t lazy. Was he selfish? Yep. It’s what strikers do sometimes.

    He still isn’t at full fitness and is working his way into the side. Messi had to do a LOT more work when he and Henry came off, I’ll tell you that much. Good thing he isn’t playing on Monday.

  21. Kxevin
    August 28, 2009

    Inter fans should know better. Had Shakhtar done more than come out to play counterattack, we would have won in regular time. But for want of a pass….

    And the side isn’t at full fitness, or full cohesiveness. The trophy cabinet gains another bauble, while Mourinho fumes about something else. Whatever.

  22. BA
    August 28, 2009

    Ibra wasn’t really very good at creating space for himself, but Shakhtar did well defensively so it’s probably 6 of 1, half-dozen of the other. i though Keita actually was, aside from Messi, our best player today.

    we still need Iniesta to really break down these buses, at least until the squad develops a rhythm around it’s new central striker and said striker gains some form.

  23. Tutomate
    August 28, 2009

    Was Ibra bad? Yes. But putting it in perspective so was Messi for 70 minutes so was Xavi for 90 and so was Abidal and Keita and Alves The pitch was crap. The only ones with solid games were The Yaya, Puyol, Pique, and messi for the last 40 minutes. Xavi was uncaracteristically messy with is passes and loosing possesion, no one including Messi adjusted to the pitch’s horrible form by putting more weight on the passes.
    Ibra was selfish on 2 ocasions but last game we complained that he wasn’t selfish enough so we can’t have our cake and eat It too.

    Pedro! is our number one sub, when we need a goal.

    By the way this is how every team in the CL is going to play us evry game.

  24. jordi
    August 28, 2009

    If anything its mourinhos fault for playing him in that stupid chelsea friendly, stealing assimilation time from us..Water under the bridge though.Like pep says, he’ll need time, no one adapts from day 1, especially not strikers.

  25. jordi
    August 28, 2009

    “Ibra was selfish on 2 ocasions but last game we complained that he wasn’t selfish enough so we can’t have our cake and eat It too.” – I was thinking along the same lines

  26. jordi
    August 28, 2009

    How was everyone’s impression of Dima? I thought he was pretty excellent.

  27. Kxevin
    August 28, 2009

    Stud. Full-on stud. I can’t for the life of me figure out why people think that 25m is overpriced for a defender in our system. Between his positioning, long passing and sure-fire tackling, stand back.

    It must be said that he was on the scene for the goal, but that ship had sailed before he hit the dock.

    Did anyone recoil when Valdes bounced that last shot? Way too close to the line to be screwing around like that with the ball.

    But here’s the problem: ‘Nasty is too good to sit. I’m sorry, but he is. And if Guardiola wants to platoon everywhere, I think we’re going to see quite a bit of him and I like that. He’s the business.

    I’m also kinda sorry that the Willian(sp?) deal didn’t happen. Fast, great ball skills and a slick passer.

  28. Larm
    August 28, 2009

    looks likes bojan is getting his confidence back. between that run that brought him up to the keeper. and the play with messi that won a corner he looked pretty decent again.

  29. August 28, 2009

    Ibra had a big game. Big effing deal. Eto’o had about 8 or 9 bad games in succession at the end of last season (though, to be fair, he played well against both Real and United, which were sort of big games).

    Pep should talk to Ibra about two things: first, passing the ball if the other guy is making a run. Sounds simple enough, but most number 9s in the world aren’t trained to do that. Both Messi and Henry were dead on today if he had played them through. No worries, he’ll learn.

    Second, no standing with the ball please. Either pass it or run with it. The ball should never stop moving in our system. Again, no worries, he’ll learn.

    Pep has 5 trophies in 12 months. That’s unbelievable.

  30. August 28, 2009

    Whoops, first sentence should read “Ibra had a bad game”. There should be an edit option for comments, come on guys.

  31. Corrine
    August 28, 2009

    well it’s still evident that the team is lacking full fitness but this game kinda gives us a taste of the type of defense that’ll come our way this season. we couldn’t find a goal in 90 minutes which was a bit frustrating but i’m not worried yet since we haven’t got our groove on yet πŸ˜› but there’ll be a point where we can’t use the “shahktar’s defense was good, so ibra couldn’t find space” excuse because we brought this player in specifically to break up tight defenses and because he brings in a lot of assists. he didn’t have a great game but he’s still behind on fitness so i’ll let him off for a few games more πŸ˜›

  32. Thelonious
    August 28, 2009

    Why wasn’t Gai Assulin playing?

  33. jordi
    August 28, 2009

    This was the 1st time in 6 years we went extra time in a game BTW.

  34. messi_fan
    August 28, 2009

    Well Tutomate, I have to disagree with you a bit. I thought Keita was excellent apart from a wayward shot he took. If only he could shoot!!!

    Abidal wasnt bad at all. Made a couple of key stops. Would’ve liked to have seen Maxwell but I understand why Pep didn’t risk him.

    Messi was excellent. Yes he was a little quiet earlier in the match but he certainly didnt have a bad game at any point. Puyol was immense..

    Alves…I’m still convinced that he only crosses well when he’s at the Nou Camp. It’s as if he’s dialed in to our pitch width.

    Ibra…yes he wasn’t great today. But to be honest with you I’m not sure Eto’o would’ve done much more against that defense. The main difference is that he would’ve made the pass to Henry.

    Wished Bojan would have scored today, but Pedro!! (I think he deserves two exclamation marks now) is definitely a clutch player. That goal was class.

    Looking forward what I would like to see is:
    1) Us taking advantage of Ibra’s height a bit more
    2) The front 3 switching positions more fluidly.
    3) More shots from distance!!!! I can’t wait till Jonathan gets integrated in the team because his cannon of a shot is exactly what we need. Aw well. Next year, maybe.

  35. Randal
    August 28, 2009

    @ Kxevin
    I agree with you man. Willian had a very good game today. Provided some swift attacks to his team-mates & was never shy in tracking back. In fact he did a goal saving tackle today, almost been the last man :O He’s got skill, pace and ability to defend; might have been a good signing. Not sure because he plays in wing for a 4-4-2 system

  36. Randal
    August 28, 2009

    Does any body agree with me that Henry is losing it these days & counting on him to be our starter for this season would be like a suicide!? Heck he didn’t yet recover from the knock he picked up during our match against Real Madrid! He himself announced he’s still experiencing some pain now & then! Also seemed to have lost his pace in today’s match. Didn’t seem to be able to cut-in frequently & preferred to wip in crosses which is definitely against our game-plan πŸ™
    We definitely need a new winger/striker. If not at least sign a mid-fielder & move Iniesta to wings on a more frequent basis.
    BTW Bojan seems to be regaining his confidence and Pedro seems to be good at being a super-sub & squad player πŸ™‚

  37. jp
    August 28, 2009

    i think ibra sucked, he was too slow and didn’t look dangerous. the season will be loooong with him as a striker

  38. OhYes
    August 28, 2009

    Henry had his moments..like everyone else. Very few players have been consistent since it’s still preseason and people are barely getting back into fitness.

    Esp. Henry who picked up a knock.

    Wait til a month into the season before we start saying things like “x player is losing it!”

  39. August 28, 2009

    I won’t go so far as saying Henry is losing it, but I wouldn’t like to see him play more than 30 games this year (including CL). He’s getting older and needs to be nursed, and moreover, I think Bojan is ready to step up and be a real contributor rather than a bit-player.

  40. metz
    August 28, 2009

    i think we should sell messi…he isnt that great…i mean come on, that pass today was easy! and Yaya isnt very good at defending. ‘

    i think we should buy players like peter crouch and damien duff…they would add some real class and experience to our squad

  41. BA
    August 29, 2009

    careful, Randal, the HFC takes a dim view of those dim views.

  42. Tutomate
    August 29, 2009

    @messi _fan: I agree with you at some points but let me elaborate.

    Keita: was good defensively but held the long for toooooooo long at time and stymied the attack. He wasn’t BAD but he was no where near last games level.

    Xavi: lost the ball a lot, by a lot I mean like 5 times, that may sound like a little but it’s a lot for him. He did not put the right weight on the ball for like the first 70 minutes. After he seemed to finally get into the groove of things.

    Abidal: was solid defensively, when he plays LB you can trust that he will always be there to stop a counter. Bu he adds nothing offensively, and as the minutes wore on the more apparent that became.

    Henry was off.

    Messi did start slow for like 70 minutes. He did not really turne it up untill just right before the IBra substitution. He had flashes before but just flashes.

  43. August 29, 2009

    I agree with metz. We should buy Titus Bramble and Andriy Voronin as well though. πŸ˜›

  44. Tutomate
    August 29, 2009

    And Alves’ crosses are to low when Ibra is in, and too high when he is out. LoL.

  45. BlaugranaDOOM
    August 29, 2009

    Decent game

    Good defence by Shakhtar.

    Ibra will take time (remember when Henry was ‘terrible’ for Barcelona)

    Pedro is very clutch

    Iniesta is a huge key to unlocking these kind of defenses bc it takes pressure off of Messi

    Just some thoughts

  46. pulpo
    August 29, 2009

    i dont know about you guys but this match disilusioned me in some ways. I think weve lost a very important dynamic in eto( think it is his movement), and as a consequence the attack is stilted( i see henry getting considerably fewer 1on1 s this year).

    I also think integrating Ibra will take a long time, he is so diffrent from eto, with eto the off the ball running and runs behind defense were a constant threat- Ibra timing the offside is frankly quite poor. However Im not saying ibra is a bad buy, when we do integrate him the offense will be amazing, i hope.

  47. ElShowDeJason
    August 29, 2009

    the way i see it, (and sorry for the baseball reference), but Pep needs to give Ibra as many “at-bats” as possible.

    he sometimes seems lost in our complex system.
    thats fine, anyone would.
    should definitely have sprung Henry free.
    I see that Ibra is TOO used to playing in the hole, and must now play like a “9”.

    Looking forward to when the well-oiled machine starts firing on all cylinders.

  48. Jnice
    August 29, 2009

    Pep on Ibra:

    “Zlatan Ibrahimovic is improving every day, he’s getting better and better. It’s a new team for him and it will take time but he can combine different styles of play and he’ll find his own place in the team. He’s such a good player that he will fit into our game. It’s no problem since his mind is open. There’s many things that need time but the squad will help him adapt as soon as possible. He needs time, training and games but step by step he’s going to do well for us.”

    I think that is all that needs to be said, really.

  49. Jim
    August 29, 2009

    Enjoyed the game just because it was great to see Barca on the big screen again instead of my duff internet connection laughing called broadband!

    Not a great game but pitch looked awful and our guys are still finding their way a bit. So I’d cut a bit of slack to Ibra, Henry and maybe even Keita. No worries about Messi – he seems up for it from the start and I just want time to stand still for the next 5 years when i watch Xavi.

    However, a big improvement will be needed over the next few games in the last third or else fingers will be pointed at Ibra – just because I don’t think it’s clear how he’ll fit into our system. To me he looked a little nervous last night – understandable i suppose. We can’t go into too many games with Henry and Ibra looking to find their best form. I’d be happier if iniesta were back .

  50. Jim
    August 29, 2009

    Btw, first post here. Meant to say great job guys !

  51. messi_fan
    August 29, 2009

    I think we’re victims of our own selective memories. We remember the 5-0 scorelines of last year and expect every game we play to be similar.

    But if I recall correctly, didn’t our well-oiled machine have difficulty against teams playing similarly to Shakhtar? Teams that were very compact at the back or put 10 men behind the ball?

    If we are going to make a fair comparison, we should use the game against Chelsea as a reference point. Or even the games against Shakhtar last year (granted, Messi didn’t play that much in them). We’ve always struggled against these teams before they disrupt our little one-twos. And we play into their hands by not taking many shots from distance.

    Yes Ibra was bought to help us against such teams, but realistically you’d need:

    1) Ibra to be fully fit and on the same page as his teammates (which he is not)

    2) Decent crosses into the box (which were lacking)

    I think a much better guage of this team is the game on Monday. If we struggle against a team that we blew away last year, THEN we can start to worry (but only a little bit).

  52. eklavya
    August 29, 2009

    Thank god Abidal was there cause with his speed our defense would been squashed!!

    Ibra doesn’t run much in front of the goal.I mean when henry or messi have the ball he just stands there….lots of changes compared to Etoo…..I agree about our attack being less ‘dynamic’ now.

  53. poipoi
    August 29, 2009

    Ibra sucked but it looks like he only needs time. The guy has great body and skill, so I guess it’s a matter of adaptation also.
    but, why did titi play? he played horrible… pedro! right now is a much better player than henry. He dribbles well with both legs, runs, thinks, passes, crosses, touches and shoots waaaay better than the french.

    The game was pure boredom probably because of multiple reasons… but the lack of a good midfielder to substitute either xavi or iniesta was to me was the most obvious one. Keita or Powerserg should play in the back and let yaya try in offensive positions if we don’t sign someone good. The kids (thiago and JDS) are not a bad option but keita doesn’t have the skill to be an offensive player, he doens’t try anything new or good at all. keita and titi playing together in the left side doing absolutely nothing make me so sick! πŸ™

    pep give pedro! minutes please πŸ˜›

  54. bill
    August 29, 2009

    Messi is unbelievable. He never gives up or slows down.

    The team needs Iniesta in there. Pedro has blossomed wonderfully.

    Will Ibra fully understand what it takes to be a successful 9 at Barcelona? Let’s hope so. Or else the most potent strike force in the world will have to change their ways to suit him…Or barcelona will have to pay another $40mil to buy Villa next year

  55. bill
    August 29, 2009

    By the way, great new blog Isaiah and Kevin. Hector, I believe there was a secong part of your barcelona system analysis coming up, did i miss it? Ive been ardently waiting

  56. Kevo
    August 29, 2009

    ok, guys… keep in mind this:
    Eto played for 5 years! cinco! five! fave five years! Zlatan has only played two GAMES! dos! two! duet! deux! REEEEEELAX!

    Yes, it’s true we are missing the dynamic movement from Eto but you can’t expect a player of such high caliber to be Eto. Pep said it himself that Ibra will find himself in the game, it will take time to adapt.

    In this game, mostly everyone flopped, attacking-wise, even Messi was a lil bit out of his usual and i’d say that when he is frustrated he starts to get more selfish and it’s not that way.

  57. poipoi
    August 29, 2009

    Anyone doubted that ibra runs less than eto’o? nobody runs more than him, but I hope Ibra’s strong points make us forget about the weak ones compared to eto’o

    btw FCB shouldn’t be a “crossing” team, we pass the ball almost until the goal line… but any goal counts anyway, barbarian vasque style ones also πŸ˜‰

  58. bill
    August 29, 2009

    Thats true Kevo. But we hope Ibra gets in the grooove of things quickly. He was put in a very hot seat with no time to learn. The lateness of his purchase and His broken hand didn’t help the situation. But there is soo much at stake this season and everyone is gunning for the notoriety of bringing down the mighty Barca.


    Funny thing is, Eto’o is also suffocating from Ibra’s shadow in Inter Milan, how ironic.

  59. November 23, 2009

    The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.

  60. November 24, 2009

    I live in company with a body, a silent companion, exacting and eternal.

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