Barca v Sporting liveblog

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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.


  1. Kari
    August 31, 2009

    Hey, does anyone know when the game starts? I think it’s 4:00ET but I’m not sure.

    Oh, and for some reason, GOLTV isn’t showing the match. I think RayRay just died a little inside…or not. He still has his EE fix..

    I know it’s still early but we need to get the streams out of the way, so no one is looking for them when the game starts. It’s less painful that way? Maybe a post for streams is in order…?

  2. Soto
    August 31, 2009

    The game is on at 4pm ET and showing on ESPN, ESPNHD, and in the USA. I suggest, in general, checking, which has a good up to date listing of games and viewing options in the USA.

  3. Tajh
    August 31, 2009

    Wow it seems so long ago that i participated in a liveblog………….

  4. Kari
    August 31, 2009

    Thanks Soto!

    But unfortunately, I live in the USA-wannabe country, so us Canucks’ll have to find some other place to watch the match 😀

  5. OhYes
    August 31, 2009

    Kari: Don’t worry about anything. The liveblog’s going to open 15 minutes prior to kick off and we’ll provide plenty of links.

  6. Eduard
    August 31, 2009

    I’m dvr-ing the game but I have class from 4-5:50….so I’m stuck with a mini-screen and only paying half attention.

  7. ooga aga
    August 31, 2009

    we’ll be in the nou camp, the pitch should be in good condition. go ibra. make me a believra.

  8. ooga aga
    August 31, 2009

    guddy sold to monaco

    henrique loaned to racing

  9. ooga aga
    August 31, 2009


    our lineup

    alves pique puyol maxwell
    busquets xavi keita
    pedro bojan ibra

    no yaya, henry, etc etc

  10. August 31, 2009

    game starts in 45 mins! so excited! please post an english link if anyone finds one.. thanks

  11. Jose
    August 31, 2009

    Finally, I get to watch Barca on TV! Last time I had the chance they were in Rome 🙂

  12. Tajh
    August 31, 2009

    i guess Henry is feeling some after effects cuz this is a pretty strange lineup..

    Well now lets see Pedro!!! from the start of a game and truly see if he is what he is.Time to end all doubters

  13. Eduard
    August 31, 2009

    i’m confortable with this lineup, minus the no Yaya. but Busquets can take care of business. Also, from a managerial stand point, a weaker line up means Gijon might be a little more adventorous.

  14. Kxevin
    August 31, 2009

    Holy crap! Ibra and the kids! And Maxwell! Ramzi was right about Maxwell getting the nod over Abidal. Probably makes sense, given the lateness of the match and the hour. Valdes should be daisy-fresh.

  15. Kxevin
    August 31, 2009

    They’re hitting the pipe over at, Reagan. Guardiola has already said that Iniesta and Marquez won’t play.

  16. Eduard
    August 31, 2009

    this is almost an all cantera line up(besides, alves, maxwell, and ibra)…Love it!

  17. August 31, 2009

    yeah, i read that too Kevin which is why it looked odd! interesting to see how Ibra reacts to this line up.. he’s the big gun up front! he’s going to be shooting on sight!

  18. Helge
    August 31, 2009


    This is the first La Liga match of Barca which is not broadcasted in German TV. And there won’t be ANY broadcastings until next season (or maybe even longer) 🙁

    Nevertheless, I hope for a nice match, Ibra and Bojan shall score!
    3-1 for us. Visca el Barca!

  19. Kevo
    August 31, 2009

    we’ll see 7 men marking Ibra todayyy

  20. Helge
    August 31, 2009

    Oh, by the way, no Yaya and no Abidal maybe because of Ramadan?

  21. Museum
    August 31, 2009

    Well, those commentators today sure would’ve preferred to have been watching Stoke v Hull City, eh? Oh well, not a bad start to the season, great to have Ibra and Bojan get off to a nice confidence-building, stress-relieving start. And the commentators were right about the game having a pre-season feel to it, so we probably didn’t learn all that much. It made for a nice afternoon though.

  22. ballbeav
    August 31, 2009

    bojan was by the far most active dangerous and noticeable of our forwards today. too bad he got hurt.

    as far as ibra, i dont think ive seen any barca player ever have as rough of a game as that. maybe i was just hyperaware of his errors. the look on his face, he looked like he was having a long day. the goal came none too late and then he made a brilliant pass to pedro, but generally everything having to do with him today was absolute misery.

  23. ballbeav
    August 31, 2009

    hector, me too, thats the most important thing, i hope they arent out long. i like maxwell a lot.

  24. OhYes
    August 31, 2009

    Ibra had more than that..2 shots of his were decent + a header that was saved by the keeper

  25. UAI
    August 31, 2009

    Keita played Helge, so it probably isn’t that. Plus it was said before that they’re all delaying their fasting. Bunch of people including Henry are rested, since the last game was only 72 hours ago

    Have Barca ever scored 3 headers or more in a game? How about with no other type of goals?

    – Barca looks great in HD
    – Abidal was great. I knew he is fast, but he is really fast

    – Pedro is exciting. He’s still missing some components, but the good news they are the type of things that come with experience

    – Ibrahimovic was good in the last 10 minutes. I’m still in wait and see mode. Little too casual and overconfident at times. Around the 65th minute, he should have ran into the box, but just stood there. When the cross came back form the other side, I was really looking for him to finish it since that’s one of his strong suits, but it turned out he stayed near the left line the whole time.

    – Keita provides one goal and one assist, thank you sir.

  26. Museum
    August 31, 2009

    Ibra’s passing was damn good, he just needs to figure out how to combine that with finishing. And he does get caught standing around a bit, but if he starts finishing on top of what he’s doing now, I’ll take it.

  27. Helge
    August 31, 2009

    “but generally everything having to do with him today was absolute misery.”
    Wow, you are a bit too harsh on Ibra there, ballbeav.
    From my point of view, the whole team didn’t click as they used to last season and Bojan stood out regarding our strikers. But Pedro, he has been rather quiet today, I’ve seen him do a lot better (maybe it’s also because I had to watch it on a shitty stream, as every other upcoming la Liga match 🙁 ).

  28. August 31, 2009

    The thing about Ibra is that I have missed his trademark swagger which is vital for a striker. Call me crazy but I’ve seen him as too timid and awkward. I only caught the game right before Ibra’s goal but it seemed to me that it re-energized him and all of a sudden he had two incredible passes and his running seemed to be harder right after the goal. Don’t underestimate the effect of a striker’s psyche. Just like Bojan’s drop in confidence or Samu getting all hyperactive with the pichichi up for grabs, Zlatan seems like he can’t swagger like he usually does. Once he regains that, I think we’ll see an improvement.

  29. ElShowDeJason
    August 31, 2009

    Helge, if i were you, i’d start rioting outside your cable provider’s offices. pitchforks and torches and all

  30. Museum
    August 31, 2009

    Most definitely on the “timid and awkward” thing. And most definitely on the “he’ll get his swagger when he gets his mind right” tip as well. This isn’t a huge surprise, Barca striker is just not an easy role to slide into. I know it’s not the way of the typical sports fan these days, but we might have to wait a matter of months before we start thinking of final judgments.

  31. UAI
    August 31, 2009

    I partly disagree Hector. Awkward , yes. Timid? No. In fact, I thought he had too much swagger. Needlessly losing the ball as a result. You know, like those dudes that walk around with swagger without much to back it up. I’m not saying he will alwyas be like this, just todays game.

    If you really started watching when he scored, then our disagreement makes a lot sense. As I mentioned minutes ago, from a few minutes before that , till the end, I thought he was pretty good. Including an excellent setup for Pedro. It’s as if that goal was like smelling salts .Even when he scored the goal he didn’t feel like getting up to celeberate, instead we see a funny scene where Puyol gently lays himself on top of him (the last sentence isn’t a serious point)

  32. August 31, 2009

    Understandable, UAI, fair point. Although, my comment was based more on what I saw from him in the Supercups and the Man City game. I can’t honestly speak for today, like you said.

    Maybe the word is confidence. He’s slow to react because he’s afraid to do the wrong thing. You gotta play this game at full speed. I watched him plenty at Inter and, back in the day, at Ajax occasionally. Believe me, he is usually much more demonstrative and aggressive. He’ll get there once he starts scoring the goals and making the plays.

  33. August 31, 2009

    I thought Keita was fabulous, as was Pique. Most everyone else was fairly ordinary (except Xavi I guess, and Bojan). Ibra will take time, and will be granted time by Pep, whether he gets time from the fans is up for question (though it doesn’t really matter what the fans think as long as Pep is happy). I can definitely see why he pisses some fans off because he doesn’t look like he cares half the time, but I know people like that in other sports as well as generally in life, and it’s not that they don’t care, it’s just that they show it less. He’s not some hyperactive man-child on a sugar high like Dani Alves, that’s for sure. And what’s wrong with that? Nothing, so long as he performs well.

    With the small squad and the gazillion competitions FCB are in this year, every win will be vital. Three points is all that matters. We got ’em, now let’s move on.

  34. August 31, 2009


    Mr. Bojangoals will apparently be out 2-3 weeks with a slightly torn abductor muscle. Hope all our forwards make it back okay from the NT games.

    On the other hand, Maxwell will take it easy and be under observation for a couple of days. He just had a contracted muscle. He should be good to go soon if all goes well.

  35. ballbeav
    August 31, 2009

    i do think that he had a miserable game but i also chalk it up to lack of confidence and “ritmo” — i dont think that the header will break the ice, he needs to score with his feet because he has looked a bit clumsy.

  36. ballbeav
    August 31, 2009

    i wouldnt say ibra looks like he doesnt care, granted he doesnt moan and groan when he screws up, which is nice, but he did look like he might pass out from all the running he was doing. todavia no se si tiene los pulmones

  37. August 31, 2009

    We’ll see. A golazo would help a hell of a lot more, no doubt. Although you could make an analogy with a basketball shooter who is cold suddenly making a couple of free throws and lighting up. (Hopefully 😀 )

  38. ballbeav
    August 31, 2009

    yeah amazing we won 3-0 with half our best XI not starting, not looking that pretty, but we got the possession, headers and still win comfy. you never know what football will give you. ill take it.

  39. bill
    August 31, 2009

    It’s a great result for barca’s first game, unlike last year. It seems like it’s going to be more of the same though, us winning by large margins, and rmadrid squeeking through most of their games. How frustrating.

    Bojan played very well. Kudos. As for Ibra…I was very impressed by the amount of support he got at the liveblog, you guys pretty much willed his ball in, great job!

  40. bill
    August 31, 2009

    apparently, maxwell was known for dangerous backpasses in inter, anyone know anything about that?

  41. Museum
    August 31, 2009


    Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 6 – Will be relieved to have scored but still looks a yard off the pace. His lazy pass lead to Bojan getting injured.

    Is that the case? I didn’t see that and don’t remember it.

  42. August 31, 2009

    No, Bojan’s bad first touch led to Bojan getting injured. Goddamn, is terrible.

  43. August 31, 2009, ladies and gentleman,… lets give them a hand!

    Not only is Ibrahimovic responsible for global hunger, killing puppies, and Eduardo diving, he also injured Bojan!

  44. August 31, 2009 is dumb. Freak injuries for both Bojan and Maxwell. Bojan could have controlled that ball better, but then it looked to me like he slipped just a tad when he went to regain possession.

    Ibra looks a little lost and he looked so relieved to have scored. Awesome that we got all 3 from headers.

  45. August 31, 2009

    My Man of the Match: Keita. He was everywhere. Bojan was good, but no better than anyone else, in my opinion. Ibra is trying to hard to incorporate himself into the team that he’s giving up shots that he would otherwise take, not that I have a problem with him trying to find his role in the team.

  46. JeffP
    August 31, 2009

    Agree Isaiah…Keita was really impressive today. He held the midfield for large parts of the game and looked dangerous on set pieces.

    Speaking of which, am I the only one looked at the clock 35 minutes in, saw Xavi, and thought, ‘he’s on the pitch’? Really pedestrian game for him. I thought he played better in the second half, but he was not himself in the first.

    As Kevin said earlier we better get used to bus parking, which is too bad because it really produces a boring game.

  47. Get Sid Lowe on ESPN
    August 31, 2009

    Yeah, Museum, what was up with the “Premier League is superior” comments? Would they expect a team like Burnley to give Barcelona more trouble?

    Way to sell La Liga on ESPN, guys.

  48. OhYes
    August 31, 2009

    Get well soon my dear Bojan!! 🙁 He is too young to be injured.

    bill: The Ibrahimovic Fairness Committee was in full force in the blog. You didn’t see any haters because I banned them all prior to the starting of the liveblog. 😀

  49. jnelson
    August 31, 2009

    AMAZING how well we did on set pieces and crosses. with that said…excellent result. i am so looking forward to the season. just have to wait 2 WEEKS!!!! for internationals.

  50. August 31, 2009

    Gotta hand it to Bojan. He knows when to get injured. Hopefully he’ll be back by the Inter game.

  51. Kyle
    August 31, 2009

    La Liga has never looked better or sounded worse. The picture quality was mesmerizing and the commentary was garbage. I had to turn off the audio at halftime and sync up with the official site’s commentary feed, thank god for DVR.

  52. katalini5
    August 31, 2009

    hey guys, as they say, long time reader, first time poster. hope to be posting more this season. i just wanted to put my two cents in on zlatan. the guy looked positively exhausted at the end of the game (and for most of the second half). we have to remember he isn’t fully fit yet and has just played two games in four days. i’d be crawling around the pitch if i were him. with his first goal off his mind and more fitness, he should be fine in the coming weeks.

  53. Maximus
    August 31, 2009

    Did no one notice that alves’ crossing was back to being good? I remember someone pointing out his crossing is always good at home but on more narrow pitches he seems to loose his way. I hope he rectifies that this season.

  54. OhYes
    August 31, 2009


    Damnit I can’t believe we’re going to be dealing with that shit all season long. Why oh whyyy did espn get the rights for La Liga!!

    Also, in their recap, I thought it was quite odd that they..covered Bojan’s goal. Okay so far so good. Covered Keita’s goal…very nice…….all done! What happened to Ibra’s goal?!?

  55. Tutomate
    August 31, 2009

    I don’t ESPN because as it turns out it s in HD. So I just mute it and listen to it on Cadena Ser.

  56. Maximus
    August 31, 2009

    Oh and will we be getting a weekly post on the fantasy league?

  57. Museum
    August 31, 2009

    HAHA, the “Hee Haw” stuff was cracking me up. Where I grew up in Iowa, Hee Haw was a generic Mountain Dew, punk rockers used to have contests to see who could drink the most before throwing up. And apparently it’s how you pronounce “Gijon” as well.

  58. Kyle
    August 31, 2009

    Anyone have a link to the ESPN commentary you are talking about? sounds funny.

  59. Helge
    September 1, 2009

    That’s a great idea, Jason.

    I’ll get my stuff right now and then, they will feel my anger 😉

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