Barca 5, Evil Empire 0, aka “Thong Boy was right. We DIDN’T score 8. See?”

Pep Morata/El Mundo Deportivo

While watching this match, I was speechless. While trying to find verbiage to adequately characterize what I watched twice, I couldn’t really do it. I still can’t. And in thinking about what I, what we all witnessed today, the tears flow.

It’s times like this when doing a match review is kind of absurd. I hope that we all realize how special, how amazing this club that we are seeing is. Week after week we get to witness it all. We got to see the buildup, from an egg-faced loss to Hercules to the dismantling of Sevilla, of a team rounding into form. And after the last round of matches, they were ready for this. How ready, nobody really knew.

Now we do, in what was one hell of a way for the club to fete its 111th birthday.

Rolling into this El Clasic was a monstrous mass of complexities: Mourinho, Thong Boy with willing accomplices, Puyol and Pique in a little bit of a purple patch, tendinitis, mind games and anticipation. Nobody knew what was going to happen. As someone noted in one of the comments posts in the zillion El Clasic buildup posts that rained down, things could be 4-0 either way.

But who in their right mind predicted 5-0? Perhaps someone who had a lot more faith in this club, this team, than the typical querrulous cule could have seen what happened every time this club faced a test this season, every time we matched up against a club that was going to have the stuff to do us in. Spines stiffened, contentration focussed and they played like lions. Perhaps that same faith-drenched soul, knowing that this would be the sternest test of them all against a club and a coach, a Svengali-like 12th man, could have predicted that our best football would be on display.

I sure wasn’t that person. I was worried as hell.

Guardiola rolled out with his best lineup of Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro! and Villa. He also made a liar out of fools like me who had the temerity to suggest that Mascherano might be a better fit for the battle that was to come than Busquets who, like the rest of his teammates, stunned and amazed.

I noted over at the EE Offside that the differences in this match might be that Abidal and Iniesta were fit and healthy, something that hasn’t been the case the past two seasons. But it was more than that.

–The constant attack was devastating. We treated the ball, when they got it, as if their possession was a sin.
–This was one of Messi’s best matches in the colors, despite his not scoring a goal.
–Pedro! was a difference maker, with his constant motion.
–The ball still moves faster than any man. It takes a disciplined defense not to chase.
–An attacking Xavi was exceptionally destabilizing.
–We had too many points of attack to successfully deal with.

It was almost as if the club read Euler’s dissection of what we had to do to dismantle EE, then went out and did it.

They were showing faces before the match, and Messi had the killer eyes that he often has before bit matches. And when he thugged the ball off of DiMaria in the box, he was sending a clear message that he was ready, and everybody else had better be, as well. He underscored that message with a crazy, audacious curling chip that just hit the woodwork, that had Casillas beaten. We were blasting shots from every angle, all over them as we clearly wanted to demonstrate that this was an exorcism, that Mourinho’s demons would be cast out like rancid cava. And the first goal wasn’t long in coming.

Recall the post I put up about our players and the demands that they place upon each other. So when Iniesta took a pass and spanked it exactly as hard as he needed to into a gap for an attacking(!) Xavi, Marcelo tried the sliding tackle off a ball that was a stunner, a pass that couldn’t be made into that space with that much pace, that sure as hell couldn’t be controlled by any player on the pitch. And his tackle just missed, deflecting the ball neatly for Xavi, who one-time chipped it over a lunging Casillas. It was 1-0, we had the early goal and first blood.

Some will claim that EE sat back and watched us pass the ball, that they should have pressed us like so many teams have tried to do, with aggressive, physical play that pushed us back up the pitch. The reason that wasn’t going to work today, was width. Note how many times Villa or Pedro! got the ball on the wing with acres of space, as the defense and midfield compressed to control the likes of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta. You have to pick your poison with us now. So when Xavi popped an inch-perfect pass across the midfield to Villa, Sergio Ramos was caught out of position. Villa dive-bombed toward the end line and spanked another rock-hard cross into the box. It deflected off Casillas’ hands right to P!, who volleyed home.

Just like that it was 2-0, and EE got the bit between their teeth, to play their best spell of football of the match so far, pressing and pressuring with dynamic, possession football, forcing some key interventions from Puyol and Abidal, who were monsters today. Then we got the ball back, and returned to work. Messi justmissed Iniesta with a long pass, that should have alerted the EE defenders that maybe, just maybe, they shouldn’t be playing him for the run. Abidal worked the beginnings of an enticing 1-2 with Villa, bombing up the pitch like a greyhound unbound, shortly after that outrunning an EE defender for a pass up the wing. The attack was about width, about making the field too wide to be played, attacking from as many different points as possible. It was pressure, tempo, passing, pressure, repeat, as we could play very differently with a 2-0 lead, with defense through possession.

It’s also worth noting that as with a lot of lopsided results, there was some luck involved. If Marcelo moves a bit more quickly to intercept Iniesta’s pass, if Casillas doesn’t deflect the ball directly to P!, it’s a very different match, one balanced on the typical Clasic knife edge. Yes, quality created the openings for our players to exploit, but make no mistake, some of the reason for this result was also that it was a team against a collection of high-priced talent. You could see it in the passes that they were missing, or that players had to reach for versus the way we just pinged the ball around, with every player having multiple options and always making the right decision with the ball. It was that quickness of thought that the Champions League commentators were talking about as we destroyed Panathinaikos.

And the passes needed to be perfect, because as we saw, they were a dangerous team with the ball, on a rainy, crazed night that followed Catalan elections, in which the fervor of the fans was at a frenetic pitch. They screamed, they whistled, they made the cavernous Camp Nou feel like a clasustrophobic Tercera home pitch, and the players responded.

The third goal was one of those Messi Moments again, as Alves hesitated to hit a streaking Villa with the pass but Messi didn’t, showing Alves how it’s done. His beautiful, defense splitting ball found Villa in perfect stride, and he spanked a shot that he barely needed to control into the far corner of the goal. 3-0, and that crucial third goal went the wrong way for the visitors.

This might be our Villa World, as he is offside four times, then onside once, but that once finds the back of the net. And again, the pass asked a question of Villa: “Can you handle this?”

Then the same duo did it again, this time more dynamically as Messi made one of those crazy-quilt runs of his, riding a trip attempt to continue across the pitch, moving the defense with him before slapping another ball to a just onside Villa, who finished with a slow roller for the 4-0 lead to effectively end a match, but begin a show of passing possession football. The flicks, backheels, close control and overlapping, integrated runs was amazing to see as we monopolized possession for what seemed like an eternity, periods interrupted by Arbeloa hard fouls. Then Diarra joined in, and we seemed to suddenly pass the ball with a bit more purpose, scoring a fifth goal that I like to think someone said afterward, “That was for you, Arbeloa!”

Bojan Krkic made a pace-y, slashing run up the pitch, snookering his defender and smoking a cross that missed a hard-charging Iniesta but fell right to Jeffren, who did a tidy flip finish to make it 5-0, and then it got messy. Sergio Ramos, trying to one up Arbeloa, came in hard, and viciously on Messi. When Puyol charged up to defend Messi, Ramos shoved him to the pitch, completely losing his cool in a display that he will be ashamed of tomorrow. Phil Schoen said that he could understand it, after the humiliation that EE had suffered, one of the more idiotic statements studding a broadcast history filled with them.

There was, and will never be an excuse for Ramos’ behavior. The red card was deserved, and I would expect an extension to the automatic one-match ban. But even that brouhaha couldn’t detract in any way from what was an amazing display, that showed that this football club is fully capable of. It was awe-inspiring and joyous. People will say that EE played poorly. I say that like any side that faces us, they really weren’t allowed to play. We have the ball, and the rare times that we cede possession means that you have a very few chances with which to threaten our goal. And those odds are in our favor.

Team: 10. A collective that was stronger than any individual, we demonstrated the effectiveness of a team playing a system at its highest level. Great players+a great system+form=destruction.

Guardiola: 10. Right lineup, right modifications of the roles. A more aggressive Xavi and a more selfish Iniesta meant that suddenly, we had, in effect 5 direct attackers, not counting the two wing backs who were constantly coming up.

Valdes: 8. Strong when he needed to be, but a major communication problem with Puyol almost cost us dearly.

Alves: 8. We can’t sell him. Again, I know that it makes sense right now, but we just can’t. His defense was as effective as his offense today. He does need to be quicker with the passes, however.

Pique: 7. Our weakest defender today. Puyol bailed him out a couple of times, and full-on Piquenbauer still isn’t back. But a strong match.

Puyol: 9. An absolute lion, from whistle to whistle. He won balls in the air, defended corners stoutly and raised hell in general.

Abidal: 10. He was a difference maker today, as Di Maria must have been thinking “This game isn’t so easy now. I sure wish this dude would leave me alone so I could do my thing.” He headed away, cut balls off, stole, intercepted, attacked and did everything his club required and more. Brilliant match.

Busquets: 9. Had a couple of ineffective periods, but came into his own when we started to tika-taka the match away. In his own way, he makes life almost as difficult as Mascherano does, gumming up the works and frustrating opponents.

Xavi: 10. Pass after unerring pass, and even a goal. He’s getting rather fond of leading defenders in that dancing game, He did it again today, in between running his offense with metronomic perfection.

Iniesta: 8. Except for a period of invisibility, he was massive today, and another key to the match. A fit, aggressive Ghostface is devastating. And what a pass for that first goal.

Messi: 9. He, like everyone else who does it, loses a point for that dive. He deseved the yellow. Yes, Carvalho’s arm came up, but still. It shouldn’t have happened. Now. He worked harder, ran harder, played defense like a defender and possession like a midfielder. He even attacked like a striker, stole balls and was an absolute dynamo today. He did everything except score a goal, the absence of which doesn’t keep him from being Man of the Match.

Pedro!: 8. The Random Chaos Generator isn’t so random any longer. He plays a very focussed game of almost unrelenting aggression that brings real danger to the wing. And it’s nice to have his scoring touch back.

Villa: 7. Two goals and an assist and excellent movement brought him back from the ratings damage done by the offsides, lost balls and misdirected passes. He’s still feeling his way, and will have matches that are up and down. Both his goals were beauties, as was the assist. He’s still learning the system, and next season he should be the player that people were expecting this season.

Substitutes

Krkic (for Villa): 8. Massive, and another strong performance. He played like the confident, aggressive attacker that everyone has been expecting, and actually looked better in the overall system than Villa did. And what an assist for the final goal.

Keita (for Xavi): incomplete. Insufficient time to evaluate him fully.

Jeffren (for Pedro!): incomplete. Again, despite his scoring a goal, insufficient time. I can say that this was the first time that I saw the skills that got him promoted. He wasn’t a driverless Ferrari toay, and what a well-taken goal.

Finally, the league isn’t over. We have only a two-point lead, a gap that could evaporate instantly with a poor display by us and a strong one by them. Remember Hercules, and keep those heads on straight.


Hee, hee! Under your skin, am I, Thong Boy?”

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

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.

280 Comments

  1. deepak
    November 30, 2010

    Superb performance… More enjoyable when defeating EE with mourinho their translator.

  2. Josep
    November 30, 2010

    As someone noted in one of the comments posts in the zillion El Clasic buildup posts that rained down, things could be 4-0 either way.

    Hey that was me! 😀 And Greece Barca doubted me 😐

    • Nik
      November 30, 2010

      I think he doubted us being on the wrong end of the 4-0 drubbing.

      • Kari
        November 30, 2010

        ^ Agree.

        I’m with Greece Barca–how could you ever have thought EE would beat us 0-4 on our own turf?! Blasphemy. 😀

  3. Clue(less)
    November 30, 2010

    Finally…I don’t think I have waited so feverishly for a blog post in my entire life!!!! Thank you so much Kxevin!!!!!

  4. Kari
    November 30, 2010

    I’m still in awe. I don’t think I’ll fully comprehend the magnitude of this demolition until next week…

    Just a shout-out to everyone that participated in the LiveBlog: it was awesome! Everyone behaved (!) during an El Clasico, although with the masterclass we put on, there wasn’t much to b*tch about. A pleasure to run it and thanks for being patient with me during my first time!

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      Too bad I couldn’t join the LiveBlog with you hosting. I get too nervous to type sometimes, and I usually turn my phone and computer off. But I heard you did a great job, so kudos to you buddy. <3

  5. BarcaOwl
    November 30, 2010

    I was waiting for your review. Thanks a lot, Kxevin! 😀

  6. Jnice
    November 30, 2010

    ooga aga predicted 5-0.

    But yeah, I was crazy nervous before this match. I mean, I always shake before matches, but yesterday’s shaking was at an all time worst.

    Great display from everyone, probably the best I’ve seen Barça play. One of the best days of my life and I loved every minute of it.

    I’ve been reading articles and comments for about 2 hours now and while watching the match for a 3rd time (3 different broadcasts), I’ll probably read another two hours worth of stuff. I love it.

    Let me repost this for people who want to download the match. These are the most recent links I’ve posted and the most convenient links I’ve come across so far.

    Sky Sports Broadcast 720p HD

    *http://www.mediafire.com/?1o9hcmtffn62h

    And for the same file, there are only two hotfile links and fileserve links. More convenient than downloading 10 of ‘em.

    First Half: *http://hotfile.com/dl/85872829/2b16f28/fcb_1st_rma-regmo.blogspot.com.mkv.html

    or *http://www.fileserve.com/file/wgVhRFQ/fcb_1st_rma-regmo.blogspot.com.mkv

    Second Half: *http://hotfile.com/dl/85882863/1123ea5/fcb_2nd_rma-regmo.blogspot.com.mkv.html

    or *http://www.fileserve.com/file/JRZXm27/fcb_2nd_rma-regmo.blogspot.com.mkv

    Also a torrent file: *http://www.mediafire.com/?kjkvj9napc1glvz

    Credit to J-Reyes at fbtz.com

    • Kari
      November 30, 2010

      I love you, Jnice! I already watch the match twice with Ray Ray and his EE-loving sidekick. Now time for some Sky Sports!

    • ariston
      November 30, 2010

      Jnice do you have links for the match with Ray’s commentary? 😀

      • Jnice
        November 30, 2010

        I have HD ones in the previous post, but I’ll post more convenient ones.

        First Half: *http://hotfile.com/dl/85853376/890d4ca/twb22mg20101129barcreal1st.part1.rar.html
        *http://hotfile.com/dl/85853303/c6b58cd/twb22mg20101129barcreal1st.part2.rar.html

        or

        *http://www.fileserve.com/file/2sRP3D6/twb22mg20101129barcreal1st.part1.rar
        *http://www.fileserve.com/file/Uk5VCNM/twb22mg20101129barcreal1st.part2.rar

        Second Half: *http://hotfile.com/dl/85859305/a6ea620/twb22mg20101129barcreal2nd.part1.rar.html
        *http://hotfile.com/dl/85861032/82475d1/twb22mg20101129barcreal2nd.part2.rar.html

        or *http://www.fileserve.com/file/KAuXVMs/twb22mg20101129barcreal2nd.part1.rar
        *http://www.fileserve.com/file/qM9AaMz/twb22mg20101129barcreal2nd.part2.rar

        Credit to miamigunners at fbtz.com

        • ariston
          November 30, 2010

          by the way, any chance it’s on megaupload?

  7. Nik
    November 30, 2010

    Fantastic write-up Kxevin. Also, major props to you for resisting the urge to give everyone a perfect grade. Like you and others have said, this game was just another 3 points at the end of the day. We can’t let the awesomeness of today get to our heads and let us take our feet off the pedal.

  8. Jnice
    November 30, 2010

    “Thong Boy was right. We DIDN’T score 8. See?”

    One of your best A.K.A’s.

    • Josep
      November 30, 2010

      Heh, I made a tweet similar to this about 5-0. Actually, I tweeted my ass off more than usual apologies to my followers (I think just you:D).

      • Jnice
        November 30, 2010

        LOL, your tweets are enjoyable for the most part.

  9. Josep
    November 30, 2010

    I was also crazy nervous. I was having fits at work today, I must’ve drank a gallon of coffee. I also ate a shit ton of swedish fish!

    Oh man, I love the mention of all the cute and clever backheels and what not near the end of the match. We were killing it off in style. And then Arbeloa (who wasn’t booked at all) committed his 4-5 fouls and Barca said alright, we’ll play too.

    It’s a shame he wasn’t booked at least once!

    Carvalho’s elbow to Messi’s face was by rule a red I believe, and I’m baffled by the Messi ‘dive’. He was hit in the face, he looked to go down a little late, but Carvalho had some force on that elbow.

    Ramos should serve a 3-4 game suspension.

    I’m on par with Pep and haven’t lost a Clasico yet. Of course, I only started watching at the end of Rijkaard’s regime.

    Visca Barca! Its a great day to be a Cule!

  10. Kari
    November 30, 2010

    Two pictures I’d like to see added/posted some time:

    /http://www.daylife.com/photo/0aZz9TgcjD8hT?q=jose+mourinho

    and especially this:

    /http://d.yimg.com/i/ng/sp/reuters/20101129/22/2932871198-29112010225623.jpg

    Do it. You know you want to 😀

  11. jhargrid
    November 30, 2010

    After a result like this, Barça has raised the bar for themselves. If ever a team should have the talent and desire to beat Barcelona, it should be Real Madrid. At present though, when playing to their fullest, Barcelona are simply unbeatable. Am I biased? Probably. But whatever, my team just won the Clasico 5-0. I can afford it.

    A few thoughts, mostly things that stuck out to me:

    -I never dreamt that we’d achieve this result. I don’t mean that as a cliche. I dreamt on Saturday that Barcelona won the Clasico, 3-0.

    -Wonderfully, even poetically appropriate that the first two goals should go to Xavi and Pedro. Xavi is the beating heart of this team. We can always count on him to set up our scoring chances; it’s lovely to see him have a mark for himself. Pedro is a hard worker and a focused player. He may not have all the talent of a David Villa or a Lionel Messi, but he plays effectively, with great pace and enthusiasm.

    -A shame Leo didn’t score tonight and continue his streak. Fortunately, he didn’t need to.

    -Villa’s celebration after his second goal was epic. So much emotion on his face. I’ll forgive him for his non-stellar performance against Panathinaikos since putting us up 3 and 4 to nil pretty much broke Madrid’s spirit.

    -More Abidal on the attack please.

    -Dani Alves did a great job cleaning up most of the messes he created.

    -Ray Hudson should comment on everything ever. His metaphors are too good.

    -What’s this about us still having La Liga to win? I’m pretty sure that by winning the Clasico, Barcelona wins football forever. All Barça fans get to be happy forever and all Madrid fans have to be sad forever. I’m pretty sure that’s how this works.

  12. Kari
    November 30, 2010

    Can I just say that lovelymofo predicted a 5-0? Don’t believe? Check the liveblog 😀

    Yay for lovely!

    • lovelymofo
      November 30, 2010

      Too much credit Kari! At first I said 3-1 and then I said I wouldn’t mind the 5-0. Remember, you have to run the live blog from now on! It will guarantee the destruction of all other teams! WOOOO!

  13. Josep
    November 30, 2010

    That second one was apparently controversial. AS were saying Abidal was directing that at Ronaldo to wind him up, but he was told about it and defended himself saying he was responding to the fans in the stands.

  14. K(legit)
    November 30, 2010

    So
    Happy
    Right
    Now

    I just absolutely loved it when the FCB guys totally barracked Crynaldo when he pushed Pep..that just showed how much the coach means to them…

  15. Benj
    November 30, 2010

    So happy, so very very happy.

    Ive been hanging out all day for this thread to see the analysis a la Kxevin, however I have a couple of bones to pick, although this is just personal preference.

    I don’t think Abidal played to a 10. An 8 or a 9 yes but I thought his passing left alot to be desired. Still did a great job on DiMaria. But then again I never seem to rate him as highly as you do. Bit of a man-crush there Kxev?

    Villa should be an 8 or 9 as his movement was so much better, the goals were great and he looked like the player everyone was linked with one or two seasons ago and were devastated that Los Xe wouldnt sell him.

    Finally, I give Messi a 10. I think if you are going to take a point away for the ‘dive’, give him 11 and take one. He was STELLAR!

    Like I said, they are my ratings, but I’ve only seen the game once.

    • Euler
      November 30, 2010

      The match opened with C. Ronaldo playing on the right wing and facing Abidal largely 1 vs. 1. Neither Iniesta nor Villa were tasked with tracking back deep to defend as their responsibilities were to press higher up the pitch.

      Abidal shut down C.Ronaldo on that side of the pitch. Just shut him down and closed him out on several runs 1 vs. 1.

      If you can defend C. Ronaldo with one defender you have gained an enormous tactical victory over RM. It’s enormous because then you can maintain balance across the pitch.

      It was only later on in the first half that Mourhino switched C. Ronaldo to the other side of the pitch and send Di Maria to Abidal’s side.

      He was fantastic today. I don’t know what number you want to put on his performance but he was enormous this match.

      • Louis
        November 30, 2010

        Yeah, it was interesting to see that. I think someone mentioned it in the liveblog, but could Mou have seriously thought that our Greyhound was our weak link?

      • simple_barcafan
        November 30, 2010

        i thought the tactical switch was to stop Alves…Di Maria is a more defensive winger than Ronaldo(IF he even defends that is). So if Maria could stop Alves (and Messi if he drifts) that would be a crucial advantage…but apparently that didnt work out i guess due to Maria poor showing…

    • Jim
      November 30, 2010

      Just finished watching it a second time and agree with all points. With regard to Abidal watch just the first 8 minutes. In that time he is beaten to a header by Ronaldo, gets smoked by Ronaldo up the wing, loses possession easily once and makes a wrong decision (admittedly following a loss of possession by Busi ) to move forward rather than watch Ronaldo behind him, forcing Puyol to cover. Not saying he didn’t have a great match – he did and his pace was vital at times, something Maxwell couldn’t have given us – but these plus the fact that he was largely missing from the offence just don’t make him a 10 imo when we have a few others who, again imo, could have had that. However, maybe that’s a bit churlish on such a day when everyone played so well.

      A 10 for Xavi’s display somehow doesn’t seem enough! Sky’s compilation of his touches at the end last night was unbelievable. As Souness has often said, he has wing mirrors.

      Villa’s offsides are an irritation but as Kxevin says that’s him. Without living life on the shoulder of the last man he doesn’t get either of those goals as his pace isn’t blistering.

      Finally, I’m giving Messi the benefit of the doubt. I saw at least 6 or 7 tackles where he could justifiably have gone down and rolled around. So when he does go down, and it was a deliberate elbow, I’m gonna say there must have been a reason.

      One last thought. We need to remember this display the next time we have a poor one and the temptation is to round on the team for dropping silly points somewhere. They gave us one of the proudest moments in our Barca following lives and that should be money in the bank but they can’t do it every week. As Kxevin said, the ball rolled a bit for us last night and there’ll be times when we can’t buy a goal.

      However, everything I’ve said above really doesn’t matter on a day like this. Great review, Kxevin. Not sure how you started to put pen to paper after that but you captured the way we all feel about this team.

  16. jnelson
    November 30, 2010

    Awesome. Awesome. Awesome! Visca el Barca!

  17. ML
    November 30, 2010

    We are witnessing the best Barcelona team ever, and probably one of the best teams ever formed in the history of world football. Appreciate it guys, cause be sure it wont last forever.

  18. GREECE BARCA
    November 30, 2010

    Yeah!Great review!Great ratings,all great!Josep i have watched clasicos when we were worst than E.E and even then,they suffered.That.s why i told you that there is no way to beat us with that score!I also must say that alves must stay,i was wrong!Here in greece is 7 in the morning now,so have all a great day or great night!!Visca pep,visca tito,visca doctors,visca all the players visca all of you guys!Oh and carvalio hit was a straight red.IMO

    • Vj
      November 30, 2010

      Visca Greece Barca, Visca Kari i Visca BFB!

  19. Louis
    November 30, 2010

    Obviously, the team came to play and Pep is gonna benefit from that. But, it was nice to see him out smart Mou after the CL debacle last year.

    Villa and Pedro we’re obviously under strict orders to stay as wide as possible, and for good reason. I haven’t watched EE play this season mcuh, but I doubt any team they played made the pitch as big as our wingers and fullbacks did. It caused all kinds of havoc and unbalanced defensive positions for EE, and they had no idea what to do. It directly led to the 2nd goal which sent them reeling.

    Couple that with the fact that at any one time they were using at least 5-6 guys to stop our unstoppable 3 in the middle of the pitch, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

  20. Louis
    November 30, 2010

    One last thing.. It sucked that Maradona killed Argentina’s chances by forcing Messi to play high up the pitch and make him into a playmaking midfielder instead of his normal role. But, how much has it helped his passing and Barca’s play?

    I’d say it worked out pretty well in the long run, for Barca, at least.

  21. extreme barca fan
    November 30, 2010

    Ok, im still dancing and jumping, but i sat down to read the this review, good one kevin with a great A.K.A, i think we should and could have scored 8 or even more just to make tongboy wish come true
    Euler gets a 10 for his tactical analysis he was spot on, one sentence from euler’s was that EE didnt play a team that defends like us, boy was he right.
    Kari really rocked at the liveblog she gets a 10
    If i go on like kevin said tears will flow, so thats enough

  22. Euler
    November 30, 2010

    It really is difficult to put into words how thorough a dismantling this match was.

    As a team – together – Barca systematically identified almost every single area of weakness Madrid have and then pounded on those fault lines relentlessly and would not stop.

    Barca defends and attacks with 10 men. Madrid attempted to defend with only 8 and to attack with 7.

    Today we saw the culmination of Pep’s vision. Moving Messi to the center of the pitch to play the false 9 to utterly devastating effect. Villa on the left wing skinning Ramos over and over. Pedro turning into one of the world’s best two way wing players. Busquet’s dominating possession out of the back and keeping the match composed. Purchasing Dani Alves for 34M.

    Today we saw how all of the pieces were meant to come together. And it was breathtaking.

  23. barca96
    November 30, 2010

    I had a hard time falling asleep and I had a hell lot of time waking up in the middle of the night checking the clock making sure I did not over sleep. And in the end woke up at 5.30am(8.pm barca time), couldn’t take it anymore.

    How on earth did Villa get a 7? So many good runs. He provided a lot of options for our guys. 1 assist & 2 goals. If most of us hated the man, you would’ve forgiven the offsides and looked at the assits and goals would you?

    I was going to complain about Tommy Smyth from Espn Soccernet Presspass for saying that Messi play-acted but now it seems that you seem to agree with him too.
    Carvalho knew exactly what he was doing that b*&^@%d. 3 dirty Portuguese (..).
    Messi was not wrong for going after Carvalho as Carvalho was barking at Messi while Messi was down. WHat did he expect? Messi to stay up after getting pushed off the ball. Ok, it wasn’t a foul but Messi fell, obviously, he is smaller than Carvalho.

    And before that play, Carvalho kneed Messi on the head while Messi was down after a clean challenge from Pepe in their box.

    I really wouldn’t mind serving jail time as long as I can get my hands on Carvalho, Ramos & Arbeloa.

    • K(legit)
      November 30, 2010

      I dunno man..They seem like thugs and could go medieval on yo’ ass
      Jokes aside
      I liked how Pique and Valdes backed off when Casillas pulled rank on ’em..just dunno why Ramos was such a hot head and that too against his NT teammate?
      retarded

      No damage for Messi right? barcastuff said there was a small tear

    • Manish
      November 30, 2010

      ^^ Barca loves u.. .:) .. and BFB is churning out blogs at the same rate Barca scores goals, loving it.. Messi deserved a 10.. and Carvalho deserved a red for that shoulder on Messi.. wtf..

  24. Stephen
    November 30, 2010

    Pleading Guilty to saying sMasch could be better than Busquets, he was immense today, no way we could’ve done it without him on the pitch.
    After reading some liveblog from the offside real madrid, I think this is a lesson to them and to us, there was so much pride on the line and if they didn’t learn a lesson in humility, I say we do and not commit their mistakes. Happy that we won, hope we keep it up, long way to go still.

  25. umessi10
    November 30, 2010

    Is the Sky Sports telecast, the one with Ray Hudson commentary ?

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      The GolTV telecast is the one with the Ray Hudson commentary.

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      The links are in the post prior to this one.

    • K(legit)
      November 30, 2010

      The Sky Sports one is with John Driscol and Terry Gibson..I like them..good combo

      I find Ray Hudson a bit OTT..sorry I know many of you all are fans but in addition to that his partner Phil something annoys me a bit

  26. jordi(TM)
    November 30, 2010

    LOL has anyone seen dani here taking the freekick in the Ramos incident?
    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzkRpcMjSjo

    “Brawl going on?,Empty goal! sweet!”

    I wish the camera had panned out to see how far he went 😀

    This game was brilliant, we almost had the 8-0 but I cant complain.I especially loved the final toying with them in the last minutes, some people think it was over the top, but the backheels by andres busi villa and co. made me drool.

    • barca96
      November 30, 2010

      It wasn’t in the last minutes Jordi, it started at 60+ mins.

    • K(legit)
      November 30, 2010

      68 min actually and was followed by some more a couple minutes later..
      Apparently Arbeloa didn’t tape up his ring finger and so had to remove his wedding ring and put it on the touchline..

      what bets the linesman nicked it and its on ebay as we speak? 😀

  27. y2k156
    November 30, 2010

    Loved our play yesterday and the result makes my week:).

    I think most people missed that Carvalho also kneed messi in the back two minutes before hitting him on face. Maybe he did not hit Messi that hard on face but had definitely hit him quite hard few minutes back. If I was to receive two such challanges in quick succession, i would like to point ref to the illegal challanges. So i cannot take anything away from Messi. He should not have had a card and Carvalho should have had one. Messi was immense yesterday but than, so was rest of team.

    I feel so lucky that we are blessed to follow this team in current form.

    • barca96
      November 30, 2010

      That’s what I said earlier too. At that point I wanted to choke hold Carvalho but after the elbow, I wanted put him down MMA/UFC style.

  28. November 30, 2010

    I didnt read anything yet, I just want to post this first:

    ““First things first – this wasn’t an inherently ‘tactical’ victory. Barcelona won primarily because of the cohesion and quality of the interplay in midfield.” Zonal Marking

    I predicted that before the match. right? Right! If Barca win, its the players. If RM win, its Mou. Am I the only one who is sick of people hyping Mou and underestimating Pep? Seriously.

    I dont follow that website regularly, I visit from time to time. With all the well balanced writing style and the effort made, sometimes those people get it right, other times completely wrong. BUT if they REALLY watched the match, and they REALLY think tactics had nothing to do with this. Then I will allow myself to say: Those people don’t know a shit about this sport.

    I wish to have enough time to write about Pep’s work in this match. It require huge effort watching the match and collecting frames. To brief things: Mou was soooo poor as a tactician in this match. I feel guilt I overrated his match approach in my preview, he was far from getting there (RM must look for a coach from Kazan if they want a quality reactive coach). Pep in the other hand was a pure genius.

    • barca96
      November 30, 2010

      Mourinho doesn’t even instruct his players to PLAY anything special when he was at Chelsea or Inter. It was just pure and simple 10 men behind the ball and for that, they call him a genius.

      Last year he beat us, 3-1 and the whole world’s media had a hard on for him being such a “genius, master tactician”, now Pep wins 5-0 still no journalist or neutrals or other club’s fans calls Pep a genius. That’s just BS.

    • Luna
      December 1, 2010

      “BUT if they REALLY watched the match, and they REALLY think tactics had nothing to do with this. Then I will allow myself to say: Those people don’t know a shit about this sport.”

      My thoughts exactly Ramzi.

  29. K(legit)
    November 30, 2010

    Who among me is a bit tired of Mou using that “work in progress” excuse?

    • BarcaOwl
      November 30, 2010

      I agree with you, K. But some people are really good at making excuses. They’ll have one for every situation. I’m pretty new but I can’t say that I’ve heard Pep give excuses. Not even when the team lost to Hercules.

    • Jim
      November 30, 2010

      To be fair that’s what they are and they will get better. The 2nd Clasico will be another test. However, there will remain the conundrum for them that their best game isn’t as good as our best game. When the two collide we will win as they won’t have enough of the ball. Yet they don’t have the skill ( or Xavi, Iniesta or Messi) to play our type of game at our level.

      You can bet that the next one will be even more physical though. The prevailing thought in the media seems to be that they stood off us too much. It’s a delicate line between that and not being able to get close enough to kick us.

    • Stephen
      November 30, 2010

      I’m pretty sick of it too, but what CAN he say? “We sucked”? He wouldn’t, he’s playing it off well “La liga is long blah blah blah” is what is coming next when their players do come out and show their face. Crynaldo’s excuses will be along the lines of “Im not worried. we’ll win this this and that blah blah blah”

  30. Jim
    November 30, 2010

    Meant to say. I was daft enough to count the passes for the 2nd goal. 27 !!!!!!!!!

  31. poipoi
    November 30, 2010

    Ibra people, some short guy named David el guaje Villa, the offside man, scored TWICE in el clasico. No more Ibra talk por favor.

    • K(legit)
      November 30, 2010

      Respect the Soul patch..

      i think Villa celebrated the 2nd goal more vociferously than Pedro..that brought a smile to my face!

  32. outerspacedout
    November 30, 2010

    Some guys at the EE Offside blog made said something about how Ramos was probably the only human on Earth stupid/brave/courageous enough to touch Puyol.. they weren’t defending him as much as making a joke about how terrifyingly manly Puyol- ‘the eater of tibias’ or something his nickname is apparently- can be, and it was nice to see the opposing side make the same jokes about our players we do.

  33. Eduard
    November 30, 2010

    I will just like to add, I help created a new Barca fan yesterday. That was the first non-World Cup game he’d ever seen, and he was impressed, bewildered, and simply in sheer awe. FCB definately made some new fans after this.

    • poipoi
      November 30, 2010

      and EE some haters! 😉

      the nasssty kick by ramos and then his wacko moment, thong boy shooting from 50 meters and doing bycicles in the corner loosing 4-0, mourinhg o hiding in the bench the list is just endless.
      1,2,3… hala madrid! jajajajaaaaa

  34. soccermomof4
    November 30, 2010

    Great job, Kevin! Thanks.
    I woke up this morning still smiling. Gonna wear my Barcelona scarf all day long! Half the joy of the game for me (guess it’s the mom in me) was the fact that it looked like the guys were having so much fun out there!

  35. soccermomof4
    November 30, 2010

    Soccermom gets to write a happy ending to her Origins of Mourbo epic.

    • SoccerMom
      November 30, 2010

      Great SoccerMomMinds think alike!

  36. just sayin'
    November 30, 2010

    My MOTM would be a toss up between Puyol and Abidal. Slight edge to Puyol, as he gave it his all. He was everywhere in the back line, sliding, tackling and basically flinging his body in the air to prevent a pass. And somehow he did this w/o drawing a card. Excellent timing.
    I think the Xavi and Iniesta combo was on fire yesterday, and if Xavi was a 10 then Iniesta has to be a 9 or 10 because they connected all night long!
    I appreciate the 7 rating for Villa. I knew that people would argue that he deserves a higher rating for 2 goals and 1 assist and maybe he does because he did do his job but, for me personally, he’s still our weakest link. Because we are that good, his skills stand out as inferior. I mean, how many times can you be offside? Even if you are living on the edge, how many is too much?? The interesting thing is that I watch him specifically to see if he looks around (moves his head) to gauge where he’s at and I don’t see it. He just seems caught up in the desire to run forward without concern to where their last defender is standing. A few too many bad passes and bad touches. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say that his first assist was lucky. Casillas should have grabbed that ball. It was Villa’s typical move where he goes right to the endline and tries to cross but he’s too close and it usually is picked up by the keeper. Somehow Casilla’s misses it and it pops right over to Pedro, who scores a nice goal.

    • poipoi
      November 30, 2010

      busi was inmense, he’s the solution giver. I love how he steps into play and brings nothing but solutions. making us forget yaya

      • MoSSi
        November 30, 2010

        Just give Villa some time will you? He’s just been here for a couple of months, you really think he would gel perfect in our system because he plays with xavi, iniesta and Busquets in the NT. No other team plays football like Barca does, give him at least 6 months or a year for fixing his offside-issue..

    • Mast
      November 30, 2010

      Part of villa’s offsides were a shared responsability. Sometimes Messi, Iniesta & Xavi wait just too long to play the pass, by that time villa allready took off and it’s rather hard to keep yourself balanced when starting to sprint.. With Henry we had the same “problem” in the beginning, they’re not used to us waiting so long to play the pass (sometimes).

      (not talking about the moments he’s not tracking back fast enough after an attack)

      This will be resolved once all players get to “feel” eachother better, as kxevin said: next season Villa will be the player everyone expected him to be this season, and yes he will be awesome!

      • just sayin'
        November 30, 2010

        The reason this forum was formed was to discuss the team, so if I just say that Villa will get better in time (which I think he will) it wouldn’t be as interesting. So, I stand by my comments.

        I will also say that VV needs to own the back line. Either he is not screaming loud enough for his defenders to know “who is calling for the ball” or he is just not commanding enough. It’s happened in the last two games and it seems like an on-going issue that should be addressed because that little lack in communication can cost us big time.

  37. soccermomof4
    November 30, 2010

    Holy Cow! Messi has 7 assists in the league. That’s a huge number this early.

    • Kari
      November 30, 2010

      Actually, I believe he has 8 and has the highest assist count in the league (yes, more than Xavi). I think Euler posted it on another thread

      What a beast.

  38. k505
    November 30, 2010

    messi was incredible! i think pep told him to play like a midfielder just to throw everyone off 🙂 this match — it brings to mind an old spot about barca “we are attackers that defend, defenders that attack..” just pure and beautiful football.

    congrats to pep for his very own manita, 5-0 record for his clasicos. stuff of legend.

    top of the league, valdes is top in rankings for zamora, messi top in rankings for assists… 2 more goals and he’ll be top in rankings for pichichi as well. total supremacy!! go barca!!

  39. Blow-Grenade
    November 30, 2010

    My MOTM – Xavi.
    That was an awesome match. This scoreline is the difference between having Ibra in the side, vs, having Villa in the side.

    • ooga aga
      November 30, 2010

      well, this year, i think we look better with villa than ibra in the front line, but to be fair, in the home match taht we won 1-0, ibra didnt start, he came on for henry at the beginning of the 2nd half. additionally, pedro didnt play in that game, we had an extra midfielder in keita, who gave way to Yaya after ibra’s goal.

      dont get me wrong, i am very pleased ibra is not in our side this year, gumming up the works. but we need to stick to facts here.

  40. Varun
    November 30, 2010

    Messi didn’t dive, neither was his reaction delayed.
    The incident was only shown in Slo-Mo.

    See it in real time messi goes down as anyone of us would,
    Slo-Mo distorts reality.

    • IS
      November 30, 2010

      Completely agree.. as I noted the same on the liveblog yest.

  41. Helge
    November 30, 2010

    Simply godlike!
    This IS the best team EVER, no question.

  42. November 30, 2010

    visca barca!

    & Kxevin’s review is always the best!

    The width is really back, and we are all glad.
    Pedro is the latest graduate of our very own Total Football School, it was really him and Villa who provided the width and we needed them. I am so glad for our team performance because it would not be possible if it was only part of the team performed this way. It makes us proud of our team football more and more.

  43. MoSSi
    November 30, 2010

    WOOOOOOEEEEEHOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. stowe
    November 30, 2010

    I think that Ramos could have gotten two red cards for his actions. Apparently he was gonna get a straight red for the foul on messi, and then I’m sure he would get one for his reaction afterwards. Alves was funny taking the ball, too bad the way he did it is illegal since you can’t self pass (right?). Anyways. Great to see the score and everyone playing well.

    DO YOU THINK WE’VE PEAKED TOO EARLY? (sorry i can’t make it bold) I know that Villa can still improve. Apparently Pique needs to regain his form and I’m sure that Mascherano will mesh better with the system. It will be interesting, also, to see fresh blood at the club with Afellay.

    • November 30, 2010

      Hi. Just encase your letters in <strong></strong> to make it work.

      For example:
      Hi, <strong>I like barcelona.</strong>
      Becomes:
      Hi, I like barcelona.

  45. sheena
    November 30, 2010

    One of the most epic moments of the game, for me, was when TB shoved Pep for being too slow to hand over the ball, and the entire bench, technical staff, and every blaugrana player on the pitch jumped to his defense. To see even the new signings like Villa and Adriano get so protective over their coach after only a few months really goes to show where we’re at as a team.
    I also think it’s unfair that (most) people blame the margin of victory on the fact that EE were having an off night.
    Truth was, the same thing that happened to every other side that have faced us lately, happened to them.
    I mean come on, EE have been in a rich vein of form as of late, thumping a very worthy Athletic side 5-1 last week.
    We were just too good. This was by far our best showing this season (I would even go so far as to say that it ranks up among the top 3 during Pep’s run as coach) and we left EE with no chance what so ever.
    They weren’t just chasing shadows, they couldn’t get anywhere remotely close to the ball. They couldn’t counter attack, because we just didn’t cede possession.
    As for the goals, people will say that the first 2 resulted from defensive mistakes over pure skill, but as someone noted before: Constant pressure leads to errors.
    And we were pressuring them into oblivion.
    The passes from Messi to Villa for the 3rd and 4th were just sublime. I don’t know how other teams decide how they’re going to play Messi, I’m just glad that we don’t have to.
    It’s great to see Bojan contributing so much over the past couple of matches, but it’ll still take a few more solid performances from him to convince me that he’s back to his goal scoring form from last season.
    We handed out a footballing lecture on the pitch tonight, and could have easily had more than 5 goals.

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      To be fair, compared to the reactions after thrashings we have given other teams over the years or the CL final against UTD where it was usually said that the other team “didn’t show up”, the reactions to this match have given us most of the credit. And that includes reactions from Madrid fans.

      I like that.

    • soccermomof4
      November 30, 2010

      Couldn’t agree more. We played better for 90+ minutes than we played during the imfamous first 20 minutes of Arsenal v. Barca 2010. WE ROCKED the soccer world last night. We were that good!

  46. mei
    November 30, 2010

    question: in the beginning of the match , or much likely before the match started pep singnaled the “switch” gesture to some players.
    Was it a sign towards puyol and pique to flip sides?

    • November 30, 2010

      There is no other explanation as far as i see. moments before kickoff only Ronaldo and Di Maria’s positions were the reason for Pep to give instructions.

      • blitzen
        November 30, 2010

        Yes! I was going to mention this too. It took me a few minutes to realize that Puyol and Pique were in each others’ positions, but it was obviously the right strategy.

        • Soto
          November 30, 2010

          It looked like Puyol always played on C.Ronaldo’s side, no matter where the pretty boy went. I have read elsewhere that Puyol would be less likely to get impatient, dive in, and try to tackle C.Ronaldo, which could be risky. Since Puyol did a great job, as usual, in containing the pretty boy, this seems like a pretty good theory.

  47. blitzen
    November 30, 2010

    My MOTM is Xaviniesquets. They were like the Holy Trinity yesterday: Xavi the Father, Busquets the Son, and of course our Holy Ghostface. 😀

  48. Kxevin
    November 30, 2010

    In the morning after ….

    –re Abidal: You can watch every player on the club and find nits to pick. The score takes into account the aggregate performance of the player. Abidal was immense on offense AND defense, a player that I can’t believe I still have to defend after all of his consistent excellence. His pace, stamina, physicality without being thuggish and quality on the ball are astonishing. I forget what we paid for him now, but it was a bargain. For me, he played to a 10. All day.

    –Villa: It’s why I said that the Villa that everyone is expecting will be on tap next season. He’s still learning to play in our system, and the first year is always brutal for attackers. This match, he played like David Villa, not like David Villa trying to fit into the Barca system. “Give me the ball, and I’ll put it in. I’m gonna be offsides a few times, but you’ll get a goal or two as well. Deal with it.” Every time he tried to play like us in this match, he gave the ball away.

    –Krkic is starting to make me optimistic. This was his second excellent performance in a row. Granted, both came during garbage time, but that hasn’t stopped him from sucking before.

    –Mourinho is right. EE is, right now, a collection of expensive talent. We are a fully-formed team. The difference was and is, huge. They have enough talent to beat most teams, because most teams aren’t us.

    –I don’t know if I stressed enough how immense and difference-making Iniesta was. A fit, on-form Ghostface was the missing factor in the last few Clasics. He makes Xavi that much more effective becuase if you mark Xavi, he can become Xavi.

    –Some numbers: that was the 5th time we’ve beaten them 5-0. Symmetrical, eh? Guardiola’s 5th Clasic win as a coach was 5-0, by a 17-2 aggregate. 17-2!!!! We completed 636 passes, to 279 for them. Xavi was 114 of 117.

    –Finally, Messi: What made him MOTM for me wasn’t his offense. We expect that. It was the effort all over the pitch that sealed the deal. Puyol was a lion on defense. So was Abidal. Xavi was otherworldly in midfield. Only Messi was stealing balls, battling defenders, shouldering EE attackers off of balls to show a physical side that is new to me. I knew he was strong, but when he gangstaed that ball off DiMaria …. whoa! And then the assists, the playing in the midfield because that’s where he had to play to give us the best chance of winning? I just can’t say enough about the match that he played.

    • Kxevin
      November 30, 2010

      And holy crap, I forgot Busquets. He was glorious. Cut off Xabi Alonso, and you cut off their attack. His energy is amazing. With a fit Iniesta, you can use two to mark Xavi off the pitch, and Ghostface takes over. Mark Xabi Alonso, and they become a wing team, as we saw. And I have confidence in Alves and Abidal on that score.

      Speaking of Alves, who in his right mind wants to leave a club like this, playing the way that it is right now? He said as much, saying that he wants to stay, and is optimistic that things will work out. Imagine Afellay watching that match and thinking, “Wait. HolycrapI’mgoingthereinJanuaryomigodomigodomigod!” 😀

    • November 30, 2010

      –Villa: One of the reasons he played without any complexities was Messi’s role in this match. Messi was playing as an attacking midfielder (not a false 9, nor a right wing). When Messi leads the offense line, Villa switch to co-pilot mode. In this match Villa took more responsibilities.

      – Mourinho is wrong. Sorry, but his excuse is shambolic and shows a man who is not welling to take responsibilities in defeat while bragging in victories. Pellegrini was in his first season last year. Barca were lucky to defeat RM at the camp nou back then. Mou has the same squad of last season with less complexities and more enforcement. Definitely, he has a better squad than any other team we played this season. He failed to plan his game right. I admit, even for someone who is not carried by the hype surrounding him, I overestimated his qualities while previewing the clasico. An amateurish buildup for the game. He is quality, but last night he got it all wrong.

      He wasnt supposed to guarantee a win. Barca would have won anyway. But you can at least expect a quality performance that makes things a bit harder for Barca players. It was a walk in the park. Easier than defeating Sporting Gigon, if you know what I mean. So…no excuses.

      • MoSSi
        November 30, 2010

        Well, he didn’t have a PERFECT game because he almost scored an owngoal hadn’t Valdes produced a ssuperreflex..

  49. poipoi
    November 30, 2010

    h–p://yfrog.com/ba88a0j

    always!

  50. stowe
    November 30, 2010

    Maybe it was missed. Does anyone thing we might have peaked too early?

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      Nope. This was Pep’s plan at least physically anyway like when we had that “Tourmalet” against all of the better teams in La Liga in the first half of the 08/09 culminating with a win over Madrid.

  51. blitzen
    November 30, 2010

    From goal.com, Puyol speaking to AS:

    “I went to defend a team-mate because I thought it was a very tough tackle [by Sergio Ramos].

    “We have many friends in the Real Madrid dressing room, and there is no problem with that. Whatever happens on the field stays on the field.

    “I have a very good relationship with Sergio Ramos, and the incident has already been forgotten. I have other things to think about that are more important.”

    You might forget about it Puyi, you classy man, but I sure won’t. Oh, how I hate Ramos!

  52. K(legit)
    November 30, 2010

    Pique for 6 mill..we got him for 6 mill..*shakes head in disbelief*

    Oh and Ramzi totally pwned a dude over at the EE offside regarding the Guard of Honour “they” did for us in “their” house 😀

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      “La Liga is rubbish” or something to that effect.

      Imagine if comments weren’t closed on that article. The abuse he would receive would be off the charts.

      • K(legit)
        November 30, 2010

        Imagine the egg on that idiot’s face if..no..when Xavi wins it now

  53. Josep
    November 30, 2010

    Imagine if Messi would’ve passed to an unmarked Villa I think when the score was 1-0. He wanted the goal himself. It would’ve been spectacular.

    A complete match. IMO, Bojan played well but certainly not that high. I mean he should’ve scored he was thru on goal and tripped himself. If its a 0-0 game does he get a high rating or just because of what he contributed to an already defeated team?

    I love Bojan though. God, I can’t wait to see more of this. The passes completed numbers, the 17-2 Pep-Madrid aggregate. Xavi completing I think 114/117 passes. MY GOD.

    One month till Ibrahim Afellay. 🙂

    • Josep
      November 30, 2010

      I admit, that pass for the fourth goal.. was omg. The run, gets fouled, stays on his feet,then plays a perfect thru ball.

      Lets not get complacent folks.

  54. Kari
    November 30, 2010

    “If Barca win, its the players. If RM win, its Mou. Am I the only one who is sick of people hyping Mou and underestimating Pep?”

    I agree about a million percent, Ramzi! I’ve always felt “Mou” was overhyped to ridiculous proportions. “No way Mourinho could possibly lose by such a scoreline. This 5-0 must be part of his masterplan for the match in April.” What bullsh*t.

    –poipoi, the lucky guy!, got to see this match live in the Camp Nou. He took some lovely pictures as well (he posted it on the other thread). Did you girlfriend finally let you use her camera? 😀

    —I slept in and missed watching the match from the third (or fourth, lost count) time, but I’m preparing to download the Sky Sports version. I freakin’ love this team.

    • Josep
      November 30, 2010

      Good thing Pep doesn’t care about the praise. He’s stepped in and becoming a top 3-5 coach in his first year and people claim its all in the team he was handed. He was handed arguably a BETTER team, and sold some stars then won 6 trophies.

      There will always be doubters and idiots. No doubt Mourinho is a good coach, but tactician I always thought overrated.

      He was praised for only losing 1-0 at the Camp Nou (really 2-0), but an offside goal allowed him to defend. He did nothing special. No attacker, 9 defenders. Thats it. He dropped 9 men back, and Barca kept trying to pass it into the net.

  55. Jnice
    November 30, 2010

    Ramos only got a 1 game suspension for his antics last night. Incredible. Oh well….

    • Josep
      November 30, 2010

      A joke. Ramos should’ve seen at least 2. How Carvalho didn’t see red, and how Arbeloa didn’t see any cards last night baffles me.

    • IS
      November 30, 2010

      Is that final? Doesn’t a committee typically meet to discuss the weekly happenings in La Liga?

  56. Josep
    November 30, 2010

    Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos each fined €20,000, Iker Casillas €10,000, Jerzy Dudek €5,000 and Real Madrid in general €120,000

  57. Josep
    November 30, 2010

    NEW NEWS: Jose Mourinho handed one-match touchline ban in Champions League and fined €40,000 over Real Madrid’s red cards at Ajax #fb

    Not that it matters. This one is stupid and bizarre. THey’re doing it to crackdown, but know the game means nothing to madrid.

    • IS
      November 30, 2010

      I think Mou got a 2-match ban where the first ban is enforced immediately as of their next CL game and he will be given probation for 3-years instead of being served the second ban straight away.

  58. Eklavya
    November 30, 2010

    Does anyone has a good picture of the Camp Nou mosaic?

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      This one isn’t bad: *http://static.ow.ly/photos/original/5W3G.jpg

      • Eklavya
        November 30, 2010

        HOLY SH*T ITS GREAT! 😯
        You will go straight to Heaven Jnice!!!

        • Jnice
          November 30, 2010

          Haha. All I did was find the picture.

  59. tyler
    November 30, 2010

    the most amazing thing in the world is I know have at&t uverse internet which allows me to stream epsn3.com in HD via my xbox to my tv. no more sh*tty webstreams! I can now watch all the games on ESPNdeportes that GOLTV doesn’t seem to want to broadcast. Oh and they have an archived HD version of yesterday’s clasico that I can watch as many times as I like 😀

  60. ooga aga
    November 30, 2010

    phil ball
    *http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=847482&sec=europe&root=europe&cc=5901

    • ooga aga
      November 30, 2010

      phil: “Whatever, the least one expected was a manita (little hand), the phrase reserved for games that end in a 5-0 scoreline. In some ways, they’re worse than a 6-0 result, because the latter has no nickname, no bruising synonym created to humiliate.”

      • Jnice
        November 30, 2010

        ” …. and Khedira seemed to undergo some sort of paralysis, like a startled rabbit in the headlights of a speeding car”

        Made me chuckle because that’s exactly what he looked like to me.

  61. sab
    November 30, 2010

    funny

    -http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2010/11/30/2238655/michael-yokhins-top-11-the-great-achievements-of-real

  62. Kari
    November 30, 2010

    You know what I’m sick of: people giving Xavi and Iniesta the recognition they deserve but only doing it to spite Messi. Stuff like:

    “I do really think that Messi wouldn’t be getting half these plaudits without Xavi and Iniesta behind him. He was easily marked out of the World Cup, you just can’t do that at Barca because Xavi and Iniesta will just produce something between themselves as they did for the first goal.”

    “If he still looks as good in 4-5 years time when neither Iniesta or Xavi are around then you can start making the Pele and Marradonna comparrisons.”

    I have one thing to say to you people: have you ever seen Messi play? I don’t mean watching the highlights of matches and reading online blogs about games and looking at stats, which is obviously what you’re doing. Watch him play and then we’ll talk.

    • Hilal
      November 30, 2010

      Dont let stuff like this bother you. No matter how good we are, no matter who we beat and how many times we prove ourselves, no matter how ridiculous Messi is, people who dont support Barca will always say things like this out of spite. First, Barca was dependent on Messi, now all of a sudden Messi isnt the same without Xavi/Iniesta, it will never end. Just enjoy the fact that we are witnessing the best player in history play for the best team in history.

    • Dave
      November 30, 2010

      Great comment. Bitterness and begrudgery is the order of the day. We can all expect nothing less

  63. jnelson
    November 30, 2010

    watched the game over again and felt the need to count consecutive passes completed in the second half. here it is:
    4-1-6-2-3-9-4-2-1-1-2-2-9-1-1-9-5(Goal)-1-5(Goal)-10-10-3-8-2-12-15-4-1-21-3-8-20-23-11-5-10-1-3-5-3-2-6-5-2-5-1-5-17-6-3-5-1-4-2-11(Goal)
    A few things that stood out to me from both halves:
    -Puyol starting attacks
    -Dani Alves seeing a pass was way off and dropping off, adjusting to intercept the following header from an EE player (it is crazy how so many opposing players will have plenty of space and yet head the ball instead of chesting it into possession like Pique)
    -Iniesta and Messi popping up to receive passes, losing a tackle the instant of reception,and immediately dishing the ball out into space. Brilliant.
    -SEVERAL overlooked runs and opportunities for EASY through or lobbed through balls towards the end of the second half. you can easily see someone like villa, bojan, p!, or messi with the entire left or right side open, being kept way onside by xabi alonso or someone and one of our guys declining to make that pass. it REALLY could have been more. there is no other explanation other than we took our foot off the gas after 4, as evidenced by our long passing chains, until the hard fouls compelled us to drop another.

    • Jim
      December 1, 2010

      Thanks for that breakdown. I guess I was as happy with the contempt with which we passed the ball around them in the last twenty minutes. you could see them literally running round in circles. 🙂

  64. cliu
    November 30, 2010

    In heaven…at our viewing session, some one said after 60 min mark, it’s like watching a cat play with a mouse and then some one else said, no, it’s like watching a killer whale play with a baby seal!

    • stowe
      December 1, 2010

      hahahaha! that’s awesome, and disgusting

  65. Clue(less)
    November 30, 2010

    Im so happy I am going to go get on my LADYYYYY PYRAMIDDDDDD!!!!!

  66. Eklavya
    November 30, 2010

    BTW, great review Kxevin! Although the one you did after the 6-2 is still the best and my favorite one! 😀

  67. gow
    November 30, 2010

    hey guys… does anyone have highlights from sky sports in ebglish, from those two commentators…???
    please it would really help:D

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      Nov 29 2010 – La Liga – Barcelona v. Real Madrid – HIGHLIGHTS – 26 Mins -SKY SPORTS

      *http://hotfile.com/dl/85863413/0b24b1d/La_Liga_-_Barca_v._Real_Madrid_-_HIGHLIGHTS_-_29-11-10.avi.html

      or *http://www.fileserve.com/file/TeXbh8X/La Liga – Barca v. Real Madrid – HIGHLIGHTS – 29-11-10.avi

      or *http://bitshare.com/files/oz7anaa8/La-Liga—Barca-v.-Real-Madrid—HIGHLIGHTS—29-11-10.avi.html

      Credit to Pakman at fbtz.com

      • gow
        November 30, 2010

        thanks jnice…really apreciate it…sucks big when you miss a game like this

  68. blitzen
    November 30, 2010

    Just finished watching it for the third time, it just gets better every time. A few more observations:

    –I am shocked by how poorly Xabi Alonso played. I usually rate him as RM’s best player who isn’t Casillas, but he was practically invisible out there. Even the few times we allowed him to have the ball he was surprisingly ineffective.

    –no one, and I mean NO ONE, has a first touch like Iniesta. Not even Xavi.

    –don’t care what anyone says, Abidal had a monster of a match. He was everywhere, attacking, defending, covering for Puyol or Pique on occasion. Yes, he made a few bad passes, but Iniesta did too, and Xavi.

    –I originally thought Alves didn’t have such a great match, but after watching it a couple more times I can see just how hard RM was pressuring him. They obviously had him pegged as a huge threat and did their best to shut him down completely. They couldn’t do it, though, and the added attention on Alves actually helped leave Abidal free to roam on the left side.

    –watch that amazing run Pedro! made for his goal. He had just been knocked down way back on the right and still managed to jump up, know magically exactly where he was going to need to be, and get there at the exact second he was needed. I love me some Pedro!

    –CRonaldo actually played quite well considering he was carrying his entire team on his back. He is definitely a great player, but he just doesn’t have the same capability that Messi has to create brilliant plays out of nothing at all.

    • Kari
      November 30, 2010

      re Alonso: I wasn’t surprised. I don’t really like Xabi Alonso–I find him to be a tad overrated (although it’s not his fault he played in a league that constantly overrates players). It’s no secret that during the WC I frequently expressed my misgivings on him always being in the starting XI (thus becoming a liability), and the fact that he thought he was Xavi during some games. That’s just my opinion though.

      His skill set is long range passing, right? Forgive my ignorance, but what else does he do? (Honest question.)

      • blitzen
        November 30, 2010

        Well, theoretically he controls his midfield the same way Xavi does, but he tends to play deeper, less attacking. His long-ranges are usually very accurate, but he can work the short triangles too. At Liverpool his job was to link up with Gerrard, and they have missed him terribly since he left. He has been crucial in Mourinho’s formations so far this season and provides a lot of on-field leadership.

        I forgot to mention in my post that this game has also really highlighted for me the difference in what Barcelona expects from its goalkeeper. Valdes is directly involved in plays in a way that Casillas is not. His job isn’t just to protect his net, but to be an extra defender, starting plays, working the triangles, controlling what is happening on his end of the pitch. This really is Total Football, Barca style.

    • cliveee
      November 30, 2010

      I am not a fan I guess, because Xabi Alonso has always been awful in my opinion. He has good long pass which requires space and time to watch and think. So, I fully predicted a non-function midfield of Real Madrid yesterday as I predicted Xabi Alonso to pass like crap and lose balls all night. He and Khedira are two of the biggest culprit of their team’s horrid performance.

      If you watch the world cup again, you will realize Alonso lost the most balls and made the most bad passes on the Spanish NT. Sometimes I feel funny to see Xavi & Busquets ignoring him for even a short pass, maybe they don’t want him to lose the ball again.

      • cliveee
        November 30, 2010

        Did I just get Hectored by Kari? is that what Hectored means?

        • Kari
          November 30, 2010

          No, you didn’t get Hectored, cliveee.

          Hectored (v.) – when one posts a long comment on one thread only for another post to come up, thereby making the comment useless (as most people will now go to the new post’s thread and not read the comment on the other thread). The term originally come from Hector who used to post long, insightful comments only for Kxevin or Isaish to post something.

          • Eklavya
            November 30, 2010

            I remember when the won the CL, he posted a looong comment only for Isaiah to put up a new post with only a pic and no words. LOL

          • cliveee
            November 30, 2010

            Amen. I finally understand this word.

  69. Cam
    November 30, 2010

    Two tactical notes I hadn’t seen discussed which intrigued me.

    The increasing propensity for Alves to slide into a right-central midfield role, reminiscent of the role he played for Brasil at the World Cup. This makes Alves’ offensive position on the pitch less predictable as he seems to switch between tucking in next to Xavi and bombing forward down the right. It also lessens pressure on Xavi as Alves is a second pivot to form triangles with Messi in the center and P! on the right. This action is predicated on and a result of P!’s location at RW as his wide play and defensive awareness give Alves even more license to roam that he had when Messi was out right. One aspect of the Messi in false nine or attacking mid role is that it has moved the devastating Alves-Xavi-Messi triangle away from the right touchline and towards the center of the pitch where it is even more devastating.

    Second, I really enjoyed Pep’s plan to switch Pique and Puyol so that the latter was always on the side of Ronaldo. One weakness of Pique’s game is his propensity to dive into tackles when isolated against faster players. Puyol is very good when aggressively doubling against wingers trying to cut into the box. This move cut down on the room afforded to Ronaldo and cut down on the likelihood of free kicks for EE in a threatening position. The latter was paramount because against Barca free kicks are about the only way Ronaldo can make an impact. You could see that limiting free kick opportunities was an important part of the game plan by the reaction on Villa’s face after he gave away that free kick in the center with his late tackle from the side. His face said “oh man I just did something bad that Pep said we must never, never do.”

    Neither of these items are not as dramatic as playing Chivu on the wing or effective using Samuel Etoo as a right back (I enjoyed seeing Di Maria stuck defending in the box yesterday as well), so commentators will continue to dismiss Guardiola as a tactician in comparison to Mourinho. But I think they evidence the little ways Guardiola has influenced our approach. He is the best in the world.

    • cliveee
      November 30, 2010

      Spot on about Dani Alves. One has to wonder the right flank alone is mere little space for this guy to run as he seems to be asking constantly for more exercise on the pitch. Therefore, moving closer to the midfield is the natural thing he would do.

      Also, I had noted it when we discussed about Abidal’s improved passing as a CB. Same goes for Alves, because if you play on the flanks, your passing angle is just so limited. Alves takes advantage of Messi’s constant movement from inside to outside and from midfield to final third. The way he forms triangles with teammates shows how well he understands our game.

      His impeccable athleticism always overwhelms me.

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      His face said “oh man I just did something bad that Pep said we must never, never do.”

      Yup. I saw the look of horror on Puyol’s face as well. Silly Villa. And what a terrible job that wall (or Abidal) did, btw. Made an average “into the wall” free kick look somewhat threatening.

  70. Jnice
    November 30, 2010

    Nice piece in Marca with Santi Segurola where he answers questions of fans every week. I like him, he is always so reasonable and always praises Barça even though he is a Madridista.

    Someone asked him to define Busquets and his answer was: “The best kept secret in football.”

    *http://www.marca.com/charlas/santiagosegurola/30112010.html

  71. blitzen
    November 30, 2010

    “They could have played with two balls,” wrote Roberto Palomar, “and Barcelona would have controlled both.”

    😀 😀 😀

    Stolen from Sid Lowe’s column:

    *http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/nov/30/barcelona-win-epoch-defining-clasico

  72. Kxevin
    November 30, 2010

    This comment on Phil Ball’s piece, from an H-Master77, sums up what we do with a ton of eloquence and simplicity:

    And all so simple. Don’t play a striker, have 6-7 players flood the midfield and so totally dominate that area. Always have 4-5 players within 10 yards of the ball, who are all superbly comfortable on the ball, always a perfect first touch, always giving and going, overrunning the defence with pace and movement. And, if the ball is lost, constantly pressure the opposition, totally surrounding the man in possession until it is won back. For 90 minutes.

    Teams just cannot deal with it.

  73. Jose
    November 30, 2010

    “Even Iker Casillas looked human. The last few games against Barcelona have left him looking desperate, as if his life were almost perfect (beautiful girlfriend, international acclaim, World Cup win, etc) but for the two occasions on which he has to be humiliated per season.”

    Glorious moment from Phil Ball… and I truly agree, Casillas being an EE player I don’t dislike.

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      Sometimes, thoguh, he does that “Iker face” too much where he makes it look as if he was in no way responsible for the goals going in. Like for Pedro’s goal for example. Yes Ramos and Marcelo were poor, but damn son, you are partly to blame for letting that ball even reach Pedro.

      Then other times, he always looks at the linesman and complains and tells him off. But yeah, besides that, he’s cool.

      • k505
        November 30, 2010

        read a comment on another blog about iker being a “true” captain compared to puyol because of his attitude. in what universe? i know a lot of people were sympathetic because he looked so defeated halfway through the match, especially after villa scored. i think that’s one of the things that got madrid’s morale down, combined with mourinho not even bothering to stand up during the second half. when the two people who are supposed to be leading you get disheartened, and show it too, it has to be frustrating for those players who want to keep putting up a fight. just made me appreciate puyol more – “even with four goals down, he still thinks we can win” i’ve never seen a match where puyol looked like he just wanted it to end.

  74. Kari
    November 30, 2010

    I’m going to look up the Revista de la Liga video before the Clasico and laugh at the expense of that ***** Guillem Balague. I bet he “predicted” an EE win but stated it as if it was something factual.

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      That’s the best part of the post match reading I do. Looking at statements of players, fans, pundits before the game and laugh at how ridiculously off they were.

      Extremely gratifying even if it’s almost 5 pm and I’ve done nothing all day but watch the match for a 4th time (4 different broadcasts) and read comment after comment.

      Can’t wait for the new Revista to be posted. As always, I’ll post it here first thing.

      • blitzen
        November 30, 2010

        Yeah, I’m watching for a 4th time as well, SkySports this time. But I’m on vacation, what’s your excuse? 🙂

        • Jnice
          November 30, 2010

          Ha, I’m on extended vacation, whereby I’m supposed to be preparing to take the LSAT in December. Safe to say that I haven’t touched a prep book in awhile.

          • outerspacedout
            November 30, 2010

            Is LSAT anything similar to the SAT SAT? Cos I took those in January and December about a year ago but I hadn’t heard of an LSAT before. If they are the same thing try the Sparknotes website, it helped a lot.

          • Jnice
            November 30, 2010

            It’s the exam you take if you want to go to law school. And I have plenty of books and things like that. Thanks, though.

          • jhargrid
            December 1, 2010

            The LSAT mostly tests verbal and logical reasoning skills, so there’s no math, and the scoring is done somewhat differently. I just took mine in October. Good luck with that Jnice!

    • IS
      November 30, 2010

      When does Revista de La Liga usually air? I’ve been waiting for it to pop up on youtube all day…

      .. nothin yet

      • Jnice
        November 30, 2010

        Think they had to shoot it late today because everyone had to fly back from Barcelona to London since they actually did yesterday’s game from the stadium.

  75. Auld Super
    November 30, 2010

    Revista’s on in 5 minutes. Ronaldo is a petulant prick, I can’t stand the sight of the gobshite.

  76. Auld Super
    November 30, 2010

    Terry, Graham and Guillem in studio. This should be good.

  77. Auld Super
    November 30, 2010

    Balague’s off saying Catalans prefer to see Madrid lose than to see Barca win.

  78. Auld Super
    November 30, 2010

    I love Graham Hunter.

    It’s all the players fault according to balague, not mourinhos. And he’s saying now mourinho meant them to lose badly to teach his players a lesson, christ !

    • Kari
      November 30, 2010

      ” And he’s saying now mourinho meant them to lose badly to teach his players a lesson”

      You’re joking. I can’t believe that people actually listen to this guy.

  79. Auld Super
    November 30, 2010

    I’m not he said it, I get the feeling he doesn’t exactly love Barca.

    • Kari
      November 30, 2010

      He’s an Espanyol fan and writes for AS, but still has the gall to comment on Barca as if he were a neutral. He also hides behind the fact the he’s half-Catalan and born in Barcelona, so people don’t accuse him of bias.

      This will turn into a rant if I keep going, so I’ll stop, but in short: the guy’s a d*ck.

      • Dave
        November 30, 2010

        Balague is a complete crony. Hes up his own arse, self publicist.Hell his website looks like Argos selling this shit and that. He writes for papers that have a subscription story ie the english Times and directs people to this. He acted as an mouth piece for Benitez his best friend saying this and that to the press mostly threats like Benitez wasn’t being funded by the board.
        Most galling is his predictions. Some gather round him like hes some Oracle reader- to me hes a joke. He’s like Nostradamus whose supporters go on and on about his great predictions forgetting of course that for every correct prediction theres probably ten wrong ones.
        The guys also a real sickener when it comes to licking ass. For instance getting an interview with Mourinho means he now loves him. Also he bangs on and on about Ronaldo defending his shitty attitude. I know the world of journalism is murky, back handers here and there to make connections and networks but he takes the piss.
        We must remember he works for the same paper as the demented Fred Hermel and Tomas Roncero.Says it all really.
        I despise him as an individual, a real grease ball. All hot air really. One can’t go past Graham Hunter. Then Sid Lowe and the iconoclast Tim Stannard. Top Journos

        DISCLAIMER- THE ABOVE IS THE VIEWPOINT OF ONE INDIVIDUAL WHO CAN’T STOMACH BS, AND DOES NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS OF THE BLOG.

        • outerspacedout
          December 1, 2010

          The only La Liga journalists I read regularly are Phil Ball and less regularly Sid Lowe and Tim Stannard (is he La Liga Loca guy? If so then yeah him). Don’t know Guillem Balague but his name reminds me of Gollum. Love the Phil Ball Monday column. Oh and Ed Alvarez quinielas on Soccernet too. The only Graham Hunter piece I read was his Messi vs Ronaldo piece in the build-up to the Clasico.

          Oh and then the Goal.com guys like KS Leong, Carlo Garganese (bleh- one of the most biased writers I read), Subhankar Mondal who while he tends to go overboard with metaphors and ridiculously flowery language and seems to prefer Madrid seems to be nice enough and is commendably unbiased, admitting fairly when one team or the other sucks, Ewan Mcdonald, and so on. But then I don’t really count the Goal.com folks as ‘journalists’ looking at the standard of the stuff there, which is really awful. Most of the news are rumours and BS, the editorial columns are extremely wind-vane-ish (especially Garganese, the most bandwagoning journalist I know- one bad performance by someone and he will write an editorial saying they’re finished, a good performance by a team and he’ll write one saying they are unstoppable, and every month or so he writes something about how strong and deep the Serie A is, as well as slipping that fact into all his articles, along with going on about how global warming is a myth and adding other such political opinions or personal opinions into articles as if they were fact, hating on the La Liga and the EPL, and making regular joke columns which aren’t funny at all more often than not though I will admit he gets maybe one or two out of every ten jokes decent), their player ratings are a joke, their previews are clueless, their tactical analyses are horrible, and boy could I go on! Anyway yeah I respect Subhankar Mondal for keeping up some journalistic integrity by remaining unbiased and fair generally as far as I remember and not jumping onto the bandwagon after every one performance (digital spit at Carlo Garganese’s direction) and then getting off it the next, and Clark Whitney their Bundesliga journalist cos he writes some pretty decent stuff and seems an all-round cool guy and the most journalistic of the staff there. Dunno if I’m forgetting anyone.

          Btw, we should have an HTML tag for haha, something like making the text between them red and underlined and bold, or something, hahaha. Like we do for ‘strong’ tags and underline tags.

          • Dave
            December 1, 2010

            Mondal is the biggest madridista on the site. A bio I read, he describes getting teary eyed over Figo for Madrid.

            Garganese always supports Seria A in the face of English media nonsense yet laments its decline. IMO he has a soft spot for Juve and great Italian players of the past

          • outerspacedout
            December 1, 2010

            Yeah that’s why I respect the fact that Mondal gives Barcelona credit when they are superior and admits Madrid’s faults when they suck. His referee watch for example was quite fair, unlike whenever Garganese does anything about say Inter.

  80. just sayin'
    November 30, 2010

    Still trying to figure out what happened to RM? I understand we totally dominated, but RM looked like they either had a really off day or Mou had a pretty poor strategy. Surprised that RM didn’t come out attacking and pressing our players because we always play better when we have space. They didn’t exactly park the bus because we scored 5 goals, so I was hoping to hear something telling from Mou regarding what went wrong. It’s like the played right into our hand. Don’t get me wrong, we played a pretty perfect game in every aspect and I can’t imagine ever seeing better soccer in my lifetime and consider myself lucky to be around to see Barca play, but what the heck was RM doing out there??

    • sheena
      December 1, 2010

      I wouldn’t worry too much about that. It’s just like when people said Sevilla rolled over and died for us, handing us the win. That wasn’t what happened at all. They were just demolished by our performance. Madrid could have played against any other side in the Liga that night, and probably won. We just didn’t give them the ball to do any significant damage.

  81. MoSSi
    November 30, 2010

    If we could just have a comfortable win against our games against Espanyol, I dislike them as I dislike EE.. If we then could win la liga it would be de best championship win ever!

  82. Auld Super
    November 30, 2010

    Balague just said we are the best team in history ! He nearly choked on the words.

  83. Kari
    November 30, 2010

    Revista de la Liga: November 23 (aka. Pre-Clasico)

    Laugh with me, people. There are two people the upload Revista, andruchk and blackyliu. I’ll post blackyliu because all their parts are still in tact (andruchk got Part 3 taken down)

    Their YouTube page: /http://www.youtube.com/user/blackyliu#g/u

    • Kari
      November 30, 2010

      Just saw Part 1 was taken down from blackyliu’s page. Here’s part 1 from andruchk /http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuyH_Ecnk2s

      They are both interchangeable, so if one part is missing from one, the other probably has it.

  84. soccermomof4
    November 30, 2010

    Hey, all,
    Someone refered to Jeffren as FF. Please explain FF to this newbie.

    • Jojo
      November 30, 2010

      I think if I recall correctly FF stands for Final Fantasy as his nickname…not entirely sure doh..can someone confirm??

      • Kari
        November 30, 2010

        Yup. Jeffren = Final Fantasy or FF for short.

        It’s because when he first debuted with the first team, he had a spiky hairstyle that reminded many of Cloud from Final Fantasy 7 (I LOVE that game by the way.)

        • outerspacedout
          November 30, 2010

          Never played 7 but I loved 10. When I was younger I had the most massive crush on the female main character from FF10 Yuna

          • Kari
            November 30, 2010

            Yuna, huh? Yeah, she was awesome. I hated what they did to her in the abomination that was X-2. Ugh.

            I didn’t have a “crush” on any other the characters per se, but Auron was such a badass.

          • outerspacedout
            December 1, 2010

            She set the bar for girls for me- ability to summon demon monster aeons aside- when I was like 11, 12 or so haha (until I watched Say Anything and Diane Court smashed the bar up a couple metres). But yes X2 was an absolute abomination. Yuck. Yuck.

            Auron WAS badass, he was so awesome too.

            Ah, good times. I don’t know where my PS2 went and I haven’t played any PS2 for maybe more than four years or so now, but even now when I hear the theme music with pianos the overall feeling of being that age comes back in a nostalgic way.

      • Kari
        November 30, 2010

        No prob, SoMo. We always help out a new family member 😉

  85. Joel
    November 30, 2010

    Thanks Camo, Ramzi, Jnice, blitzen and Kxevin. Ronaldo is pathetic and Xavi is awesome. Barca, while I live in the midwest U.S. my heart is in Cataluña.

  86. Kxevin
    November 30, 2010

    Mourinho’s “It’s just three points” thing is right, and wrong. In the standings, it’s just three points. But psychologically, it’s significant. 5-0, 17-2 on aggregate. The longer you don’t beat a team, the harder it becomes to beat that team.

    But thay are a good football club, and a proud one. April will be intense.

    • Varughese
      December 1, 2010

      If we can keep a healthy lead till April, then Mourinho will be yet again in an unfamiliar territory. If we have lead over them in April, then they probably have to beat us in Bernabeu. In such a case we will murder them, as parking the bus option went out of window.

      I think Guardiola has found a kind of solution also for this Par Bus strategy. By Parking the bus, Mourinho will tempt to cut off supply to or Centre forward, so Guardiola solution is I won’t play a CF to cut supply for.

  87. Jnice
    November 30, 2010

    Revista De La Liga 11-30-10

    *http://hotfile.com/dl/86098974/2687c35/Revista_De_La_Liga_-_30-11-10.avi.html

    or *http://www.fileserve.com/file/fZXDQK8/Revista De La Liga – 30-11-10.avi

    or *http://bitshare.com/files/1za06tps/Revista-De-La-Liga—30-11-10.avi.html

    Credit to Pakman at fbtz.com

  88. jose89
    November 30, 2010

    great goal.com article.

    it’ll give you guys a chuckle.

    *http://www.goal.com/en-us/news/88/spain/2010/11/30/2238692/goalcom-top-11-the-great-achievements-of-real-madrids

    • Kevo
      November 30, 2010

      hehe I chuckled but I’d show more respect to the opponent, even tho it’s the bitter rival.

  89. simple_barcafan
    November 30, 2010

    And to that guy who put this headline “The best players of the world (and Xavi): Ronaldo crowned king of football” in Daily Mail in 2009…Only my respect this blog and refrain from using any profanity…but how I would love to punch him on his face…

  90. Clue(less)
    November 30, 2010

    Big props to andres at EE offsides, he found this and translates parts:

    some Madridistas were calling Benzema a mercenary and told khedira that he sucks and doesnt deserve to wear our ” fucking jersey ” , they also insulted Mourinho and Pepe

    here is a video
    **http://www.as.com/futbol/video/aficionados-madridistas-abroncaron-equipo-salida/dasftb/20101130dasdasftb_13/Ves

  91. Clue(less)
    November 30, 2010

    by the way ogullo means pride

  92. Dave
    November 30, 2010

    Hey Jnice, cheers for uploading these files.How do you open them once there downloaded, what program supports them???? Thanks in advance

    • ooga aga
      November 30, 2010

      i use DivX for viewing and 7-Zip for extracting/unzipping (if necessary)

    • Kari
      November 30, 2010

      Winrar for exracting/unzipping (this is for when the files are in parts). I used either VLC player and/or DivX for viewing. If it’s your first time, VLC player is your best bet to start with IMO.

      • Jnice
        November 30, 2010

        There you go, Dave. Kari and ooga aga are pros.

    • stowe
      December 1, 2010

      BS Player is another nice one. It doesn’t support as many files as VLC (which supports practically everything) but it’s nice for rewinding just a bit since you can use the arrow keys

  93. Nik
    November 30, 2010

    I’m going to spend the next couple of days downloading the 1080p file of the game that some awesome poster uploaded at Roja Directa. 11+ gigs (!) will take me a while to download, but the effort will be worth it.

  94. Dave
    November 30, 2010

    Posted above, but really have to get this off my chest

    Balague is a complete crony. Hes up his own arse, self publicist.Hell his website looks like Argos selling this shit and that. He writes for papers that have a subscription story ie the english Times and directs people to this. He acted as an mouth piece for Benitez his best friend saying this and that to the press mostly threats like Benitez wasn’t being funded by the board.
    Most galling is his predictions. Some gather round him like hes some Oracle reader- to me hes a joke. He’s like Nostradamus whose supporters go on and on about his great predictions forgetting of course that for every correct prediction theres probably ten wrong ones.
    The guys also a real sickener when it comes to licking ass. For instance getting an interview with Mourinho means he now loves him. Also he bangs on and on about Ronaldo defending his shitty attitude. I know the world of journalism is murky, back handers here and there to make connections and networks but he takes the piss.
    We must remember he works for the same paper as the demented Fred Hermel and Tomas Roncero.Says it all really.
    I despise him as an individual, a real grease ball. All hot air really. One can’t go past Graham Hunter. Then Sid Lowe and the iconoclast Tim Stannard. Top Journos

    DISCLAIMER- THE ABOVE IS THE VIEWPOINT OF ONE INDIVIDUAL WHO CAN’T STOMACH BS, AND DOES NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS OF THE BLOG.

    • Jnice
      November 30, 2010

      I feel you. Funny thing is, I know Graham Hunter must feel the same way. Like in previous Revistas where he tells the audience “don’t be fooled, Messi cares about being the best in the world as much as Cristiano.” Graham tried to shut him down and say that he’s spoken to Messi many times and those who know Messi know that he isn’t like that, but of course Balague has more information than anyone in the world. His newspaper AS have all the inside news to everything in the football world and he always has inside info. GTFO

  95. Jnice
    November 30, 2010

    The Inter Offside page is miserable. I’m sorry, but it truly is. They hate on us for everything we do and even when we play as well as we did yesterday, it’s watered down by talking about Barça players always diving, Messi being a cheat, Valdes, Pique and you name it being assholes. Pep not being classy, Pep being the one who told the grounds crew to turn the sprinklers on and last but not least, joy at seeing Ramos kick lumps out of Messi.

    Every time I visit that page I see whining, complaining about everything, usually referees, conspiracy theories, hating of Barcelona, and fighting with trolls. Truly miserable I have to say.

    I may be talking reckless, but even though fans of other teams don’t want to admit it, jealousy is a powerful force. We are hated by so many because deep down they can’t play like we do.

    Incidentally Dave, your disclaimer would also be appropriate underneath my post.

    These fans annoy the hell out of me.

    • Kari
      November 30, 2010

      I don’t expect anything less. I want them or Arsenal in the next round.

      • sheena
        December 1, 2010

        Arsenal in the next round would be beyond sweet.

    • momo
      November 30, 2010

      Honestly, who cares? The club you support is playing arguably the best football ever played and may as well be redefining how the game should be played. Their club recently lost to an aging ac milan, who were embarrassingly outclassed by madrid, who we just absolutely wiped the floor with. So save your time and breath mate; just sit back and soak in the majestic perfection that is barcelona.

    • November 30, 2010

      As long as we keep winning and play well, they will hate us. It goes this way no matter what.

      • jose89
        November 30, 2010

        if we don’t get to knock them out in the CL, we can at least take solace in the fact that Xavi will (rightfully) nab the Ballon d’Or over Sneijder (who, like inter, hasn’t had a good start to the season at all).

        i’m also a milan fan, so i have no love for them. everyone in italy hates em’ too.

        • Vj
          December 1, 2010

          They aren’t an Italian team I guess.. I can only name two Italians – Santon and Materazzi off the top of my head in their team, and even they don’t figure regularly in the starting XI..

          • Dave
            December 1, 2010

            Inter are scum.A rich oil magnate funding them,they were only champions bcoz of the scandals. They’ve an aging team and Benitez will run them into the ground

    • Jose
      December 1, 2010

      I feel ya, Jnice, but wouldn’t you be miserable if you had to watch Italian football every unbearable weekend. 😛

    • Vj
      December 1, 2010

      Usually supporters of a Champions League winning team are proud, arrogant (to a certain extent) but not bitter – Interistas (or whatever you call them) are none of that..

      Its like, they just got lucky, and immediately after the ‘act’, their partner leaves them for someone else.. I don’t know who wouldn’t be bitter after that..

      Or maybe they don’t like the way we play.. Or to quote one of them, they don’t like the fact that the sun shines out of our ass.. Bitter, bitter lot.. Gotta feel sorry for them (any team that plays for Benitez is applicable)..

    • Cule24
      December 1, 2010

      Probably due to the fact that they won’t get a 6 trophy season, and Sneider might not win the POY…but above all else they just came out from a triplete season yet people still consider their win against us a big fluke…but more likely deep down inside they know it too.

    • IS
      December 1, 2010

      I got hectored last time I posted this comment up, but it’s pretty much in line with what you saw on the Inter offside, except it was the lovely EE offside. Just thought I’d repost my experience over there:
      _____
      Everyday I find myself more and more appreciative of this blog. A few days ago I visited the EE offside for the first time and decided to comment on one of their posts.

      My comment was simple and in no way insulting – on the contrary, I was giving a few points on what I feel RM is missing. Anyway, next thing I know, one of their regulars responds to my comment, basically calling it out as BS. Hmmmm – so, luckily, that same day Salgado had come out in the press and made comments that supported my point 100%. So, I responded to ‘AJ’, with direct quotes from Salgado. All seemed ok… until today. I visited their blog and surprise surprise, they deleted both AJ’s response as well as my clarification! WTF!

      Very sad to see other blogs stooping so low as to cleanse their comments of anything that conclusively goes against its views.

      One more thing, in the euphoria of this win, I went on the EE offside again, this time to simply read through the transcript of their Liveblog. And this once again made me so happy with our own little community over here. I couldn’t believe how vile and vindictive some of their comments were. They went on half an hour about Messi’s dive (obviously), then went on to call us ‘class-less’ when Pep was shoved by Crynaldo, then a couple of them started wishing career ending injuries for Messi (even if they resulted in cards), and to top it all off – they pretty much skipped the Ramos incident, with one poster saying that ‘Puyol always gets slapped’ (i guess referring to the tunnel incident with Mou back in his chelski days). WTF!

      Anyway, I know this isn’t the most appropriate time/post for this rant. But I had to get it off my chest – and what better place.

      Thanks for this blog guys, it really is a gem.

      • IS
        December 1, 2010

        Been hectored^2… nice.. new post already

  96. Miguel
    November 30, 2010

    Arsène Nearly Hurt In Tesco Tragedy
    *http://www.alantyers.com/archives/257

    “Why did he spend his money on these lazy indulgences when he could buy raw ingredients and fashion them into something wonderful? Ah, the simple joys of a handmade ‘Boeuf aux Chamakh’, a deliciously spicy peasant dish from Morocco, cheap to make, delicate yet exciting. Or a ‘Jambe de Cesc au Catalonia’, where the tiny legs of a guinea fowl are snapped in half to prevent it migrating to the warmer climate, before poaching it in a jus of its own tears? Cruel? Perhaps. But intoxicating.”

  97. Alexinho
    November 30, 2010

    I really think this was the very best performance I’ve seen in my four or so years of watching Barca.

    I found myself shocked–shocked!–to be thinking “my lord, they STILL have the ball?!?! OMFGOMFGOMFG” You’d think I’d be used to it.

  98. HY
    December 1, 2010

    LOL! I didn’t think my day could get any better but I was wrong. Mou Busters indeed.

    \http://i.imgur.com/MuOso.jpg

    credit to barcastuff

  99. Guano
    December 1, 2010

    RAMOS BANNED ONE GAME ONLY
    *http://www.as.com/futbol/articulo/ramos-sancionado-partido-expulsion/20101130dasdasftb_34/Tes

    • barca96
      December 1, 2010

      It’s a shame.
      He viciously kicked Messi with an intend to injure Messi and if it wasn’t enough, the d**k head put his hands on 2 players.
      You know what Drogba would’ve said right? ;
      IT’S A FU*&ING DISGRACE!!!

    • Guano
      December 1, 2010

      From a comment on AS.com – Con Franco la justicia se hacia desde madrid y por cohones, ahora 35 años despues se sigue haciendo desde madrid y sigue siendo por cohones, eso si “respetando la legalidad vigente” tanto deportivamente como politicamente

  100. K(legit)
    December 1, 2010

    Due to the beauty of downloads and the fact that I spent every waking hour since Monday night obsessing over our game I have finally come upon certain points as regard to our win…El Clasico Manita over ‘them’

    1. Pressure: Pressure, pressure, pressure. The amount of stifling exerted on the EE players by ours was insane and it was till the final minute..Every time any of their players had the ball at least two of ours were on him..working the first touch..in general hounding him and stopping his play. This also involved extensive tracking back by our wide players. Both Pedro and Villa were as much involved in defense as they were in attack. Case in point is how Villa tracked all the way back to get a foul on Khedira near our box..That is the ‘Left Winger’ tackling the opposing ‘Holding Midfielder’. The level of commitment and passion shown by our players was unbelievable. It gave me immense pride in seeing this performance. It was vintage..absolutely vintage.

    2. Passing and Tempo: The speed of passing and movement we had in this game was insane. I believe that other than Messi, none of our midfielders ever took more than 1 (max 2) touches of the ball before passing. Before the game I had a mad madridista explain to me how he despised our ‘senior citizen’ play with ‘700 lateral passes’. I would have loved to rub this performance in his face but it is in our best interests as fans of a Classy team to be gracious in victory (and what a victory). I am a part of that minority who preferred the 0-2 at the Bernebeau last season to the 2-6 the season before last. Mainly it was due to the fact how the EE team was effectively anaesthesized in that 0-2 game. Now, like then, the EE never had a chance. From the first whistle, they were on the backfoot and were being slowly pushed towards the abyss.

    3. The Goals: The first one was classic XavIniesta. They have scored like this before (the one against Russia with the Spanish NT comes to my immediate attention). The run by Xavi into the box due to the space left by the CF (Messi) was something that has not been seen much this season and there is a reason why it has to. Amazing play by Iniesta and what control and composure shown by Xavi. Messi has his fingerprints all over this one as he was the one who played the ball to Iniesta’s feet through a crowd of defenders.
    The second goal was a combination of amateurish defending by them and strong running by us. Pedro gets taken out by Marcelo and instead of writhing about (as a certain greaseball would do), he gets up and starts running again. Xavi finds Villa in space and Villa does his best Henry impression, running towards the touchline and spanking a cutback that is too much for both Ramos and Casillas for a tap for Pedro with Marcelo looking lost. Shite defending by someone who was suggested to being in the best form of his life (deluded much?)
    The third and fourth goals I count as a single entity..the creations of a potent attacking force called Lionel Messi. The conversion of Messi from a wing attacker to this False 9, Laudrup-esque player is a tactical masterstroke. Opposition defenders don’t know how to mark him anymore. He shows up everywhere and links up play, acting as a midfielder, a winger and a centreforward depending on how he feels like. His two passes set up Villa’s brace were both beautifully weighted (specially the second one and our fourth goal). Magnificent play by Messi and great finishing by Villa, the kind of ruthless finishing he was bought for and now he’s in double figures for the season with 10 goals. Not a bad start at all.
    The fifth goal is all Bojan. Taking a pass from Iniesta in midfield to running all the way to the touchline and crossing it in at such a location that both Iniesta and Jeffren could’ve scored. A goal for Iniesta would’ve capped his MotM performance but as it is the young canterano with the weird haircut got it. And the celebrations were amazing all emphasized with the ‘Open Palm’- the Manita.

    Tactically, we essentially bitchslapped them. They had no chance, no clear openings in this game. It was clear that there was only going to be one winner in this Clasico of all Clasicos and it was the Blaugrana.
    I have never been prouder of being a fanatic of this team. It is an honour to be a Cule..an absolute honour.

  101. Vj
    December 1, 2010

    This just in: Manuel Preciado Rebolledo, Sporting Gijon coach, has accused Jose Mourinho of handing Barcelona the Liga crown by intentionally fielding a weak team on monday.

    LOL

    via a friend @ FB..

    • Guano
      December 1, 2010

      Oh that’s rich, perfect. Such sweet revenge it is

    • blitzen
      December 1, 2010

      This just made my day! Visca Preciado! 😀

  102. skyislm
    December 1, 2010

    Great times my dear friends…great times! I cant soak myself enough in this glory! My hearty wishes to all of Barca family!

    Wish I can play my role (in my organization) at least a fraction like they do 🙂

    I cant be motivated and inspired more. Barca has become more than just entertainment (possibly for all of its fans). I think they are giving ‘hope’, something the world is seriously lacking at this moment!

    • K(legit)
      December 1, 2010

      lol how full of shit can you get
      “The Whites continued to play hard with the match all but in the books, but everything went Barcelona’s way. ”
      Patronising BS..can you just not admit you were “OUTPLAYED”

    • El Kun
      December 1, 2010

      That’s the most biased shit I have EVER read. I’m laughing out loud at this report. They make it seem as if this epic defeat was due to an amazing amount of luck from our part and poor finishing from their ‘glorious galacticos’. When we lose, we at least have the decency to write an objective match report(as far as that is possible).

      Thanks for sharing!

    • outerspacedout
      December 1, 2010

      Haha, I just read a couple of their other match reviews from the drop-down menu on that page. First the 5-1 win against Bilbao, which was also pretty funny, as was the one against Hercules. Their match reviews are hilarious, I’m visiting their site after every one of their games now. Every opposition goal seems to be a fluke or offside, every substitution a work of genius by Mourinho, every period of opposition dominance being the match as a whole getting chaotic (read: the review of the Real Sociedad match, where it seems like Sociedad got lucky and Real stood strong in a crazy hard match).

      Ah, too funny.

      • sab
        December 1, 2010

        suppose u watched the match from ten action.

        that carlton palmer BS is such a MOU and CHRISTINA licker

        • K(legit)
          December 1, 2010

          I watched it there and each of the Pundits voted for a EE win and at HT they were gobsmacked lol..
          fun times

  103. Lev
    December 1, 2010

    sup y’all
    just a few points:

    1. mwahahahahahhahahahahaha
    2. great review kxev and previews Isaiah and Euler!
    3. Ligas are not won in November. hopefully this humiliation will effect Madrid psychologically and they will drop some points over the next few weeks.
    4a. but even if we do not win the league it does not really matter cause we will always remember la manita!!!!
    4b. which makes me fear that the only thing that could ruin the manita is if we somehow meet EE in the CL final and lose.
    4c. who wants to bet that next time round MErinho is going to park the bus again?
    4d. then again we might have broken the bus
    5. MWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  104. Lev
    December 1, 2010

    Jorge Valdano:
    “”Barcelona were superb, playing consistently and with confidence from the start. They scored with their first chance and we found it tough to overcome that.”

    yeah, our first chance……AFTER Messi hit the post, that is. LOL

  105. Diego S.
    December 1, 2010

    I had internet problems for the last couple of days. I’ll post my comments on the match later. Kari should do all the heavy live-blogging from now on. The Best Live-Blog Debut EVER !!

    Due to Internet trouble, I have no pictures from the Classico. Any Gallery Links would be highly appreciated. I want a picture of Pique doing the 5 sign. 😀

    • K(legit)
      December 1, 2010

      //http://www.totalbarca.com/2010/news/the-pictures-el-clasico-5-0/

      //http://www.daylife.com/search/photos/1/grid?q=barcelona+real+madrid

      For Pique’s 5 sign
      //http://www.elmundo.es/elmundodeporte/2010/11/30/futbol/1291074025.html
      Although for a bigger pic you can download the game through Jnice’s excellent (thanks again Jnice!) links and then do a printscreen

  106. Aneesh
    December 1, 2010

    LOL so epic this was. Carlton Parmer said before the game that Guardiola just asks to play football and Mourinho sets his team up for wins. I truly enjoyed their post match reaction.

    They were struggling for an excuse for the special one.

    Oh Xavi+Iniesta midfield = Epic thrashing

  107. just sayin'
    December 1, 2010

    Can anyone tell me of a Barca friendly pub in Madrid?

  108. NouBarca
    December 2, 2010

    Great to find a site where Barca faithfuls gist. Good to read from Kxevin agaim after a long while, good to see Ramzi also. Do we have a live chat section during games?

  109. Victor
    December 2, 2010

    People in here say that Villa needs to get used to Barcelona’s attacking (and defending) system and that’s true… while Villa knows Xavi and Iniesta from the national team… he isn’t really adapted to Barcelona’s system. Although, obviously, I have seen progress from him… in these 4 months… and he has 5 assists… although, admittedly, this last one was bit lucky (it seems to me that he wanted to score himself, not to make a pass) but still, Villa – up to this season – wasn’t really someone to rely for assists… so, there’s progress there.

    And while he has been Barcelona’s “weakest link” at the Champions League, he has made good passes (specially to Pedro) for scoring opportunities. 3 or 4 good passes for scoring opportunities that sadly got missed, but it is important to see that.

    The question is: will Guardiola be patient with him?

    Ibrahimovic just had a season to adapt to Barcelona’s system and, while he lost balls and didn’t move that much, he scored many goals… another season would, perhaps, make him adapt better to Barcelona. Yet, Guardiola decided to take him off.

    I just hope that the same won’t happen with Villa. Mainly because he is certainly different that Ibrahimovic (Villa is more dynamic and plays as a wing), but also because it would be kinda frustrating to see the same pattern repeating and repeating again… forwards just playing one season with Pep… Eto’o, Ibrahimovic… and I hope that the same won’t happen with Villa.

Leave a Reply