It Is Time to Destroy Espanyol: Saturday 2pmEST

The immovable object meets the unstoppable force. Twin 7-0-0 records get launched at each other tomorrow when Espanyol hosts city rivals Barcelona. Holy cow. Where there was once a Hand of God goal, there could now be a Foot of the Messias; where there are often red cards, there will probably be more. It is the Catalan Derby and it is, really, a battle between Good (us, obviously) and Parakeets.

I do not like Blue Parakeets and Ham, no I do not, Sam I Am. They’re like little brothers who always put up a serious fight (and sometimes win), but somewhere along the way you know you’re going to inherit the family business and they’re going to have to fend for themselves, the little dolts. Not that anyone is bitter about being a younger brother. I didn’t want to be in the olive oil importing business anyway.

Ivan de la Peña. I don’t like him. I mean, of course I like him because of his blaugrana past, but I think his soul is pretty white and blue these days. He’s now spent more time with Espanyol than with Barcelona’s youth, B, and first team combined (8 years vs 7) and the Little Buddha is always willing to smite his former club as he did a couple of years ago with a double in the match Keita was wrongly sent off in. I watched that match in the basement of Nevada Smiths, amongst the sticky floors and various odd patrons who seem to lurk down there.

We’ve totaled one former Espanyolista in Raul Tamudo with a 5-0 don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out send off into retirement, so why not de la Peña too? I mean, except this one would be even sweeter because it’s actual Espanyol and not historically a member of Espanyol. Not that my dislike of Tamudo and that one goal he scored that one time that we’re not going to talk about cause I don’t need to weep right now is diminished, but now it’s time to take out Espanyol, who have yet to play someone above 7th at home. And that was just Getafe.

Prediction: 1-3. They score, but so do we. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this!

More later when I’m done hanging with old HS buddies.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.

214 Comments

  1. blitzen
    December 18, 2010

    Scoreline notwithstanding, we didn’t dominate this game the way we did playing Real Madrid or Real Sociedad. Espanyol was very good at breaking up our passing plays and recovering the ball. This was one of the lowest possession percentages we have had. Our defense was sloppy, both Puyol and Pique were caught out several times, and if it wasn’t for Valdes’ excellent reflexes, the score could have been a lot closer.

    This is not to take anything away from our team. They played well in a very physical game against the toughest opponent we have had in ages. Pedro!! once again showed why he has earned his extra !. I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and now I’m off to watch it again.

    • tutomate
      December 18, 2010

      I agree with this ^

    • Vj
      December 18, 2010

      Yeah, my commentator was hammering down that point all too often.. When they scored, he said, “Will Barca get back into the match?” WTF?

      The key to the win IMO, was VV’s excellent save in the first half.. Dunno what would’ve happened if that had gone in..

    • Tom_Johnson
      December 18, 2010

      “we didn’t dominate this game the way we did playing Real Madrid or Real Sociedad.”

      You do realize we played a local derby (more emotions involved) away from home (where the host’s record is 7-0-0) against the team who committed 20 (sanctioned) fouls earning 5 yellow cards in the process?

      Playing a high line against a team such as Espanyol (physical and fast) is equal to a suicide. Not many people realize how special it is (and how many brains and hard work it takes) for us to be able to get away with it.

      Other than Abidal being caught watching the passer rather than being aware where the opponent is, the amount of mistakes defense made is understandable considering the pressure they were exposed to.

    • Soy Culé
      December 18, 2010

      We beat our local rivals 1-5 in their own stadium, and your complaint is we didn’t have as much possession as normal?

      Talk about being spoiled… (just kidding, of course) 😀

      • blitzen
        December 18, 2010

        I’m not complaining, it was a terrific game! I’m just saying we shouldn’t let the scoreline blind us to our mistakes and how well Espanyol played. I am very satisfied with how we played, but it could have been a much closer game than it turned out to be.

  2. Hilal
    December 18, 2010

    This team is a machine. It is incredible to watch. Espanyol played an outstanding game, they pressed us relentlessly, they were physical, aggressive and they did everything they possible could to try and get in our faces and we STILL scored 5 goals. Truthfully it could have been a lot more.

    I thought this was going to be one of the toughest games we play all season and in a way it was, but at the same time we are so damn good right now we made it look easy. IT WASNT. I guarantee you all of our players are knackered after that game.

    Pedro btw is a little nutcase. He is absolutely relentless. His workrate and his attitude on the pitch is incredible. I think he is quickly becoming one of the best wingers in the game.

    Messi has officially become unplayable now. He has evolved his game so that he knows when to pass, when to dribble, when to shoot. He didnt score today but he was incredible. Everytime he had the ball he drew defenders opened space and made dangerous pass after dangerous pass. 3 assists tonight. He used to be a little more selfish, which in a way made him a little more playable, now he just cant be stopped. If you play him for the dribble he will get you with a killer pass, if you play him for the pass he will get past you and score. Simply incredible.

    Villa is getting there, slowly but surely. At least he is learning to stay onside a bit more, he was killing way too many attackes earlier in the season. It is quite terrifying to think what will happen once he hits top form because he is nowhere near his best yet!

    Cant wait to play Arsenal again!

    • Jnice
      December 18, 2010

      Pedro btw is a little nutcase. He is absolutely relentless. His workrate and his attitude on the pitch is incredible. I think he is quickly becoming one of the best wingers in the game.

      Agreed. He’s a menace and is quickly becoming a monster.

      • Jnice
        December 18, 2010

        I should also say, that one play where he hassled Victor Ruiz, stole it off of him, beat him with his pace and forced him to take the yellow epitomizes what Pedro is all about.

      • blitzen
        December 18, 2010

        Shhhhh!!!!!! He’s our little secret, the other teams don’t seem to have clued in to his brilliance yet, and I don’t want them to!

        He’s a bit like a Whack-a-Mole, you go to take him out and he pops up somewhere else!

      • Tom_Johnson
        December 18, 2010

        If he was playing for Madrid or one of the British clubs, I’m sure he would be advertised to be just as good (if not better) as Messi (madrid-robben) or the best thing since sliced bread (any of the epl teams, rooney = white pele and so fort).

        But seriously, due to his small stature and a modest demeanor, Pedro is hugely underrated. The market price? $50M!

    • Goo
      December 18, 2010

      I love P!! Flailing arms and all.

  3. BarcaGirl_Indo
    December 18, 2010

    twitter @barcastuff :
    After 16 games, Messi-Villa (28 goals) is the best attacking duo in the Liga since Cesar-MarcoAurelio in 50-51 with 31…

    and they not even in top form yet…
    there’s a lot of room for improvement for this duo Messilla… 😀

  4. GREECE BARCA
    December 18, 2010

    Messipedrilla!The team tonight was fantastic!Oh and finally Valdes had something to do in a game!:-)Next game is against Levante,the worst team in liga,i hope for some rest for messi or xavi!

  5. blitzen
    December 18, 2010

    A couple more points:

    –Espanyol is a fast team! The pace of this game was stunning. It’s no wonder Pique and Puyol got caught out–they are great defenders, but neither of them is the fastest.

    –I thought the referee was fair. Aside from Busi’s yellow, which was unwarranted, he didn’t let anyone get away with anything too egregious, and he had no patience at all for all the flopping around the Espanyol players were doing.

    –Does Messi get cold really easily? I don’t know how he can play in gloves like that, don’t they get all sweaty and slippery?

  6. Jim
    December 19, 2010

    Yeah, sure . . . Messi is the best finisher in the world and until a few weeks ago Pedro was looking like he couldn’t buy a goal this season. The whole forward line is going great guns. If we can’t enjoy this, boy are we in for a bad time when we start to go down.

    As well as the goals, have a look at the chasing Villa did deep in his own half round about the 87th minute. That wasn’t a part of his game before. I thought sky ( for the only time so far this season) got it right. It wouldn’t matter how many Villa scores or doesn’t score – the whole line moves better with him there. So much for those who said the players were reluctant to pass to him. Was that only a few weeks ago?

    Is there more to come from him? sure, but let’s give him credit for his part in this phenomenal run.

    • Jim
      December 19, 2010

      Sorry, was replying to Mossi. This Captcha is proving too much for me to cope with. Tried to make clear who I was replying to and forgot to put the Captcha in again 🙂

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