Today…has been a good day.

Just gonna sit back and take in my good work

A win away against a tough opponent under trying circumstances, a RM loss, and a Ray Ray Hudson shoutout… My life and BFB’s are complete.

If you missed it, during the first half our blog got a shoutout from our favorite commentator Ray Hudson on GOLTV. If you have a fancy DVR thing, rewind to 10:50 and you can hear it. Luckily, reader Miguel has one such fancy thing and has relayed the blog shoutout:

“We saw the wonderful signs around the stadium for Eric Abidal. I saw a wonderful, wonderful video on a blog called ‘Barcelona Football Blog’ and it showed Eric Abidal coming to practice, i think it was the day after—April 1st or April 2nd. I thought it was an April Fool’s joke but he looked absolutely wonderful. He was there for practice. All the players around. He looked absolutely wonderful…and ready to play. He really looked that good. He looked as if he could pull on the shirt, Eric, and play for Barcelona here today. He looked so well, Phil, and so bright eyed and he was joking around with the Barcelona players and that was absolutely wonderful to see.”

He also said I’m awesome. “Really?!” you ask. No, not really. But it’s still incredible cool! He is seriously and honestly the best commentator in football today. The passion he brings to the game is second to none. If you’re reading this Mr. Hudson, I’m totally sucking up you’re the best! Keep it up! 😀

This blog is only as good as its readers, and we wouldn’t have been so big/popular enough as to get a live TV shout-out if it wasn’t for you guys.  Credit to Isaiah and Tarun (our IT guru who makes this all work behind the scences) for starting this blog and our journalist extraordinare Kxevin, the Keita of the blog Luke, resident genius SoMa, the mysterious Linda, tactics whiz Euler and real-life genius vicsoc for making it better.

Visca BFB!

–Before our reviewer gets the match up, I’ll give you some post-match comments and stats (all from or via @barcastuff]:

Guardiola: “8 points is a good lead but stranger things have happened in sports. Madrid is a great rival.”

“Interview with RAI? They said they wouldn’t broadcast it, but they forced the journalist to do it. Wasn’t smart of me. There’s nothing new, I’ve recently said the end is nearer than the start. Just repeated that for Italian tv.”

“Messi is fine but he had some troubles and comes from a diabolic journey with his NT. I preferred a good 30 minutes.”

“In the first half, we had the game and they had the chances.”

If you think you’re champion when you have an 8 points lead at 8 games from the end, you can lose the league.”

Pique: “It’s an important step. 8 points is a lot, but it’s not decisive.”

“The team has showed that whoever plays, we can keep the same high level.”

“Goal? Think I controlled it with my chest. It all happened very fast; we should see the replay.”

Thiago: It’s a difficult away game; they’ll play in the CL next season. It’s a complete day for us because the B-team won as well [against Villarreal B].”

“There are still 24 points in play, so you can’t say we’re champions already.”

“Important win at difficult pitch and we extend our lead — perfect day.”

The Stats and Other Interesting Tidbits:

  • We have equaled the record of most away wins in a single Liga season (13) after today’s win.
  • No team has ever come back from an 8 point deficit with 8 games to go.
  • Busi and Valdes have both picked up yellows and miss the Almeria match at home.

Bask in the glory, muchachos. We haven’t won the Liga yet, but we’ve taken a massive step towards it. As a topic of discussion, what do you think about Valdes and Busi picking up (probably deliberate) yellows? EE’s Ramos and Alonso also did it before, in a much more obvious way.

But in the end, I leave you with this:

and this:

And most definately this:

….Was that a handball, by the way? Looked like it was on the chest to me (see 1:04).

Credit hiladinho99 and allasfcb for the videos.

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82 Comments

    • Miguel
      April 2, 2011

      reader Miguel? that’s me!

      i also transcribed the rest of the quote. there was a little missing.

      • blitzen
        April 2, 2011

        Kari, can you please put the rest of the quote up for posterity?

  1. Jnice
    April 2, 2011

    Few weeks ago I spoke to Phil on twitter trying to get him to give us a shoutout (he told me he visits BFB thanks to Kevin)… I planted the seed!!!!

    Preciado is the man.

    Love Pique’s celebration dedicated to Abidal.

    Love the fact that Barça B won, Madrid lost, Thiago played 90 minutes, and we beat Villarreal.

    Great day. 🙂

    • Miguel
      April 2, 2011

      uh-oh. he reads this, too.
      *slinks off*

      • April 2, 2011

        Ah ha! I could delete it for you… 😀

        Not that I’m looking to use my power again.

        • providence
          April 2, 2011

          Kari so wats up between Alves and Pique, after their fight ive nt seen them together again not even in training grounds although they play together as a team. did u see pique’s goal, Alves did not touch Pique in the celebration

          • April 2, 2011

            Ah, no need to worry about that, providence. The day after that argument, they made up. Things like that happen all the time on the football pitch. It just so happens that was caught on camera for a prolonged period of time.

          • blitzen
            April 2, 2011

            They made up about 2 seconds later on the pitch. Pique went out of his way to hug Alves after the argument. No worries, they are good!

    • blitzen
      April 2, 2011

      Thiago didn’t play 90 minutes…but close enough!

      • Jnice
        April 2, 2011

        He didn’t? I thought JDS came on for Afellay?

        • Para
          April 2, 2011

          I think you’re right Jnice…Villa, Keita, and Afellay came off.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 2, 2011

      Love Pique’s celebration dedicated to Abidal.

      are you sure that’s for Abidal?
      he also made that same gesture after scored against Atletico Madrid…

      Like barcastuff said,
      it can also means 2 February (2-2), his birthday and Shakira… 😛

      • Ryan
        April 2, 2011

        Is the reverse peace sign in England some kind of “bugger off” sign? He played in England for a few years…

        It’s also his second goal this season.

        Those are my two guesses!

        • BarcaGirl_Indo
          April 2, 2011

          Is the reverse peace sign in England some kind of “bugger off” sign?

          ^this, maybe.

          It’s also his second goal this season.

          but he also made that same gesture when he scored the first goal against Atletico Madrid… two fingers with two hands, so… 😛

  2. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    & if you’re reading this, ray, please give phil more of the cold shoulder. that’s my favorite. 🙂

  3. xavi
    April 2, 2011

    Regarding Afellay I felt he actually had a fine game, it was Villa ’s poor display that all those crosses went waste. I’m quite sure Messi would have done a lot better than Villa did about those.

    Also he did seem one dimensional some times but I think it ’s because of either orders from Pep to hug the touchline(because we were already pretty stacked up in midfield with Iniesta keep getting into centre) or Afellay lacking confidence to take more risks, of losing the ball, trying to cut in and involve more in the play. I think it’s probably the former because Adriano had a beastly game and it ’s mainly down to Afellay keeping the width intack on the left side … I’d like some body to clarify me on this observation

    Thiago had a mix of a game… His passes had been downright brilliant most of the times but he also seemed too reckless on the ball most of the times for my liking.

    As I already said Villa had a piss poor game IMO

    Valdes, Busquets & Pique my MotM in that order. Masch also had been superb.

    Got hectored in the previous post 😛

  4. messi_fan
    April 2, 2011

    Afellay was tentative in the first half but at the start of the second he was really good in my opinion. I think Pep made a bit of a mistake putting him on the right after Bojan came on. Don’t get me wrong, Bojan played well, but Afellay’s pace on the left was really causing Villareal some trouble.

  5. outerspacedout
    April 2, 2011

    Hectored. Sort of. Anyway:

    Ah, great day, sports-wise.

    – I didn’t follow, but I opened the internet to see Milan beat Inter 3-0. I kinda dislike both sides (Milan only this year though, I’ve traditionally liked Milan, but they seem messy and have Ibra this season).

    – GIJON of all sides destroy Mourinho’s home record. After the oh-so-strong leagues of England and Italy couldn’t manage it in five years, a relative minnow in Spain do so. Ha. Isn’t it amusing how Mourinho had a much harder time here than in Italy or Spain, from the 5-0 to not winning a title for the first time to losing his home record?

    – On the record, I love Gijon. Great spirit, great fans. When they were losing 7-0 to Madrid about two or three seasons ago their fans were still singing and making noise. Preciado is also awesome. Karma is a bitch huh? It is so deliciously ironic that Preciado is the one to beat his record, isn’t it? This must be the ultimate way to get one up on Mourinho in the books after his criticism.

    – I think Bassam will point out this as an example of how Mourinho’s confrontational attitude is costing Madrid. I would have to agree with him.

    – We win at Villareal. Thiago plays, Afellay plays, Messi gets some rest, Xavi does get rest, enforced or not.

    – Nobody seems to have mentioned this yet, but Valdes and Busquets get their yellow cards too, meaning no Clasico suspensions. Alves has already served a five-yellow suspension before right? So he is safe as well. Especially in a good mood about this.

    – This lack of pressure and gradual departure from the ides of February should mean we pick up form soon! Along with how our training is designed to peak at November and APRIL, this being April.

    – Valencia, my second favorite side as in my favorite ‘side I don’t really follow every weekend’, also won.

    – My prediction upon opening the Man Utd game at 55 minutes and seeing them down 2-0 (ha, they will win this, just watch and see) did come true. Not unhappy about this per se, but it made the EPL less competitive in tandem with the results of Arsenal and Chelsea so LOL.

    – I wasn’t following the CWC at all pretty much lately though I did watch a lot of the group matches back then cos my grandfather was watching all the matches and I watched a lot of them at the time too. But then I kinda preferred India to Lanka for the final, though I don’t really feel much either side.

    Oh and I forgot, I don’t get GolTV but the Ray shoutout is awesome!

    • outerspacedout
      April 2, 2011

      And Barca B winning.

      Just read the post and see Kari DID mention the yellows. I posted it on the last thread and don’t remember anyone mentioning it there.

      I didn’t mind Ramos and them picking up yellows concept-wise at least. It didn’t bother me in a ‘oh they are unsporting’ or whatever way. I don’t mind deliberately picking up yellows in any necessary situation. I just found it stupid how much of a farce Alonso and co made those yellows lol, it made them (and Madrid?) look dumb. But the act of getting a deliberate yellow I don’t see problems with, whether it’s EE or us.

      • Ryan
        April 2, 2011

        Not to mention that many players DO time waste when they’re up by 1 goal and the game is almost over.

  6. Jnice
    April 2, 2011

    Thiago completed 123 of his 136 passes against Villarreal via barcastuff

    He lost a few balls, but 90% passing away at El Madrigal.. that’s pretty darn good.

    • outerspacedout
      April 2, 2011

      One HUNDRED AND TWENTY THREE PASSES is pretty damn good as well! Tf?

  7. vicsoc
    April 2, 2011

    Just watched the first half, and it was a very interesting half. I had to comment on a few players.

    Adriano. Wow. He has been playing well lately but he has never looked so comfortable in his role. He wasn’t doing anything too fancy, but he was always in the right place and making plays. His energy down the left hand side gave the team a vital shot in the arm. His interplay with Afellay was obviously in its infancy, but it looked like something to be excited about to me. It’s obvious that he is starting to feel comfortable with the team and he’s proving himself with every match. This is a player trying to prove that he can be our first team left back, and if he continues like this he is going to prove himself.

    Mascherano. The man is a pit bull, there is no doubt. I really like that he is adding other dimensions to his game. He was dropping deep to be a center back at times when Busquets was roving forward, and his positioning is really improving. He’s also developed a nice range of passing, and he played three or four excellent long passes to the flanks that all found their marks.

    Keita. Despite being a bit of a hacker he is still so valuable to this squad. He may not play over 100 passes a match but he is almost always involved in the play, even if it is just offering himself for a pass. His hustle makes it so Barcelona is rarely outnumbered on any part of the pitch.

    Afellay. Some good and some bad in the first half. The thing that stood out for me was that he just didn’t look comfortable working with less space in front of him (as a winger) than he would have if he was playing in the midfield. This was compounded because it seems like he was asked to play a very confined role today. It was also telling that his best moments came when he came deep for the ball or was moving forward from a bit deeper position. I still think his best position is in midfield, but Thiago staked his claim there tonight. On a positive note the kid can take corners like a pro!

    • April 2, 2011

      Absolute agreed on Adriano. He’s come leaps and bounds–bad news for Maxwell I’d imagine, especially since he’s still injured and can’t prove himself.

      I didn’t notice Keita all that much to be honest. I’ll pay closer attention to him when I watch it again.

      As for Afellay, I agree with Ramzi when he said the closer he was to the centre, the better he played. I want to see him at the focal point and Villa out wide at some point. Would be interesting to see.

  8. Jnice
    April 2, 2011

    Sky Sports Broadcast

    First Half:

    /http://www.fileserve.com/file/TFnGa8Q/First Half – La Liga – Villarreal v. Barcelona – 02-04-11.avi

    /http://www.filesonic.com/file/468501344/First_Half_-_La_Liga_-_Villarreal_v._Barcelona_-_02-04-11.avi

    Second Half:

    /http://www.fileserve.com/file/8sPkbW7/Second Half – La Liga – Villarreal v. Barcelona – 02-04-11.avi

    /http://www.filesonic.com/file/469138394/Second_Half_-_La_Liga_-_Villarreal_v._Barcelona_-_02-04-11.avi

    Links are interchangeable. Download the first half with fileserve and the second half with filesonic or vice versa to avoid waiting.

    Credit to Pakman at fbtz.com

    I’ll post an GOLTVHD torrent once it is up.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 2, 2011

      I love you, Jnice… I’ll download it tomorrow… 😉

  9. yonono
    April 2, 2011

    watch the video again and pay attention to the faces and body-language of all the villareal players. they KNEW they had lost with that goal (regardless of pique’s handball).

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 2, 2011

      handball? wasn’t it a chest?

      exactly like his goal against Atletico Madrid…

      controlled it with chest, and shoot!!

    • blitzen
      April 2, 2011

      there was no handball. watch the replay.

      • yonono
        April 3, 2011

        check the last little segment at like 1:04; pay attention to his sleeve and the way it moves–that’s why i thought handball, but i could be wrong. I was really just trying to emphasize that i didnt think their distraughtness stemmed from it being a questionable handball, but rather that at 0-1 down, they had lost all belief. that’s the part that is SO amazing about this team and why it’s so special.

  10. Jose
    April 2, 2011

    Great post, Kari, it has been a good day indeed 🙂

    My favorite Ray Hudson moment is that very first one on the video… not a great quote or anything, just hearing him say “Messi, Messi, Messi” as he makes his ridiculous run, only to cap it off with an “AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH” is so perfect, jaja.

  11. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 2, 2011

    and I love Ray Hudson… looooveeee him… 😀

  12. outerspacedout
    April 2, 2011

    From Soccernet comments:

    “socalstunner3 (4/3/2011 at 4:52 AM) Report Violation
    hahahaha
    this is wonderful. We are only 5 trophies behind Real Madrid who have 73. We could narrow that down to 2 by season’s end, and possibly TIE REAL before La Liga even begins next season.”

    If that is so, yes I would enjoy that.

  13. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    Marca is of course claiming that Pique handled the ball.

    • blitzen
      April 2, 2011

      I love Valdes SFM! He should be starting for Spain right now as far I am concerned.

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        April 2, 2011

        oh, blitzen… love you gravatar… 😀

        love and Preciado is definitely my favourite words today…

        • blitzen
          April 2, 2011

          I am also in love with my avatar today. Preciado is the BOSS! 😀

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 2, 2011

      yes, no doubt San Victor is the Man of the Match…

      we could’ve been down 2-0 before half time…

      he is the best when it comes to one-on-one…

  14. outerspacedout
    April 2, 2011

    Didn’t seem like a handball to me on the replay. It didn’t seem to change direction after bouncing off his chest.

  15. Miguel
    April 2, 2011

    i can’t find a picture of juan carlos garrido where he looks like garfield the cat to submit to whoateallthepies for their shitlookalikes section. 🙁

  16. April 2, 2011

    Personally speaking, concept wise, I have no problems with deliberate yellows. We’ve done them all the time and I would do the same thing.

    What I think rubbed people the wrong way was the nature Ramos and Alonso got them–like it was a joke. It was very very obvious and it seemed like they were playing the ref and UEFA for fools. To be honest, I found it pretty funny at the time. 😀 Thinking about it now, I think the reaction would have been less severe if they had just got the yellows in a normal, less obvious way.

    I have my blaugrana colored glasses on though.

    • Jose
      April 2, 2011

      I am absolutely surprised people ever made a big deal out of it. Even back then I thought this was silly. It’s not even like Mou and Friends were the first to do it… it’s been standard practice for years. Etiquette just dictates that you’re not too obvious about it and that it’s a victimless yellow, like for time wasting or arguing.

      • April 2, 2011

        Etiquette just dictates that you’re not too obvious about it and that it’s a victimless yellow, like for time wasting or arguing.

        ^This. Exactly.

        • blitzen
          April 2, 2011

          Yes, they were so obvious about it, it was disrespectful. I mean, don’t make it farcical!

    • providence
      April 2, 2011

      Personally i think there is something behind EE’S loss. is either Mourinho didnt want Barcelona to be the team to break his home record since his next la liga home game is against us or he wants us to be complacent with the EL clasico so that he will get at least a good result since we will b thinkn its now over, CULE’S what do u think

      • April 2, 2011

        Mourinho wanting to lose? Nah. Especially since it’s Sporting and he’s had beef with Preciado, I think after us, Sporting is the last team he’d want to lose to.

        Pep wouldn’t let us be complacent. If we win the next 5 or so matches, including the one at the Bernabeu, we can relax then. It gives us breathing room, but I won’t be settled until it’s mathematically impossible.

  17. mardia
    April 2, 2011

    Thank God we won, that’s all I can say.

    Re: the Pep comments, maybe it’s just me, but is it really all that shocking, what he’s said? Despite everyone’s wishes, I never saw him pulling a Ferguson and staying at Barcelona for years and years, but neither do I think it’s set in stone that he’s leaving next season either. Mostly it’s an issue I refuse to work myself up over yet.

    As for the yellow cards, this might be an unpopular opinion, but I wish that it hadn’t gone down that way. Yes, it’s not technically cheating, and yes, I know we need our players for El Clasico. But for God’s sake, our next game is against Almeria at HOME. If we’re that worried that our players can’t refrain from tearing their shirts off/mouthing to the refs, then take them out for the game, because our backups should be more than capable. Like I said, I don’t consider it cheating to clear out the yellow cards, but I do think it’s an obvious and tacky move. I thought so when Alonso and Ramos did it against Ajax (although holy crap were they blatant about it) and my opinion hasn’t changed even though it’s Barca players pulling the move now.

    Anyway, I’m focusing on better things, like an eight-point lead and Preciado shattering Mourinho’s record into itty-bitty pieces.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 2, 2011

      well, we never know…

      even if that’s against Almeria at home,
      yellow card can pop up aytime if the ref is card happy…

      like handball, light tackle, or diving…

      at least, their acting were better than Xabi and Ramos… 😛

      • mardia
        April 2, 2011

        I’m glad they weren’t as obvious about it as Alonso and Ramos, but…if the players/coach are all that worried, then sub them out for that game. Pinto’s a good goalkeeper, we should be able to still win against Almeria at home, even with a squad of backups, if I’m honest.

        I know some of the yellow cards have been ridiculous (how Messi’s gotten so many is BEYOND me) but that’s how it goes.

    • April 2, 2011

      I apologize if the above video is slow to load for some of you; I may have damaged it with my drool.

        • Miguel
          April 2, 2011

          i don’t even know my smiley face commands.
          😀 :p 😉 >:(

          • April 2, 2011

            Use “P” instead of “p” and you get 😛 . I recently learned this one 😆 and 8) .

          • BarcaGirl_Indo
            April 2, 2011

            and how to make that laughing smiley, Kari?

            B-)

  18. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    From the official site:

    Cazorla did have the chance to equalise from inside the six-yard box, but Víctor Valdés made one of the best saves of his whole career, and can thus be thanked more than anybody for this massive win.

    Visca Valdes!

  19. blaunero
    April 2, 2011

    The game turned when Messi entered the pitch. Very important victory but let’s move on. We have the CL coming up on Wednesday.
    Does this mean that Mourinho will concentrate on the Cup and the CL? After all the later is his latest competition.

    • April 2, 2011

      I’m not going to move on until Monday at the earliest. I’m that happy. 😀

      I’d imagine he’ll focus on both. CDR is a one off game, and right after our Clasico in the Bernabeu, so really, the only competition he has is CL. I’m hoping the quarters will be their new round of 16, so to speak, but I think they’d beat them quite easily. I quite like Spurs, so I hope I’m wrong.

      • providence
        April 2, 2011

        Kari whats the head to head between spanish clubs and english cubs, like Barca, sevilla, EE,Villareal… on one side, and man u, liverpool, arsenal,.. on the other side in UCL which side have won most,Spain or England/ THEY claim their EPL is better than our La liga

        • April 2, 2011

          Ufff, what a question. Honestly, I don’t really know. Personally, I’ll always believe La Liga > EPL, so I’ve never looked into it. Sorry!

  20. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 2, 2011

    ooooooooohhhhh, the Abidalesque defending (you know, lying on the ground, defending with the head, risking your life) is trending now in Barça, eh?

    someone did it again last night…

    who was it? Adriano?

  21. Dani_el
    April 2, 2011

    What a game! I woke up kind of early to watch the EE game, but I didn’t expect for sporting to win in the bernabeu! wow, and then, to start with thiago and afellay, I knew the potential of Abi, he played beautifully for the low countries, but my biggest surprise was thiago, the way he pressed, I think he’s listening pep in correcting his game.
    Nice article, I think I’m way too happy to make much sense .)

    • April 2, 2011

      Thiago was just awesome. I agree that he was much more reserved this game–most likely because he has something to prove–and I feel his game is maturing as well. I can’t wait until he comes a regular next season. So excited!

      Also, welcome, Dani_el! I’m glad you thought it was a nice article; I tend to throw up posts, so I thought it would be a bit icky. 😉

      • Dani_el
        April 2, 2011

        I think I value more this victory with canteranos like Thiago and Dos Santos, I constantly read this blog, and I also value your post Kari! It’s just that english is not my first language, so I dont tend to comment, but I promess I will more often, it’s good to acknowledge your awesome work! And of kxevin and euler and everyone in BFB…
        Visca el Barça!

        • April 2, 2011

          Aww, thanks a bunch! The “throw up” comment was a joke from the previous thread, if you were confused. As for English not being your first language, have no fear! It’s my first language and I’m pretty bad at it. 😛

  22. blitzen
    April 2, 2011

    Iniesta:

    Victoria importantísima contra un rival muy fuerte! Aún queda mucho pero hemos dado un gran paso!!
    Important victory against a very tough rival! We have done a big step but there is still a lot more to do!!
    Victòria molt important davant un rival molt fort! Encara hi ha molta lliga però hem fet un gran pas!

    • April 2, 2011

      Iniesta’s knows/is learning English. I’ve known that for weeks, but I haven’t actually posted that tidbit of news. It’s so awesome!

      • soccermomof4
        April 2, 2011

        Barcastuff reported Messi saying that he was learning English as well.

  23. soccermomof4
    April 2, 2011

    Came home from work, just finished the DVRed game.

    8 Points! EIGHT!!!

    Ray Hudson shoutout. OMgosh, love the guy more now!

    Thiago makes the case for saving around 40 million Euros this summer.

    Ibi starts!

    Messi gets some rest but to me it looked like two different games: the pre-Messi game and the with Messi game. We looked more like Barca when the second half started and then absolutely like Barca when Leo came in.

    8 is a lovely number.

    The 5th yellows were done more awkwardly than I would have liked.

    VV!! is MotM!!

    It was his chest.

    I think my favorite number is 8 and my second favorite coach is Preciado.

  24. Helge
    April 3, 2011

    Wow, simply one of the best days of my life 😀

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