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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

262 Comments

  1. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 16, 2011

    okay, I’m calmer now…

    here’s the good things :
    – 8 points! yeeaay!
    – no suspension for Copa del Rey final, I believe?
    – finally, Messi breaks his cannot-score-against-Mou-team curse
    – Piqué gets his form back, don’t you think? Puyi’s effect?
    – Villa is a good defender
    – we never lost in the last 6 consecutives El Clasico
    – Messi didn’t get a card!
    – oh captain, so happy to see you on the field!
    – we’ll have sMasch in CdR final!
    – no injured player other than Puyi
    – Adriano is awesome!
    – congrats Ibi, for your El Clasico debut!
    – emmm…what else?

  2. Diego
    April 16, 2011

    Since Jim is no where to be found, I like to say that the goal we conceded was the minute Maxwell entered where Khedira passed him and passed the ball to Ade then to Marcelo.

    • outerspacedout
      April 16, 2011

      Adriano was a beast today too. Header off the line and important defensive interceptions galore.

    • barca96
      April 16, 2011

      Haha you answered my question.
      i asked many times up there.

      It’s just his attitude. Half asses pass, half assed defending, half assed attempt to fight for the ball…
      This is El Clasico. Wake the F up and stop playing so casually!

    • April 16, 2011

      Said that in the LiveBlog, Diego. Good eye. Adriano’s closing pace back there was missed.

    • Jim
      April 16, 2011

      Jim is here and I’m getting kinda hacked off at having to do this as I thought Adriano had a great game tonight. If he keeps on this way he may turn out to be our answer at LB to solid defending plus some threat on offence. That’s what I want. I’m not an Adriano “hater” – i just don’t like the casual way people are prepared to blame someone without actually looking at what is happening. However, since the implication in a previous post is that I’m somehow in hiding . . . .

      1.Khedira plays a ball down the line to Ozil who is marked by Maxwell so he plays it back to khedira. Ozil is Maxwell’s man, Khedira is Iniesta’s.
      2. Iniesta misses a tackle and Khedira is advancing so Maxwell has to come across to block.
      3. Khedira cuts back to the outside and Maxwell goes with him to block. It does the trick as Khedira stumbles, gets up but still no danger.
      4. Ozil, though, who has been left unmarked gets a run at the ball and takes it inside.
      5. At this point Maxwell is back level with him, Keita is right in front of him Pique for some reason is watching this rather than Adebayour ( who by the way has been left by Xavi).
      6. Ozil passes to Ade. At this point we have 5 against 2 !!!
      7. Being Ade he stumbles over it and WE REGAIN POSSESSION. ( Remind me again why I’m doing this? ) Whose fault was this goal meant to be?
      8. Pique gives Xavi a hospital pass rather than hoofing it and Xavi ( for possibly only about the second time in his life ) gets dispossessed. At this point we have 7 players plus VV behind the ball !!
      9. Afellay lets his man get a run on him and leaves him to go.
      10. Alves makes a tackle which he maybe doesn’t have to make and which is probably not a penalty.

      Happy to debate if anyone thinks this isn’t what happened but can we drop this whole “Maxwell” thing now ? Last time I looked both he, Villa and Adriano all play for Barcelona so get the benefit of any doubt going from me.

    • April 16, 2011

      Happy to debate if anyone thinks this isn’t what happened but can we drop this whole “Maxwell” thing now ? Last time I looked both he, Villa and Adriano all play for Barcelona so get the benefit of any doubt going from me.

      Yeah, agree 100%. I admit I treated it jokingly, like Kxevin with Henry, but I do think we should stop singling out commenters. I’m a guilty as anyone else in this respect, so I’ll be the first to say: Sorry. We can discuss Maxwell without bringing Jim into the picture.

    • Para
      April 16, 2011

      I felt like there was too long a sequence between Maxwell ‘losing’ (and I use the term losely) the ball and the penalty for it to be on his shoulders more than anyone elses. If you track back the whole game, the player to make the very first mistake/mistimed pass is the one to blame for EVERYTHING that happens subsequently, whether good or bad.

    • providence
      April 16, 2011

      its simple Maxwell has to back up, he is below average, check Kxvein’s analysis and see whether he has had 9 before, look at Adriano’s improvement, from day one to now, delivering @ Elclasicco is awesome in the absence of ABI, Guardiola only likes Maxwell bcos of his attackn instincts, the last time i saw him did something x’tra O was against Inter(dat pass to Pedro) finish! afterall he didnt make any impact when he was brought on

  3. Sam M
    April 16, 2011

    It’s time for Messi to stop trying to chip the keeper every time he gets the chance. Against Shaktar he had at least two 1 v 1 with the keeper where he tried to chip over with the end result of the goalie standing his ground and catching both attempts. Same with Casillas tonight. Too predictable; keepers know that La Pulga has a penchant for the chip and given a choice I imagine they would prefer to be beaten on the ground than chipped over with humiliating results…

    • outerspacedout
      April 16, 2011

      True. He has a lovely chip but he’s getting a bit too fond of using it.

      In the Goal.com editors’ ‘predict random events’ bit one even said ‘Ronaldo will take three shots from 40 yards about and Messi will try to chip Casillas from three yards out thrice’ or something along those lines.

    • barca96
      April 16, 2011

      Against Almunia as well recently. EVery GK knows that by now.

      Just like all my 4 GK’s from my 3 teams.
      They know Im always trying to chip them so they stay on their feet.

    • Barka
      April 16, 2011

      It’s only the last 2-3 games that his chips didn’t work and Messi may not have timed the chip perfectly. I think the chances just stand out because we have so few of them lately. Guardiola and Messi probably realized that his lob trick wouldn’t always work as well.

  4. outerspacedout
    April 16, 2011

    Xavi needs to cut down on mouthing off to the ref btw. Silly yellow cards are pointless.

    • Diego
      April 16, 2011

      I called it in my list of things to expect from the Classico. 😀

    • PhepheSa
      April 16, 2011

      Don’t know why he does that really, why can’t he just let it go.

  5. Barka
    April 16, 2011

    Well, to draw because of a ‘controversial’ penalty decision is nothing too disapointing to me. I hope we could win it and shatter their confidence but a 1-1 is fine too. I don’t think match will negatively affect us in the Copa final. Xavi and Pique and Valdes really have to stop arguing with referree though. That’s what we fans do when watching.

    • barca96
      April 16, 2011

      It;s not controversial to me at all. It was a clear penalty to me.

    • Barka
      April 16, 2011

      Well some say it wasn’t. It was close and my stream was bad so I couldn’t really comment on that.

  6. messi_fan
    April 16, 2011

    Question. Pedro or 3M to start the next match?

    • Ian
      April 16, 2011

      How ’bout both of them without Villa

    • barca96
      April 16, 2011

      If Im not mistaken Villa hardly started any CdR matches thus far.
      So most probably he would get rested.

  7. Ian
    April 16, 2011

    Well, Messi is sick, Puyi and Pedro aren’t 100% yet (I guess), we’re one short of a starter (Abi) and Villa’s yet to get back on form. At second gear, draw okay for me! Best news was about Puyi’s potential un-injury, I hope we don’t lose more defenders. 🙂

    • messi_fan
      April 16, 2011

      Messi is sick? Where did you hear that?

    • Ian
      April 16, 2011

      @barcastuff…Cough medicines? Slightly ill mighta been the better choice of words 🙂

  8. Para
    April 16, 2011

    Pepe was fairly incredible for them in the first half–once he had to shift to the back he had much less of an impact intercepting and coming forward. The fact that Albiol is out for the cup and Carvalho out for the first leg of the semi-final should mean that he’s not going to be able to play as DM, right? Unless they slot Ramos into the centre and put albiol out on the side.

    • barca96
      April 16, 2011

      Pepe was a monster. BUt he was dirty too. How on earthy didn’t he get a yellow card???

      Carvalho and Ramos were quiet weren’t they??

      Thaw was because they weren’t really tested in this match. That showed that we really needed to attack more.

    • April 16, 2011

      Exactly. We weren’t pressing, we weren’t using the wings, we weren’t full-on attacking. When we attacked for real, we always created danger, with Messi (3x) and Villa (4-5x).

    • PhepheSa
      April 16, 2011

      That’s why i don’t get how EE have the advantage. We didn’t do a lot of the things we normally do when on top form. I really believe we went there to play for the draw and a win would have been a bonus. Messi never plays like that in a normal clasico and today he was just in lazy mood.

      If we do all the things you mentioned and concentrate for the whole game then they’ll be in trouble.

    • Para
      April 16, 2011

      Because of Euler’s preview, I was trying to pay attention to the width we had up front today, and it seemed as though Villa drifted in a lot more than he did during the first clasico. On top of that, Pedro was pretty quiet too.

    • Diego
      April 16, 2011

      *Ramos in the centre and Arbeloa on the side.

    • Para
      April 16, 2011

      Erm, yes. That’s what I meant. barca96, I found it surprising he didn’t see a card too, (at least I think I did…I’ll have to rewatch first) but if those fouls aren’t going to lead to a card then it doesn’t really force him to change the way he’s playing.

    • April 16, 2011

      Yeah. Pepe is completely loco, figuratively and literally. If I was a Madridista, I’d like him (and Marcelo), but I’m not. I’m pissed he didn’t get a single yellow.

      If there is one thing I respected, it was the intensity and how hard EE pressed. But then I think of how we were playing and I can’t help but smirk. (It was as if it was just another league game, like the away match vs. Villareal). /LaportaSmirk

    • April 16, 2011

      Yes, I want to agree so much… We watch our team week in, week out and we didn’t see them hit past second gear. Even the commentators admitted that the game was slow. Some Madridistas will look at us and say that we were successfully subdued by RM’s intensity or Mou’s tactics, but I don’t buy it. We’ll see soon enough.

  9. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 16, 2011

    so it’s Adriano who got bad injured, not Puyi?

    oh, no…it’ll be Maxwell then…we’ve seen what he can do in just a few minutes… 🙁

  10. Humphrey Bogart
    April 16, 2011

    Bah, this Mou whining is really getting overboard. Okay, he wants to put pressure on the ref, create some kind of siege mentality, blah, blah,

    but it is not even funny anymore, it is just so predictable, even before his pc I knew what he will say.

    Does he somhow misses the fact that it was a foul from the last man and so Albiol was rightly send off?

    • Diego
      April 16, 2011

      I love how he says that the linesman said he didn’t send Alves off because he’s a fullback.

    • Barka
      April 16, 2011

      He whined to get our players mad and react negatively in the match. I hope they don’t fall for his trick.

    • Ian
      April 16, 2011

      I think they’re used to it… Well, according to history we’ve managed anyway

  11. Diego
    April 16, 2011

    Btw, Yellow cards aren’t for a yellow card deserving tackle only, It’s when a player insists on playing dirty and keeps making fouls.

    • April 16, 2011

      The cards were 3-5 in EE’s favour. Considering how they pressed and we didn’t (not much, anyway), this shouldn’t be, so let’s look at them:

      Xavi, VV and Pique for dissent. Adriano for “blocking” Khedira. Alves for a foul on Adebayor.

      3 of those yellows could have been avoided, while Adriano’s wasn’t a yellow( IMO). Alves’ I’ll have to see again.

    • Jnice
      April 16, 2011

      Adriano’s was never a yellow. And for him to get booked 8 minutes into the game, while Pepe and Khedira got away with niggly fouls time and time again is ridiculous.

  12. April 16, 2011

    I think we did fairly okay, especially considering it looked like the Barca players were in second gear for a large part of the game, and RM really gave it everything, yet we managed a draw in Bernabeu, and could’ve almost won. Good enough result for me, and a good foreboding of things to come (knock on all things wood). It’s on the next game now.

  13. April 16, 2011

    If a 1-1 tie at home is a “psychological boost” for RM then that would really be saying how low expectations have gotten in Madrid.

    It’s not a psychological victory in any way. At Camp Nou – perhaps. But not at the Bernabeau. No way.

    I hope Adriano is healthy for Wednesday but it may be very difficult. He was masterful today. His pace really neutralized C. Ronaldo and his defensive presence saved the team from disaster.

    He’s become an excellent LB. Really wonderful.

    It’s very difficult playing teams with that much pace with Maxwell at LB. Adriano coming out of the match helped turn things.

    The squad is really struggling with depth right now. They literally are running out of players. It’s very concerning.

    Also – I think we are going to see Ramos at CB and Pepe at DM.

    • messi_fan
      April 16, 2011

      Well Euler, hopefully this acts as a wakeup call for the powers that be. Versatile players are good and all, but you still need numbers.

      But to be honest, we can’t really complain about LB. We have 3 players for that position. It’s more bad luck than anything else that Abidal (and now maybe Adriano) are out. I know that you don’t like Maxwell, but look at it this way. Abidal is GREAT, Adriano is good and Maxwell is decent.

      The problems at CB and striker however are unforgivable. Especially considering how many players we have at those positions out on loan.

  14. jordi™
    April 16, 2011

    The security of 8 points is what kept them satisfied after the 1-0 and red.In recent years we have had a small lead so they’ve gone for it.Had we only gone there with a 2 point lead they would’ve been much more intense, which arguers well for the cup final I think.In matches with everything on the line, theres no better team than us.The one thing I fear is that by the end of the series, the intensity of the 4 games will have taken its toll mentally and physically.The attackers look dead especially.Its gonna be pure will power and adrenaline taking them over the line if anything.

  15. Jnice
    April 16, 2011

    I just want to know everyone’s thoughts on the penalty on Marcelo.

    I’ve watched it over and over and I don’t see how that is a penalty. Dani may have missed the ball, but did he really touch Marcelo? Contact that slight can’t make you go down like that. It just can’t. Marcelo does the running man then decides, “hey, I’m going to go down.”

    And if that’s a penalty, then Villa’s is 100% a penalty.

    Anyway, a draw is a fine result, but I didn’t like how we looked after we went a man up. Some of our play reminded me of how we looked against Arsenal in the 1st leg.

    And I must say, the way Madrid fans are celebrating the draw, I don’t know…. just makes me wonder. I’ll leave it at that.

    • Diego
      April 16, 2011

      I didn’t see Dani getting the ball but I didn’t see him getting Marcelo either. The way Marcelo fell made me think it was a dive. If there was contact he would have fallen on his face.

      And If that was a penalty, Villa’s is too.

    • Nav
      April 16, 2011

      Penalty on Marcelo was weak. Yeah there was some contact there but if that’s a penalty then so is Villa’s in the first half.

      Madrid fans are celebrating the draw? Why?

    • jordi™
      April 16, 2011

      I certainly think it wasnt a pk, but its like the second time Dani dived in and got one against him.Sometimes he nicks the ball but I wish he would gamble only when it necessary.I don’t think Marcelo was going anywhere.

      As for Madridistas, i agree 100 %.Imagine they of 9 european cups and 31 ligas have been reduced to playing at home like they’re the away team these days.If that was us it would be our classic cule inferiority complex pf course.

    • April 16, 2011

      Well, I think it’s more for the spirit they showed after going down to 10.

      I’m not surprised; if roles were reversed, I’d be happy we drew. *shrug*

      I’m surprisingly neutral today, but that might be because a) this match was the least important and b) the need to offset the ridiculousness that comes post-clasico and pre-reason.

    • April 16, 2011

      I will answer some of your questions really fast, and leave my complete opinion for when Kev hits us with review goodness.

      First off, I’m mentally exhausted. If the league clasico that had no meaning drained so much effort, then i fear for the second ones. Especially with myself, since i had to write 6 pieces about the game in 2 days.

      The reason why Madrid fans, including myself, are celebrating is because with ten men, the team still managed to pull back and draw. Against a team that beat us 5-0 4 months ago. That means that the team is doing better. Not only that, but had we been better at finishing and save for Adriano brilliance, we could have won the game.

      As for the penalty, as i mentioned on my board, i think it was legit. Soft, but legit. If I’m not mistaken the dragging foot of Alves clipped the bottom of Marcelo’s foot. This is from during the game viewing, so I am not a hundred percent sure.

      As for the Villa first shout out for a penalty, i have seen that several times now and its not a penalty. He went down before he made contact with Iker. Had he continued running forward, Iker would have made contact with him and he could have gotten his penalty. He just went down too early.

      Anyways, i thought it was a great game save for the first 30 minutes were my team had the 5-0 glaring in their eyes. Once they got over that first 30 minutes, they looked much better. Looking forward to what Kxevin has to say about the game. If you want my views on my platers, you can go check it out.

      And PS, are you guys sending cookies and pots of gold for Adriano and his family. Had it not been for him, the game would have been very different.

    • Josep
      April 16, 2011

      had you had brilliant finishing? c’mon bassam.. had we had Villa playing like David Villa.. also I don’t even remember your finishing letting you down.
      khedira? adebayor heading it backwards? cristiano hitting the post? I mean, those aren’t really “finishing” problems.

      he went down too early? But you accept Marcelo’s penalty? I won’t rip on you because i like you, but you need to watch those a few more, they’re basically the same penalty.

    • Jnice
      April 16, 2011

      I agree 100% with Josep and Nav. Hypothetical questions work both ways.

      And if you accept Marcelo’s penalty, but aren’t prepared to acknowledge Villa’s, then I don’t know what to say.

      Send Villa some cookies and I’ll think about sending Adriano some. Adriano’s a defender, he did his job. Villa didn’t.

    • April 16, 2011

      I clearly said that i have only seen Marcelo’s once, and it looked like a penalty to me. I saw Villa’s more than once (during half time) and it didn’t look like a penalty at all. You are putting words in my mouth my friend, as always. I urge you to please read what i wrote at it is, not as an interpretation. I clearly said that my assessment of the Marcelo penalty was from FIRST view.

      They do work both ways my friend. But here is the deal. Compared to how little chances we got last game, having more than one scoring opportunity was a good thing. If you look at the chances in the game, both teams had the same amount of chances. Ronaldo’s chance after the pass from Marcelo, the header from Ramos that was saved off the line and Khedira’s shot. You guys had the two Messi shots (the lob and the shot saved by Iker) and the Villa lack of control.

      And i don’t think you got my Adriano comment. I was saying he did his job….

    • April 16, 2011

      PS, are you guys sending cookies and pots of gold for Adriano and his family. Had it not been for him, the game would have been very different.

      Depends on what you’re sending Villa and his family. 😉

    • Nav
      April 16, 2011

      Why is it that everytime someone ‘misses’ against us the ‘whole game could have gone differently’, but when Messi/Villa misses it’s not mentioned at all?

    • PhepheSa
      April 16, 2011

      I’m happy for you Bassam but i think you guys are just trying to make yourselves feel better about the result(sorry don’t know how else to put it). With all due respect i honestly don’t think you could have done any differently if your player wasn’t sent off. We probably would have moved up another gear and don’t see how you could have beat us even with 11. Like someone said(think it was Ramzi) you still haven’t found a way to dominate us beat us in a match.

    • providence
      April 16, 2011

      there was a slight touch but i think that tackle could be avoided since he could have closed in Marcelo, the past is past, now lets think about how to outplay PEPE and MARCELO, and how we would get the best out of INIESTA, VILLA AND PEDRO, they were dull for me today

  16. Josep
    April 16, 2011

    you guys saying that Marcelo won that penalty are just saying it to try and look like we don’t complain right? that was never a penalty.

    there’s no way thats a penalty
    1. if that is, Villa’s was.
    2. why does he not see yellow then?
    3. god damnit maxwell you cheaply lose possession and look what happens

    the match was horribly officiated, at both ends. they always got the cheap fouls right outside the box. whatever, that match sucked. messi was walking, villa.. i don’t know. that was terrible. pique, xavi, alves, vv, all need to learn to shutup. adriano is a god damn beast.

    rm looked like they had no intention to win at all though. and mourinho says the 4th official said alves wasnt sent off cuz hes a fullback? theres no way i believe the official said that.

    • Jnice
      April 16, 2011

      For real man. I’ve watched the video like 20 times, how is that a penalty? Let’s be serious.

      I don’t believe Mourinho, either.

    • Jim
      April 16, 2011

      1. I thought Villa’s was but it was a close call as was Marcello’s and that’s with the benefit of slomo about twenty times.
      2. He should have if the ref thought it was a penalty and he had a chance of scoring.

      For number three, see above. I’m too tired to argue with you again.

    • Josep
      April 16, 2011

      what about number 3? maxwell came on, and lost possession and didn’t get back. but in his defense the whole penalty situation could’ve been stopped 5-6 ways. sometimes I just wish we’d fucking boot the ball out.

    • Jim
      April 16, 2011

      Look Maxwell never had possession and did get back ( see above).

      Otherwise, I agree with you. Person with the best chance to get rid of it that way was Pique but I can’t argue with that either because 90% of the time Xavi would have taken it, performed his 360 degree turn and run off with the ball. It’s the way we play and when it works I love it so I can’t turn round when it doesn’t and second guess them.

    • Para
      April 16, 2011

      I think what Jim meant was see his comment above. He addresses your comment in number 3.

  17. Josep
    April 16, 2011

    i hate how marcelo jumped into adebayor’s arms after the pk. much like di maria does. do we do that? I honestly never noticed.

    tommy smyth is such a homer.

  18. April 16, 2011

    @Jnice and Josep: I only saw the penalty once, in live time. It looked a pen to me, but yeah, I immediately thought, “What about Villa’s?”

    I’ll look at it again along with Alves’ yellow.

    I’m excited for the Cup final. The only worry I have is Peeeento isn’t Valdes.

    • Josep
      April 16, 2011

      alves yellow seemed more to be for his typical dissent arm in the air “that wasn’t a foul” move.

      There were people on twitter actually saying Villa’s second (the one that drew the red) wasn’t a PK..

  19. Para
    April 16, 2011

    Forca Barca is trending worldwide 🙂

  20. deckardcain
    April 16, 2011

    Marcelo shouldn’t have gotten the penalty, no contact, the Alves yellow for NOT touching adebayor is complete silliness aswell. Villa should have gotten a penalty in the first half.

    • Josep
      April 16, 2011

      ugh, it must be said I still play diablo ii. haha.

    • deckardcain
      April 16, 2011

      I probably would to if I had the free time, epic epicness!

    • deckardcain
      April 16, 2011

      too*

  21. Diego
    April 16, 2011

    When I saw EE’s players and crowd celebrating the goal and the draw, I felt much better about the draw myself.

    Mou will have to attack in CL.

    I feel sorry for EE, Mou was afraid to open up play and lose, so he played for defense which hurt EE’s quest for La Liga.

  22. Nav
    April 16, 2011

    I think the worst part of this match was Adriano’s injury. That really stings.

    • Diego
      April 16, 2011

      I still can’t understand how he didn’t get a yellow.

  23. mega_tajh
    April 16, 2011

    lol…….who else thought it was funny when Pepe asked Messi if he was crazy…..of all people..

    • Diego
      April 16, 2011

      LOL ! Very Funny.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 16, 2011

      HAHAHAHAHA…

      I’m sure 100% that’ll work to stop us…

    • Para
      April 16, 2011

      Nononono, you see, our team of shorties will be able to get through the grass without being seen by anyone! Pique and busquets will distract RM with fancy arm-waving and running about, while the wee ones roll the ball into the net!

    • blitzen
      April 16, 2011

      😛

  24. Diego
    April 16, 2011

    BREAKING NEWS : Fullbacks don’t get sent off.

  25. Diego
    April 16, 2011

    SPORT : Sabra Muniz lo que es un penalty.

    😀

  26. mardia
    April 16, 2011

    I know I shouldn’t get worked up about Mourinho and his complaints about the referee, but apparently he’s wondering why he’s always down to 10 against Barca–which, dude. COME ON.

    Sergio Ramos assaulted no less than three Barca players before leaving the pitch in the 5-0. Raul Albiol was choking Villa in the box to keep him from scoring. How he can stand there and say neither of those incidents were deserving of red cards is beyond me.

    Phew, I’m glad I got that off my chest.

    • Nav
      April 16, 2011

      He’s a genius. A genius.

    • mardia
      April 16, 2011

      I can think of plenty of things to call him, but that’s not one of them, tbh.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 16, 2011

      I don’t hate him since 2006 for no reason…

      I always scream : IBLIS!!! whenever his face showed up in my TV screen…

    • Diego
      April 16, 2011

      IBLIS ? As in Arabic or .. ?

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 16, 2011

      yes, in Arabic…
      in Indonesian language it’s the same word, IBLIS…

      I just dislike him that much…

  27. Humphrey Bogart
    April 16, 2011

    From Sid Lowe

    Mou says Barca ‘control’ everything around games (ie refs, fixtures, etc). Says refs no treating teams same. Says RM in control with 11

    Bah, this guy is really getting on my nerves,

    • PhepheSa
      April 16, 2011

      I’d ask him if he doesn’t find it strange that that of all the teams with paly against, his are the only ones that usually end up with 10 men. He needs to tell his players to stop being thugs and see what happens. I sick of him now, he’s got no class whatsoever.

  28. Vj
    April 16, 2011

    Ok, final comments before I call it a night (or morning as I may see the sun as I type :P)

    Stings not to win when we should’ve. But was it really required? With an 8 pt lead we should seal the Liga in the next 4 games. Plus we were able to rest Puyol though shit happened with Adriano..

    Another plus is the players WILL BE PISSED they didn’t close this one out. Better in now than on Wednesday right? I hope they go all mental like they did against Sevilla last year..

    Onto the Copa now with a fresh sMasch (with whom I believe we wouldn’t have conceded that PK)! Força Barça!

    • mardia
      April 16, 2011

      Honestly, I’m expecting the same response that we saw against Arsenal in the second leg at the Camp Nou. Plus, sMasch will be back as well, which is excellent if Puyol won’t be there.

      Forca Barca.

  29. mardia
    April 16, 2011

    And for all of us still seething quietly about the refereeing in this match (I know it’s not the cule thing to do, and I should follow Pep’s example, but bah) Sid Lowe’s made an excellent point on Twitter–virtually everyone so far is ignoring the fact that Real Madrid have just (virtually) lost the league.

    We take this one Clasico at a time, go out there with our best available XI, and take it from there. At this point, I’m gonna leave the morbo to everyone else. I’m exhausted and we’re only 1/4th of the way through. Madridistas can do whatever they want, they can say whatever they want, I am officially refusing to pay attention anymore.

  30. jordi™
    April 16, 2011

    Pepe asked Messi if he was crazy 😀

    I dont support what Leo did, but thats like Ronaldo calling Iniesta a diver.OOh wait that happened too last year.Masters of irony these Madrid players.

    • April 16, 2011

      Did anyone see the min-by-min on the Guardian?! Scott Murray, or whatever his name is, tried his damnest to make us looking like dirty, cheating gits. If it wasn’t so sad, and embarressing particularly from a reputable newspaper like the Guardian, it’d be hilarous. He has it in for Messi, Messi in particular, of all people.

    • Humphrey Bogart
      April 16, 2011

      Yeah, I was having a peak and could hardly believe what I was reading there. Maybe Kxvin can help me out here but I think the most important thing for a journalist is to be not partisan.

    • Jnice
      April 16, 2011

      It’s unbelievable. I’m ready to stop reading anything that isn’t written by someone on this website.

      I’ve had enough.

    • blitzen
      April 16, 2011

      The Guardian? Seriously? But I usually like them. 🙁

  31. April 16, 2011

    Forget the penalties. That is not our game.

    The fact is that we had the opportunity to kill off this match over and over and over and over and didn’t do it.

    Case closed.

    We all know that 1-0 is absolutely tenuous and problematic because any fluke play can change the game.

    And that’s exactly what happened today. So it goes.

    Kill off the game and go home. They had so many chances to do so and didn’t.

    There was no doubt that RM would play for a PK down 1-0 at home down a man. No doubt.

    And we put them in a position through which that would be profitable.

    No one can be surprised that Marcelo just went down in the box. It was inevitable that would happen if the opportunity presented itself.

    The second goal was the key. A second goal – game over.

    • Jnice
      April 16, 2011

      As I said earlier, the way we played a man up, reminded me of how we looked in the first leg against Arsenal. Too comfortable with the 1 goal lead and too relaxed.

      We’ll see what happens on Wednesday.

    • April 16, 2011

      Also – just for clarification purposes – I didn’t agree with Marcelo getting that call. It was ridiculously soft. But it was in realm of possibility that something would get called when Dani went to ground without absolute need.

      That call was magnified because of the poor finishing that prevented the second goal from ending the match.

    • April 16, 2011

      Ok, you could be even more right. 😛

    • April 16, 2011

      I don’t see how you could possibly be more right. I’m not gonna bother much going back to the penalty calls, though I often do go back just to look at ref decisions, because what we can take away from this match doesn’t have much to do with those penalties.

    • April 16, 2011

      Yeah, I said something pretty similar: Villa takes even once of his chances and the ref is irrelevant. Simple.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 16, 2011

      exactly…that’s why I was so pissed…

      it’s the way we played after the lead… I just knew they would score…

      but I believe it wouldn’t be like that if the point difference was 2 or 5…
      we obviously played at second gear…

      it’ll be a different mentality in CdR final…

  32. messi_fan
    April 16, 2011

    We shouldn’t let Mou and some biased journalists get us upset. Anybody who calls Messi a diver is an idiot, plain and simple.

    Anywho, about the game itself. Pepe played great as was mentioned before. But I noticed a distinct lack of urgency on our part. I watched El Clasico the movie last week. The main thing I noticed in that match was how much we harassed the Madrid players. Especially Pedro. He give Marcelo fits in the last match. Today we gave them a lot of time on the ball.

    Will be interesting to see how much effort we expend on Wednesday though and what tactics Mou uses.

    • April 16, 2011

      I’m not upset as much as I am incredulous that such a person could write a site that has a pretty decent rep in the shiznit fest that is the BritPress. Can I haz a job at the Guardian?

    • Para
      April 16, 2011

      Why would you want one when you’ve got the best job EVAR at villarato corp?!

    • April 16, 2011

      Touche, Para.

      Well, if I ever leave that job, I’d tackle the beast that is the BritPress. I don’t have to put up with them on a weekly basis though, so that’s the EPL fans’ problem. 😀

    • April 16, 2011

      I smell the next Villarato Corp. post… where BritPress Inc. surprises Kari on her lunch break and tries to recruit her out of Villarato Corp!

    • mardia
      April 16, 2011

      Kari–be grateful for that, seriously. The Spanish press (imo) is worse, but as a Liverpool fan, I’m STILL livid at the ton of grief that the fans got when we were complaining about Roy Hodgson’s shoddy MISmanagement of our team and everyone in the BritPress labeled us ungrateful whiners who didn’t know how to appreciate a good, solid, reliable British manager when we saw one. (I maintain that had Hodgson not been British, they would have turned on him much more quickly.)

  33. jordi™
    April 16, 2011

    Mou also said they knew how to play us with 10.What does that even mean? If villa had killed the game, would he have “known” then too? Oh and we control the refs, schedules, everything.Has their ever been anyone so obnoxious and narcissistic as a manager in the history of the sport? Cant wait till he fecks off to Manchester.

    • messi_fan
      April 16, 2011

      Before the match he said they would practice to play against us with 10 men because apparently when you play us you always end up down a man.

      In a way I think this draw is better for our players than a win. Pep can point to it and say, “see what happens when we take our foot off the gas?”

    • PhepheSa
      April 16, 2011

      Someone on Sid Lowe’s Guardian match report wrote this:

      “A week ago TV3 showed a mash up of:

      1. Mourinho whinging about refs, timetables and playing with 10 men, in Portuguese whilst managing Oporto.

      2. Mourinho whinging about refs, timetables and playing with 10 men, in English whilst managing Chelsea.

      3. Mourinho whinging about refs, timetables and playing with 10 men, in Italian whilst managing Inter.

      4. Mourinho whinging about refs, timetables and playing with 10 men, in Castilian whilst managing Madrid.”

      Why the hell do the media give him so much attention! The guy is a loon.

  34. April 16, 2011

    Alves: “We’ll have to adapt to Madrid’s game because we’ll be back here. Can’t wait for cup final because we leave with bittersweet taste” [barcastuff]

    It’s official: EE are going down. Oh yes.

    • mardia
      April 16, 2011

      I’m calling it right now: expect a smackdown on the level of Arsenal at the Camp Nou this year (minus the OG.)

  35. April 16, 2011

    One of the best aspects to this match – Pique was just terrific at the back.

    This may have been the first match of this season where I really felt we were once again seeing the real Pique – the player who was one of single best CB in the world.

    Puyol was also remarkably in form. I didn’t think he would be able to play close to that form given how many matches he missed.

    Coming into this match the back line was the huge question.

    If Puyol and Adriano are in fact healthy enough to play moving forward many, many of the questions related to the back will be answered positively.

    The way the back line played while Puyol and Adriano were in the game with Pique in form – that was a back line that can win a treble.

  36. blitzen
    April 16, 2011

    W00t w00t!!!!! Ok, this isn’t a win, but it feels like one to me! We are still 8 points up on RM, and it seems highly likely that the league is in the bag. Yay!

    3 more Clasicos to go.

  37. Humphrey Bogart
    April 16, 2011

    100% agree with you Euler. It is downright astonishing which effect the sole presence of Puyi had on Pique. He looked like a completly new player, I could hardly believe my eyes.

  38. April 16, 2011

    Dani Alves

    2011-04-16_PARTIDO_12.JPG”No comparto la decisión del árbitro porque toco el balón limpio y no le toco a él. Además, Marcelo me ha dicho que se tenía que tirar”.

    Is it my bad spanish or did alves just said that marcelo told him that he had to dive?!

    • April 16, 2011

      Wow… yes.

  39. April 16, 2011

    Also, why aren’t we celebrating? WE BASICALLY JUST WON LA LIGA. #biggerpicturepeople

    • April 16, 2011

      well I think it’s for two reasons…
      first I think this team has spoiled just a little bit(in a good way of course)it says much about our team’s dynamic that we are kinda upset with the draw and the other are celebrating…

      Second its just that we were soooo close to wining and sealing la liga for 2011…
      I’m sure we’ll all be more upbeat tomorrow 🙂

    • April 16, 2011

      Corrected it for ya!

    • April 16, 2011

      Thanks Kari you’re a great true cule!

      To my( Mou ) excuse its 3:50 am in Greece so it’s starting to get to me…but this match got me so tensed I’m kinda in “fast zombie” mode and sleep seems far away:)

  40. April 16, 2011

    Folks – just remember. RM greatly solidified it’s defense today. But they did so at a real cost. They lost almost all creativity within their midfield and were reduced to linear, direct play that had a limited number of dimensions to it.

    This was the most predictable I’ve seen them play all season long in attack.

    Pepe solidified their defense between the lines. But without Oezil they were not nearly as dangerous.

    And this points out a real issue for Madrid. Real Madrid’s best 11 may not include Xabi Alonso.

    • mardia
      April 16, 2011

      But Euler, don’t you think they can just play Alonso, Ozil, and Pepe together in defense? And I’m surprised at your comment about Alonso, I’ve always been under the impression he’s one of their most crucial players this season.

    • April 16, 2011

      They could play Ozil, Alonso and Pepe. But that puts a great deal of pressure on Pepe to defend and do all the dirty work.

      I personally would play that formation if I were RM. But there are risks as Pepe would have to anchor the midfield mostly by himself.

      But it really depends on how much RM want to utilize a player like khedira to do the “dirty work” or not. If they want that kind mobile holding player who will be more defensively oriented then it’s difficult to fit Alonso on the team.

      Alonso is very good at what he does. But it can be very difficult to play a specialist midfielder like Alonso against Barca as he’s not that strong defensively and close control of the ball is not his strength.

    • mardia
      April 16, 2011

      Blech, I meant midfield.

  41. soccermomof4
    April 16, 2011

    Hey y’all,

    1-1 suits me just fine. 0-1 would have had me over the moon, but 1-1 is fine. 1-1 for us in their house is a victory for us. 1-1 in their house is a defeat for them.

    Good points:
    Messi scores against Mou (but what’s with the need to chip?!)
    We never really worked that hard.
    Adriano has been channeling Abi or something; he’s become the back line beast. Hope he’s not too hurt!
    Puyi is back; hope he’s not too hurt!
    Pique looked better with puyi there.
    They looked good and played well but had too work really really hard!
    It would have been 1-2 had we gotten that call.
    We are 8 points up! Remember when we thought that 5 points up was so good?

    Lesson of the day- Love your team, trust your coach, and for goodness sake will somebody do something about Xavi running his mouth and getting cards!

  42. Lou
    April 16, 2011

    Good result. If we come away from the Bernabeu with a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Champion’s League semifinal I’ll be satisfied.

    Plus the team clearly wasn’t playing at full intensity. Even after Madrid equalized they clearly weren’t worried about having to settle for a draw.

    I feel much better about our chances for the CL semi now.

    The Copa will depend a lot on how well Pinto subs for Valdes. He’s not as good with his passing and clearing of the ball, which is a definite disadvantage against Madrid. At least Mou won’t be able to control the pitch in Valencia.

  43. April 16, 2011

    @providence: I’d play Puyi, no doubt, and for the full 90, if he can. Depending on the score, however, I’d sub him for sMasch. We have that luxury. Although Pique has returned to form at a crucial moment. Shakira: MOAR world tours, please!

    Also, I currently have no solid ideas for Villarato! Corp. I have been wanting to do the BritPress, particularly re: Fabregas Saga, but I haven’t had the time or ideas.

    Lastly, and I’ll keep saying it, we were playing second gear. Madridista won’t want to admit it, but it’s true, and subconsciously they know it as well. Liga is ours and they expended all that energy and are buoyed for que? A draw after playing essentially 7 defenders (Alonso could be debabtable, but I count him) and counter attacking at home.

    I LOL’d at how Marcelo and Mourinho were celebrating after they got a penalty. It was an admission of inferiority, as one commenter put it. It shows what it’s really what it’s come to: getting excited about the chance of not being associated with another loss to us. At home, to boot

    And Cules are supposed to have an inferiority complex and EE have the psychological advantage. ROFL.

  44. xavi
    April 16, 2011

    I read only 50 posts or some thing and I couldn’t control myself from posting this, please bear with me…

    I’m absolutely shocked from the kind of negativism being exhibited here… I have my points for that

    1) First off, Madrid clearly played the very same tactics they played in the first leg, you know all that shrinking the width of the pitch and keeping Ronaldo away from his favorable left side position, playing di Maria practically as a LB(I think Euler would back me up with this)… except having another defensive midfielder sacrificing a creating mid fielder, if any thing that seems a real positive to me!!

    2) You gotta understand that Pepe *doing well* is mainly because of the home support and nothing else. For all the fouls he committed, if it was anywhere away from Bernabeeeew he would be red carded. Remember Song also gave us problems at Emirates

    3) So again coming to the tactics, having 3 defensive mid fielders in the middle, effectively one who’s very poor at passing(read Pepe) they are now not only sacrificing possession but also the chances to counter too! I mean with Ozil/Kaka in the middle they would have 4 pacey players(Ozil/Kaka, Ronaldo, di Maria & the striker) but with today’s tactics they would have one less player to utilize their main weapon, that is counter attack!!

    4) Puyi seems to be withdrawn just as a precaution and may be as a mind game too, yeah I agree this is the optimist in me speaking

    5) The most important one here… People keep saying we lost the psychological advantage by conceding against a 10 men team. I agree to some extent on that because it’s never a positive to concede while having the number advantage, but there are many factors leading to that happening!!
    First of all by scoring first we dealt a huge blow on their confidence, although they did come back they will still feel they are always vulnerable at the back.
    Secondly we totally rested once we had the lead making them run for the ball and hence unsettling them with the fatigue factor, I think Ramzi agrees with this point too.
    With the Madrid team on high confidence now, thinking that moving Pepe to DM position is such a grande success, I wonder how there could be any kind of complacency from our side for the rest of the matches!

    6) Even if Pepe’s shift in position is actually a good move there’s not much they can do about it, do they now!? They lost Albiol for the CDR and Carvalho for the CL semi finals first leg, which means they don’t have the luxury to use Pepe in midfield until the CL 2nd leg! If anything, their morale should slightly drop now because it’s like giving the hope of a chocolate to a frustrated kid only to snatch it away the next minute!!

    7) Adriano been a beast tonight, which is a huge confidence booster because he was always the weak link on paper with Abidal out

    8) Marcelo was skinned by Afellay, our substitute player did that to arguably the best LB of the season!!

    These points might not be exploited by our team when it matters the most but they are nonetheless the positives from this match! Now cut the crying out PLEASE!! For fcuk’s sake we sealed the league tonight!!

    • Para
      April 16, 2011

      The lower down you read, the more cautiously optimistic it gets. 🙂 in any case, I don’t think that Pepe doing well in the mid-field is saying that Barca have no hope–it’s just an admission that he did play well in that role. You have a good point though, regarding home-support and potential cards.

    • xavi
      April 16, 2011

      haha yeah, after going through all of them it seemed so… But as I said I couldn’t control myself. There was so much of those negative posts up there!!

    • April 16, 2011

      Yes! Agreed! (Except for #8, but I’ll give you a pass since you did say “arguably”). #2 is a great point–I seriously doubt Pepe would have been able to get away with those fouls in Camp Nou (or any stadium that’s not the Bernabeww) and #4 is what I think as well; Puyi isn’t match fit after all. Leaving with an “injury” puts doubt for the CdR final, and this is after playing 60 minutes to get into his DEATH BY TACKLE mojo. 😀

    • xavi
      April 16, 2011

      If it were in my hands I’d announce Abi is in the squad too :p

  45. April 16, 2011

    We did what we had to do tonight, which was not lose. You could tell from the way we were playing that tonight was about controlling the tempo of the game, keeping possession and not allowing them to score. It says a lot that we can go into their house, play at about 60-70% and leave with a draw, which they were gifted. We created plenty of chances without even really piling on the pressure and that was with them playing super defensive.

    Even Messi was quite quiet, usually he is really fired up for these games. I bet we see a completely different attitude come Wednesday. I think we will go at them hard and fast and try to score early on.

    Adriano gets better and better each time he plays. What a great buy he turned out to be. I really do think we have solved our LB problem. He was such a beast today. I REALLY hope his injury is minor.

    Villa is starting to worry me, he really is. Every decision he makes seems to be the wrong one. He passes when he should shoot and when he shoots it is without any real belief. He looks unsure of himself. At least he is defending, but really we didnt pay 40m for an extra defender.

    Another thing, MAdrid worked VERY hard tonight. They chased and pressed and actually impressed me quite a bit with their attitude… BUT that means they will be tired come Wed, when they will have to press even more because I have a feeling we are brining our A-game.

  46. Lou
    April 16, 2011

    Wow, I just read the Guardian minute by minute report.

    I didn’t think Messi dived at all. He lost his balance but tried to get the ball away from the Madrid players and ended up getting hit in face with someone’s leg, which probably hurt like hell.

    It’s not like he was trying to win a penalty.

    Did anyone else see it differently?

    • Diego
      April 16, 2011

      No, We saw it like you. Guardian is biased.

  47. xavi
    April 16, 2011

    @blaunero’s – “Honestly I know it shouldn’t worry me in the least. With an 8pt lead and 6 matches to go, the league is evidently but not yet mathematically ours. But it worries me that we basically toyed with them after we were up only 1-0. If Real had any other coach I wouldn’t much care. But it’s Mourinho, and if I remember correctly we toyed with his Inter team in November ’09 before they crashed us out of the CL 4/5 months later.”

    I understand your sentiments man, totally. Usually I think in your points when everybody around me feels ‘over-optimistic’ as you say… But how the hell did we toy around with Inter in November ’09 again!? If any, we gave his team an ass-spanking that too when he kinda gave a statement like he’d feel honored to kick us out of group stages or something! And again how is it toying with his team in November when we got knocked out in semi’s, that is in April!?

    • xavi
      April 16, 2011

      And I forgot to mention The Valcano, The Road Trip, The referee(both the legs :angry:)…

  48. Jnice
    April 16, 2011

    I must say, though… looking at our offensive options on the bench tonight makes me really interested in who we will be bringing in this summer.

    We are in desperate need of some more options.

    • messi_fan
      April 16, 2011

      Botia and Fontas? 🙂

    • messi_fan
      April 16, 2011

      OOops. For some odd reason I read that as DEfensive options

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