Copa del Rey Final Liveblog

Blizten here with the Liveblog so you kiddies don’t go “hungry”…

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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.

213 Comments

  1. Whatever
    April 20, 2011

    The best present for my birthday (which is today) would be a win tonight. But even if we don’t win, I’ll still be proud of this team.

    Visca el Barca!

  2. Blow-Grenade
    April 20, 2011

    Thanks Blitzen!!! You’re the bomb!!!

  3. Extreme barca fan
    April 20, 2011

    Thank you for doing this Blitzen, but this means no drinking tonight as you are the designated Live Blogger, right?
    I really dont care about the copa, i even hate the stupid competition, but since we are in the final, why not, i’m coming to the LB, save me a seat

    • blitzen
      April 20, 2011

      No drinking?!? Well, then I’m not doing it! 😛

    • Miguel
      April 20, 2011

      No drinking means like only five beers or something, right?

      Kidding.

  4. April 20, 2011

    A hahahhaahaaaaahhhaaaaaa! Euler got Hectored! That will teach him to besmirch my commenting genius.

    On blitzen!

  5. dexteme
    April 20, 2011

    First time on the blog. recently found the website, love it!!!!

    Go Barca!!!

  6. blitzen
    April 20, 2011

    Hi everybody! This is my first time running a Live Blog and I have some issues with my internet, so I hope you will all be very patient with me. It may take longer than normal for you to be approved, so I apologize in advance. I believe that the pregame starts on GolTV at 3:30 EDT, so I will try to launch the LB a bit before that, as above. Here are the special blitzen-edition rules:

    No swearing. No YELLING AT THE MOD. Regulars will be given preference for approval, so don’t use any funny nicknames to confuse me. No flying monkeys. No smoking, except at 4:20. No excessive negativity. I mean it. If I see any phrases such as “This is awful,” “Sell Villa,” or “Kari is a much better mod than blitzen” I will boot you. No YELLING AT THE MOD.

    I don’t know who prefers panellist over reader, so if I give you the wrong thing DON’T YELL, just ask nicely and I will try to fix it.

    See you at the game! Visca Barca!

    • lovelymofo
      April 20, 2011

      Good luck blitzen! I might try joining right as the game begins, so be on the look out! I like using the reader panel, I’m at work and the panellist one always ends up freezing on me.

      Vamos Barça!

    • Extreme barca fan
      April 20, 2011

      But i can’t resist saying Sell Vj, it happens every time

      • Vj
        April 20, 2011

        Oh GoD!

      • Extreme barca fan
        April 20, 2011

        I knew you were here, hahahaaa

    • Blow-Grenade
      April 20, 2011

      SELL BLITZEN!!!!

      • blitzen
        April 20, 2011

        banned! 😛

      • Blow-Grenade
        April 20, 2011

        You can’t ban me, I’m from Toronto!!!

  7. Steamy
    April 20, 2011

    I can’t seem to enter the liveblog, all it asks me for is to set an email reminder. Any tips?

    • blitzen
      April 20, 2011

      It hasn’t started yet. Check back in an hour.

      • Steamy
        April 20, 2011

        Ah thanks, I tried to convert EST to GMT using Wolfram Alpha and forgot to allow for DST. It all becomes very clear!

  8. Vj
    April 20, 2011

    Barcelona line-up (official): Pinto – Alves Pique Mascherano Adriano – Xavi Busquets Iniesta – Pedro Messi Villa #fcblive

    via Pep @ Barcastuff..

    • blitzen
      April 20, 2011

      Wow! I got the lineup 100% right for once!

    • Whatever
      April 20, 2011

      Great lineup. Puyol isn’t ready after all.

      • Nav
        April 20, 2011

        I think they be saving him in case a sub is needed, and most importantly for the CL ties.

    • Miguel
      April 20, 2011

      Sorry, subs/B-teamers. I guess this King’s cup might mean something to the catalans after all.

      • Ryan
        April 20, 2011

        We can always rest players during the next league game too. As for the King’s Cup, we gotta maintain tradition as the competition’s most frequent winner!

      • Miguel
        April 20, 2011

        What is Barca’s next league game, anyway? 😀

      • blitzen
        April 20, 2011

        Osasuna. Pep says it will the most difficult game so far. 😛

      • Miguel
        April 20, 2011

        He’s right. 🙂

    • Para
      April 20, 2011

      I know there’s always the issue of being match-fit, but if there’s any chance Puyol would be ready for the semi-final matches, I’d much rather see him sit this one out.

  9. Vj
    April 20, 2011

    WHAT? NO. SHOUTING?!

    Who’s Blizten and what have you done to our blitzen? :*(

    😛

    • blitzen
      April 20, 2011

      banned!

  10. Nav
    April 20, 2011

    Spurs v Arsenal, awesome game so far.

    • Miguel
      April 20, 2011

      Oh my god, I almost forgot! No spoilers!

      Jesus christ! Already?

      • Miguel
        April 20, 2011

        Nasri!

      • April 20, 2011

        That’s 3 goals in 12 minutes.

      • Miguel
        April 20, 2011

        Definitely watching this game right after El Clásico.

      • Nav
        April 20, 2011

        Holy crap WHAT IS GOING ON I LOVE IT

    • April 20, 2011

      Yeah, two goals in 7 minutes, very nice 🙂

      Part of me still really wants Arsenal to pip ManU to the title, in spite of their fans. But the frustrating thing is not their schedule… if they beat Spurs and Manu, they’ll be within a point of ManU, needing them only to slip up once in like 5 games.

      The problem isn’t their schedule. It’s that seriously this second place Arsenal team is not playing like a champion. Just can’t see them being good enough.

      ANOTHER GOAL! Nasri, lol

  11. Vj
    April 20, 2011

    The EE: Iker Casillas; Arbeola, Sergio Ramos, Carvalho, Marcelo; Pepe, Xabi Alonso, Khedira; Cristiano Ronaldo, Özil y Di María.

  12. April 20, 2011

    I shall go against kxevin wishes and say I REEEEAAALLY WANT THIS CUP!
    ‘Cause if we win we are even closer to something never done before the first team that has achieved 2 Trebles! “TRI-CAMPIONS ALL THE WAY!

    See you later hopefully along with many Puyi lifting the cup pictures!

    Tots Units Fem Forca!

    VISCA BARCAAAA!

    • Para
      April 20, 2011

      If it was an ‘either-or’ (erm…and if I had any bearing whatsoever on the result) I would definitely choose the champions league. However, I don’t see losing (or winning) this match as definitively dictating what happens in the next two (or three, because Barcelona plays this weekend first)…and winning is so much fun. 🙂

  13. April 20, 2011

    Ronaldo as a 9 probably…sMACH!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. April 20, 2011

    Very interesting line up from Madrid.

    Once again we are seeing the impact that Dani Alves has the on tactical aspect of the match.

    Mourinho has once again prioritized playin Di Maria as a defensive winger to track Alves over playing C.Ronaldo is his favorite position where he is most dangerous which is left wing.

    He doesn’t trust Ozil to play that defensive winger position but very much needs Ozil to add some creativity to the madrid attack.

    In turn C. Ronaldo is forced to play the 9.

  15. Para
    April 20, 2011

    Is this game being shown with English commentary anywhere?

  16. Vj
    April 20, 2011

    I’m guessing from his Utd days, Thong Boy likes to play as a 9. He shifted Rooney to LW in the CL final..

    • April 20, 2011

      He actually doesn’t like to play the 9. It’s much easier for him to find space on the flanks. Much harder to accelerate through the middle,especially when there are holding players between the lines.

      But positioning may be completely secondary – it’s a set up to play on the counter at speed.

      • April 20, 2011

        Vj is right on this one. He forced Sir Alex to play him as a 9 in Man utd. Rooney suffered from that for two years.

      • April 20, 2011

        My sense was that was more related to the Man U system and the supporting personnel. The issues with Rooney were very strange though. Ego also seemed involved.

        On the whole though he has seems to be naturally more comfortable on the flank.

    • April 20, 2011

      True.

      And I think the main reason for playing this selection is to provide more mobility in attack for RM to make counter attacks more lethal. Three players who can expose spaces well.

  17. April 20, 2011

    Also with C.Ronadlo towards the middle it’ll be interesting to see how he gets service.

    In general it’s Marcelo who looks to link up play for C.Ronaldo. When C.Ronaldo is on the right the ball goes through Ramos more.

    In the middle, it’ll be interesting to see how that very defensive minded midfield get him the ball.

    Barca needs to press Ozil on the touchline and across the pitch as he moves. He and C.Ronaldo will likely play very free roles.

    They are playing with 71/2 defenders (the half is di maria as a defensive player) and playing on attack for the pure counter.

  18. blaunero
    April 20, 2011

    Someone should fucking tell Messi to pass the damn ball. Mediocre display, really, by each and everyone of our players. As I said on Saturday, Real now have the psychological advantage.

    • blaunero
      April 20, 2011

      Did Guardiola give them the hairdryer treatment at the half?

  19. April 20, 2011

    Well, congrats to EE. I didn’t want this game decided by penalties (although I think that’s better than TB…yeah). They really wanted this win.

    Gonna go cry in a corner now.

    • beeeef
      April 20, 2011

      I’m not nearly as gutted as I thought I would be. Just thanking god this result doesn’t decide the league or result in Champions League elimination.

      The team looked so tired today. Some players had relatively good games but Messi and Villa especially weren’t anywhere near their best.

      I know we’re supposed to play past this fact, but with a healthy Puyol, Abidal, and Valdes back there, would this have been a different game?

      Time to prepare for a trip to the Bernabeu again *gulp”

      • April 20, 2011

        I agree, it doesn’t feel as bad as I thought it would. Maybe because we have another two games to get back at them.

      • Miguel
        April 20, 2011

        DOBLETE!!

      • April 20, 2011

        DOBLETE!!!!!!!

      • beeeef
        April 20, 2011

        Hear hear!!

      • jordi™
        April 20, 2011

        Well theres no way carles would let that ladyboy beat him to a header but thats how these games go.Iker went into God mode in the second half and that decided the game.

    • Humphrey Bogart
      April 20, 2011

      Why did Pep wait this long too sub out. We were so dire in the first half, a new all time low. Seems that the slump is not restricted to February/March anymore, more the 2nd half of the season. They let us down big time, urgh, and Mou and Crynaldo of all people. This is so f**** depressing.

  20. April 20, 2011

    We lost. There it is. Disappointing. Credit to RM.

    We have a week to look forward to the next match. Let’s do this.

  21. footballfan
    April 20, 2011

    Seconded Kari. They want the cup more than us. Good match, great referee, nothing to complain really. Except maybe the performance of our players?

  22. Miguel
    April 20, 2011

    🙁

    Thanks for the LiveBlog, blitz.

  23. Miguel
    April 20, 2011

    Ramos’ hat! Really?

  24. can_we_go_Xalvies
    April 20, 2011

    OK guys, re-group, no one is perfect we can’t win every final, but we can improve

  25. blaunero
    April 20, 2011

    Oh well. Was bound to happen sometime, that we lose a final. At least we played well in the second half.
    Onwards to Saturday’s game.

  26. Nik
    April 20, 2011

    Sad loss. Credit to EE for the hard work they put in. They deserved their win.

    Also, credit to Pinto. He played a very good game, and the loss shouldn’t be put at his feet.

  27. April 20, 2011

    Immensely proud of the team today. Other than the first 45 mins, they tried and ran their hearts out. Didn’t happen for them, but can’t ask for more. Messi’s face at the end was priceless — I know he’s going to be gunning for revenge next week. This was part 2 only, two more to go. Chin up guys.

  28. lea_terzi
    April 20, 2011

    Thanks for the liveblog…
    Second half was fun, before it all went to hell. I’m gonna look for a deeper meaning in all this. Like, we had to come face to face with out mortality before really gearing it up for the CL. Or something.

  29. Miguel
    April 20, 2011

    Second place walk of shame. Turning off tv.

  30. April 20, 2011

    Can’t help but feel bad for our players, regardless of their performance.

    Messi with his 1000 mile stare, Xavi looking angry, but more than anyone else, Iniesta looking like this shouldn’t have happened.

    Chin up, guys.

  31. Miguel
    April 20, 2011

    Puyol is pissed.

    • blitzen
      April 20, 2011

      He didn’t want his medal. 😛

  32. blitzen
    April 20, 2011

    I guess Mou gets to keep his job, eh?

    Congrats to RM, it was an intense game, and although I think Barca played better, it was an excellent goal.

    So no more “Mou, Res!”, but we have La Liga in the bag and we will not let the CL slip out of our hands, mark my words.

    • Nik
      April 20, 2011

      I thought we played better post-halftime break. The first half was all EE’s.

    • can_we_go_Xalvies
      April 20, 2011

      Yes the CL still in play, not all is lost, just maybe a little reality that maybe we have an opponent that can equally turn on the quality defensively. Best thing is to regroup and believe in ourselves and the way we play.

      Madrid played out their approach the way they wanted, they got the lucky goal that I reckon they didn’t expect. Lets see how our team reacts to this

    • Miguel
      April 20, 2011

      You’re the voice of reason, blitz.

      Stupid Iker celebrating.

  33. Humphrey Bogart
    April 20, 2011

    Now, they must show their character and come back, I just can not understand what had happened there, I am really down right now.

  34. mardia
    April 20, 2011

    Is it wrong that I’m not stinging so much from the actual loss, but from the thought of what RM fans/the fickle media will say about it?

    • mardia
      April 20, 2011

      Oh well. Credit to RM for the win, Visca el Barca, and we’ll deal with them in the CL.

    • April 20, 2011

      It doesn’t matter what they say. Like, not even a little bit. What matters is how the our club–that is the players and the management–react to this.

      They don’t look content. They don’t look resigned to defeat. This is a good thing.

    • Ian
      April 20, 2011

      Haha, as with my case, couldn’t care less if it was any other cup, but this is EE! And Moaninho’s team at that XD But all credit to them, it was a good game.

  35. K_legit
    April 20, 2011

    Of all the ways to lose it in..ahh heartbreak my old friend how’re ya?..its not nice to see you again 🙂

    • blitzen
      April 20, 2011

      Awwwww!!!! That makes me want to pet you, but I’m sure that is inappropriate. 😛

  36. Humphrey Bogart
    April 20, 2011

    And we need Puyi back, I mean Pique so out of order without Puyi next to him, I hope Pep rests Messi and Villa for the next game, our forward is so much off colour, it is unbelievable.

    And the worst thing is, it is over, to chance to change it, Argh.

  37. majatt
    April 20, 2011

    Congrats to Madrid and to Mourinho, the stage is set and his tactics for the next two matches are plain to see. The ball is in Barcelona’s court to find a way through in the Champions League.

    I nope there is no over reaction, there were chances at both ends.

    I wonder if Messi needs to go back out on a wing so he has more space, Madrid are clearly not opposed to fouling him and at the end he at least drew a desperation tackle out of Di Maria.

    Still I’m not convinced alot needs changing, better movement in the first and better finishing in the 2nd would have changed the game and that requires no changes of personnel or tactics.

  38. Ian
    April 20, 2011

    Generally happy for Pinto, I’m glad Pep played him. I wished Xavi or Iniesta were rested tho. On the other hand, it was tough but not entirely devastating. Thankfully our next game is at home… I miss Camp Nou :’)

  39. blitzen
    April 20, 2011

    I would also like to point out that Pinto was excellent in this game. There isn’t much he could have done about that goal, and he had several good saves.

  40. Humphrey Bogart
    April 20, 2011

    But one thing is true: they wanted it more, they had the hunger, we did not. I hope that is a big wake-up call for our players, that they must fight harder, so much harder.

  41. Judas Pissed
    April 20, 2011

    Congrats to royal. Barca have no plan B – which is poor cos we played moanrinho 3 times last season & learnt nothing, and manyoo in 2008 showed how to beat us. Really worried about the semis now – Pep had the look of a confused fool at the end. Both legs will be the same & we will probably lose 1-0 & 0-0 & go out…

    • jordi™
      April 20, 2011

      “Pep had the look of a confused fool at the end. Both legs will be the same & we will probably lose 1-0 & 0-0 & go out…”

      Ima quote that 😀

    • Nik
      April 20, 2011

      That’s the spirit!

    • blaunero
      April 20, 2011

      At least we have almost won the league. I expect pretty much the same formation from Mourinho next Wednesday. Why should he change, when it’s working so well thus far?

  42. blaunero
    April 20, 2011

    I’m beginning to thing that the manita might turn into a curse. Too early to tell though and two more games vs Mourinho. I won’t expect anything different really–he has found the way to stop us, and even when we find a way to bypass his hermetic defense we don’t have the man to put it in the back of the net. We need a striker. Clearly Villa isn’t it. Nor it is Pedro.

    • majatt
      April 20, 2011

      The key difference is the first half, in the Manita we scored early. That meant Madrid had to come out their shell a bit and we scored again.

  43. April 20, 2011

    We move on.

  44. culeluvr
    April 20, 2011

    Props to Pinto, he was truly amazing! What do you guys think was our downfall in this game? A tired Messi and Xavi? No Puyol? Or was it that Mou’s tactics out shined Barca?

    • Humphrey Bogart
      April 20, 2011

      Everything of all, Mous tactic worked but I think if all our players were to 100% we could have overcome this, but at the moment neither Pedro nor Villa can buy a goal, so Messi is the last man standing and they dopple/tripple him the whole time

      • culeluvr
        April 20, 2011

        Which is what Mourinho wanted. You take Messi out and we’re left with absolutely nothing. It seems like we’re facing a similar problem like Madrid had earlier when they had no true 9 with the exception that our strikers are facing a Bojan drought. I truly hope Barcelona makes an attempt to lure Giuseppe Rossi to make the change with us, he could be the key to changing things around next season.

  45. Nik
    April 20, 2011

    I hope a lot of the starters are rested on Saturday, especially Villa. A lot of them looked completely gassed.

    Pep needs to figure out what to do with Villa for the CL match-up. At the end, it seemed all he would do is collect the ball with his back to the goal and pray the subsequent backheel would find its way through the defenders. We’ll need more out of him.

  46. can_we_go_Xalvies
    April 20, 2011

    I dont know if its just me but losing this final is sort of a relief. Remember after winning the treble, Pep said there is always going to be dark moments but right now we are back on a clean slate. As a fan its more of a relief, painful but come on, not many positives to work with lol

  47. April 20, 2011

    Congratulations to RM. They played very well, especially in the first half.

    In the end they scored by using their points of advantage over barcelona – speed at the flanks and height with skill in the middle.

    RM played very well defensively. But the first half performance from Barca was very poor. Their lack of energy and movement off the ball was inexplicable. They just stood there which allowed RM to control space on the pitch. There was just no movement off the ball.

    The second half was much better. But I just had a sinking feeling when Pedro’s goal was disallowed. That was the moment of brilliance the team needed to win the match – and P! was just offside.

    One of the hard parts of this match and it’s result is that a significant part of all of this traces back to last summer. It is very clear that the lack of depth is now a critical issue for this Barca team.

    This is a team which always gives effort. For them to play that way as a unit in the first half and to not convert even one opportunity in the second due to poor off the ball movement suggest to me that they are just tired.

    Down 1 goal in the Cup final in the 108th minute and all the team had in terms of viable substitutes was a defensively oriented midfielder. Hard to believe.

    When they needed to try to score quickly at the end of the match they had to push Pique up to the front because there were no strikers who could play. And more importantly they didn’t have a player with a different skill set to utilize in the game up front. A CB was the closest they had.

    The roots of these issue go back to the summer when the roster was constructed. They have the best starting 11 in the world. But between injuries and lack of options, depth became their achilles heel and it hurt them severely today.

    Let’s hope they correct that problem this summer.

    Finally, it is difficult to believe that David Villa could play such a lifeless, anonymous game, especially at the Mestalla.

    For much of this match it was as if Barca were only attacking with 10 men. Given how compressed the RM shape was Villa’s skill set was absolutely neutralized and he had such little influence when the team desperately needed someone to score.

    We’ll probably hear the usual complaints about Messi not passing, etc. They are nonsense.

    Pedro was awful the first half. Villa was nonexistent for almost all of the match. It was very clear that Messi was going to have to put the team on his back and win the game.

    The other forwards just could not be counted on to produce. Unfortunately that’s been the case since January.

    Messi came close to winning the match with that amazing run and pass to Pedro. But it just wasn’t to be.

    On the whole though I am happy that the team rebounded from that abysmal first half and was able to change the dynamics of the match in the second.

    On to the CL. They need to win in Europe now. The question is whether they have the goal scoring from their forward line to do so.

    • Humphrey Bogart
      April 20, 2011

      Ah Euler, your cool headed words always cheer me up.

    • PM
      April 20, 2011

      It took some time for them to perfect Inter’s formula. It’s not pretty but it works. Unless Barca of November/December shows up I’m afraid it’s gonna be another difficult night next Wednesday.

  48. Judas Pissed
    April 20, 2011

    Also think this is the end of our ‘team of the decade’. royal will be even better next season – as will manyoo, city ac et al – & I don’t think we will. It’s all cycles – the dream team was untouchable for 4 years until milan knocked us into 6 years of nothing…

    • Humphrey Bogart
      April 20, 2011

      Wow, talk of optimism and support of the team, yeah, everything seemed dark when we lost to Hercules and draw with Mallorca at home, but we come back and we will come back from this too, this is not the Rijkaard team.

      Like Euler said it is fatigue which is our worst enemie not the EE, but I am sure we have at least 2 phantastic games in us to sqeeze out.

      Last year after we did go out in the CL everybody was sure that we would loose the league too, but we come back stronger

    • can_we_go_Xalvies
      April 20, 2011

      No man, don’t lose hope in our abilities, surely our best attribute is being able to keep our level and believe in ourselves. We may not be the best Reactional team, but we are the best offensive/playmaking team, and that is our edge, something Mourinho and madrid can’t do.

      We can always go into next season with a bigger squad, more youth players and more starters, fresher and stronger . BELIEVE MAN!!!!!!!!

    • Jim
      April 20, 2011

      Unbelievable 🙂 At least keep this till after the CL semi because if we win that the crisis is off. Yes, football goes n cycles but I saw nothing to suggest that we are not a better team than Madrid. It does, however, kinda put into perspective some of the less flattering comments about Casillas a few posts back. He was the difference. I’ve just rewatched some of our chances. He was getting to these only with the last couple of centimetres of his fingers. Just great goalkeeping.

  49. Miguel
    April 20, 2011

    Calling up an old girlfriend and making angrys now.

    🙁

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