A Win For Pep: Messi es el p*to amo!

Revel in his greatness. Credit Sport.es for the headline idea.

Speechless.

Before I embarrass every blogger on the universe and their mothers with my unintelligible babble, I leave you with Euler:

“There will be waves of nonsense after this match.

Ignore it. It is completely irrelevant.

Barcelona was the story of this match. They played RM completely off the pitch at the Bernabeau and did so even before Pepe got sent off. Madrid were reduced to spectators in this match.

This was a brilliant performance from the Pep’s boys.

This match, in terms of tactics, was a complete wipe out.

Pep just absolutely took Mourinho to the cleaners in this match. It was a tactical triumph by Pep. He completely took RM out of the match in their own stadium.

That this happened in Europe is even more amazing.

RM had to win this match – and they really needed to win 2-0 to feel confident going into Camp Nou.

Pep engineered a footballing disaster for Madrid. Substituting Ibi – and doing so on the right was just brilliant.

Ibi absolutely skinned Marcelo alive. Marcelo had no chance of defending Afellay at the edges. Ibi showed that he is a world class talent today at the highest level. The accuracy of his crosses all season have been terrific. He is really a world class central midfielder who has the pace and dribbling ability to play at the flank. Very, very few wingers could deliver a cross that accurately and into that position for a player who is 169cm to run onto. That is an extremely difficult pass to make.

And finally today – thanks to the tenacity and genius of Messi, one of Ibi’s world class crosses finally resulted in a beautiful goal. ”

And this is without Iniesta, without Abidal, without Adriano, Maxwell, Milito.

T’estimo Barca.

We’re not in the finals yet, but with Pepe, Ramos, and possibly Khedira out, and our two goal lead + shutout and we have a foot in the finals!

Also, all of you guys can call me XavIniestAbidaLeo. I said I’d do it in my Adversity post in case you forgot:

The day we play anti-football and deploy players to do things like this and this for the purpose of doing whatever it takes to win, I will call myself Ms. Hypocrite for a month. When we beat EE, I’ll call myself XavIniestAbidaLeo, because I feel like it.

Mou think Ramos was unjustly booked? That we don’t deserve to win the CL? That the world is against him?

http://i896.photobucket.com/albums/ac166/bonchatbonrat/GIFS/11.gif

That is all.

Just sit back and enjoy the win people. I know I am! 😀

Just think, Thong Boy is 31 Afellays.
No need for words.
Hi mom! Look, I scored a golazo again!
Gotta love Milito

The freakin' master
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235 Comments

  1. Eklavya
    April 27, 2011

    Cristiano Ronaldo (Madrid): “Do I like to play in a defensive team like Madrid? No, but I have to adapt to what the coach wants.”

    Kari, what the hell happened to your name?

    • Eklavya
      April 27, 2011

      Oh, that’s what I get for not reading properly 🙂

  2. Alex
    April 27, 2011

    Mou said he would be embarrased to win a CL final they Barca has. He hbasically discredited our CL win two years ago. saying it’s disgraceful. I honestly think he is crazy, I don’t know how Real fans can rally behind his vile comments.

    • Eklavya
      April 27, 2011

      He even called out our Unicef logo.

      • Alex
        April 27, 2011

        Ya, I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Basically accusing UEFA of staging everything!!!

        • jordi™
          April 27, 2011

          Yea but Pep is the one cracking ._.

      • Noslehcimretep
        April 27, 2011

        yeah, what a nice gesture by UEFA, willing to sacrifice the integrity of their competition just to get UNICEF some extra attention.

    • lovelymofo
      April 27, 2011

      Mou isn’t crazy, he’s just extremely ego-centric. If his team doesn’t win, it’s because of external forces. Nothing is his fault.

      I think the real problem, aside from Mou’s over-inflated ego, is that the media laps it up. Instead of calling him out over his inconsistencies, they report everything he says faithfully, like he himself is some footballing genius. And he’s not. He’s a very capable coach who fancies himself brilliant, with enough charisma to hold the media’s attention. I wish reporters would ignore his b.s. and his rants. Why not ask him about the tactics he uses? Why not ask him about his defensive minded play when he has talented players like Crissy and Ozil?

      Anyway, I’m with Pep. We still got 90 minutes to get to the final. In Pep We Trust!

  3. Christian Ronaldo (Madrid): “Do I like to play in a defensive team like Madrid? No, but I have to adapt to what the coach wants.”

    He fucking called Real Madrid a defensive team…. I am in heaven now… Remember he said something similar after the 2-0 defat of ManU against us. May be he is already looking home in Milan.

    • Jackieboy
      April 27, 2011

      barcastuff
      note on the ronaldo quote: he answered to a question about tonight’s tactics, it wasn’t a general remark about madrid.

      But still, people complaining against us not being able to win against 11 men, that should be spinned around of our opponents not being able to stay 11 against us.

      • ElJefe
        April 27, 2011

        Thong Boy on Arsenal would actually be pretty fun to watch. Lots of speed, and a lethal counter attack. I for one can’t blame Ronaldo in this case. You’ve got to get the ball to your best players.

    • Cam
      April 27, 2011

      I loved this moment. Ronaldo looks like a child chasing a stray dog.

    • blitzen
      April 27, 2011

      This may be one of the most hilarious things I have ever seen! he is like the piggy-in-the-middle, complete with ‘Give it to meeeee!’ tantrum!!! 😆

  4. Whoops, Hectored Euler (I’m gonna get it… 😀 ):

    Mourinho: ”We had the intention to keep the game at 0-0, then bring on a striker, then a third phase with a No. 10 behind three forwards. But the ref didnt allow it.”

    “This is pure rubbish from Mourinho. Or if it’s not rubbish then it’s just tactically dumb beyond belief.

    If this first leg was at Camp Nou then how Madrid played today would have made a great deal of sense.

    Even if it was a Liga match – it could have been reasonable.

    But in Europe against Barca with the second leg at Camp Nou you just cannot sit back and not try to score for large periods of time. You just can’t let minutes tick off the clock and let your goal scoring chances waste away.

    Just look at how Inter played in their home leg last season. They played to score at home because they knew they couldn’t rely on what was going to happen at Camp Nou.

    These are just excuses to keep in tact this notion that Mourinho is such a genius that everything is intentional – it’s just that the world doesn’t understand the thinking.

    And the notion that somehow Mourhino is such a genius that he was planning on playing the game to a 0-0 draw at the Bernabeau is laughable.

    Even the Fox commentators speculated that Madrid may be playing for a 0-0 tie in this leg because Mourinho may be thinking that his best chance to score was away at Camp Nou.

    Think about how convoluted and nonsensical that kind of thinking is. Only for Mourinho would people go through those kinds of mental gymnastics.

    Madrid got played off the pitch in their own home stadium. Pep absolutely embarrassed Mourinho today tactically.

    End of story.”

    • April 27, 2011

      Hi guys, love the blog, first time commenter. What a match!

      I absolutely agree with this, Mourinho’s rant is just a distraction from the fact that his tactics were a total failure and all he managed to do was get his club (most likely) knocked out of the Champion’s League by their archrivals. I’ll be shocked if the press keeps falling for this, especially after that press conference, which would be sad if it wasn’t so infuriating. I hope Madrid fans acknowledge where the real problem is here.

      But Barcelona won and that’s what really matters! So happy!

          • Barcaleya
            April 27, 2011

            Hi barca_ctb! Welcome!

            I read some of the Madrid fan comments and some acknowledge the real problem in this game. They know they didn’t play to win, to get goals and are very disappointed in the quasi defensive set-up. They still complain about our diving and acting but some are enlightened enough to acknowledge that Mou committed a horrible strategic mistake. That they’ve wasted all their attacking power by relegating them to the bench.

          • April 27, 2011

            Thanks Barcaleya!

            That’s good to hear. Although they are the Evil Empire, they deserve better than Mourinho.

  5. Vj
    April 27, 2011

    Pique joins in on the fun:

    Pique: “Excuses Madrid? It’s always the same, they didn’t want to play at football, at their own stadium.” #fcblive

    via Pep @ Barcastuff..

  6. April 27, 2011

    So happy! Off to go drive golf cart into sand trap now. So hot out!

    Had old South African man yelling at his son about mommy daddy problems and kid using banned substances for tennis competitions but did best tuning them out. Messi!!!

  7. K_legit
    April 27, 2011

    Time to take stock and realise that there is one game still left..
    And it will be refreshing to see Mou actually try to attack from the get-go
    Will he do it though is a different matter
    Oh how I will love another Manita at the Camp Nou

    • footballfan
      April 27, 2011

      He will surely do it. After all, this is the last competition. I just hope that the players won’t get complacent.

  8. culeluvr
    April 27, 2011

    I wasn’t able to watch the game but according to my MARCA app it says Pepe, Ramos, AND Mourinho won’t be at the game. Is this true??? If it is I feel sorry Aitor Karanka(Mou’s second in command) he’s gonna have the experience of his life.
    And I think Pique should keep quiet and not say anything. He’s already in a lot of heat for what he supposedly said(which is still unclear) during the 1st clasico in April..he can blab all he wants (if)after Barca stomps on madrid at home.

    • Nav
      April 27, 2011

      What he said was right though.

      Pique: “Red card Pepe? They play at the limit of violence. If you play with fire, you cand end up burning yourself.” #fcblive

      • culeluvr
        April 27, 2011

        With that I agree 100% because Pepe is a violent person. But the whole “They didn’t want to play football at their own stadium” is unnecessary because its been said one too many times to the point where we begin to appear arrogant(even if Barca has every right to be), at least that’s what I think. The entire world is well aware by now that in football Barcelona is king and Madrid just do what ever it takes to win.

    • Jackieboy
      April 27, 2011

      What did he say during the 1st clasico?

      • Jackieboy
        April 27, 2011

        Also, yeah, AFAIK, if a coach is send to the stands, he has to sit out the next game.

        On another note, would Pep, or someone, PLEASE told Busi to stop his bad bad playacting? It’s completely unnecessary and totally embarassing.

      • culeluvr
        April 27, 2011

        Supposedly he said that Barcelona was “going to win the cup of your king” which is a display of not so nice feelings Catalans have towards Spaniards as a cause of the Franco dictatorship(some Catalans don’t consider themselves Spaniards). However he denied it but Iker insisted his teammates heard him say that. Pique now claims he did say something but it wasn’t what MARCA originally reported. Either way, the boy needs to just zip it for now.

        • April 27, 2011

          FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

          tbh, i don’t believe the king cup quote. Pique’s generally been VERY reserved about the whole Catalunya vs. Spain issue. i’m far more inclined to believe it’s Iker starting shit, because Iker then said he wasn’t actually next to Pique when ‘it’ was said.

  9. footballfan
    April 27, 2011

    Euler, any chance of writing a review for this match?

    • April 27, 2011

      I will do my very best. Even if I can’t get to it for a few days I will try to do so.

      In the mean time – if you didn’t get a chance take a look at the preview I did for the match. I posted it only a couple of hours before the match so it was probably difficult to read beforehand. It outlined several of the issues that were in play in this match and helps set the stage for what Pep and the team did today:

      http://www.barcelonafootballblog.com/8498/tactical-preview-champions-league-clasico-leg/#comments

      • footballfan
        April 27, 2011

        I did read your preview, a very good read with very good explanations 🙂

        Thanks a lot!

  10. Lou
    April 27, 2011

    So, is Pedro actually injured or was introducing Afellay a tactical substitution? Not that I’m complaining, it worked wonders, but it would suck to have yet another player injured.

    • April 27, 2011

      It was tactical. Pep wanted to switch Villa to the left. Pedro for whatever reason wasn’t as good on the right.

      With the game opened up Pep wanted Ibi in the match for his sheer pace and ability to cross the ball from wide positions.

      Ibi on that play almost reminded me of Henry.

      • nzm
        April 28, 2011

        Yes – Ibi was very Henry-like with that move. A joy to watch. Bring back the fast play with receivers in the box!

    • nzm
      April 28, 2011

      Marcelo stood on Pedro’s leg when Pedro went down after heading the ball. When he was seated on the bench, the camera cut to his leg, and you could see the stud marks. He’ll be deeply bruised, for sure, but he’ll live!

    • Humphrey Bogart
      April 27, 2011

      We should seriously ask ourselve if good, old buddy photoshop might be involved here, you know, the one, that also can let defenders suddenly disappear.

  11. Helge
    April 27, 2011

    I think when Messi scored the 2nd goal, it was the 2nd-best emotional moment of my life after the Iniestazo @ Stamford Bridge.

    I cannot describe my happiness in words, this is incredibly awesome 🙂

    And I was probably one of the few who did read your preview, Euler. It was spot on!
    Patience and using width won us the game, that is the impression of me as a football tactics noob. I didn’t see that much off-the-ball movement, but that’s probably down to the fatigue. And doesn’t a patience approach imply a little less movement? At least less hectic movement.

    And I simply have to say some words about the reactions of Real Madrid coach and players. It’s a shame that they only complain about the ref. I hope that some of the fans of Madrid will question the tactics of Mourinho and the words that he instilled into them. Now they are all (well, not all, but CR and Xabi Alonso at least) on the “ref-killed-us-Mourinho-train”. The only player I liked at Madrid today was Iker Casillas. At least there are already quite a few published articles on various sport websites criticizing Mourinho, whereas it is really hard to find a non-Madrid site that blames the ref for the loss. Indeed, the German TV pundits praised Stark for his performance, although they are usually pro-Madrid (due to Ozil and Khedira) and rather anti-Stark (you probably know that he’s one of the least-famous refs in the Bundesliga and has been criticized a lot this season).

    Now I’ll have to rejoice in this absolute beautiful victory and this pure piece of heavenly magic from LM10.

    Visca el Barça

    • Helge
      April 27, 2011

      Oh, and brilliant selection of pictures, gifs and video, Kari.

      And Euler would make a better coach than Mourinho, imo.

      I love y’all 😀

  12. April 27, 2011

    This is off topic but just a thought…

    At the start of this season I really wanted Mascherano to get a chance to play center back. I didn’t care how much he had played there in the past – his skill set and defensive intelligence were just screaming for him to play at CB despite his height.

    Next season – I want to see Afellay given a chance to play left full back opposite Dani.

    I think he could be fantastic at that position for this Barca team.

      • April 27, 2011

        So much of defending at full back is work rate, effort and sheer heart – and in the contemporary game – pace.

        He will definitely need to learn a significant amount about positioning.

        But so many players have gone from advanced wing positions and learned how to play full back.

        Just look at Adriano. He is far from a natural full back. But he has great pace, good strength and works very hard.

        And remember – this is playing full back in the Barca system Pep wants to play. The full backs are really hybrid wing backs.

        The key at that full back position in the barca system is pace, work rate and ball control.

        I really think Afellay could do very well in that position. His pace, strength, ball control and ability to cross the ball would add great width on the left.

        They could then move Abidal to CB and rotate Puyol and Abidal alongside of Pique and mix in Fontas and hopefully Botia.

        But this is just speculative. I really think they need to get Afellay on the pitch next season.

        • footballfan
          April 27, 2011

          If Afellay does succeed in playing LB, then Netherland can employ him to replace van Bronckhorst! 😀

        • Nik
          April 27, 2011

          His (reliable) crossing would definitely bring something new to the side.

    • Barcaleya
      April 27, 2011

      I like this thought, Euler.

      In fact, I asked Kevin several posts back if he thought Ibi can take the place of Adriano. I agree he has the skill set for it – in terms of pace and being able to run up and down the left side. He just needs to brush up/practice his defensive skills though.

      I think he will be perfect. And he will be delivering the crosses from the flanks that will give an extra dimension to our attack.

  13. Jnice
    April 27, 2011

    🙂

    Feeling good, feeling greaaaaaaat. How about you? BTW, I love you all.

  14. blitzen
    April 27, 2011

    We woooonnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!

    Too happy to post much right now, must find good download. pakman has a great HD one but I don’t have enough spare room on my memory sticks! I need an external hard drive. 🙁

    And I know Messi was the star of the match, but WOW how about that cross from Flyboy for the first goal????? 3M just earned back his entire purchase price!

  15. simple_barcafan
    April 27, 2011

    The God of Small Things…

  16. simple_barcafan
    April 27, 2011

    And i forgot..Take that Mou…Take that!!!For all the accusations, thrash talk, blaming referees and above all else, accusing Pep..TAKE THAT UP YOUR ***!!!

  17. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 27, 2011

    I don’t give a damn what people say…
    especially you, Mou… **** you… special one my arse!

    Pep Guardiola es el put* jefe, Messi es el put* amo! 😀

    hell yeah!!!!!!!!

    that second goal, my fellow cules, was another hystorical goal by our little magician…

    embrace these moments of joy…

    Boti Boti Boti, Madridista qui no Boti!!!!

    • culeluvr
      April 27, 2011

      The second goal left me in tears! And to think he’s only 23..and Afellay OMG he is just fantastic, another gift from the football gods.

      All I have to say to the Madridistas is take that in your juice box and suck it!

      • Guys calm down… Afellay’s involvement in the the goal was brilliant and he was good tonight. But he is not that good as he is been made of. He looks very much a one dimensional player. But this match shows how we should use him. Bring him on for the last twenty minutes and put him in either flank and allow him to use his speed.

  18. vicsoc
    April 27, 2011

    Pep totally dominated Mourinho in mind games on this one. He let Mourinho insinuate all season and then before this game Mourinho decided to take it to the next level. Pep reacted, but he did it on his terms and used it to motivate the team.

    A Barcelona win later and Mourinho is ranting and raving to the media which is not giving him special status anymore. Pep’s response? “I have nothing to say about that.” What could possibly have been more infuriating for Mourinho?

    And the best of all? Sergio Roberto comes into the match at the end. So cheeky Pep, so cheeky.

  19. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 27, 2011

    a few days ago, I dreamt Barça lost 2-0…

    I told you, Jnice, that was a good sign…!!! 😀

    everytime I dreamt Barça lose, they always won…
    just like the first El Clasico… 😛

  20. y2k156
    April 27, 2011

    I am so happy.

    Of course we need to do the job in return leg and it will be so nice if Madrid came to play football.

    As for Mou, before last year, i thought he was good. After last year, i still thought that maybe he got things done. This year though, he has lost pretty much all my respect. I still think he is a great man manager but he is sadly not special. He is a ok chap tactically but is too stupid to know when he is crossing the line to being idiot.

    We still have to play return leg guys.

    • irawan
      April 27, 2011

      same thought, i completely hv no more respect for mourinho. He’s just b**l s**t and will hv no valued legacy in football world. I belive deep down in RM fans, they realize what a “crap” coach that represent the great team like RM dan hv tarnished RM pride as an institution.

  21. mohit
    April 27, 2011

    Possession stats, total shots, total shots on target, don’t determine who deserves to win. But according to Mourinho, hypothesizing about bringing in a substitute player to change the game makes you deserve the win. I love it. He IS the ******* man! Good night, Mourinho. Justice has been delivered. Revenge served, cold.

  22. footballfan
    April 27, 2011

    I think the pressure as RM coach has gotten into Mourinho. That and maybe his rising fame. He wasn’t that ‘crazy’ at Chelsea / Inter as far as I can remember.

  23. April 27, 2011

    Pep totally dominated Mourinho in mind games on this one. He let Mourinho insinuate all season and then before this game Mourinho decided to take it to the next level. Pep reacted, but he did it on his terms and used it to motivate the team.

    vicsoc,

    Completely agree. Make no mistake about it – what Pep did in that press conference was not an accident.

    That was clearly a card he was saving all season long.

    And he played it at the opportune time.

    Pep is a master strategist.

    And now Mourinho is left complaining and leaving his team in utter chaos. He has all but conceded the next leg and is simply trying to protect his own image as the “special one.”

    What was so interesting in this match was Mourinho’s reaction to the awful first half his team played.

    Bring on Adebayor. Not Higuain or Benzema. Put on the target man.

    But Madrid’s problems in attack weren’t at the front. It was in midfield. They couldn’t get the ball.

    Putting in Adebayor just made them hoof long passes on even more.

    When stressed Mourinho had Madrid regress to playing like Chelsea and doing so at the Bernabeau.

    That is a difficult truth to swallow.

    I would love to know what Valdano is thinking right now.

    • Nik
      April 27, 2011

      Probably cackling with glee (well, he’s probably not happy about losing, but), as he’s got some pretty good ammunition to use against Mou.

    • Helge
      April 27, 2011

      Well, he’s blaming the ref’s decision as the biggest factor of the match, but only second to Messi’s contribution.

      It’s been a while though since Valdana has criticized Mourinho, why not come out with some criticism today, Sn. Valdano ? 😀

    • Nikolo
      April 28, 2011

      Not only that, but Jose also put himself ahead of the team, venting to the referee sarcastically when he should have been looking to make amends for the red card. It got him sent to the stands (Which is quite ridiculous, actually. Why not send him off to the dressing room?) and even from there he was quite ineffective tactically. With a goal down, he didn’t bring in any players (AFAIK) to change the status quo. A monumental tactical failure, which even I (who don’t know much about football tactics) can tell.

      On to the Barcelona Derby. Hope we hand Espanyol another Manita.

  24. April 27, 2011

    It’s funny, In the champions league every single minute you play at home is extremely valuable. It is critical – especially when you are at home in the first leg.

    Mourinho utterly wasted the first 45 minutes of the match and did nothing as Barca played their game. And the start to the second half was no better. Not even when he went to his safety blanket – the target man.

    But somehow the loss was due to cosmic injustice rather than barca playing much better and smarter.

    He just wasted the entire home leg.

    • He had Kaka’, Benzema, Higuain, Granero, and more on the bench. Before the red, he takes off his best passer in Ozil and replaces him with a tall, target man whose first touch is stone. After the red, there is no changes.

      This is against a team who’s been devastated by injuries to key players in key positions. We had to move a barely match fit Puyol into an unfamiliar LB position, with sMasch playing only his 3rd or 4th game at CB, and Iniesta ruled out the day before the game.

      There were no adjustments from Mourinho at all. Not to mention how he set them out to play in the first place. “Give them the ball and sit back” in a Champions League tie where you absolutely must score?

      Daft. Just daft.

      –EE sympathizers will point to the red changing the game, but it’s similar to how Arbeloa’s non-reds changed the Copa.

      It’s sour grapes, pure and simple. They know how they played and are focusing on “controversial” calls. Out-played and out-coached on their own ground.

      And now Mourinho’s reduced to a raving lunatic clutching at straws.

      A complete masterclass from Pep.

    • blitzen
      April 27, 2011

      this:

      He just wasted the entire home leg.

      and this:

      He had Kaka’, Benzema, Higuain, Granero, and more on the bench.

      Say everything you need to know about Mourinho and his so-called tactics for this match. He drastically misplayed his hand and has almost no chance of recouping his losses. No wonder he went a bit nuts afterwards.

  25. Cadmito
    April 27, 2011

    As great as this win feels I can’t help but be embarassed by the behavior of both teams, especially Barca. This is exactly the kind of crap that scares the casual fan away from the sport and gives the team a bad name. Busi and Pedro should be ashamed and the crowds of screaming, pointing players after every foul made what should have been an irresistable matchup hard to watch. I didn’t think it would be possible for me to feel so down after such a huge win but we should call a spade a spade and criticise the behavior of our own players just as much as the negative football played by Madrid. Expect better

    • culeluvr
      April 27, 2011

      Agreed. Unfortunately unsportsman like conduct has in a way become acceptable because it gets you calls in your favor and refs don’t always make the right calls.

      • Barka
        April 27, 2011

        Thirded. What has gotten into Pedro anyway? Diving while a dark art is an “art”. It’s clear that Pedro’s got no talent diving yet he does it regularly when the master Dive Maria was on the same pitch. It makes him look much worse.

        Our players shouldn’t swarm around the red in every decision either. Expecially Valdes, he has no business talking with the ref near the half way line. That’s Puyol’s job and should be his alone.

    • Nav
      April 27, 2011

      I agree with this to an extent. Busi’s diving was especially embarrassing. That and I really dislike how we always tend to crowd the ref — including Valdes. It blemishes an otherwise incredibly performance.

        • Cadmito
          April 27, 2011

          I think you can make the argument that it was tactically prudent for us to make a meal of fouls because clearly Madrid’s strategy of kicking us off the park had been working. We needed that to stop and so you can either kick them as well or hound the ref. We chose hound the ref.

          What bothers me most though is it always seems the bigger the match, whether club or international, the more pronounced this type of behavior becomes. In the end every team ends up doing those douchey things that everyone hates.

          I love what Sergi does in his role but god would I hate him if I supported another team

    • Sorry, I’d normally agree with you, but in this instance I don’t.

      It’s not just negative football — the level of thuggery that EE got away with in the Copa was unbelievable. Just take a quick gander at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7KH4V5cpnk&NR=1

      There were many times where we just got on with our football, but the Copa showed that putting the ref under pressure actually works. Mourinho moaned and moaned in the press and got his way. The leniency shown to EE was incredible: the ref would see an obvious foul and wave play on, but not go back to book the player. This was coupled by our “get on with it style”, and I mean this as a team, not Busi.

      And it’s not just dirty either. Di Maria is a diver — not an embellisher, but an honest-to-gosh-no-contact diver. His one more is run to the byline and fall. It’s not like we’re the divers and they are the classic English thugging team, it goes both ways, except we don’t thug in return. As for Busi, I’m not defending him as I saw his incident. Not cool. I didn’t see Pedro!’s on my stream.

      Like I said above,gamesmanship was from both sides but if EE weren’t so dirty in the Copa, would we have crowed the ref so much so he’d take notice of the severity of the tackles? They brought it upon themselves.

      I’m not saying I condone diving/embellishing, we don’t need that to win and we shouldn’t do it. However, it appears protesting every call is necessary, because I’ll never forget the way the Copa was called. I’ve watched Barca for a long time now, and in big matches we tend to just get on with it. After the Copa, getting on with it means the other team can get away with shiznit.

      In any case, It’s El Clasico, and a semi-final, with pride at stake. Not pretty, but it’s how it is.

      • Nik
        April 27, 2011

        I’m going to respectfully disagree. I think it was Kxevin who said in the preview thread that the way to beat their hacking and fouling was moving the ball faster. Period. The behavior of Busi and Pedro was not acceptable and is not what I’d want from a player wearing the blaugrana. Also, the stuff they were whining (yes, whining) weren’t even fouls (that’s off the top of my head, at least).

        I wish those two would have played a cleaner game, and that our players would have let the ref do his work without mobbing him. He knew when to card Ramos, and he knew when to card Pepe. Especially considering it was El Clasico, and a semi-final, with pride at stake.

        But that’s just me.

        • I think maybe you misunderstand me, or maybe it’s my lack of reading comprehension, but just so I get the point across: I’m not condoning what Busi (didn’t see Pedro!) did — we don’t need that. I’m not saying to fight fire with diving. What I am saying is that protesting the calls is necessary, particular in light of the Copa final.

          A cleaner game is what is ideal, but it’s just not really realistic. Aggressive fouling is EE’s main gameplan. I think maybe people are missing this point. Yes, moving the ball faster and off the ball movement make it an non-issue, but injuries can happen when this type of fouling system is in place.

          Fatigue + incessant hard fouling = injuries. It’s definitely a factor in Iniesta’s injury IMO as he was/is one of the most fouled players. We can’t afford injuries.

          When a player is booked, they need to keep their fouls in check. Then it becomes a game of football, and the other team is forced to play.

          I’d be on your side 100% and I’ve said for a long time that players like Xavi should cut out the unnecessary dissent and let the ref do his job, but not in this instance and not in this circumstance — when the ref’s job can be influenced by external factors. Then dissent becomes necessary, not diving.

          But that’s just me. I get what you’re saying, though. Agree to disagree I guess.

          • Para
            April 27, 2011

            Ah, I didn’t respond to you, but I did misunderstand nonetheless- thanks for the clarification. I don’t necessarily agree, but I can see why you are saying the dissent was necessary. I thought (obviously mistakenly) you were saying the embellishment was necessary.

          • Nik
            April 27, 2011

            I misunderstood too (my b!). I see your point, and I have no problem with a player going over to the ref to say “Hey, you missed the elbow he threw at me when your back was turned. Watch that guy.”.

            What I don’t like is having the whole team surround the ref. In fact, if I were the ref and a team was doing that to me, I’d be more inclined to see the other team’s point of view.

            But meh, whatevs. All just a minor quibble in the face of the awesomeness that was Messi’s GOLAZO.

  26. Dalmar
    April 27, 2011

    A great day for the beautiful game.

    Hope this is the end of Mourinho and his ugly tactics.

  27. April 27, 2011

    For me the Afellay cross was as important and as beautiful as Messi taking on five players and beating Casillas. Like Euler and Kxevin have been saying. He plays direct, fast football and made Marcelo look like a ragdoll. Pedro earlier in the season had that pace, but not those beautiful of crosses and I think Afellay has a very very very bright future ahead of him at Barca.

    The Messi goal, unbelievable, no words for it. But the wind had already been suck out Madrid’s sails. No Ramos, no Pepe, and no Mourinho, and after the Afellay cross there was no inspiration on their part.

    Red card was perhaps rash, but we outplayed Madrid start to finish. Very few moments was I even worried Madrid would score, because they simply did not look interested. Mourinho wanted a set piece or a late minute counter goal, to me that’s somewhat pathetic when you’re playing at home in CL semi-final. Credit to Pep for the exact right substitution at the exact right time. One more game and then let’s take care of Man U, or as some have called them “the unconvincables”

  28. Para
    April 27, 2011

    Was today Sergi’s champions league debut, or big-team debut? (or both).

    • Barka
      April 27, 2011

      It was his first ever CL debut I think.

    • Diego
      April 27, 2011

      No, I think the only other game he played this season was the 2-0 win against Kazan.

  29. Vj
    April 27, 2011

    I think the stability that Puyol lends to the backline is second to none. We look so assured of ourselves back there. Pique starts concentrating on the game and not the waka waka. Add Abidal in and presto! Magic!!

    • footballfan
      April 27, 2011

      Yep, Puyol bailed out Pique a couple of times during the match.

  30. beeeef
    April 27, 2011

    What a wonderful day.

    And Messi’s second?

    Astounding. #52 was as important a goal as he’ll ever score.

    90+ minutes still to go at home, but we’ll almost surely be at Wembley now.

  31. Diego
    April 27, 2011

    Their gameplan was to kick us and not play football, then they’re surprised that one of their players got sent off.

    It’s not a coincidence or bribing referees that makes The Special Five play against us with 10 men for the last 5 matches, 4 of those were direct red cards.

    • jordi™
      April 27, 2011

      “we could have played for three hours and they would not have scored”

      jaja.RM would have definitely though.he had a plan !

    • blitzen
      April 27, 2011

      Oh, man. Surely he has gone too far this time? UEFA will have to take notice, he has basically accused the entire organization and all its accredited referees of being involved in some vast conspiracy.

      Anyway, if he wants to know who is really behind the conspiracy, here they are:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZI_aEalijE

  32. providence
    April 27, 2011

    karrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    kxeviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin

    oh what a feeling!

    [no need for that. we can enjoy a win without calling out other commentors -ed kari ]

    • Diego
      April 27, 2011

      Leave Blaunero alone, He’s just a different type of fan. 😀

      • Xingxian
        April 27, 2011

        Blaunero loves this club as much as any of us. He bears the weight of FCB pessimism so the rest of us cab be more in-your-face 🙂

  33. majatt
    April 27, 2011

    Have you guys seen this? *http://youtu.be/uGUtpF2n5aM Amazing!

      • majatt
        April 27, 2011

        The Gareth Bale one is equally crazy.

        • thechaikid
          April 28, 2011

          yeah i watched that too.
          even if the content wasn’t related to football, the art of animation is worth sharing because its genius.

  34. y2k156
    April 27, 2011

    Mou has lost it. He is questioning Pep while totally and conveniently forgetting the way in which Inter won the CL. I do not know if i should laugh or cry. I am going to laugh. The guy is deluded

  35. Helge
    April 27, 2011

    btw, did you notice at about 16:30 how Crynaldo is vehemently protesting the lack of support when he tries to pressure Barça (but is left chasing the ball’s shadow in a trianle^^)?

    His gesture afterwards are priceless, he certainly would make a great actor 😀

    But combined with his comments about Mourinho’s defensive tactic, will there be some other dissonances between CR and Mou?

    • Diego
      April 27, 2011

      That was chosen as play of the game by Allas.

      • Helge
        April 27, 2011

        Damn, that must be quite a blow. He scored the goal of this CL season, and all that CR has to do is chase behind a ball and wave his arms in frustation to surpass the genius move of Messi ^^

    • Para
      April 27, 2011

      Barcastuff clarified that the ‘defensive Madrid’ comment was specifically in relation to this match- C.Ronaldo wasn’t saying that he was generally frustrated with Madrid’s defensive play.

    • blitzen
      April 27, 2011

      Can someone pleassseeee make me a giftastic gif of Cronaldo jumping and waving his arms in frustration? 😀

  36. Judas Pissed
    April 27, 2011

    That’ll do pig – that’ll do…

  37. amininio
    April 27, 2011

    Any links for downloading the whole game (English commentary)?!! please I’m desperate, haven’t seen the game yet!!

  38. Diego
    April 27, 2011

    Anyone has links for the goals in HD ?

    • footballfan
      April 27, 2011

      use the above site Diego, it’s in HD.

      • Diego
        April 27, 2011

        It’s the whole match, 4.5 GB 😀

        I just want the goals.

  39. April 27, 2011

    Anyone think there’s any chance that Mourinho will leave in the summer? If RM fail to win both La Liga and the Champion’s League and if the fans are dissatisfied with RM’s style under him, is it possible he’ll head back to England? Especially after his comments today. EE managers have gotten fired for lesser grievances in the past. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part, as the further away he is from Spanish football the happier I’ll be.

    • beeeef
      April 27, 2011

      Mou would have a higher chance of leaving this summer if he had won the CL and League than not.

      You can look forward to him sticking around for a while longer.

      • April 27, 2011

        Yeah, you’re probably right unfortunately. I guess he’ll be out for revenge next season, and can always use the referees as an excuse if he keeps failing.

        • footballfan
          April 27, 2011

          I still can’t see him winning against us in Liga next season. CL maybe.

          • Jackieboy
            April 27, 2011

            Unless they fire him? They fired Capello for playing ugly, and he actually won La Liga, while Mourinho got hammered 5-0 at the Camp Nou. Prolly not gonna happen, but oh boy, to see him fired, that would make my day.

          • blitzen
            April 27, 2011

            Yes, but Capello wasn’t “special”. He was Postman Pat. 😛

          • April 27, 2011

            Yeah, as long as he’s playing like this he’ll only be able to grind out Copa-style wins, that have a lot to do with fatigue and luck. Even if he doesn’t park the bus, we all know what happened in November. I think RM need a coach who cares about the club more than his own “specialness” and who can implement a real style and philosophy to be able to compete with Barcelona. Mourinho can’t do that.

            Of course I have no problem if RM want to keep shooting themselves in both feet, but it is sad to see a historically great club sink to this level.

  40. PhepheSa
    April 27, 2011

    I’m so very happy I can’t sleep. This is just incredible. And how amazing were the cules at the stadium, they were so loud sometimes it felt like a home match. Great support for the team to lift them up after the first two rounds of clasicos.

  41. Víctor
    April 27, 2011

    I don’t know what to say: I don’t like that our team was constantly pressing the ref for cards, but then again, not doing anything while letting the other team do that is quite wrong as well.

    Is one of those “dirty” things you have to do once in a while.

    Make no mistake, though, that was a straight red card. In any other game, at any other league, it would be straight red card. The rules shouldn’t change because it’s a Semi-Final CL match between Evil Empire (yes, I’ll call them that way this time) against Barcelona.

    And I just gotta say: AFELLAY!!!! I hope that the rumors are false and that the team doesn’t plan on selling him for Fabregas.

    • footballfan
      April 27, 2011

      Afellay is more versatile than Fabregas. He has pace and can play on the wings, while Fabregas can only play in the middle.

      Buy a striker and a CB/LB.

      • ElJefe
        April 27, 2011

        WHOAH. I’m all for drinking the Kool-Aid but its far too early to make that assessment. Fabregas does add what we sorely lack, a strong 3rd scoring threat directed from mid-fied and a role, quiet frankly, that Iniesta has done very far below his potential recently.

  42. providence
    April 27, 2011

    kariiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    kevvvvviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnn

    where are you i’m waiting for your comments.

    by the way how do we protect Alves and Masch for the Finals (i know we are not there yet)?

    Kariiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.

    hey Bassam!its been a long time please i want your personal(objective) comment, were you cheated or it was indiscipline that caused you?

    • footballfan
      April 27, 2011

      There are no suspensions for the final, so rest assured we can play our best 11 🙂

      • Nik
        April 27, 2011

        You mean our best (healthy) 11. We haven’t seen our best 11 in a while 🙁

        • footballfan
          April 27, 2011

          Yeah that’s what I mean. Best available 11.

          Can’t wait to see

          VV
          Alves Pique Puyol Abidal
          Xavi Busquets/Masch Iniesta
          MVP

          again.

  43. outerspacedout
    April 27, 2011

    Wow wow at the whining by Mourinho and the EE players.. then again, keep on whining- its not like history is gonna remember the 2010/11 EE side anyway, except for the 5-0.

  44. Judas Pissed
    April 27, 2011

    Loving Tarzan at LB rallying the troops just after Pepe got sent off. Waving his arms shouting ‘come on come on!’

  45. Jnice
    April 27, 2011

    Kari, check your fbtz inbox por favor.

      • I’m failing at fbtz replying so hard.

        If you get two messages that say the same thing, it’s my ineptitude. #signtousefbtzmore

    • footballfan
      April 27, 2011

      Jnice I heard that someone can register to fbtz.com if he/she gets an invite. Is it true?

      • Jnice
        April 27, 2011

        Don’t think so. I’ll let you know as soon as registration opens again, though.

  46. Ahmad
    April 27, 2011

    I have a feeling that Pep is getting a perfect 10 in Euler’s review. The conference, The Inspiration and The Comeback.

  47. April 27, 2011

    Madrid were still very much in this tie down 1-0. That’s bad but hardly insurmountable.

    Barca was just looking to play out the game by controlling possession.

    And then Messi took on 5 Madrid players and beat them all single handedly.

    Busquets, Messi and I believe Afellay were the only players forward on the pitch. Busquets and Afellay didn’t even attack the goal on Messi’s run.

    Busquet’s literally just settled the ball and let Messi take over.

    Messi beat the entire Madrid defense. There is simply no excuse for that defensively. Being down a man had little to do with that.

    And it was that second away goal which completely changed the nature of the tie. Completely transformed it.

    I suppose it was a conspiracy by UEFA that must have caused the Madrid defenders to turn to jelly as Messi toyed with them 1 vs. 5 on that run.

    That’s the only possible explanation. It was all part of UEFA’s master plan. And given their immense powers of mind control UEFA took control of Marcelo, Albiol, Lass, Arbeloa and Ramos’ minds to get them to conspire along with the Guardiola’s dark, master plan.

    • So Euler, can you handle the review or should we wait for neighbourhood journalist? But considering how much detail and thought you put into your posts, to ask you for one by tomorrow would do you a disservice…

  48. outerspacedout
    April 27, 2011

    Also, I have never hated Madrid as much as I did last night- the match was 2.30am our time- not even near as much. From the coaches’ pressers on to seeing Dive Maria gesticulating on the floor and EE players showing off ‘expressions of disgust’ every now and then like they were heroes to I think it was Marcelo stepping on Pedro’s leg to the post-game EE whining.

    This was Clubber Lang versus Rocky Balboa. They’re bigger, fresher, and evil with a borderline psychotic coach, we’re the champions that after one loss, regained our Eye of the Tiger for the game that mattered most. Oh yeah.

  49. VictorNZ
    April 27, 2011

    It’s a pity EE fan’s are not gracious in defeat they plunge into fits and excuses about how all of our players dive and are cheaters.
    We did the talking on the pitch, but sometimes I feel we did a little too much talking to the ref. The ref isn’t going to take back his call just because Valdes has run half way up the field to confront him. Get on with the game and move on.
    I was calling for Afellay to come on once Pedro missed that header, and he did what he was told to do and what many people have been calling for him to do. The directness of his game was what we needed and seeing fit in so seamlessly on that right side makes me even more assured hes going to be a a valuable asset for our team. He was Henry-esce in his movement which was a bit nostalgic. Interesting thought for him for left back, I wonder how Pep would take to that idea. I do see how he would fit for the position tho.
    Mourinho will be lapping the attention up to fuel his narcissistic ego, if you watched him when he was sent to the stand’s you knew he was loving every minute of it. Probably thinking of what he was going to say after the match rather than thinking of what he could of taken out of this game, which to be honest isn’t a lot. Pepe being sent off hurt them, but I’m not sure if it deserved a straight red. Madrid can complain all they want but it wont change the result, it’s in the past, it’s done. They lost, we won with our own game plan. A game plan which had nothing to do with having Uefa being on our side or us having special ‘Powers’. And his shot at Unicef was disgusting, he crossed a line there. Anyways 😀 Hakuna Matata.

    • Víctor
      April 27, 2011

      I agree, shame on Pedro for trying to get a yellow on Arbeloa. I mean, he succeeded, but that’s not right. But I’ll cut him some slack, is not like Madrid players are honest when they play. So, they get what they give.

      However, don’t doubt it, VictorNZ (hey, we share a name), that was a straight red. Anywhere else would be, so wouldn’t shouldn’t it be on this game as well?

      • VictorNZ
        April 27, 2011

        On Pepe’s red, some of the EE community were pointing out Busi did a similar action in the Copa Final which I think has some merit to it. But on the other hand Busi doesn’t stomp on players heads or does “El Corte de Manga” to the crowd. I think Karma got Pepe in the end. What goes around comes around I guess. What Pique said of been truer, if you play with fire you’ll eventually get burnt.

        Yeah, Victor’s a great name dont’cha think? 😀 thought I’d add the NZ bit lose some confusion.

        Man of the match could be a host of people, Keita, Messi, Valdes or even Afellay. Villa played well too and it was good to see Pep acknowledged him too. Im glad Pep steered clear on commenting on Mourinho’s antic’s.

      • Lou
        April 27, 2011

        Pepe did the same to Masch to get him a yellow card right before. The red card was a borderline call but I wouldn’t be surprised if Pepe’s reputation for violent behaviour didn’t count against him. Reputations do matter for referees: that’s the reason why Busi will probably never again win a penalty.

        • Lou
          April 27, 2011

          Sorry I should clarify that I was referring to Pepe exaggerating a fall to get Mascherano a yellow card, not that he attempted a studs up tackle on Masch.

          Although the ESPN match report I read did say that Pepe was red carded for tackling Masch, and that Barcelona had gotten a Chelsea player sent off at Stamford Bridge in 2009.

  50. Víctor
    April 27, 2011

    That Messi’s second goal… I have my WTF about it. Madrid defenders didn’t even try to stop him. What the hell? Where they totally frustrated to actually try to do something?

    And I think I’m gonna take back my comments about Pep not being a great strategist. His tactics totally outplayed Mourinho this time. In the first half we weren’t that offensive, we kept possession, but we made sure that Madrid wouldn’t have a chance at counters.

    Maybe because a 0-0 at the Bernabéu would be a good result. But even more, because that would set Madrid off… they were expecting us to crowd their own half… but we didn’t… so they didn’t know what to do. They weren’t prepared for that.

  51. blitzen
    April 27, 2011

    Not defending Pinto, he probably deserved his red card, but who was that little guy in the suit who put his hand on Pinto’s throat not once, but twice in that melee???

  52. Víctor
    April 27, 2011

    I don’t know if Mourinho is gonna get fired or not… but he was hired precisely because he managed to defeat Barca at the Champions League Semi-Final last year. That’s the biggest reason Madrid looked at him.

    He failed at that.

    OK, he hasn’t failed yet, there’s still 90 minutes left. But it seems way unlikely. Madrid is gonna have to actually attack in order to have a chance and that’s an invitation to get torn to pieces by Barcelona. However, that’s their only bet. If they are gonna play defensively, expecting a counter… then Guardiola is gonna tell the RB and LB to sit back… eliminating the threat of counters.

    • VictorNZ
      April 27, 2011

      As I see it, whether EE sack or keep Mourinho they will buy a few more player’s for ridiculous amount’s of dough. Iv herd John Terry’s name being one of those, and there will be other’s.

      Not only if they attack will they get Torn, they’ll be missing Ramos and Pepe as well as Khedira and Mou. Those are big loses, although Carvalho will be back and I think he’s there best defender. I can’t wait to see Raul Albiol do a pathetic attempt at stopping Messi again. And for attack I hope they put Adebayor on. Puyol’s got his number after that slap.

      But this isn’t won yet, far from it. A wounded animal is most dangerous when its cornered.

      • Nav
        April 27, 2011

        I think they’re going to go after Bale and Aguero.

        • chop
          April 28, 2011

          So during big matches they’ll have Kaka, Higuain, Benzema, Aguero/Bale on the sideline. haha

  53. Lou
    April 27, 2011

    Interesting perspective from Eduardo Alvarez’s twitter (@papamoskis):

    “Mou’s press conference, a shameful moment for RM. Barsa’s Nunez and Gaspart used to do this same speech and we laughed at them.”

  54. Barcaleya
    April 27, 2011

    EVIL TRIUMPHS WHEN GOOD MEN DO NOTHING

    That’s my response to all the card waving. And why I support Pep’s presser yesterday.

    And my lame excuse for all the falling too easily. Madrid has kicked and slammed and stomped at our legs and feet, not to mention the studs up high challenges tonight and in previous games. Referees let them get away with it thanks to Mourinho’s constant whining and disingenuous attribution of favoritism for us and oppression for them. If we don’t wave and show the refs what’s been done to us, who will? No amount of replays after the game will alter the course once the game has ended. The refs are already conditioned by Mou before the game has even started. If we stay quiet and play on as if nothing has happened, we will lose through unfair calls and non-calls because they play “smarter.” There are special games such as these and we can’t lose from these factors and put it down to experience.

    I BY NO MEANS CONDONE THESE under normal circumstances. But these are desperate times calling for desperate measures. And there is nothing that says we shouldn’t call the refs attention for fouls committed against us. I do wish that Pep would caution Busi and Alves against too much play-acting and certainly stop them from diving. I think I saw Pedro dive once and that’s a disgrace. But I also think that he hurt himself as he landed when he reached for a rebound and the replay shows that Marcelo stepped on his knee, thus the groveling on the ground. I saw a stud mark on his knee when he was on the bench.

    I am hurt when other people say we whine and dive and cheat for the win.

    We’ve shown the most skill (as a team) amongst all players and teams in the past three seasons. And we have tried to attack as much as we could. [Not to say that we haven’t been defensive either. Precisely – keeping possession is a defensive tactic as much as it could be turned into offense. Obviously, the opponents will find it difficult to score if they never see the ball.] So, I wish our skill will speak for our team and that we win because of it. Mou’s aggressive tactics have pushed us to playing and maybe exaggerating spills and fouls – but I quite believe that we deserve all our wins and not through any negative means.

    To iterate what everyone knows already – we were the only ones who tried to score today. That Mou played with 8 defensive men and no real striker shows his intent to come out of this game with a draw. In his home. He and the team totally deserved the loss no matter all the histrionics that went on amongst all the players on the field.

    For all that I am not happy with our crowding the ref and overacting – I am very proud of the team. We played well. We played with our style. We deserve the win. We prevailed. And I can’t be more proud to say that this is Barcelona.

    VISCA BARCA!!!

    • yelèna
      April 28, 2011

      yay BarcaLeya! i survived! and we won..

      wooohooo!!

      • Barcaleya
        April 28, 2011

        Hi Yelena! I know – yay!!!!!

        So glad you survived. And you shouldn’t get sick again cause….we should be playing better at home 😀

  55. ElJefe
    April 27, 2011

    Truly, In Pep We Trust. Please rememeber all the negativity and cries for trying to match Mou style-for-style over the last week…we need to keep the faith. One more victory next week and we have a chance to send Mou’s legacy to the grave forever.

    Amazing victory, won our way…the referee media frenzy will be annoying and ridiculous, but we’re where we want to be. Puyol continues to be and will always be the heart of this team. Ramos & Pepe out for 2nd match at Nou down 2-0 is the nail in the coffin.

    First and foremost, I want to thank everyone here in advance for lauding myself & Kxevin on starting Affelay over Pedro…I think I will accept my offer as Pep’s replacement next season. Could have saved us a tense 45 minutes. Now if only they had been starting Adriano over Maxwell 6 games earlier…

    But seriously, the topic for discussion/debate is this….BUSI NEEDS TO BE TRADED OR CHANGE HIS BEHAVIOR IMMEDIATELY. I don’t care if he’s our top defensive midfielder, nor his starting role on the #1 Spanish side. His blantantly (and very poorly executed I might add) flops are an embarrassment to Barca and what makes us special vs. any other club, an embarassment to continental European football, and and insult to us as the fans. It will feed the flames and add some credibility to the whining and media frenzy about Barca’s style of play.

    The juvenile excuse has expired. I expect a new player at that position next season, or Pep to play his proper role as father in addition to coach. It’s starting to rub off on other player’s like Pedro, which is unacceptable.

    • April 27, 2011

      It’s weird about Busquets, I thought he’d really reined in the diving for most of the season, and then came the Clasicos, and every other time you look at him he’s on the ground clutching his face. I think Real Madrid bring out the worst in him. I sincerely hope Pep does something about it because he is so good at what he does for us and I hate to see his game tarnished like that.

      • ElJefe
        April 27, 2011

        Between Busi’s antics and Alves’ strong likelihood that Pepe did not actually make contact with his leg at all (don’t get me wrong, its a silly position for Pepe to be in with studs up shin high and easy for Alves to augement it), all of those out there crying about Barca and influencing the refs have a very valid point.

        We dominated this match. Tactically, and emotionally. That would not have changed had the Red card not come. But the damage has been done. Pep needs to drop the hammer.

        • chop
          April 28, 2011

          I agree. Pep needs to trade Busquets immediately. Toure and Masch are both just as good anyway, both as DM’s and CB’s. The worst is that he’s a La Masia product. What does that say about the academy? Now it seems another La Masia product, Pedro, is infected.

        • April 28, 2011

          Did not make contact with alves?!! Ok Alves overreacts many times..but this did actually hurt and very much so! What if that challenge was on Messi??

    • April 27, 2011

      Oh! I’ve been looking for this. X’s & O’s whoever you are. 😀

  56. Jnice
    April 27, 2011

    Smaller links. The one above is huge (especially for those w/o premium).

    27 Apr 2011 – UCL – Real Madrid v. Barcelona – ITV Broadcast

    First Half:

    /http://www.fileserve.com/file/Dv3aUtj/First Half – UCL – Real Madrid v. Barcelona – 27-04-11.avi

    /http://www.uploadstation.com/file/Csy38nR/First_Half_-_UCL_-_Real_Madrid_v._Barcelona_-_27-04-11.avi

    /http://www.filesonic.com/file/861919321/First Half – UCL – Real Madrid v. Barcelona – 27-04-11.avi

    Second Half:

    /http://www.fileserve.com/file/JDgBVHX/Second Half – UCL – Real Madrid v. Barcelona – 27-04-11.avi

    /http://www.uploadstation.com/file/yjTmTAu/Second_Half_-_UCL_-_Real_Madrid_v._Barcelona_-_27-04-11.avi

    /http://www.filesonic.com/file/861982341/Second Half – UCL – Real Madrid v. Barcelona – 27-04-11.avi

    Credit to Pakman at fbtz.com

    Here’s his blog, btw.. it has all of the matches he caps.

    http://pakmans-footy-blog.blogspot.com/

    • blitzen
      April 27, 2011

      I deleted some old NT matches to make room for pakman;s HD download and it was SO worth it! *drool*

  57. Obii
    April 27, 2011

    God, I cant wait for Eulers tactical post.

    That is all.

  58. aleph_null
    April 27, 2011

    Thrilled. Affelay was perfect. Messi, well in the words of Sid Lowe

    “it was one of the finest goals this competition has ever witnessed, delivered by a player who at 23 is already Barcelona’s third-top scorer in history and is now being compared not just to the best players in the world but the finest footballers of all time.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/apr/27/real-madrid-barcelona-champions-league

    A great night indeed, and even more so for the first post on this blog; a special place for sure.

  59. BarcaGirl_Indo
    April 27, 2011

    Euler : “There will be waves of nonsense after this match.

    Ignore it. It is completely irrelevant.”

    that is exactly what I’m gonna do…

    most of EE fans and Barça haters swallow every single thing that Mou said… UEFA, UNICEF, bla bla bla…

    hell, that idiot can blame global warming, tsunami in Japan, Shakira, or Queca conspiracy for his team’s loss, and they will agree with him…because he’s the Special One (self proclaim, mind you)…unbelieveable…

    nonsense…

    • culeluvr
      April 27, 2011

      I think they sold rose colored glasses to the EE fans at the beginning of the season. Probably kool-aid too.

    • mei
      April 27, 2011

      Really? An article practically advertising epl?
      Its a disgrace. I could discredit its points one by one , but that would require a longer article than this one.

    • culeluvr
      April 27, 2011

      While I agree with the point the author made in this article, I must echo previous comments made by other people today. If they did not “gang up” on the ref then whatever foul was committed could possibly be ignored. Barca is guilty of raising the theatrics just as much as Madrid. But how many times have EE players committed fouls(sometimes dangerous ones) and they have been passed over without as much as a scolding by the ref? It doesn’t mean Barcelona is justified but when you are playing for European glory, the gloves are off.

  60. mardia
    April 27, 2011

    Anybody here got a subscription to the Sunday Times online? From Tony Evans’ comments on Twitter, he apparently goes off on Mourinho’s antics in tomorrow’s online edition. Also, this (from his Twitter) is a good description of what happened tonight: Here’s what I loved about tonight. Best team in world against side determined to stop them playing. Genius overcomes this and wins game

  61. April 27, 2011

    Im sorry, I love this team so much, but after seeing video, Alves was disgraceful. And in reality, I don’t need much video evidence to put Busi in the same catagory!!!! Was it not this round last year that he held his face and dove against Inter. I think we deserved to win as we were the better team, but I can also understand Madristia frustration.

    • Nav
      April 27, 2011

      You don’t need to make contact for it to be a cardable offense. It was a very dangerous tackle that was at least a yellow — the rest is up to the ref’s interpretation. All within the laws of the game. You can also get carded for accumulation of fouls. Pepe had it coming.

    • culeluvr
      April 27, 2011

      Same here! I could have sworn there was contact.
      But despite this..I feel karma has bit Madrid in the *** for the undeserved penalty given to EE thanks to Marcelo’s theatrics displayed in this video:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYUb6KTQFPA

      • chop
        April 28, 2011

        Was incredibly acrobatic by Alves. He’s running one way, on the top of his toes on what foot, then suddenly does a perfect spin in the opposite direction. Live, it looked like a really bad collision. Bizarre play.

        • Nav
          April 28, 2011

          Im pretty sure there was a collision – it probably happened too quickly for a 30 fps camera to capture.

          • chop
            April 28, 2011

            I think so too. Doesn’t seem physically possible otherwise.

  62. Lev
    April 27, 2011

    I don’t care that he didn’t make contact. If Dani Alves had not pulled out his leg Pepe woud have broken it. For ONCE I support Dani Alves in milking it. The straight red was logical, even though it won’t always be given in those situations.

    Mourinho should be ashamed of himself, saying the things he has said. So should everybody even being associated with Madrid right now. Red cards are part of the game, if you send out your players to foul at each and every opportunity, you will probably end up with a red card more often than not.

    So what if we crowd the ref to protest, or if some players exaggerate the slightest contact. Would people prefer it if we also would be deliberately out to injure opponents like Mourinho’s Puta M”dr*d? Marcelo should have gotten red for stomping on Pedrito’s knee. Adebayor should have gotten red for smashing Busi in the face.

    Mou tried to intimidate the refs beforehand thinking they would be afraid to give red cards to his team. Pep called his bluff and Leo raised him with 2 goals.

    It ain’t over though. We still have 90+ minutes to go.

    • Nik
      April 28, 2011

      I’d rather we exaggerate the real stuff rather than “Oh, I ran into Arbeloa. Let me fall to the floor and roll around holding my face.” or “He put his hand on my chest. Let me fall to the floor and roll around holding my face.” It just reminds me of the Busi peek-a-boo from last year. Also, I wish they’d ban players from crowding the ref. Like I said above, I have no problem with individual discussions, but Valdes sprinting across the field to get in the ref’s face rubs me the wrong way. That stuff just rubs me the wrong way. I’d rather lose playing an honorable game than sinking to the dark arts, but I’m an idealist.

      • Lev
        April 28, 2011

        I don’t mind crowding the ref at all. I, like most football fans, yell at the f-ing bastard in front of my television, so who am I to say that our players who are actually LIVING the game should control their emotions to the point that they must stay away from them.

        Agree with you on the holding my face stuff. Just don’t think it is smart either. We all know what happened to the little boy who cried wolf.

        • Nik
          April 28, 2011

          I just don’t get how crowding the ref works or is smart either. Maybe I’m a horrible human being, but like I said above, I’d definitely side with the team not getting in my face. Also, couldn’t the boy who cried wolf analogy get applied to the team that runs to the ref frequently after a foul (real or imaginary)?

          • Nik
            April 28, 2011

            However, for all my idealism, I’m definitely with you on yelling at the ref from my comfortable seat in front of the television 🙂

  63. barca96
    April 27, 2011

    So happy after such a stressful week, had tears in my eyes after each goal.
    So so happy.

  64. barca96
    April 27, 2011

    I don’t know why people are complaining about Alves. It was knee height. In EPL it’s a yellow but not in CL.

  65. Jnice
    April 27, 2011

    Lol come on guys, like the Dani Alves foul in the box=yellow fallacy, the same is true for red cards. He doesn’t have to make contact for it to be a red. You know when players hurdle challenges, but fall and the defender still gets a foul called on him and a yellow? Contact doesn’t have to be made.

    Real fans need to ask a couple of questions. Why did Pepe go in with his studs showing? Why did he stamp out like that?

    That’s a red card for me, every day of the week. Non-issue.

    • Nav
      April 27, 2011

      Agree. Bassam and co can post all the videos they wish but it doesn’t change the nature of the play. It was a cardable offense and he got booked. Don’t blame the ref or Barca, blame Mou’s dumbass thuggery tactics.

    • Nik
      April 28, 2011

      I wasn’t blaming the ref; I think Pepe’s lunge qualify for the “Serious Foul Play” section of the Laws of the Game, so the red card was justified. I was just surprised at how my eyes had deceived me when watching it game time.

      • footballfan
        April 28, 2011

        It happened so fast to be honest. But if there wasn’t any contact, then Alves has pulled one hell of an act.

        • sd
          April 28, 2011

          to be honest i dont know what to believe with these videos. i am going to go with my engineer’s reasoning and completely agree that alves pulled one hell of an act if there was no contact. to think that he went to kick the ball, and pretty hard at that too…but then stopped the momentum of his leg going forward at the right moment as pepe came in studs showing and then reversed the momentum of his leg and pulls it back in a manner that looks like he has been hit but he actually hasnt. all this in a matter of perhaps a second…ridiculous to say the least. if there was no contact and if there was contact, then ridiculous video!

  66. Neel
    April 28, 2011

    I think the game got wrecked completely by the red card. No denying Pepe’s tackle was ugly (touch or no touch), if you go with your studs facing shin a player who is about to kick, it can crack the bone into two…so the tackle was nasty, but the ref should have given him a yellow and told him and everyone around, that he’s not going to take another tackle like that. Next such tackle would be a straight red. I think that way he could have tried to control the game and kept the game more balanced numbers wise. Irrespective of the billion reasons to justify, winning this game, specially scoring against 10 definitely takes out the sheen from those two amazing goals. And yes as few people pointed out earlier, it’s disgusting that the whole squad has to jump around the ref after each tackle, I do not even want to talk about Busi, who I think was not only play acting but also playing horribly in the first half. My heart and mind is still not at peace with the CDR loss. As for me, Barca is yet to show they could put a goal across 11 EE. And also I think every manager and team is at liberty to use their own tactics. So football or anti-football(I dont endorse the term), one can not claim that one brand is not playing footy and the other one is the way to go. I would have been happier if we had put atleast one across before the red card. But importantly, let me say that I am not saying Barca played bad at all, FCB played beautifully and completely dominated the game since after the first 5 or so minutes of hustling around by both team. Was fun to watch TB played as a monkey in the centre. 😀

    • Humphrey Bogart
      April 28, 2011

      Sorry but this tactic was employed by Howard Webb in the WC-Finale and it failed completly. A red card is red card and it does not matter if it is in the first minute or minute 60, if it is a Semi-finale of CL or some 3tier game. The ref has not to assure an entertainig game, he is there to apply the rules, nothing more and nothling less.

    • Nav
      April 28, 2011

      Whaaaa?? So even though it was a dangerous tackle that could have broken a bone or two it should be a yellow for the ‘sake of the game’? RM went down to 10 due to their own volition (i.e. dumbassness), nothing more. Ask yourself why they always finish with 10 men. Is it because every single referee ever is biased, or because they play like a bunch of thugs? It’s got nothing to do with pro/anti-football. If you’re going to constantly kick players’ shins then don’t be surprised when you’re called on it.

    • Jose
      April 28, 2011

      It was this kind of nonsense compromising that ruined the World Cup Final. To all the people that complain (with reason) about diving and embellishing, dirty and violent tackles are far worse.

  67. mei
    April 28, 2011

    Tip : you dont have to break a leg in order to be red carded.
    Don’t get me started on quoting the laws of the game again…
    And to the people complaining about our players “circling the referee” :
    First of all the referee can put an end to that.Its not as if the opposition didnt act likewise , even if they had 70000 supporters screaming in favor of them.
    But , unless you havent seen the past two games we have played , we have been kicked like hell, so i will take anything that will protect our players from dirty play. We are the ones trying to play football anyway, so we SHOULD be protected. All the laws of the game are trying to protect the football team , not the thug team that is trying to get around the laws and just score a win.
    Football is a sport that should be played beatifully imo. Otherwise , destroy the seats around the football fields, no reason for the people to go to a match.

    • Neel
      April 28, 2011

      The ref could have restrained the red because Pep did manage to hold his boot from whacking Dani’s shin i.e he did not really go ahead and make that threatening tackle. My point here is not about the rules of football. I love football and I absolutely love Barca. My point here is that a chance for FCB to stamp its clear superiority has slipped, that’s all. And while everything that happened on the field might have been right, it just is not as satisfying to beat EE with one man down for 30 minutess, especially coming after the CDR final loss.
      P.S. I am with you guys 🙂 Dont hate me.

      • mei
        April 28, 2011

        Well my take on this one :
        It was a red cardable offense. The reckless way the player put his player warrants that. Contact or less contact is kind of irrelevant here. These rules are specifically designed to prevent players from injuring another , not punishing them for doing so.
        So , pepe should not have placed his foot that high facing down when the opposition player was closer to the ball and making a clean challenge. Dangerous play = RED CARD. Notice : dangerous play isn’t a mask for play that resulted in injury ,or it had much contact to force a player cry for the rest of the game in pain.
        Barcelona has already proved their superiority. No need to repeat that. 5-0 , the results of the last 3 years , and the fact that madrid doesn’t dare to come out and play , in their own stadium , summarizes the barcelona dominance.

        • mei
          April 28, 2011

          the reckless way the player put his foot warrants that.

  68. EA
    April 28, 2011

    Hey all, coming out of lurkdom for awhile…

    Really happy for the wwin and damn proud of the guys… except Busquets (I thought he was past that, and Pedro too?) I guess Mourinho brings out the worst in people sometimes, especially in big games. Now the haters will have more to say… well nothing new there, but I’d rather not. It’s hard defending the team when people keep pointing the divers and cheaters.

    I try not to let Mourinho get to me, but he has gone beyond decency. Oh well… the less said the better I guess.

    Messi 😀 Going to replay that goal again and again. What a player!

    Last 2 weeks was unbearable. I think I’ve lost weight and hardly slept lol… There’s still 90 minutes though but at least I won’t be walking around like the undead!

    Visca Barca!

  69. April 28, 2011

    The substitutes bench tonight for Real Madrid:
    Benzema, Higuain, Kaka…
    Wait, that’s the starting lineup yea?
    No, that’s the bench.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      April 28, 2011

      Mou left Kaka, Higuain, and Benzema on the bench until the final whistle…
      around $ 100m left on the bench…

      while Pep proudly presented Sergi Roberto to the world, during El Clasico at Bernapoo, in semifinal UCL…

      a new level of mockery… oh, Pep… I ******* love you, el put* jefe… 😆

      • April 28, 2011

        They were all on the bench, leaving only twice, once for half time, the other for the final. After the games they had against Valencia no less. Perhaps this is why EC (Evil Coach) decided to rant. So he didn’t have to answer questions about why all three never made it into the game.

  70. Víctor
    April 28, 2011

    Well, in light of evidence presented I see that there’s a chance that there wasn’t a contact at all. Which makes Madridistas have a point on that one. However, even if there wasn’t contact, isn’t that a punishable offense? I’d say that it depends on the referee’s criteria.

    Either way, it was a very fast action and we are watching replays, it is not that simple when you don’t have replays at your disposal. So, the referee maybe did a wrong decision (one again: do you really need to make contact to be a punishable offense… I mean, even dangerous play is punishable when it doesn’t hurt anyone)… but that doesn’t mean he was biased.

    Still, Madrid also made fouls that weren’t called for… so… even if they have a point on that one… doesn’t mean that the reffing in general played against them.

    Finally, that’s what they get. They won the Copa match playing dirty and they got away with it.

    Still, a shame for Alves as well. He should be way better than that. One thing is to call the ref for the constant fouling, other thing is to act.

    == This, of course, while assuming that the video is original and not edited… sorry, dudes, but after Marca’s shops I tend to question things shown by Madridistas ==

    • mei
      April 28, 2011

      Do you really need to make contact to be a RED punishable offense.
      NO..
      Its called dangerous play , not injury provoking play.
      Im downloading a high definition video to see if there was contact or not.

    • Robert
      April 28, 2011

      Laws of the GAme Page 118
      Serious foul play

      Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.

  71. beeeef
    April 28, 2011

    How unexpected was it that one of our substitutes ended up being the difference and not Madrid’s?

    Ibi was really our only threat off the bench, and he responded brilliantly with his pace and perfect cross.

    Meanwhile, Madrid practically lost the tie already without utilizing the riches they have sitting on their bench.

    Funny game, football.

  72. Blow-Grenade
    April 28, 2011

    For people who have not played soccer, that studs up foot into a player who is kicking the ball is a shin breaking tackle. It is a straight red. It should not be allowed in soccer. Correct decision.

    Having said that, Pepe should have received yellows and been sent off long before that, I saw him hacking Alves before that.

    I think we may have a star in Affelay. This assist should give him much confidence. Hopefully he will take players on more often. And hopefully Messi and Villa will match his runs to tap the ball in.

    Yesterdays match was shameful for its diving and playacting, from both sides, but especially with regards to the tactics that Madrid employed of hacking Barca players.

    Mou is a disgrace. Bad looser. He spoke too soon. He should have attended the press conference after getting a night of sleep to calm his nerves down.

    I could go on and on… goals aside, I did not like yesterdays match. Not gonna watch it again. Hopefully we will have a better game on the return leg.

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