Valencia – Barça from the Mestalla. It’s on, baby. Valencia-Barca
Category: La Liga
Liga Preview: Valencia – Barça, Saturday 4pmEST, GolTV
A return to the Mestalla brings with it Phil and RayRay and the hyperbole without which many of us could not survive. Also, it brings us back to La Liga, which, thankfully, is going to dominate my life for while and get the pesky memories of World Cup qualifiers out of there. I like the World Cup itself, but give me continuous Barça any day over trivial international fair like “win or go home” European qualifiers. And yes, I stayed up to watch several matches this time around. Shush.
Today is the 5th anniversary of one Lionel Messi’s league debut with the first team. He came on for the final 8 minutes against Espanyol on October 16, 2004, and though he didn’t score the above goal until May 1, 2005 against Albacete, you knew big things were in store for this little guy. Little guy is relative, of course. We can expect a lot more out of Messi against Valencia this weekend, I would think, than we did in that match oh so long ago. Thanks for the memories so far, Leo, and let’s hope they keep on coming.
The title of this post explained, after the jump.
Wow. What a golazo! That it was the only goal wasn’t really surprising when you watched the match for more than 10 minutes, as Hugo Sanchez unveiled a new formation, the 0-10-0, in an effort to keep us from scoring, shamefully playing for a draw at the Camp Nou.
Thankfully, the footy gods brought us the new, calm Pedro!, who spun and smoked a shot into the far upper 90, that was astonishing. Maxwell will get credit for the assist, but it’s a gift because that goal was all P!.
Kaboom, it’s time to liveblog another match. Check out Kevin’s news of the day while…
La Liga Preview: Barça – Almería, Saturday 2pm, ESPN Deportes
Remember when you were younger and sports was all about the thrill, the spectacle, the careless joy of watching your team play? I remember those days too, but something happened and it became an activity fraught with peril. That massive change in approach came about rapidly for me, as I watched Weligton turn joyous play into a trap of injury possibilities.
I’m still seething about the lack of action against a player who purposefully attempted to injure not one, but two players in last week’s match. I do not, for a moment buy that it’s an overreaction on my part to demand Weligton be suspended for at least 3 matches and fined a commensurate amount. The reason has nothing to do with last week’s match, which we won anyway thanks to both individual brilliance and collective play that was worth far more than Malaga’s butcher tactics.
As match-changing moments go, this one was huge. Thierry Henry’s thigh injury necessitated a substitution, and thankfully the healing powers of Zlatan Ibrahmovic had him ready and available for duty.
And we all know the rest, right?
But the important part about this match isn’t any refereeing, or missed decisions, or dirty plays. It’s about how we won, and that we rolled up man-style, returning dirty play by putting the ball in the back of the net.
Gametime is 2pm, liveblog starts whenever Corrine launches it. Malaga-Barca
La Liga Preview: Málaga-Barça, Saturday 2pmEST, GolTV
Well, it’s back to more La Liga action as we roll into the weekend for a trip to typically sunny Málaga on the southern coast. It’s a big travel week for our boys, who were up in Arctic Circle Santander on Tuesday (I think every American sports fan reading this just laughed at Santander to Málaga being a big travel week).
Remember last time we were in Málaga and it wasn’t quite so sunny? Yeah…I watched the game at Downtown Bar and Grill in Brooklyn, home to wonderful beer and, well, just me that day. Empty as could be, but it had GolTV and I wasn’t headed to Nevada Smiths. It was quite amazing to watch that game and get progressively more sloshfaced alongside our boys getting progressively more and more, well sloshed on the field. It was early November and the weather was unusually nice outside in NY, but in Málaga, not so much. Hopefully this time will be a bit drier.
It was a perfect match, played perfectly with a full team effort, and everybody doing what they were supposed to, then Rafa Marquez had to go and screw it up.
So, imagine this: Both clubs wind up tied at the end of the season, in the league and head-to-head, and it comes down to goal differential. We’ve given up 3 goals in two matches, none of which were supposed to be. Pardon my sounding like Guardiola after the 5-2 win vs Atletico Madrid, but this can’t happen.
“Oh, we’re still up by 3” is not a viable consideration, to my worldview.
Thanks to OhYes for running the show yet again. Racing v FC Barcelona
Answer me these questions, er, one. [polldaddy poll=2024445] Would anyone like to run today’s liveblog?…