Through to the Semis

We’ll analyze everything later. But for now.

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


  1. This was a fantastic match. I thought EE played really well. Ref was ok though not good. Considering the match though hard to blame him.

    The main thing that EE are second best team in the world and played like it tonight. We were lucky to escape with a draw. I think this is quite normal as we were not at our best tonight and to defeat team like EE when they are so good, we need to be at best.

    Really sad about Iniesta.

  2. Anyone else think we saw an Arsenal dejavu here? I think Pep underestimated madrid when we were 2 up and thought we had the game in the bag.

  3. How bad is Iniesta injured?

    EE had a great match.
    Barça played badly, but that is also because of M*drid.
    Referee was horrible. It was such an obvious 2nd yellow for Lass but he was too afraid to take him out so he gave it to Casillas instead.

    1. Ref was horrivle for (or against) both teams. I think it equalled out at the end. Nonetheless, I wonder if in general the refs in Spain are at the lowest level of all European top leagues :/

    2. The only call that truly went against them was the Abidal handball and even that would have been very harsh – yes it blocked the shot, but the shot was quite anemic anyway. Sergio Ramos did pull Alves and the Busquets handball situation wasn’t even clear whether it was actually a handball

      The rest went against us:

      1. No red card for Lass
      2. No yellow for Pepe until the last minute, while he should have been sent off long before that.
      3. No penalty in the situation when Pepe injured Alexis.

      He sends off Lass, the game is over, we probably score a few more and we don’t have this discussion about how Madrid outplayed us now. We probably don’t have Alexis injured either.

    3. Agree with you, in the previous play the ref gave Messi a yellow card for a softer foul – on Pepe, how ironic?- and 20 seconds later he is not “brave” enough to show a second yellow to Lass – brave in quotes since it is his job to be coherent with his decisions, at the least-.
      Btw, I just read Marca and they say that he has a ‘pequena rotura de biceps femoral’ (pulled hamstring/biceps femoris?) but they don’t have more info about it.

  4. I have to say that all the complaining about possible penalties and other wrong or debatable decisions by the ref is really exorbitant in Spain – and it’s pathetic. In England, they say ‘Get on with the game’ but in Spain, after a Clasico, AS reports about a total of 5 possible penalties, and at least 3 of them were certainly no penalties at all.
    If there’s one thing that I really prefer in the EPL, it’s exactly the ‘get on with the game’ mentality. Of course, if there are hugely controversial events in a match, i.e. Balotelli stomping on someone’s head, the media does focus on it. But they do not analyze every single slightest mistake of the ref. And they do take legal actions against unfair play, they do not ignore it just because the ref didn’t note it. In that regard, EPL (and many other leagues) are waaaaay ahead of la Liga / RFEF.

    1. The English media do moan, though. Still talk about maradona’s hand goal. Moan about Lampard’s shot that crossed the line last world cup.I wont even mention the game against Chelsea.They even moan conspiracy about the world cup hosting.In fact, the English media moan about games and issues that don’t even concern their own teams. For AS and Marca read the Sun and the Daily mail, pure tribalism .You are right about them having the better FA though.

  5. some cules were wondering why we said “Noooooooo” about another El Clasico, you can see why..

    I agree that all of us enjoy great football from two greatest side in the world, but the problem is, most of the time El Clasico created discussions unrelated to beautiful football..

    “bad referees, violence, diving, fighting, racism, UEFA, RFEF, por que?” are the usual themes post El Clasico.. it’s really annoying..

  6. Hectored 🙄

    Upcoming fixtures –

    Villarreal (Liga Away)


    Valencia (CdR Away – In all probability)
    Real Sociedad (Liga Home)
    Valencia (CdR Home – Alexis and Iniesta due back)
    Osasuna (Liga Away)
    Bayer Leverkusen (CL Away)
    Valencia (Liga Home)
    At. Madrid (Liga Away)

    With our first choice XI more or less –

    VV; Alves – Masch – Pique – Abi; Xavi – Busi – Thiago; Pedro! – Messi – Cesc. Only Pinto, Adriano and Puyol are non-youth players on the bench.

    Desperately undermanned, we can’t afford a bad month this time round.


    1. The CdR semis are already in 1 and 2 weeks ?!?

      Oh no… and according to Pep, Alexcis will be out for several weeks 🙁
      Iniesta probably the same *argh*

  7. At the root of these 2-0 going 2-2 matches is the inability to maintain possession. We showed moments of brilliance moving the ball tonight, but we lack the intensity, patience and have become too direct in some ways to keep the possession going. The uncharactistic turnovers are consistently catching us off guard, because we haven’t had to deal with them, as we are still surprised by them. We just aren’t sharp.

  8. Just came to say who my MOTM was.

    Pinto was absolutely MOTM tonight, Hands down.

    Higuain’s 3rd minute header or any of EE’s early chances go in and we would have been looking at a very different game.

    Believe in this team. Same as SuperCopa, Our worst self against their best self and they drew, Good Enough for me.

    Visca Barca.

  9. We CANNOT always be on top form.

    Nor have full squad at disposal. Who knows how it could have gone had Iniesta stayed on the pitch throughout match?

    The fact that they still could not beat us speaks volumes. We have never been so disillusioned as to think that RM is not a very good team. We just happen to be better.

    Of course we’re disappointed that our team did not play as we expected them to. But their level of play is of such high standards, it’s really difficult to keep it up at all times.

    And to have a team like RM, with the most expensive assembled squad in history, be beaten over and over, not just in our home but at theirs, is nothing to be scoffed at. We can’t possibly be so hard on our players. To keep the level of focus and desire is very, very difficult. Complacency and pride (the bad kind) has to inject itself in the squad and the individual psyche of the players every now and then, leading to this kind of sloppy match.

    nevertheless, i can only be thankful we’re through. We’ll take it step by step. CDR now. Liga next and Champs League to cap it.

    I believe. so. much. in. this. team.

    1. I agree with you. Barca has set high standards for every game, and this game was no exception. But it wasn’t also unusual if they played bad.

      I don’t care what others say or how even our fellow cules are disappointed with the team. The fact is we’re in, and they’re out.

    2. Exactly! It’s like we keep demanding more and more from the team. I’m sure it can’t be easy on them to always have to face EE and be expected to win all the time. Today they had a horrible match but still went through and i’m VERY HAPPY about that because i know we won’t play this way next time we play them.

      I’m only worried about the compacency that’s creeping in but not about EE. Like Ramzi said beginning of the season i’m just gonna sit back and enjoy this season whatever happens.

      EE have beat just about everyone this season and the fact that they still can’t beat us must really suck no matter what they think. Whatever they say i know which players are gonna wake up very happy tomorrow and it’s not the players from Mordor. All in all I’m very happy.

      Sorry for the longish comment.

  10. People, people, people. Calm down. We advanced. We’re through. We knocked them out. Chill.

    Fact 1: FCB have 9 wins, 4 draws, 1 loss in last 14 Clasicos. Dominate in almost all.

    Fact 2: FCB had advantage into second leg. Didn’t have to win, just not lose by 2/3.

    Can’t draw too many conclusions from a match where we weren’t even obliged to win IMO. Does it excuse the performance today? No, but context is important too.

    The team can’t play a perfect game all the time. There will be these kinds of games where team just off/complacent/whatever the heck their problem was. And despite that, RM STILL couldn’t win. Telling.

    Xabi Alonso after the game: “Footballwise, we were the better team tonight. First leg? We shouldn’t talk about that now.

    Alonso doesn’t want to talk about it because he knows how we played at the Bernabeu was similar to them today — could have had 0-5 but for atrocious finishing — but even better. Dominated them.

    Should also be noted that, no matter what anyone tries to assert, the EE comeback wouldn’t have happened if the ref didn’t bottle it with Diarra. Absolutely unbelievable. Forgetting that Pepe shouldn’t have even played today and host other decisions in the first leg. Despite all this, though, Casillas has the gall to tell the referee to “go party with Barca players”, and Pepe — Pepe — mocks him with sarcastic applause after the match.

    In the end, the worst thing was Iniesta’s and Alexis’ injuries. Really bad news. Only 14 first team players.

    But as Isaiah said on Twitter: For you angry Barça fans out there, you can celebrate another clásico survived, an RM elimination, AND an Espanyol elimination. Congrats!

    And the team moves on.

    1. Guardiola : “Madrid have played a great game. But I think that over 180 minutes, we’re the just winner.”

      this calms me..
      yeah yeah, you played better tonight EE, but it’s a 180 minutes game..
      and it’s not our fault your coach was such an idiot at Bernaboo..

    2. I’m always happy to beat them no matter how we play. Seriously I don’t really care how as long as we end up winning. I mean they are really good and to beat them in top form really is priceless. So u don’t have to worry about me cos I’m one very happy cule and i think evryone should be and we can get back to criticizing the team later. We’ve been doing it all season so it won’t hurt if we forget about our problems just for one night. Come on guys we beat THEM, let us not feel sorry for ourselves.

  11. Dear me,, Cules are really the most fickle fans in the world. Last week that time everybody was over the moon, no it is all doom and gloom.

    Yes, that was surely one of the most terrible games, we ever played. So? Shit happens. BUT there is now way to doubt the potential of that team.

    and one more thing to get some perspective: the EE with their 500 Mio. squad and their self declared best coach in the world, get all dizzy eyed about a DRAW we gifted them after beeing 2 goals up and falling asleep (once again)

    I say it again: a 500 Mio. Dollar Sqad, getting a Draw

    1. Wish there was a ‘recommend’ button here cos i’d really want every1 on this blog to read that comment. Anyways it’s past five in the morning here and still can’t sleep cos of the excitement.

    1. You are most welcome to not win the Copa as well. I think Athletic have a good chance. Coming to the game, probably the best Clasico performance from Madrid since the 4-1 in 2008. Yes Barca intensity fell after 2-0 but credit to our players for keeping the pressure. The way Benzema scooped the ball above Puyol to score the second goal – pure class. I in many ways believe that we were fairly unlucky, Alves shot going in but Ozil’s hitting the crossbar. Possibly the difference in the end. However we did make it harder than it should have been thanks to the below par performance at the Bernaneu. Infact all our displays in 2012 have been disappointing and this was the first good game. We won the Copa last season, this season we hope to win La Liga where we have been the best team till now. Good game, great rivalry.

  12. I was so afraid watching this match I think they might score a third one if I ever watch a replay. I’m not watching a rerun of that one ever again.

  13. What irks me the most are the injuries… RM can’t beat us in a match but they can literally beat us to injury ensuring that we face upcoming fixtures with few key players available, giving them a slight advantage especially in the Liga race.

    Just looking at the fixtures and the available players make me cringe… but this team have shown incredible resilience & tenacity so if there is a team that can get through this situation, without a doubt, it is THIS team.

    Visca Barca!

  14. Tw Pinto: “The Warrior of Light celebrates today the victory of yesterday to be stronger for the battle of tomorrow.”

    So true.

  15. so… without Ibi, Villa, Fontas, Iniesta, Alexis (injured), Keita (Africa Cup), and Maxwell (left)…
    how many players left? 14 players for 3 competitions in Hlebbuary? holy crikey!

    dump the Copa! 😆

  16. I don’t know anything about Bar Refaeli except that she’s a model that dated Leonardo DiCaprio, but she gets a plus in my book for apparently being a super Messi fangirl (“I think I just felt a drop of Messi’s sweat. Not showering EVER again!”), and this:

    “Ohhhhhh so sorry Christiano….”!/BarRefaeli/status/162294842557349888


    And at least three pictures of Messi on the pitch taken from the stands, like anyone else super excited to be attending a match at the Camp Nou. Cute.

  17. What a scary match to watch… definitely glad it’s over! But hey, if I could choose, I’d much rather we tied here and get a win at the Camp Nou when we play them in the league!

    It’s a real shame how scared the refs are to give EE red cards unless it’s the 80+ minute. Lass’ was ridiculous when you consider the ref carded Messi for nearly the same foul just moments ago! But alas, we’ll get the usual Mou treatment since Ramos saw red near the end. :/

  18. Xavi Hernández recognised that “we suffered more than we thought we would against a super team, even though we dominated up until the 15th minute of the second half.” the midfielder admitted that the team showed their best play in the away game: “at the Bernabéu we were superior, today, not so much, but be won the tie. It’s time to enjoy it and celebrate.”

    On Barça’s drop of form after Madrid’s goals, Xavi said it was a mere “mental problem” and that “the team disconnected a little bit and we lost control.”

    The vice-captain praise the support shown by the fans: “the supporters were with us and the mosaic started us off in spectacular fashion. Sometimes you forget what this team is accomplishing, but it’s extremely difficult and we have to enjoy it. Seeing how difficult it was [reaching the semis], we enjoy it all the more.”

  19. I see most people saying that Pepe’s push on Alexis where he got injured was a penalty. I thought that the first push (there was one more exact carbon copy incident before that) was a much more clearer penalty to me.

  20. ANother thing, why didn’t Ramos protest at all when he received the red card? It looked like a bad call to me. It didn’t deserve a yellow card but then why didn’t he protest at all?

    And why did Mourinho had to be in the limelight again by going to the byline to whisper something into Ramos’ ears?

    Was it to show the world that they’re cool again?

    1. It maybe a little harsh but if you watch the first match again you’ll see Pique getting the exact same card in a header with Pepe.

  21. bad officiating but i don’t envy the refs position.

    Pinto did well, but it was clear to me why VV is the starter

  22. Yeah, its all good and well that we’re happy we’re through now…I almost had massive heart failure DURING the match. I’m not gonna pretend I’m happy with the performance either. While, I am greatful for this team and what they have given in the past 3 years, I can’t understand giving up a 2 goal lead, at home. I mean I could take it better if EE had scored first and we somehow got the goals to go through…kinda like the Supercopa but giving up a 2 goal lead at home is not something thats satisfying to me. And its not even only against EE, its a culmination of fustration from past matches. The complacency gets me cause I know they can do better as evidenced by going 2 goals up…I’ve heard people say it tons of times but I think I believe it now: seems there’s some level of overconfidence.

    I also dont know whats up with Pique but he’s pissing me off as the matches go by.

    Not to mention we lost Don Andres and Alexis 🙁 Too big a price to pay on top of playing badly..
    Dear God, I hope its not more than 2 weeks out for both of them.

    And I was literally scared for Messi’s legs in this game. I wanted him to be taken out in the second half (fat chance). He is one strong boy. I’m sure at the end of each Clasico he has to soak his legs in ice or something with all the hacks, kicks that leave stud marks..

    Pinto was massive in this match. He was man of the first half, for me.

    I wont comment on the refs, decisions, blah, blah…Frankly I’m tired of refs, EE and the word conspiracy.

    Getting that out of my system, its time for some serious business. We face Villarreal away on Saturday. Time to roll up those socks and get down to it.

    1. Hate to burst your bubble but this is the description on this page: “If i worked at the Nike design department, i would throw away the recently leaked ideas, and design kits like these “

    2. Argh crap!

      They look better imo than the first batch. Sigh.

      But after seeing the replica of it, it’s not that ugly.
      The stripe shouldn’t have an airbrush kinda design like the ones on the Inter jerseys of last season.
      It should just be straight.

    1. I’ve also based my game around him for > a year now.
      Love him so much!
      He is the 2nd player that I stop a heart beat for whenever he get’s a tackle.

  23. erano in that game…

    What I regret is, we tried to demoralise them, and we had that game in hand, 2-0… Instead we gave them a moral boost… yes, they failed to qualify, but like Arbeloa said, they feel their mental block against us has ended today…

    That, and the injuries are what irks me…
    Oh well, hopefully we can survive this injury crisis…

    I’m going to entertain myself with tennis match… 😉

    1. they feel their mental block against us has ended today

      Didn’t they have a good open match against us in the SuperCup as well?

      Let them believe that they are on par now and hopefully in April, Alexis can bring his A-game together with Iniesta and they’ll exploit them.

    2. well, this is not just about El Clasico, in fact I wasn’t thinking about April..

      I’m thinking about the upcoming La Liga games.. they are great, consistent, and now despite the result, they feel more confidence after their performance at Camp Nou..

    3. They are winning their other games either way. Losing at the Bern last week didnt make too much of a diff when they played Bilbao so i dont see how getting a draw at the Nou Camp is going to change things. How they play vs us doesnt seem to effect how they play vs everyone else. I am a lot more worried about the injuries we picked up then the “confidence” this will give Madrid. The games in the supercup in Aug supposedly gave them confidence and they supposedly got past their mental block and then we set them straight in December.

    4. I know, that’s why I said they are great and consistent..
      so demoralise them is better than giving them even more confidence, isn’t it? that’s all I’m trying to say..

    5. Well on the other hand, I think Madrid’s problems with smaller teams is their over confidence…so I’m fine if they are feeling confident and all 🙂

    6. Why have you been missing for so long Hilal?


      It doesn’t matter even if they;
      -just lost at home to us twice in 4 weeks.
      -twice being outplayed
      -twice scoring early and them being dominated and lost
      -all the bad press about Pepe
      -all the talk about Mourinho leaving
      -the leaked news of friction between Mourinho vs. Spanish players
      -the leaked info regarding Mourinho’s pep talk

      It doesn’t matter. They will continue to steamroll every team other than us.

  24. Some thoughts:

    – Great attacking display from EE. They created more chances overall. I’m echoing opinion from some people about the context of this match, where we do not need to win as we’re leading in aggregate. I believe somehow this context was part that made our players got relax in the 2nd half and thinking the tie was done. I think if we remain focus and keep the throttle on; it’s hard for any team to get 2 equalizer goals like EE did.

    – EE leave a lot of space in their defense when they play open game against us. But our players were off form last night, lack of eagerness to exploit those spaces, some defending errors plus we couldn’t keep possession as usual. Those spaces they leave reminding me about the spaces they “give” to us on the manita. I’m looking forward the next liga classic in Camp Nou, expecting them to play attack and interesting to see how far EE improve against us to play open game on more important match (liga > CDR) since the last manita. Plus with VV on our goal.

    1. agreed on the space. Far too many times we could have turned with the ball, but instinctively passed, even though to a more covered player. I thought Cesc was particularly off pace tonight.

      Fanstastic to see Pedro back on the score sheet.

    2. EE leave a lot of space in their defense when they play open game against us. But our players were off form last night, lack of eagerness to exploit those spaces, some defending errors plus we couldn’t keep possession as usual

      Indeed. They leave so many gaps in the back with their ultra offensive approach. If Barça played their best, we would be able to exploit those spaces.

  25. I think I’ll be ready to watch another match of football about this time next year. Seriously, I think this was the most stressful Barca match I have ever watched, in that 2nd half.

    At the end of the day, victory w/Pinto over arguably the best goaltender in the world over two matches. We’ve got to feel good. Unfortunately, we’ve got to heal good as well. Hope Masch sees some more playing time soon.


    if any of you want to abuse or showing your love to our beloved ex-player a.k.a I Am Zlatan, he’s on twitter now.. 😀
    his twitter account is –> @__IBRA__
    confirmed by @acmilan..

    back to El Clasico..

  27. This barca team led by Pep is the greatest team ever to grace the world of sport. One of the reasons behind this reasonable claim is that they also cares about the neutrals. Last night was a proved it again. Being 2-0 up at half time, 4-1 in aggregate after dominating 3/4 of a match, unlike most other teams we did not show any sign to sit back and absorb. We stayed true to our philosophy, at a night when Iniesta got injured and some were not performing in their usual supreme standards. Anyways, we are through to the next round! I hope the neutrals gets no more entertainment to extract from this barca, not in this season. But then again, hope resides at the bottom of the Pandora’s box!

    I am actually devastated like many, to have given EE some confidence to face us again. But it was not possible to knock them out senseless this time, even with a manita. Damn that 5 points lead in liga!

    The injuries again. Our squad getting smaller and smaller. Hlebuary is upon us. Bright side of injuries ? None. However, i can make one silly analogy here which is that a rocket in space can either accelerate using the obvious fuel or it can lose mass and accelerate due to the reaction force. So losing out iniesta and sanchez (mass) with the previous list can make our existing fit squad more motivated (accelerate). Especially the babies.
    Excuse me.

    Proud of this team. More than ever! Did i say it already? Do i need to say the obvious? What qualifies as an obvious question? How amazing is this team? What exactly is a dream?

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