Playing For Pride: Barcelona – Real Betis Liveblog

As the team licks its wounds after being booted from the Champions’ League, we could really use a strong victory at home to boost morale and show the world that this Barcelona is far from finished. A victory will also bring us within 2 points of clinching the league title and ending the season on a high note.

Lineup: Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Adriano, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Iniesta, Song; Tello, Villa and Alexis.

Bench: Oier, Montoya, Busquets, Thiago, Bartra, Deulofeu, Messi

By blitzen

Canadian, cule, corporate wage slave. Came late to the beautiful game, but fell under FCB's spell in 2006 and never looked back.


  1. Montoya must a poor player indeed if Villanova thinks he can’t even start games like these.

    1. At the half, we’re losing the game. So there goes the notion that playing Betis is a walk in the park.

      The problem is not the right back though, it’s the center backs and the center forward – Villa is making the case why he should be sold in the summer very well…

    2. No disrespect was meant to Betis at all. But Montoya never starts ahead of Alves, even if Alves plays badly or isn’t well. Valdes would have be to suspended for Montoya to start, but by then it would be too late. The rotation implemented by Villanova really leaves a lot to be desired.

  2. Wow. I liked that last bit of drive shown by Messi. And the disgust of not scoring

  3. I thought that we were pretty damn good. Betis got two strikes (one a wonder strike) in the first half and two goals. But we created a hatful of chances, even in the first half.
    1. Without Cesc and Pedro we did seem a lot more fluid. Ominous for both of them?
    2. Tello was excellent again.
    3. Those who think I’m wrong to suggest we buy Mario Gomez, I note that he could have played exactly the same role as Villa, but with lots more height, strength and speed (he’s no slouch).
    4. Should we really sell Alexis, even if offered at least 20 mill? He may have his wings clipped slightly, but he is an alert, smart footballer who really meshes into the Barca system. He’s probably one of those players you only miss when they’re gone.

    1. No way I sell Alexis. Unless he wants to be sold which may be the case. I sell Villa, Pedro, Cesc, & Dani while we can still get something out of him. We need to shore up the back and Alba is now our younger, faster, Alves on the Left. We can’t afford both wing backs bombing forward with abandon. Let’s face it, most of the goals scored down the flanks were all on Dani. He had a great year and I would be sorry to see him go, but the time has come. I called for it last season and that may have been premature. We got 1 more season out of him and I’m grateful for his services, but we need stability at the back.

  4. Plethora of chances squandered by 7. If we had 10 on the pitch. Scoreline 7:2 something.

    1. i remember 2 that villa should have done better on, others im not remembering? not saying he had a great game by any means. plethora sounds like 4 or more…

    2. 1. 1-on-1 with the keeper at the edge of the box. Tame shot straight at him

      2. That volley off of Xavi’s short pass in the box – skied over the bar

      3. Tello beats his man, goes to the line, lays the ball to Villa, who shoots straight at the keeper from 5 meters without anyone close to him

    3. I’m not a huge Villa fan, but sometimes, as a striker, you don’t get the breaks. With the short range shot, if he spent too much time trying to miss the keeper he probably would have missed the goal as well.

    4. Sometime you don’t get the breaks, that’s true. But when it becomes a pattern, then we have a problem. Villa has been having problems putting the ball in the net for months. Compare the kind of confident powerful strikes that Messi produces with the tame shots Villa has been taking.

    5. Barca96 – he is my evil twin brother, who obsesses a lot about buying a big striker

    6. 1. It’s not a 1 on 1 if you’re at the edge of the box 18 yards out. He kept the ball down and tried o curl it first time inside the post. Not brilliant, but not far off either.
      2. Agreed. That was a shocker attempting a flashy goal, not like him.
      3. He actually moved into position beautifully and at aThe last minute turned his foot o go near side as he knew the keeper would be diving full length across the goal. The keeper went the wrong way but blocked it with his trailing foot. It happens.

  5. Barca wins their next game, I suspect Tito will do a lot of experimenting in the last four games (maybe with Delofeu getting a start!)

  6. Found this video posted via r/barca

    Pep explains Messi’s false 9 position (Talk given recently I think)

    I have no idea if this is interesting or not. Could someone who understand Spanish check this video out and let me know? 🙂

    1. He’s basically showing how we always had an extra man in the middle when he was in charge.

  7. Why on earth is Adriano still starting? Is he the future of this team or Bartra?

    1. Right now we are not playing to develop future starters but to win the league. Hence, Adriano over Bartra, Dani Alves over Montoya, Xavi/Iniesta over Thiago…

      Once again, our team needed saving by the Flea. As one of the guys I watched the game with said, right after our 2nd goal: “He can score just by warming up.”

    2. After the 0-7, I just hope that the rest of the season – after the league is won – and a good part of next season as well (Copa, League) will be dedicated to creating a team that can compete with Europe’s best over the next years, instead of trying to get the best possible results with an “old and experienced” team. So more Fabregas/Thiago over Xavi, more minutes for Bartra (unless they really buy two CBs), and introduction of whatever new tactics the coaching team deem necessary even if it means the team won’t win anything during the transition period.

  8. did i hear someone complain about not playing bartra? thats a tearjerker right there.

    xavi rarely pass the ball to song, there was this one moment that confirms that, there were two betis players closing him down he sees a barcelona shirt and moved towards the direction, his body was bent in his trademark passing posture then he raised his head and reacted in a “not you” way took two steps forward and passed to adraino who was largely non-expectant… it might just be another safety-first but xavi drops very deep when song is on shift

  9. As painful as it’d be to see such a popular member leave, I’m afraid it’s time up at FC Barcelona for David Villa. This would leave the squad with ZERO center forwards, not that he ever got to play that position.

  10. I really really hope Alexis does not leave this summer. It’d be a huge waste of talent and potential. The kid works his socks off and has had a good year in my eyes. I understand if HE wants to go, but if he doesn’t, then we need to keep him. We could get a decent amount from Pedro. That may be sacrilegious, but Tello, Cuenca, and Defelou waiting in the wings. Oh, and NEYMAR! I have a friend from Berlin and he said the rumor is that Mats Hummels is coming. I thought that was impossible after he signed an extension last season, but now I’m not sure. I would pass on Neymar if it meant we could get Hummels AND Silva. Both have at least 5 good seasons to give, so that gives us 5 years of solidarity at the center back. I think we need to take a serious look at what we are doing with Cesc. Where do we see him playing in the future? Is he taking over Xaxi’s role? A lot of questions to be asked.

    1. A player renewing his contract and leaving the following summer is nothing new. Sometimes they do that to help their current club because they will receive a higher transfer fee.

      Silva is already 28. I doubt that he can have 5 good years left.

  11. As it stands, EE need to drop points in either of the two games they play before us to make Atleti give us a guard of honour. And how sweet would it be if it was Pellegrini who put the final nail in their coffin?

  12. just watched the game. YET ANOTHER game that sums up our season:

    defense terrible, strikers dull and wasteful in front of goal, then Messi bails us out.

    some serious structural problems on display there.

  13. I hope all the players and coaches treat the remaining games as a tryout for a place in next year’s team.
    Realistically, Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets are not going anywhere. However, I would like to see the mentality from all the rest of the players that such great changes are coming to the team over the summer that they need to compete for a spot.
    For example, look at Pique. I felt he played a very good game, despite the own goal, in the second Munich tie. Where was that Pique the rest of the year? Well, he is the only tall, experienced CB that we have and is an automatic starter without competition. A situation which is unheard of and unacceptable for a team vying to be the best in history. A healthy competition is needed within the team but most of this season, the “best eleven” were rolled out without question.
    Watch if Neymar comes next year. I bet even Messi will play even better than his already unimaginable level.

  14. Now let’s also admit that neither of the two headers would’ve gone in against a good team rather than another midget collective.

    Messi-dependencia aún nos persigue…

    1. We got space for a Bojan free header, and that was vs. a super impressive Inter defense!

Comments are closed.