Match Comments: Atléti vs. Barça Supa Copa


Here we go – the team is in Madrid for the start of another lengthy season where numerous clasico games will be played against Real Madr…. oh wait a minute, it isn’t Real Madrid?  It’s Atlético Madrid?  Damn – we’ve swapped a Mad Mou for a Snarky Simeone.

Kicking off at the ridiculous time of 23:00 CET (there are CL qualifiers being played earlier & apparently the Supa Copa couldn’t possibly be played at the same time), the game will start on August 21st & conclude on August 22nd. Bit like a cricket match.

At least the club has paid the city for the Metro to remain open longer after the return match in Barcelona. Usually, it shuts down at midnight on weekdays. This caused us great angst after once attending a 10pm mid-week CdR game, only to find that the metro had closed & we had to find an alternative way home. A couple of bus trips & a few hours later, we were home just before 3am. We did wonder why the stadium had started to empty out about 20 mins before the game’s end. Some people were in the know.  We were not.

Simeone has played down the significance of this match for his team; saying that it was probably more important for Barça to win it.

Don’t believe him. He’ll most likely field a strong frontline – ooh – something like David Villa, Diego Costa & Léo Baptistão. Falcao who?

Martino has indicated that Xavi will possibly not be starting, so it may be a Midfield of Iniesta, Busquets & Cesc – perhaps Song instead of Busi.

The Attack will be spearheaded by Alexis, Messi & Pedro. In goal will be VV, and the back-line will be Alves, Piqué, Mascherano & Alba.

At least, that would be my team.

Adriano is missing. No! He’s not injured! His red-card tackle on Cristiano in last season’s Supacopa keeps him out of this game. Apparently it was far, far worse than a poke in the eye on the sideline.

Click this link to convert the 23:00 CET kick-off time to your local time: SupaCopa

And please share any good streams in the comments for those who can’t view it on TV.


Visca Barça i Visca la Samarreta de la Senyera!


  1. This is the kind of sh*t talk that got Schuster fired from EE:

    Bernd Schuster (coach Malaga): “A loss against Barça is planned. Maybe if we get a referee who favours the home team, we can get something.”

    1. I think he is more or less saying the truth. They don’t have Isco, Joaquín, Toulalán, Demichelis, Saviola, Baptista etc. They don’t stand a damn chance to do anything. The only positive is Messi is missing.

    1. And so the question is, while Neymar was banging in hundreds of goals for club and country, and owning the other countries in the Confederations Cup, what was this cheap player doing?

      The CLUB made the deal that tacked on an extra 40m signing bonus. They could have always said no. I find the reluctance to accept the quality of a player who so clearly has quality and has been signed on to help this club, mind-boggling.

      He came on in midweek and did exactly what he was supposed to do: change the match. He scored one goal, and forced a good save from Courtois to prevent another. He created space and possibilities, and had a good match for a player who, lest we forget, is still new, very new, to the club and a difficult system.

      If RM had actually taken Betis seriously and played them as they play us, I daresay that player’s game wouldn’t have been as glowing. Rare are the bargains that club under a club’s radar. Betis took the risk because financially, they had to. Ask them if they would rather have Cedric or Neymar, and see how fast they answer.

    2. Why are you getting defensive on Neymar on my comment? Not on that comment or any other for months did I complain about his transfer fee or his talent.

      Leave that comment on for the doubters because Neymar has won me over quite some months ago.

    3. “He scored one goal” – that’s precisely the point. Please for heaven’s sake stop saying that we have found the messiah. He just scored a goal and it wasn’t like he took the ball in around the center line, dribble past the entire Atletico defense and scored. It didn’t come from vacuum. Xavi and Alves could have been crap the entire match, but had they not been there would that goal have happened? It was a wonderfully taken goal, but hailing it as the cure of all our problem is far fetched.

      As far as new signings goes, we always have a history with them. Ibra, Sanchez all started scoring goals from the very beginning. Ibra was sensational at the start. So I would wait till we hit February, that’s when we need Neymar really. And that would be when we really have to assess his impact. So wait till that time, and that’s actually fair on him too. Also we will get a clear picture of his impact against top European teams by then.

      Now calling Real Betis making RM sweat as a result of being complacent is really unfair. They made RM struggle at Bernebeu last season and if I am not wrong beat RM at home. So against RM they were better than us last season. To have that happen again is not accidental; but still if you think so, it’s disgraceful.

      We signed Neymar because of his quality. His price will not be measured against smaller teams, it will be judged for the first time in the Clasico. So let’s not make a call until then; i would say wait till the dreaded February strike. Just as you think he is a value for money; others may differ and they have their right to.

  2. We should be worry about Messi’s fitness.
    He only played one full game in the last 25 for us and Argentina, which is a worrying sign for me. Something is not right.
    If he needs more rest, just give him, heal him properly and then let him play. We don’t need a cripple Messi. He’ll do more harm than good.

  3. Kevin017, are you sure you’re not FlashRat over at the Guardian? The similarities and continuous support of Song for months now is making me really think that you are the same person 😉

    1. @Barca96
      I often appreciate your comments and your contributions, but nothing good can come from calling out another commenter like that. Please don’t.

    2. I agree with Levon. There are many people here who have players that they support, or don’t support. It happens. There are people who comment here, as well as in other spaces. That happens, as well.

      What should NEVER happen is for someone to be called out or scoffed at for having an opinion contrary to any party line. If the commenter thinks that Song is an excellent player and deserves more, that is his right. Ridicule for having that idea is unacceptable. Completely. Emoticons notwithstanding.

      Such things stifle debate and breed defensiveness and hostility. I echo Levon in the simple request that it not happen again. Thanks.

    3. Calling out? I am not calling him out. I’m asking because in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve asked him that before, jokingly, and he knows that too. He answered it but I am not sure if he meant it sarcasticly or seriously. But I didn’t want to go further because some people here find conversations like that too offensive.

      I should’ve copied and pasted the comments of the reader at Guardian and then you’ll see how similar it is.

      I am not attacking him in any way. I fail to see where in my comment it seemed offensive.
      Why can’t there be a bit of lightness in this space. It has be so strict like a library or something. Why can’t we have some banter amongst ourselves? We are all matured men in here, not teenagers.

      I am sorry Kevin017 if I hurt for your feelings and Levon and anyone who I cause hurt by my comment. I hope it will be the last.

    4. Ah I found the most recent comment.

      Barca’s problem is that they are, defensively, too soft in the middle. The return to forward pressing is fantastic, but Xavi and Iniesta (playing together) leave a big hole in the bucket.

      The biggest problem is Xavi. Teams drop off him and let him roam around with little pressure making east-west passes. So his creativity isn’t used much. And when Barca loses the ball, he doesn’t have the defensive qualities of someone like Song.

      Barca should move to a double-pivot: Busquets and Song.

      This is just one of the many whereby I see so much similarities between the reader at Guardian and Kevin017. I just would like to know if they are the same person. I guess it’s an offence to ask if there are similarities between these 2 commentors. I apologize.

      I also found fotobirajh at the Guardian. I asked him here too. It was easy because he used the same handle. But in the case of Flashrat and Kevin017, they used a different name but the content of their comments are 90% the same so I just wonder if they are indeed the same person. It’s fun to come across fellow BFB readers on other forums or blogs.

      Geez. Why do I even have to explain this??!!

    5. You don’t need to explain, at least i understood it like that, it was nothing personal. Maybe he himself can explain it, which will surely pave the pattern that some things should not be take too seriously and cause drama out of nothing.

    6. Agreed. There was nothing offensive about the question. He didn’t call him out or ridicule him in anyway. You guys really need to lighten up sometimes. “protecting the spirit of the space” is all well and good but it goes overboard in some instances without proper cause. Swear people need to walk on eggshells with every comment for fear of hurting someone’s feelings.

      It’s only the internet. Not that serious. Calm unno self.

    7. Kind of unbelievable, that you are warned (if thats the right term) for that comment.
      I remember reading ‘flashrat’ often on guardian. And it is very clear what you mean.

  4. Anyone else not super upset about Messi’s injury? If he has to sit out 3 weeks, won’t that mean he’s fresher in April/May? Especially with his dumb off season playing charity games everywhere from Miami to my front yard. We’ve shown we can without him, and frankly, it may do the team some good to have to play without him (similar to how the Bulls players got better not relying on D-Rose to bail them out last yr).

    1. What vexes me about the injury is that it is born of simple neglect and overuse. Messi is never going to say “Stop. I’m tired.” Someone will have to put the brakes on him. The club pimps him out for friendlies, Argentina calls him up for friendlies even though he is injured/recovering from an injury.

      The injury doesn’t bother me. Those happen, and Messi has had extraordinary luck in avoiding them until now.

      I disagree with the notion that his return to pressing and defending caused the injury. Messi pressed and defending like crazy in the Treble season, and stayed healthy.

  5. And Kxevin, I am pretty have enough of you and your double standards on calling me out when there are many others have done it before me. This Song comment is the last straw for me.

    It has happened a handful of times over many years. It’s easy to pick on me right when I can’t reply back to you in a such eloquent manner? Hate to say it, but I think you gotta find a new whipping boy from now on. Tot ziens.

  6. alves in re messi

    “los Ferraris en ocasiones también tienen que pasar por el taller”.

    “Ferraris at times also need to go to the shop”

    1. Yeah, well, if my Ferrari were in the shop so much that since April I haven’t been able to complete a race I would have cause to complain.

  7. chelski got willian for 30 million. crap, i thought spurs would get him.


    …Godin told Uruguayan radio station Radio 1010 AM in his home country such things were all part of the game.

    “These are football gestures and those who play know what they mean,” the centre-half said. “I see that he is touching that part of his leg. I made gestures to my team-mates so that they know to put pressure on.”

  8. One last thing. Just another suggestion. Make a sticky on some topics. I’ve mentioned this a few times already. Make a sticky on how (Kxevin) rates players so that he won’t have to answer it after each review, what the readers can’t say (write) in this space.

    It’s good to have rules and regulations but apply it “consistently”.

    I now leave this space in peace. Nice talking to many of you.

    1. Since you send your greetings in Dutch I will give you what I suspect that you want, my two cents.

      I think you are taking this too personal.

      No matter how well written our comments and thoughts, internet message boards leave a lot of room for people to misinterpret each other. For the record, I don’t think you meant any harm with your original post. I know that whereas our shared culture is very direct and we joke and jest a lot, other people see this as confrontational.

      Ultimately it is up to the mods to safeguard this space so that everybody feels welcome. Kxevin and I asked you respectfully to refrain from something of which you yourself acknowledged that you “didn’t want to go further because some people here find conversations like that too offensive.”

      I am sorry you feel the way you do but I think you are wrong to feel that way. You aren’t anybody’s whipping boy. Don’t like to see you leave, but to each his own. Tot ziens.

      PS – Since you are a long time reader, if you feel the need to discuss this any further you can write me at No need to clogger this thread with arguments.

  9. on my way home i thought about the game and our squad and come to a terrible conclusion:

    Martino did leave bartra on the bench and said in case of emergency he would play Busi as CB, everybody still remembering the times busi had to play there knows that it is a way straight into desaster. it also means that martino has a very low opinion of bartra which means he will either be loaned out, sold or be in the stands the whole season. So we can take bartra out of the line of possible CBs, as well as busi. That leaves us with just 2 guys who play regulary there, one of them is not even a real CB. And now guys reach for your Gin Tonic, at least i will do if i entertain for one minute the thought of an injury to Pique. That would us leave with Masche and that’s it, nobody else, only him. to go into a season with that “options” is not stupid, it is downright criminal in footballin terms

    and now i need a big drink

  10. Playing messi at false 9 has been our bane in recent times. If only we could move him to the RW and play either of Cesc or Lexus at CF,there will be space in the middle. Tactical width won’t work long as messi, the focal point is in the middle. No way defenders will ignore messi on the wing like they do pedro and sanchez

    1. No worries. It’s an interesting complexity, where to play your best player. The thing for me is that Messi is so dangerous whereever he is, that you want to have him in the spot where he can do the most danger. Whereever he goes, the defense is going to follow him.

      I think that on the wing, you lose his passing ability (recall that setup vs Levante for Pedro).

    2. Good point about Messi’s passing. I agree that he shouldn’t play on the wing. That old Cruijff mantra of playing your best player where he gets the ball the most makes a lot of sense to me. I do like the idea of Alexis and Messi switching positions throughout the whole game. Heck, Alexis, Messi and O Ney switching positions might work well, too.

    3. Playing messi on the wing is a waste of his full godly capabilities, Being in the middle gives him freedom, It allows him to be in the position to start an attack or be in the other end of finish one, Having messi to be the orchestrator of the attack is every coach’s wet dream.
      Being on the wing is restricting, And puts him farther away from the goal, And you simply don’t do that to the best finisher in the world.
      Messi does drift to the right wing from time to time, To either escape heavy marking or start his signature runs by cutting into the middle, But in the end, The middle is his natural habitat.

  11. Playing messi at false 9 has been our bane in recent times. If only we could move him to the RW and play either of Cesc or Lexus at CF,there will be space in the middle. Tactical width won’t work long as messi, the focal point is in the middle. No way defenders will ignore messi on the wing like they do pedro and sanchez. Still looking forward to the day, pique starts at CF

    1. You’re kidding, right? When Pep moved Messi to the middle he exploded as a goalscorer. No way is he going to be scoring 50+ goals a season out on the wing. Yes, on occasion he gets squeezed out of the game, but even when that happens he typically draws 3 or 4 opponents away from our other forwards and one of them ends up scoring.

    2. Why on earth would you want Piqué to start at CF? He severely lacks speed, agility and scoring prowess for that position.

    3. Watching Pique and Busi run is terrible, although Pique is a bit faster that Busi but, still slow non the less. Even Villa sprinted past Pique just after Ney scored the goal. We need someone fast, a Brazilian maybe or African for that backline. Maybe someone like Yaya. I never noticed how fast Yaya is and very agile for a big man. Pique is no Ibra although he does score some good goals once in a while. Also, I’ve never seen him score a header.

  12. With regards to the messi issue, I hear people say moving him from the centre will be counter productive to HIM and a waste of HIS godly ability etc.

    Well isnt it all about the team?
    I think it was Kxevin or someone who made the observation that from the treble season onward (where goals were distributed more evenly across the fwds) as Messis individual goal count rose our trophy count fell. Is this just a coincidence to be swept under the rug?

    Thats just by the way. There are some questions though that I really want to ask. If you would kindly indulge me.

    1. What led to the creation of the false 9 in the first place? Why did we bother when we had an in form Eto’o?

    2. Did the false 9 tactic provide us with any tactical advantages over our traditional striker when introduced 4-5yrs ago?

    3. How many of those advantages are still apparent today?

    3. Is the false 9 in ANY way limiting what our wide men could otherwise bring to our game?

    4. Does the false 9 in anyway affect how opposition fullbacks perceive and react to our wide threat?
    If so, is this change negative or positive?

    5. How much of our persistance with the false 9 has become about keeping Messi happy? And how much has to do with getting optimal returns from our front 3?
    Do we risk unsetting La Pulga with a move back to the flanks?

    1. Messi IS part of the team, HIS productivity and HIS abilities has an impact on the whole team, And vice versa.

      The first time messi was used as a false 9 was against RM in 2009 and we made history with a 6-2 result, Guardiola recognized what he can bring to team playing in the middle, Compared to eto or any true CF, It allows him to draw defenders, Deform defensive formations, And create dangerous through balls and that itself outweighs whatever a true CF can do playing in his positions and the latter ones in essence are simply static forwarders, AKA ibra.

      The false 9 became embedded on our style of play, Even when messi is absent we still use it, And i don’t know why the low goal stat of our wide forwarders is blamed on the false 9 tactic, When 2010-2011 season shows that’s not necessarily the case.
      Sorry i couldn’t answer each one of your question one by one, By i hope this may answer some of it.

    2. But the problem nowadays is that we are using false-9 in every match and the opposition defenders never allow themselves gto be drawn to Messi dropping into midfield. Instead smart teams make their midfield with hard pressing players who will form a second line of defense.

      False 9 is a brilliant tactical revolution, but if we gonna use it in every match opposition get used to it. They are not fools playing against us. Remember in the last season our best performance came when Messi played behind Villa against Milan. Milan was prepared for the false 9, but they weren’t ready for the more traditional style.

  13. How has he faired in his ‘natural habitat’ against the following teams: celtic,chelsea, Mou’s EE,inter, milan(1st leg),bayern? We can’t be always stereo typed in our tactics. All the teams mentioned above nullified us (him) by parking the bus in the middle and midfield area (check zonal marking). You argue that he wasn’t fit against bayern but how about the rest?

    1. Against chelsea (2009) and inter, Ibra played as a CF and messi wide, But that didn’t change the fact that we struggled and will always struggle against defensive teams, False 9 or not.

  14. There are a lot comments about Barca’s inability to overcome high quality teams that choose to play very defensively.

    Can anyone give examples of teams that are very good at playing against super defensive high quality teams?

    Most teams are not subjected to the kind of defensive treatment Barca is. But still, is this an issue that other teams have managed to address?

    It’s very easy to speak about lack of movement, lack of a 9, etc., but the bottom line is that I don’t think much can be done when teams like ATM, Chelsea, Inter, and RM choose to apply all of their talent to aggressive defending.

    1. Just look at RM’s inability to break down a parked business La Liga last season.

      Can we also have a think before referring to past glories? If we keep comparing this to a team which won everything because teams were foolish enough to come out and play against us and we got most of the breaks then we are gonna keep coming up short. Winning everything just doesn’t happen more than once in a lifetime.

  15. how about celtic,chelsea(2012), milan (1st leg), Mou’s EE of last season. Messi has been our best player,but we can’t keep on doing same things that are no longer working. Its not like we will completely abandon false 9, there will be games we could use them. Plus, I’d like us to for once, sit back (not park the bus) and allow athletico take the initiative, in the return leg. Was the use, sending our FB’s forward and leaving us expose to counters when a 0-0 score line would mean we win the cup. Not like we would not go for goals, but if athletico decide to park the bus, fine! lets just keep the ball at with smasch,pique,xavi and valdes and buy messi a lazy boy am chair and put it just after the center circle. Lol!

    1. No chance of us doing that at the Camp Nou. We wouldn’t get away with it anyway. However, it’s something I would like us to look at for away CL ties. With Neymar, Pedro, Alexis and Messi plus some of the best passers in the game we should be able to draw the home team onto us and hit them on the counter while keeping most of our team goal side.

  16. Someone on another blog said that buying another CB is just throwing money at a problem without solving it. The problem is that we just keep getting slayed on the counter-attack. That is not the fault of our CBs it’s because we’re leaving them too exposed.
    Why we leaving them too exposed? Because our forward press is not as strong as it should be. Why not? Midfield. Midfield. Midfield.

    1. Not for me. The press can help but its like saying we should avoid set pieces. thats not gonna happen so when we’re in trouble I’m looking first at the full backs. If our CBs are getting drawn wide as happens quite often the FBs at the very least should be able to get back and cover them – are you listening, Dani?

    1. I was just about to ask; I know he’s been playing the full 90 in the last handful of matches but has anyone seen how he’s been doing on the pitch? Is he back to being the solid Abidal of old?

    2. As you said above, maybe the time to judge is in February not after one or two games. I’m not saying we didnt make a wrong call, just that we don’t know that yet because we don’t know why the decision was made.

  17. The biggest difference from the Guardiola era is that both fullbacks go up the pitch now. When it was Abidal in the team, you’d still have 3, 3 and a half men back (counting Busi). With both Alves and Alba in the team trying to get forward, there simply aren’t enough men at the back to stop the counter. Name me the two best CBs in the world. Then tell me if they could stop a full tilt Real Madrid counter together, just the two of them.

    The solution could be as simple as just having one FB hang back. And I’d prefer it was Alba, because Dani pushes up and provides the tactical width on the right side. Alba’s game is more about running into space and/or overlapping the left winger. Which really doesn’t work when the opposing team are parking a bus at the back like Atletico were. Then it just becomes a squirrel charging headfirst into a brick wall repeatedly, and that’s as ineffective as it’s cringeworthy. He needs to stay back and pick his moments to get forward very carefully to be effective, like that last goal against Milan in the 4-0.

    Having said that, in the Villa goal, it wasn’t just about getting caught on the counter, it was some poor defensive play, and horrible positioning, and general lack of communication. Alves – totally out of position in that whole play, and instead of running out wide to cover the run from the winger and leaving the center to Busi and Pique, spends the whole time chasing the ball back and forth, and then just stays in the middle when the ball is played out wide. This makes Pique start to run out wide to cover that player, then pull back to the center when Mascherano runs all the way across from LCB, across the goal to intercept their LW. By this time Pique is running back at about half of Mascherano’s speed to cover Villa, but since he hasn’t turned around to look at where Villa is, he is totally out of position when the cross comes in. And Dani? Has inexplicably decided to start jogging back from midfield without ever having actually covered anyone since this whole mess began and has not even reached the penalty box. In fact, the most ridiculous thing is that the referee accelerates faster than him. He’s initially behind him and ends up closer to the goal when Villa scores.

    This is taking nothing away from that unbelievable strike though; I think 8-9 times out of ten that position and shot would not have lead to a goal. And we can talk about tactics and about buying center backs till we’re blue in the face, but this is basic defensive discipline. Something one would assume is covered in training every day. So that Mascherano doesn’t have to cross the length of the goal to cover Dani’s position. So that Dani doesn’t leave the winger open (And it’s not about getting caught out on a counter because he was level with the guy who went out on the wing when they made the interception; all he had to do was stick to him), and so that Pique doesn’t get caught in the middle of nowhere trying to head out to RB and then come back to the middle, and then doesn’t look to see if he’s covering the guy he thinks he’s covering.

    A little organization, that’s all it would have taken. No restricting our fullbacks from running, no fancy expensive CB buys, just a couple of guys keeping their heads.

    I really do miss Puyol.

    1. Yeah – I’m surprised this hadn’t been mentioned before. Dani was tracking Villa pretty well on that counter, but then, in the final third, just started jogging.

      It was a great finish by Villa, but Dani could have made it a little more difficult for him.

  18. Messi is officially not in the squad list for Malaga. Sergi Roberto is though and should get his first start of the season.
    Tata said that Messi’s injury won’t have any impact on the game time for Neymar, suggesting that even if he starts he won’t play a full match.
    my expectation:
    Alves Pique Masch Adriano
    S Roberto Busquets Iniesta
    Alexis Cesc Neymar

    1. Martino said he’s going to rotate so I will be very surprised if he plays Busquets 3 times in 7 days.

    2. Malaga is weaker, and we have Atletico 3 days after, and Valencia, 2 days after AM.
      I would save Adriano for the SC as Alba is not suited for defending Costa. I wish Montoya was taken to Malaga, but it seems Tata is playing Alvez 3 times in 7 days. Or maybe he’s on the bench vs AM, as he did not cover himself in defensive glory in the first leg and Tata might feel Montoya will be a safer bet as a defensive FB in Nou Camp.
      Same with Busquets, is Tata playing him 3x within less than one week? Or is the Malaga game a chance for Song to start and erase doubts after a lacklustre pre-season?
      Roberto should definitely get his first start.
      I would like to see Alexis, Cesc and Ney in the front line at some point in Malaga although that front line also looks best suited for the SC second leg especially if Messi is still healing. So it’s a chance for Tello to get a start with Neymar coming on as the usual super sub.

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