La Gira Americana Continues: Barcelona vs Chivas LiveBlog

Kick off is at 8:30pm EST. LiveBlog starts 15 minutes before. Xavi plays! (And Pique).

By Kari

Just your neighbourhood Barca fanatic


  1. Official: Sporting pay 3.7M for Jeffren, who joins Sporting on a 5-year deal with a buy-out fee of 30M (barcastuff)

    1. And according to, we get 20% of any profit Sporting get from a future sale of Jeffren.

    1. Barca starting lineup vs Chivas: Pinto; J. Dos Santos, Fontas, Pique, Abidal; Xavi, Keita, Thiago; Cuenca, Villa, Carmona. #fcblive

      via @Youngcules

    2. At least we were able to console each other in the Live Blog cuddles room – although it was hard work getting Miguel to let go of his beer and stop crying.

    3. Ah yes, my padel game. Stuffed my left knee – out for a few weeks, damnit. Bloody painful to walk. Not good.

      But thanks for asking!

    4. You’re welcome, Miguel – we’re all here to help in good times and bad; through thick and thin; the rough and the diamonds; when there’s beer and when there isn’t; when it’s a good game worth watching and when it’s simply better to turn off the TV and enjoy the live blog instead. 🙂

  2. never mind. it’s like a movie you’ve been forced to watch, it looks like the denouement is about to occur, and then suddenly he or she is not in the place they’re supposed to be so the reunion is postponed. 15 more minutes movie time.

  3. What have we learned here, kids?

    We’ve learned why our starting XI are our starting XI.

    We’ve learned why our first team is our first team and our B team is our B team.

    We’ve learned why our DMs are our DMs.

    And we’ve learned that US announcers suck.

    I really think we ought to try to put together a near starting team soon just to get ready for Madr*d.

    1. And if I was an American fan shelling out all those dineros to watch a sub-standard performance, I’d be as mad as hell.

      RM will have won many new fans because of their stylish play and their actual desire to play.

      I don’t care that these are friendlies – I don’t care that Pep doesn’t care that they’re friendlies. I believe that there’s a certain responsibility to play well for the fans. Oh yeah, and to set up the team for the upcoming season.

      It’s been so poor that I just have to wonder if Pep is trying to prove some sort of point here, or whether he just got it horribly wrong.

    2. Yeah, Michele, I see what you’re saying. But I’m still not too worried about the season. True, I wanted(badly) US fans to fall in love with my team this summer but the season is more important.

      As someone who payed beaucoup bucks for the rare opporunity to see Barca play on her home turf, it was somewhat depressing to lose in DC and not to see so many starters. Unlike the guy several rows down from me with the “my kids paid to see Messi” sign(*rant warning* really, you and your kids are idiots. do some research when you buy tickets, bandwaggoner *rant over*), I expected Pep to go light with the lineup. And 2-1 to a Man U side who played more grownups than we did and who practiced two weeks earlier than we did was OK.

      Miami was pretty dire to be sure. Painful even. I think Pep does have some responsibility to the fans. But his hands are tied be injuries, Copas, our own insistence on giving the younguns a run out(something we’re usually proud of), and a later starting than most teams’ preseasons. The later starting preseason and the generosity in letting the Copa players rest for so long gets me most. But maybe it will help us more during this long season to have this late/slow start. We have to pace ourselves more than Madr*d. We have two competitions more than they have, and more internationals playing this summer.

      Soon we’ll have a defense. Soon Dani will be back. Adriano’s back which means Abidal can play CB. Mascherano will be there too and is more than capable at CB. When there is noone on the bench to sub in when the back line in overrun, there’s bound to be a rout. Once the downward spiral started, Pep’s hands were tied.

      Let’s hope we get more serious in Texas. Time’s almost up and we need some practice being awesome.

    3. Yes, it certainly didn’t help that we had so many players involved in the Copa America, but I still feel sorry for you guys who didn’t get to see the team in a better configuration.

      At least you have the chance to do this in January, mom4!

  4. What went wrong guys?
    Never mind. It looked like we started with only 2 defenders; FOntas & Pique.

    Which kid played well just now?

  5. Watching the way Pedro is playing, I am totally getting convinced that Guardiola has never been entirely fair to Bojan. Without the majority of first teamers Pedro looked like shit there. Bojan whenver he got the chance had to play mostly with B-teamers or our back-up players. Having said that once messi and Villa is back we will have Pedro once again roaring as he is a very pivotal element in our MVP. I just been to and some people are going crazy. I am seeing comments like La Masia is no good, Pedro is crap, Deulofeu is crap etc…. People needs to get a grip on reality. We conceded 4 goals with a back line which will never even feature in Barca B. Yup, 4 goals is a worry but not anything big. Guardiola has something against Dos Santos boys. Why is he playing Jonathan as RB all the time. He could have atleast tried in midfield with Iniesta in the second half.

    1. may be thats because pedro was coached by him and while he was b team coach bojan refused to join the b team.

      p without our first 10 is just a player but with our first 10 he is a very good player.

      contrary to the view i think p will be the one most effected by the arrival of sanchez.

      i must say this pedros finish is deadly,he has a knack for at the right place at right time and his workrate is simply messi

  6. We conceded 4 goals.good.

    when will this money grabbing pre season be over?

    nothing to worry bout this loss but its very irritating to lose conceding 4goals against a mexican club.

    so how did the young guys played?wht bout xavi?

  7. OK guys, its just pre-season, nothing really much to take from the results.

    Chivas played very well, they played their game with something to prove. Our team on the other hand especially our young players have only just started to get a grip of what to expect against teams who defend very well and are well organized.

    I had a few problems though, why was Deulofeu continuously booed everytime he was near the ball? Im really confused about that.

    I don’t know much about tactics, but I assumed our biggest problem was how far our backline pushed up and how easily we were caught out, we also somehow let Chivas exploit space between our midfield and defense. Also for crosses our marking in the box was terrible, especially when we had noone to cover the space near the back post and Chivas continuously exploited that space.

    The weren’t any problems with our first teamers in this game. Xavi and thiago in the first half were brilliant. Pedro wasn’t terrible, he managed to get himself into a scoring chance and maybe should have done better with it, but I know we all are familiar with Pedro’s finishing ability, so not to worry.

    I lot of the youngsters struggled in the second half, especially the ones coming on after we began to lose the scoreline, we all expect the youngsters to step up an increase the intensity, but its not a very easy thing to do, our first teamers are able to do it because well they are some of the best in the world.

    I noticed Pep sat back virtually the whole game and just let the players play on their own, and I reckon we struggled to maintain a proper shape, especially when we lost the ball. I was confused why Guardiola didn’t come out and say anything to the players, maybe he just wanted to see how they dealt with it.

    This was another game I was again Impressed with JDS, he continuously grows into this RB position. I see this more as a test for him, rather then Pep trying to convert JDS as our future RB. Once JDS gains more confidence at that RB position there is nothing really stopping him from gaining a future in the first team.

    1. Only watched the highlights so far. 4 times already.
      I laughed every time I see JDS rolling on the ground after the Chivas player scored a bicycle kick 😆

      Our defense was in a total mess every time Chivas attacked.
      We really looked like we needed a pacey CB.

      Oh, perhaps Deulofeu terrorized the U19 Mexican team. I presume the majority of the folks at the match were Mexicans.

      Jnice. Your take on the match?

  8. Lets start with this concept. The main reason we lost had nothing to do with our B team players. The main reason we lost was because we have to regulars playing out of position killing both our offensive flow and defensive soundness. Those players and positions are Keita at DM and Busi at CD. Keita absolutely destroys our passing rythem. If he is crowded he panics and if he has time he holds on to the ball too long. Additionally, he either lacks the confidence or skill to make crisp passes of the ball forward anytime he has to bypass a level of defenders. As an example, Fontas is brilliant when it comes to make those foward passes.

    As for Busi…as a DM he has an incredible ability to read a game and anticipate what is going to happen. His timing is usually on the money and he is a great disruptive force. However, the exact oposite is true when he is playing CD. He has no timing, he is constantly out of position and he lacks the pace necessary to make up for his mistakes.

    As for some other thoughts:

    1. Fontas has played extremely well and seems to be getting better and better. As I state above, he is very comfortable with the ball and makes great breakout passes.

    2. I thought Sergi Gomez played a decent game. Very composed and has true potential.

    3. Thiago and Xavi played very well together.

    4. Villa had his best game so far this preseason. Make decisive runs and passes. Needs to finish a bit better though.

    5. Pedro is just not improving since his injury during last season. He was never a great one v one player but he was always above average and could occasionally unbalance a defender. I have seen absolutely no indication that this preseason. It seems every time he touches the ball he is passing it back or losing it trying to go one v one. I am not sure what it is, but he has become a black hole.

    6. Pinto counldn’t even make an MLS team. Enough said.

    7. Seen some of Cuecena (sp?) before. Has great close control. Very good at dribbling out of trouble and into space. He is currently a terrible finisher. Watch some youtube clips and then look at his attempt last night. Kid has potential but has work to do on his final ball (wheather pass or shoot).

    1. Agree with all your points. Great stuff. The bit on Keita is so spot on. Way too conservative when he receives the ball. He has little confidence when his back is to the opposing team, so he hardly pivots or turns and never makes an incisive pass. If Pep had any doubts about whether Keita could play DM or not, this pre-season has settled that.

      The Busi stuff is spot on, too. And everything else, lol.

      barca96, my take on the game is essentially what barcabeast wrote.

      I would add that a positive for me was seeing how well Espinosa played. He’s extremely versatile. Can play high up the pitch or stay in central midfield. Great in possession, hasn’t looked out of place once in this pre-season. Spain U-20 could use him right about now.

    2. Beast seriously throwing his hat in the ring as potential next BFB writer, I like it. Totally agree on Keita, I have always thought that he disrupted our fluidity to the point that other than bringing him off the bench to protect the occasional lead with a more defensive mindset, he doesn’t add much value.

      I couldn’t see who was back on center D on that 3rd goal (watching YouTube highlights) but the trailing defender should have been subbed off immediately Balotelli style (was it JDS?). Literally jogging not even aware of the goal scorer behind him.

      I still think Pedro deserves more time, however. I still have faith. I think Pinto’s value is more his emotional leadership on the sidelines, and he’s still better than the joker backup we had before him. He kept us in the Copa last year.

      Did Adriano play at all or is he still in recovery? Would really like to use some of the pre-season to get him playing on the starting squad again so we hit the Liga running.

      Y mas importante, cuando veiamos Sanchez??

    3. ElJefe,

      I agree with you in theory about Pedro. I am actually a very big fan of his. His ability to finish is second to none on this team and that includes Messi and Villa. However, I was just stating my opinion based on his performances since coming back from injury. He brings tons of added value to the team in terms of intangibles, but he and Villa clearly are not captable of leading our front line. I thought pre-injury Pedro was a bit more disruptive and better at creating chances than he has shown lately.

      Sort of off topic, but that is exactly why Sanchez is going to be such an important signing for this club. He will be able to lead that front line because of his ability to single handedly unbalance the pitch w his one v one ability. But with both Sanchez and Messi not availalbe right now, our lack of creativity in the final third of the pitch is glaring and obvious.

  9. ok, i haven’t watched the game, but may i remind fellow commenters that since becoming a regular first team player, Pedro has scored in 2 CL semis and a CL final (all opening goals), AND in club WC final.

    Curb the hating on our Pedro-in-the-box please :p

    1. ^this

      Pedro is an oppotunistic scorer. He takes advantage of spaces left when defenders commit to other forwards and has deadly finishing abilities. He also has the ability/instinct to be in the right place at the right time. He is not designed/prepared/expected to be the focal point of our attack. When we have a well prepared(as in more than 2 weeks into a preseason), world-class(MVP/Sanchez) front line he’ll be ready to do his thing. Villa broke his duck last night, Pedro will turn things around sooner or later.

      Sooner or later we have to put some starters(the ones who are available) togather for part of a game just to get them used to competing together again. And we’ll have to put Busi in as a DM so they can practice playing like Barca again before the real games come up. It took Mascherano, as talented as he is, more than half the season to become even somewhat acceptable as an alternative to Busi. We can’t expect Keita to cut it at that position after two weeks of preseason.

      Never fear y’all. Xavi and Pique are back. Soon Dani and Mascherano return. And that kid named Messi is coming back. I hear he’s fairly decent, too!

  10. Ahem! (clears throat)

    The inferences that we can draw from that match are about zero, unless somebody wants to weigh in on the quality of the concessions at the stadium

    It was a match of two halves, and had Guardiola been serious about a result, the first team, that pretty much owned the first half, would have been left out there. This was (for us) a glorified training session.

    Yes, we got glipses of certain players, which was very cool. A few faces for the future were scampering around out there, such as Deulofeu and Cuenca, that point to a very bright future. And that’s about it.

    –As far as Pedro, Krkic and fairness, players earn their spots in practice and matches. What we see is about 1 10th of what actually goes on. I do know that the matches that Krkic got with the first team, he was pretty terrible last season. As far as giving him MORE matches with the first team so that he can bed in and become less terrible, I have to figure that Guardiola wasn’t down with that program, nor should he have been.

    FCB is a meritocracy. Messi doesn’t start every match because it’s a gift. He starts every match because there is a 99% probability that he will kick ass and take names. If you look at Pedro’s goal scoring over the past couple of seasons, they are not only numerous, but well-timed goals. He scores big ones, works like a dog all over the pitch, and creates space with his movement. Krkic didn’t. Or he did, but nowhere near as effectively as Pedro.

    I take Krkic’s grousing about Guardiola not being fair with the same grain of salt that I take Ibrahimovic’s “philosopher” jibes. It’s a player who got a shot, and didn’t make the most of it, or in the latter’s case, was just a plain asshat.

    Krkic got chance after chance after chance, in matches where he should have been able to excel, with the first team and with mixed rosters. He was almost universally mediocre. And whether you flush crap down a bronze-coated (Copa, sub lineups) or gold-plated (starting XI) toilet, it’s still crap. This isn’t to say Krkic is crap, but he played like crap last season. If he didn’t, he would be on the roster, instead of learning conversational Italian.

    Krkic looked very good in Roma’s first pre-season match, so much so that said club’s followers are wondering what kind of madness possessed us to unload him. But they didn’t watch him all season, as we did.

    He got his chances, and plenty of them. The things that he did with them is the reason he’s wearing a Roma shirt right now. I just don’t believe they had anything at all to do with Guardiola being fair or not.

    Yes, Pedro is playing not so hot right now. It’s a pretty universal quality, except for Iniesta. Even Abidal is having a case of the craps. But what exhibitions are for: running around a little bit, getting a big paycheck, and not getting anybody hurt. Mission accomplished.

    1. …and not getting anybody hurt. Mission accomplished.
      Expensive preseason losing both 3M and Muniesa for a while.

      Anywho, we have a starting XI to be feared and some quality subs. They’ll be together again soon and then the real fun starts!

    2. “FCB is a meritocracy. Messi doesn’t start every match because it’s a gift. He starts every match because there is a 99% probability that he will kick ass and take names. If you look at Pedro’s goal scoring over the past couple of seasons, they are not only numerous, but well-timed goals. He scores big ones, works like a dog all over the pitch, and creates space with his movement. Krkic didn’t. Or he did, but nowhere near as effectively as Pedro.”

      How you are judging that? You are talking about Pedro who plays majorly with first eleven stars and Bojan who plays mostly with the sub players. Yup Pedro is very much better than Bojan and his performances is showing that. But how are you sure that Bojan would not have been a success if he was given equal good opportunity. I haven’t seen Pedro winning matches alone when our major stars are not available. There is no doubt that when placed with the our best stars he is simply awesome. But Bojan never got no such oppurtunity. He did play in a number of matches, there is no doubt about that. But in most cases – when Bojan plays majority of our stars are rested. So how you are saying that he didn’t make the most of it.

      Do you really think if Rijkaard has put Messi alone in matches resting the likes of Eto’o, Ronnie, Xavi and Deco, he would have still found it easy. I doubt so. He still would hav emade it because he is once in a decade player. As far as I am concerned, I doubt Guardiola’s way of bringing up the youngsters. He did well with pedro and Busquest but then they were his boys, he backed them up to the tilt. Thiago actually have forced himself with a contract. He last season said he will be looking to Barca B for cover in defense. Did he really? Playing Fontas and Sergio or Batra together in a cup match is not the way to do it. The best way to do it is give some of those kids to learn playing alongside the best. So when Sporting Gijon comes visiting play Fontas alongside Puyol and Abidal and Alves. See how he works in that system. Prepare them so that they can take over when one of our defenders get injured. We were lucky that he did well whenever he was called upon, but that could have gone either way. That’s what Rijkaard did with Messi – he always gave him quality minutes along with Eto’o, Ronnie and Deco; rather than put him together with fringe players for 90 minutes. I am not saying that Messi is a great player because of that but it smoothed his transition. You can’t simply discount that.

    3. But your contention ignores the fact that when Krkic did get minutes with the A team last season, he was terrible. And apparently he didn’t do anything in practice to warrant additional opportunities. when Afellay arrived, look at what happened to Krkic. Why? Because Afellay got his shot, and proved what he could do, earning more opportunities.

      To imply that Guardiola is somehow inept in how he handles youth players (again) ignores what was happening with them before Guardiola. Think about how often we saw B-teamers previous to Guardiola, and how often we do now. As a coach, he understands that Segunda to Primera should be an escalator, but also an escalator that you fight your way onto. Last season, Krkic couldn’t. Nor could Jeffren. Remember Gai Assulin? The next Messi, right? Gone. He couldn’t, either.

      Krkic got more chances that he deserved, when you examine his play last season.

      Guardiola doesn’t have any “boys.” He does have players that he thinks are going to be worth something in the first team, and examines them. To claim that he didn’t treat Krkic fairly means that you don’t recall his statements, his constant statements about how Krkic was playing well, even though all we saw was crap, and his further statements that he supported Krkic, and was going to make him into a good player if it was the last thing that he did.

      I rather imagine the decision was difficult for Guardiola, to admit failure with Krkic. Much less so than for the likes of Jeffren (who nobody is squawking about, right?). Everybody wanted the Golden Boy to succeed. He didn’t, and it was his own fault.

    4. I don’t really understand the business of transfers: In December, even though Bojan’s playing was already shaky, Barca renewed his contract til 2015 and increased his buyout clause from 50 to 100 million. Can someone explain the business/politics of this, and why it was not a factor in the Roma deal? (at least I’ve never heard it mentioned)

    5. That makes two of us. Back then, it struck me as a simple psychological ploy, to say to him “See how much confidence we have in you? Now relax and play football.”

      Because as we know, buyout clauses and renewals aren’t really worth much if a club decides it’s time for a player to move on. I think the move was more political/psychological than business, though it did show (to the world at large) how much the club “thought” Krkic was worth.

    6. Kxevin–that’s my thinking too, except that if the extension/buyout doesn’t mean anything, then why would it help him psychologically?

      Could this be why Bojan is bitter? Because one minute, they’re letting him think that they have so much patience and faith in him, and just a handful of match minutes later, they changed their mind?

    7. Statements never reveal the real intention of a person, action does. If they did then Eto’o, yaya all should have been here. Whatever few action he got with A team last season mostly was ten to eight minutes in the end when the match was completely over. If he has really backed him as the second choice striker he should have given an extended 30 minutes period regularly especially when we have already sealed the match, there were a lot of them last season? Even if he gave him those minutes , he may still prove crap but still then I would have said we have given him quality minutes to prove. The simple fact is that we should have done that especially with such a small squad. You cannot compare Afellay with Bojan because of the age difference and also one has an established style of play and other is still searching for his style.

  11. 西班牙语
    Barcelona / Real Madrid Camiseta de fútbol, precio: 16 euros cada conjunto
    Si usted está interesado en él, por favor póngase en contacto conmigo, puede imprimir cualquier nombre (por ejemplo: Kaka, Karim Benzema, Lionel Messi, David Villa,Pedro Rodriguez , Alexis, Xavi Hernandez, Ronaldo etcétera) e incluso su propio nombre y número personalizado
    Sitio Web:

Comments are closed.