Sunday, April 22, 2012

FC Barcelona 1 - 2 Real Madrid: some points

Getting straight to the points:

  • Barcelona have now lost 2 competitive games in a row for the first time since May 2009: Mallorca (2-1) and Osasuna (0-1).

  • Barcelona's impressive run of 34 successive undefeated matches at home in La Liga has ended. Their run of 54 in all competitions ends as well.

  • The last Spanish side to claim an away win at the Nou Camp was Hercules in September 2010.

  • Suprising fact for the Anti-Ronaldo brigade who claim he doesn't perform in the Clasico (or big matches in general). He has now scored in the last 3 Clasicos.

  • Real Madrid's first goal of the game through Khedira was a scruffy one, but was it the result of a Valdes mistake at being unable to handle such a header by going down instead of standing still to pick it up? Or was it Puyol's inability to clear at the first hurdle that led to such a poor goal?

  • When Guardiola substituted Xavi for Alexis Sanchez, I'm pretty sure all Barcelona fans were questioning that move. It turned out to be a very good one by Guardiola; though could this be signalling a sign of things to come for Xavi? Or was he being rested for the Chelsea game?

  • For the second time in a week, Barcelona have lost a game without any dubious controversial decisions. Fair and square they were beaten by the more organized side - not necessarily the better one. It seems the insistence on using their Plan A and reluctance to use a,  or find an adequate, Plan B is starting to bite them in the behind.

  • I've said it time and time again, when Lionel Messi has an off-day (i.e. scoring 1 goal or simply not scoring), the criticism that will come his way is going to be bad as there has now become an incredible amount of expectations on his shoulders.

  • Guardiola may have had one eye on the Champions League semi-final by resting some of his players, but his key men almost all played the full 90 minutes (almost). Whereas Chelsea this weekend had the luxury of resting 8 of their 11 men that started against Barcelona. Will Pep's men have the bottle to do it?

  • How much was David Villa's finishing missed yesterday?

  • Sergio Busquets actually complained to referee Alberto Mallenco about Real Madrid players diving and time-wasting. Now I know, we've seen everything in this game.

  • Take absolutely nothing away from Real Madrid's performance last night. It was about perseverence and organization. A team effort won them the game and probably the title with that. Pepe, Ramos and Coentrao all had very impressive games, whereas the real star performance was probably Ozil - who has become one of their unsung heroes. 

  • Speaking of which, I think Mesut Ozil is one of European Football's most underrated players.

  • Real Madrid now lead the table by 7 points. 4 games to go. Game over?

  • It has taken Mourinho 9 attempts, but he's finally tasted victory at the Nou Camp as a visiting coach.

  • Real Madrid have now scored 109 goals in La Liga this season, a new Liga record, breaking a previous record set by the club themselves in 1989/90.

  • Unless I'm mistaken, that was Tello's first start in La Liga. Very bad move by Guardiola to throw him in the deep end like that, particularly with Pedro and Sanchez waiting in the wings for such a huge occassion.

  • Barcelona fans are awfully quiet this morning. Whenever they've won Clasicos or big games, they've gloated about it pretty much everywhere for all to see. It's nice to see them get a taste of their own medicine and lose like normal teams do. For all the pre-match comments written on this blog's facebook page by Barca fans (click here for example) and particularly towards me on a personal level (mainly mocking the team I support on numerous occassions during the season), all I can say is: adios!


  1. It is a loss for Barca, having PEP written all over it.

    When pep decided to play 3-4-3 this season, its because he had a very good defense line, with Pique at 100% and Abidal one of the World's best left backs, a perfect midfield with xavi, iniesta and cesc, and upront with Messi and Villa..Pep changed his formation to make use of these elements, the question is when these elements are not there, why didnt he go back to the 4 - 3- 3? he didnt have to put the unexperienced Tello on the wing, nor the 2 slowest defenders he has (puyol and Mascherano) to defend the lethal Real Attackers,not to mention putting iniesta in forward, and having 2 identical players Thiago and Xavi ( though the former is much less skilled and exprienced) to run the show in the midfield.

    Pep killed his game, so he lost. Let's see what will happen with Chelsea.

  2. I'd like to point out that Madrid did not park the bus and play defensive football like Chelsea. Madrid took the game to Barca and had more shots on goal than Barcelona (vs. 3 shots for Chelsea in 180 minutes) and actually played better than Barca ... Ozil is an amazing player that showed that he can work hard in the middle off the ball and still provide a moment of magic like the pass to Ronaldo. Not sure many midfielders can do both during the same game ...

    Benzema deserves to be mentioned as well because nobody could get the ball off of him ... he was better at keeping the ball and not falling over than Messi that game!!!

    Madrid won thanks to their organized defense, Ozil orchastrating the midfield and Benzema's terrific hold up play. Ronaldo was there to put the icing on the cake that was prepared by his team mates!!!

    Madrid played beautiful football and showed that you can take the game to Barca ... Chelsea on the other hand pulled a catenaccio on the Catalans.

  3. Barcelona and Real Madrid both are fantastic football teams. They are consistently performing in Spanish cup. Football match between these two teams has always been fascinating for football fans. Rivalry between these two teams is coming from many years. For more information about these two teams read the blog

  4. I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens