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Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, 3-2

2012-08-23_barcelona-madrid_55.v1345762926
Andres Iniesta, our little magician


A year after the famous Supercopa clasico that saw an enormous brawl on the pitch, complete with three red cards and RM manager Jose Mourinho poking Barcelona assistant coach Tito Vilanova in the eye, Spain's top two teams met again. In the wake of Spain's unprecedented success at Euro 2012, the rival players were all hugs and kisses in the tunnel before the match, but we were all wondering just how long that spirit of good sportsmanship would last.

Although no goals were scored before halftime, the first 45 minutes featured their share of drama. The RM defense had most likely been instructed to shut Leo Messi down, which they did pretty effectively, shoving and tripping him repeatedly while the ref looked on. Most notably, blatant obstruction by Fabio Coentrao around the 18 minute mark sent him flipping over the defender and ended with the two of them tangled together on the ground. No card. Motivated now, Messi took his first serious shot at goal off Dani's assist, but it went just wide. Ten minutes later, he tried again with the same result. Even when Sergio Ramos tripped Alexis Sanchez in the penalty box, no call was given, although Alvaro Arbeloa finally earned a yellow card for tackling Pedro Rodriguez. However, Barcelona totally dominated possession, and even when RM managed to get control of the ball, they didn't seem to know what to do with it - Karim Benzema was mainly waiting around to be fed an assist, as usual, while Cristiano Ronaldo's presence on the pitch was barely felt.

2012-08-23_barcelona-madrid_12-Optimized.v1345764761

The second half was an entirely different beast. Real Madrid hadn't yet made any substitutions, but they seemed to wake up, with a conceded corner giving Ronaldo a slick header while Victor Valdes looked on helplessly. 0-1. However, almost at once, and in very un-Barca-like fashion, Pedro ran, received, and slammed the ball right past Iker Casillas, 1-1. (I'm actually fairly sure that he was offside, but I suspect that the linesman felt sorry for the unpunished beatings my boys were taking!) Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria replaced Benzema and Callejon (and about time, too), and RM started to create more chances, picking up the pace of the game. However, Ramos made a poor tackle in the penalty box that ended with Andres Iniesta sitting in his lap, and this time Messi delivered on the PK. 2-1. Less than ten minutes later, Iniesta worked his magic and sent the ball clear for Xavi Hernandez, light of my life and fire of my loins, who fired it home for a sweet, sweet goal. 3-1.

If only the match had ended there! Unfortunately for Barcelona, Leo Messi's shot on goal was saved by Casillas, and during the counterattack, leftback Adriano Correia kicked the ball back to his keeper, and Di Maria was too close for comfort. Valdes took too long to get rid of the ball, Di Maria outdribbled him (surprise!), and with the keeper helpless on the ground, was able to take a clear shot. 3-2.

All in all, I thought that it was a good match for Barcelona - we definitely brought the football, as Xavi might say, our passing was mostly sharp and occasionally breathtaking, we got goals from players other than Messi - always a good thing - and yes, we ended up with a win. However, that extra goal by RM in the last five minutes of regular time make it imperative that Barcelona win or draw in front of a hostile crowd at the Bernabeu next week. By then, Pepe will be back in defense to buttress Ramos and Coentrao, and getting anywhere near the goal will be extremely difficult for our boys. Let's just hope that Valdes doesn't have any howlers like the one he gave us today.

From the shallow end: Thank god Dani Alves finally shaved his beard off. Unfortunately he seems to have taken Tello's hair along with it.


Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
sageharper
Aug. 24th, 2012 09:36 am (UTC)
Aww bromances are cute.

The poor babies getting clattered all the time, and it doesn't even work, one day they might work it out but who knows.

Eww don't like Ronaldo, the one time he's not completely useless.
Actually us getting them on the break has happened before, don't even care if it was offside if they didn't say so it doesn't count. Anyway then Mou can bitch about the ref, it just wouldn't be a proper clasico unless he had a good bitch.

Ugh Ramos, being such a bully; he hurt Andresito and you just don't.

"Xavi Hernandez, light of my life and fire of my loins" ... lol yes this exactly, he was so determined to get a goal and yes it was a blinder. Aww love him.

WTF was Valdes doing, that just what, he should know better especially in a clasico. Ah well it's like he conceded five or anything like some people sometimes. If that's the worst of it then we're pretty spoilt. He'll be fine.

Overall we did very respectable and that keeps things interesting for next time, nit looking forward to seeing Pepe again.

I think Tello sacrificed his hair to the football gods, hopefully that will help.
flywoman
Aug. 24th, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC)
Actually us getting them on the break has happened before, don't even care if it was offside if they didn't say so it doesn't count.

Yeah, I'm totally fine with counting it as a goal! Nice pass from Masche there.

Ugh Ramos, being such a bully; he hurt Andresito and you just don't.

"No one can point to Sergio Ramos and claim to be injured because of me." Possibly true, but scary nonetheless. Still, the two of them were cuddling after the match, so I guess there were no lasting hard feelings.

Ah well it's like he conceded five or anything like some people sometimes.

Hahahahaha! If only we could repeat that next week now that Villa is back...

I think Tello sacrificed his hair to the football gods, hopefully that will help.

lol, is that a reference to my Euro fic? Were you able to receive the attachments okay?
sageharper
Aug. 24th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
Masche does make some good passes, in between the flawless tackles.

Hmm yes, not sure how I feel about that one. It's good they're still friends, hard not to love Andres really.

That would be so sweet, I was expecting him to play then and get a hat trick (real life and my fanfic plot blurred together lol).

lol, I did get them yes; but it went to my spam folder so didn't realise for a while. They're fine, will read it through and then get back to you. Looking good so far. :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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