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FC Barcelona vs. CA Osasuna, 5:1

MessiXaviPuyi



With Osasuna in the relegation zone and a midweek match against Real Madrid looming, it was no surprise that several key Barcelona players, including Iniesta and Jordi Alba, were rested today. But enough talent remained on the pitch for an unusually calm and enjoyable match, sandwiched as it was between two intense Copa elimination confrontations.

Leo Messi was the first to score, literally running rings around Osasuna's keeper after receiving a lovely assist from Xavi Hernandez. The image below neatly encapsulates the relationship between our star player and the opposing team for pretty much the entire match ;).

2013-01-27_BARCELONA-OSASUNA_06.v1359317694

However, that doesn't mean that we managed to keep a clean sheet (does it ever?). Around the 24th minute, a corner kick bounced around our back half for a bit before Raoul Loe received it in the penalty arc and slammed it into the goal, leveling the score. But less than five minutes later, Osasuna defender Arribas was unlucky enough to receive a second yellow card for a handball in the box. Osasuna were down to ten men for the rest of the match, their coach was sent off for protesting, and Messi made good on the ensuing PK. There were several more opportunities, including a wrongly called offside and a Messi header that ricocheted off the crossbar, and in the last five minutes of the first half, Xavi passed to an advancing Dani Alves, who crossed the ball perfectly into Pedro Rodriguez's path. Pedro has been on a run of good form lately - welcome news, especially in light of alternate right winger Alexis Sanchez being in a pretty serious slump this season.

Coming back from the break with a pretty comfortable 3-1 lead and one man up, Barcelona were able tor relax and play for the remainder of the match. David Villa, on the left, was especially active in the absence of Alba and Iniesta; he assisted not one but two more Messi goals in a matter of minutes and was very unlucky not to score himself.

Meanwhile, Alexis came on for Pedro with almost thirty minutes yet to go, managed to get into excellent scoring positions several times, but either shot wildly or opted to pass to another player. I really wonder what is going to become of this kid. Villa is a natural striker, always asking for the ball and going for goal. Alexis is fast and an excellent team player, but he simply doesn't have the hunger, the self-confidence, to take advantage of his shooting opportunities. If they're going to keep him, I think that they should consider playing him as a true winger or even right mid and have him cross in to the real strikers: Messi and Villa (or Iniesta or Tello, for that matter).

Anyway, Messi got a poker - his hat tricks are no longer newsworthy - and took the ball home with him, and for once we finished a match without any injuries or expulsions. This presumably puts us at a significant advantage over Real Madrid, who are only fielding about half their starters between injuries and sanctions. Hopefully we will be able to take advantage of this on Wednesday...

BBpC6BSCEAA-cyh


Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
burning_moon117
Jan. 28th, 2013 06:05 am (UTC)
I wish I could've watched this game.

When is the Copa del Rey Clasico?
flywoman
Jan. 28th, 2013 12:04 pm (UTC)
It's on Wed, 21:00 Spain time. Unfortunately I'll only be able to watch the first half...
elizaberglund
Jan. 28th, 2013 10:33 am (UTC)
Leo ... I don't even have words to describe him anymore , everything had already been said really

Xavi would be MOTM for me if not for a certain tiny Argentine. He was playing briliantly.

Villa! So happy to have him back! I'm sure his goal is just a matter of time! He was amasing yesterday.

Alexis ... I don't know what to say anymore ... I just feel sorry fior the kid really ... maybe he will pull of a Pedro and after a few bad months will regain confidence and start scorring too!

I was so proud of Camp Nou yesterday ! They shouted "Oe oe oe oe Victor Valdes" several times and it was briliant! Absolutely fucking briliant! And than when they applauded puyi ... you know? When he tried to get the ball of the Osa's player in their penalty box and fell on the ground and hit the grass hard several times (giving me a heart attack in a process because I thought he hurt himself again!) in frustration and than jumped up and sprinted like to our side? Camp Nou totally applouded his spirit and dedication!

And generally it was briliant football day yesterday! First Real Madrid game ... I admit , I don't care about their results much and I don't cheer for them or anything but they were increadible ... than Miniclasico! What a match! Tenemos futuro for sure! Than Barca game and than ... creme de la creme of this weekends football: Athletic contra Atletico at San Mammes ... I didn't really know who to cheer for since I like both teams but than : Los Leones are desperate for points and it could be a great revange for Europa League final plus it is always sad to see a greta team loose home so ... but than I liek Atleti this past two seasons and I didn't want Madrid to cut the gap between them. In the end ... greta game and the better team won!
flywoman
Jan. 28th, 2013 12:14 pm (UTC)
Picking a MotM was tough for me this time - In the first half I would have said Xavi, but then Leo got on a roll, and then David was being so great too, with pace and good judgment and generosity... those three were all awesome.

I think the difference is that Pedro is a striker, even though (like Torres) he has gone through periods of bad form, but Alexis is not - they have been trying to make him one, but he just doesn't have that killer instinct or whatever it is.

I was also happy to hear the fans support Victor, and I *loved* that bit where Puyi fell and then bounced up looking fierce and tore across the pitch... what a warrior!

The Real Madrid-Getafe match was too early for me, although I caught a bit at the end. I wish I had seen the Miniclasico or the Athletic-Atletico match, but I'd been traveling and had a lot to catch up on at home before the week started, so... ah well.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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