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FC Barcelona vs. Sevilla, 2-1

2013-02-23_BARCELONA-SEVILLA_27.v1361663646

In the wake of an ugly midweek loss to AC Milan and with Barcelona about to face two clasicos in a row, the coaching staff wisely decided to rest some key players in today's fixture against Sevilla. Thiago Alcantara started for Xavi Hernandez, Alex Song for Sergio Busquets, Martin Montoya for Jordi Alba, and David Villa for Pedro Rodriguez. Carles Puyol and Cesc Fabregas didn't even make the bench, instead watching the match with Eric Abidal from the stands.

The first half dragged on a bit, to be honest - neither team created any really close calls. Following a foul, Leo Messi almost scored a goal with a beautiful direct free kick, but the wind lifted the ball just past the top right corner of the net. But then in the 42nd minute, a combination play from a corner kick left Botia unmarked, and he bounced the ball down and past Valdes for the first goal.

Jordi Roura made a bold substitution at halftime, sending young Cristian Tello on for Alexis Sanchez. That seemed to me to change the whole tempo of the match. Tello has worked hard for his spot in the first team, and it shows - he is no longer just the speedy but one-dimensional striker/winger of last year. He opened the ranks of Sevilla's 10 man defense on the left while Dani Alves threatened from the right. In the 52nd minute, Dani crossed the ball perfectly into the center for Villa to head it in like a boss, and less than ten minutes later, Messi created a play from the middle, passing the ball out to Tello, who crossed it beautifully back to him for Barcelona's second goal. Kudos to Dani Alves for playing splendidly in both attack and defense, to Villa for his clinical header, to Tello for his pace and increasing maturity on the pitch, and especially to the coaches for taking risks and experimenting with the starting line-up and evolving formation.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
sageharper
Feb. 24th, 2013 10:54 pm (UTC)
I missed the whole thing, so catch up is much appreciated. :)

Ugh yeah AC Milan was a trainwreck, just didn't look like the same team (in technical sense, obviously we're the only ones with god-awful retina burning kits).

It's good they were rested, that must have gone down well in the ranks, obviously was the right choice then. Abi got the green light though so hopefully he will be back soon.

Tello for Sanchez is the most obvious call ever. No idea why they won't just start Tello then; he's young and fit enough to last 90 mins (that's what she said). And maybe a spot of benchwarming might help Alexis play better, nothing else seems to.

Can't remember the last time I saw a Villa header, wouldn't it ruin his hair? (pretty sure that's Xavi's excuse, deep down)

So that was Leo's 300th goal, or have I lost count? Not that it really matters.

Dani just never gets enough love, if he's not being brilliant he's brilliant entertainment.

Our coaches are all wonderful, they have that same model but each has a special touch and new ideas within that. Need to stay on it now that people are finding ways to put up a good fight.

Vital question of the day ...
In the interest of moral boosting, would you rather read a post-clasico-themed smut the day before or after said clasico? (finally finished that fic)
flywoman
Feb. 24th, 2013 11:25 pm (UTC)
I thought those kits were supposed to keep our opponents laughing so hard that they couldn't defend against us? Didn't work this time.

Tello can last 90 mins with me anytime. God, what am I saying, I could have a son his age.

Hee, that reminds me that during the Madrid match earlier Callejon headed wide and my Spanish comm made some joke about how if he didn't comb his hair so high...

No, pretty sure Leo passed 300 goals at Granada.

Dani actually defended AND assisted for a change! But yeah, watching him is always entertaining.

I get so annoyed when I hear fans bitching and moaning about how we have to bring Pep back because Tito and Roura can't figure out how to play against a parked bus. Hello, it's been a problem for a while. (Remember the semifinal against Chelsea?) Without discarding our strengths - ball control, tight passing, teamwork - we do have to adapt as more teams find effective strategies against us. I was really glad to see some experimentation yesterday.

Arrgh, that's a tough one. Actually I can't even watch the clasico on Tuesday because I have to work *sad face*. But I guess it depends on who wins in your fic. Wouldn't want to read it before if it might jinx us ;).

sageharper
Feb. 25th, 2013 12:10 am (UTC)
Think that effect might have worn off a bit by now, dread to think what they'll come up with next year.

lol ... ah yes but of course you'd have to have been criminally young at the time.
(I try to have a corporate policy of nobody younger than my brother, but then Rafa Alcantara happened)

I've never liked Callejon, but his hair is oddly facinating. As to why he thinks this is attractive, but also how it's kept in place all match.

Oh yeah course he did, think that means he only has about 50 goals left to beat the all time record.

Shocking! Exactly, how many other people's right backs get caught offside?

That's always been our problem, and not sure Pep would be able to help, by the end he seemed to just be getting frazzled and running out of ideas.
There aren't many teams that can go through three coaches in a season (except Chelsea) but those would flouder, we're actually still holding fast and even thriving.

Aww poor you. It's my brother's birthday that day, but my dad has to work so we're not going out in the evening.
Hmm actually there's no specific mention of any actual result (though is set in 2011). It's more about the emotional mess thereof, and mindless smut is appropriate way to resolve that.
flywoman
Feb. 25th, 2013 12:45 am (UTC)
Er, yeah, if I used that policy, even Puyi would still be too young for me!

If it's set in 2011 then it couldn't possibly affect this week's match, so bring it on!
sageharper
Feb. 25th, 2013 07:39 pm (UTC)
Best you don't worry about it then, I wouldn't. One day they'll all be too young for me too.

That's ok then, will post that when I get a minute. :)
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