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FC Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad, 5-1

081912-SOCCER-BACK-TO-BUSINESS-OB-PI_2012081916552429_660_320



Today was Barcelona's first competitive match of the 2012-2013 season, a La Liga home game against Real Sociedad. It was Tito Vilanova's first La Liga match as team manager following the departure of his boss Pep Guardiola, and it turned out to be the debut as well of newly signed left back Jordi Alba and recently recovered striker David Villa.

And although my boys got off to a bit of a shaky start, they did not disappoint. Team captain and central defender Carles Puyol opened the scoring in the first four minutes with a beautiful header off Xavi Hernandez' corner kick. Disturbingly, Chory Castro snuck behind Barcelona's defense and beat Victor Valdes to score just four minutes later. But three minutes after that, Leo Messi decided to get a head start on this year's race for Pichichi and scored a sweet goal... and another one about three minutes later! Pedro scored one more goal for Barcelona before halftime off a beautiful pass from junior winger Tello, who was reading the game much better tonight than he had been last season. Tello assisted Messi's second goal as well, and both he and Pedro were involved in Messi's first.

But the biggest applause greeted the entry of David Villa, who broke his tibia in the Club World Cup semifinals last December and has been struggling to get match fit again ever since. I literally had tears in my eyes as Pedro passed the baton... and then again when Villa scored off Andres Iniesta's assist a few minutes before the end of the match. And Villa was prepared - he tore off his jersey to reveal a t-shirt with a picture of his wife and daughters that read, "Imposible sin vosotras" ("Impossible without you"), and was promptly booked. (Players are not permitted to reveal writing of any kind, but the Barcelona players regularly flout this rule to celebrate Mom's birthday, commemorate tragic events, etc.)

VillaIsBack

Cristian Tello on WhoSay

So all in all, a nearly perfect first match of the season, and no doubt bitter news for Real Madrid, who drew Valencia 1-1 at home today and suffered a series of unpleasant injuries (Pepe has been hospitalized for observation after a nasty collision with Iker Casillas). The two teams meet for the first leg of the Supercopa in the Camp Nou on Thursday. Visca el Barca!


Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
sageharper
Aug. 20th, 2012 11:10 am (UTC)
It was indeed excellent, so good to see our boys back and being flawless. Puyi header to get the party started; and there was almost a Messi header too and you don't get many of them to the pound.

Jordi was excellent, fitting in so well already.
Villa is Villa obviously, missed him so much so he better be fit and brilliant forever now (and I translated his shirt properly, yay).

It's a stupid rule about the the shirts, the man city players did that too yesterday in their game.

The commentators here kept banging on about Pep being gone, how will they cope, blah blah ... well yeah. Tito even looked quite stylish with his own look, we'll get a smile out of him eventually.
Well it was that, the rumour Tello was going to Liverpool, or the state of Xavi's tendons. On repeat every minute. You could make a drinking game of it really.

I'm trying to muster some sympathy for Pepe, but honestly just hoping that means he'll be out for Thursday so he can't hurt Leo (or anyone else) again. I can tolerate most of the squad, but just not him.
flywoman
Aug. 20th, 2012 11:36 am (UTC)
LOL, I saw Messi's attempt at a header too, not bad, although not with the same power as Puyi's (must be the hair).

VILLA VILLA MARAVILLA! It's just great to have a true striker in front, the guy who gets one opportunity and takes it, BOOM!

I HATED my comms, sounds like the same one you had. I would much preferred to have a good Spanish stream any day.

Tito really cleaned up nicely ;). He did applaud for David's goal at least, but I'm hoping for a smile on the pitch one day too.

I hope that we keep Tello now. He made a lot of poor decisions last season, but he did *really* well yesterday.

Iker says he can't remember the collision. I wouldn't want even Pepe to be seriously injured, but I also hope that he isn't fit to play on Thursday. I admire his prowess as a defender - he was great in the Euros - but his brutality towards Barcelona players makes me sick.

Forgot to say re: the RM game that my admiration for Valencia's keeper Diego Alves increases every time I see him play. He blocked two close range shots of Higuain's before the ball finally got past him.
sageharper
Aug. 20th, 2012 02:04 pm (UTC)
Puyi's hair is the source of his powers, I'm sure.

Exactly. :)

Was watching it on sky sports, but they're probably all much the same.

Yeah he really did. Oh yes saw that, so you never know.

Me too, his finishing hasn't be so great but that can be fine tuned; it's good having that pace down the wing.

Doesn't sound too good (bit like when VV & Pique clashed). He does defend well but yes short fuse and malicious.

He is a good keeper, Pipita would be a challenge for anyone. :)
elizaberglund
Aug. 20th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
As a resident captain-fangirl I was squeeing liek a madwoman for teh first part of teh game and this goal was so classic!!!! Xavi's corner, Puyi's header! I wanted to kiss tehm both!

And Tito looked mighty fine. He looks 5 years younger when he is out of teh trach siut and in proper clothes. His poker face is as entertaining as Pep's freakouts tbh.

Jordi played like a beast, Leo was simly himself and Villa's goal was cherry on top!

Great football night ... and really: Thank you Valencia!
flywoman
Aug. 20th, 2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
It *was* a classic Xavi-Puyi header goal, awesome! :D

Tito did look much better dressed up, and I think I love his poker face. He'll need it on Thursday, I'm sure ;).

Jordi was great - our left wing is going to be super dangerous now with him, Tello, Villa, and Iniesta and/or Messi.

And yes, I would like to send Valencia flowers or something...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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