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FC Barcelona vs Valladolid, 3-1

Did Leo cut his own hair for this match? Ugh.

It's been a difficult week for FC Barcelona. Manager Tito Vilanova was hospitalized for removal of a cancerous growth following his treatment last year for a salivary gland tumor and is likely to be out for six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. Messages of support have poured in from all quarters, including Real Madrid captains Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos, and all four teams in Barcelona's and Real Madrid's matches today wore t-shirts with get-well wishes. Sergio Busquets declared in a press conference that his teammates wanted to win this one for Tito, and in the end, that's exactly what they did.

Fierce defending by Valladolid and a few squandered chances on both sides made it look as though the first half would end scoreless. However, just before the break, a truly lovely combination shattered Valladolid's wall: Leo Messi passed to Jordi Alba, who crossed the ball back in to the center; Xavi Hernandez came sliding in out of nowhere and thrust the ball right past the keeper. This was Xavi's ninth La Liga goal of the season, and imo he was Man of the Match today as well, constantly stealing and distributing the ball to dominate possession, and assisting in numerous attacks as well.

In the second half, Valladolid was forced to open up a bit to try to equalize, which is always good for Barcelona. In the first twenty minutes, Xavi back-heeled the ball to Messi, leading to a superb goal just inside the post. Guerra scored a goal for Valladolid in the last minute of regular time thanks to a defensive muddle that left the far post completely unguarded for the rebound after Victor Valdes blocked the initial header, and I am sure that the home team had short-lived hopes of a draw. But in the last minute of added time, Cristian Tello came on for Pedro Rodriguez... and almost immediately ran the ball right down the center between two defenders and nutmegged the keeper to score the final goal.


In other news, Real Madrid lost to Malaga 2-3, and one of their credited goals was an atrocious own goal - not just an accidental bounce off a defender's back or something, but a legit, heartfelt kick right into the Malaga player's own goal after a kerfuffle with Benzema in the box. It didn't help that Jose Mourinho had inexplicably benched Iker Casillas, who squirmed and groaned during the three goals against poor Adan, at last zipping his sweatshirt up over his head in despair. Also, Pepe got a yellow card for "accidentally" kicking one of the Malaga players in the back... which I have to admit was no worse than Dani Alves' aerial karate kick that went completely unpunished.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 23rd, 2012 07:07 am (UTC)
Such a difficoult week! First I was extatic about 3 rrenewals , aspecially captains . Than I was high as kite with Abidal news ... I planed some happy posts andcelebrations but LJ died on me and ... and than Thursday came and I don't know what to say anymore. I'm glad the guys won but you could see that as hard as they tried their minds were elsewhee. AnimsTito! Seny pit i collons!

And tbh I cannot feel happy about Real dropping points somehow ... I felt so bad for Adan. after the 3d goal the guy was eady to cry ... imagine: you are a canteano and dream about playing for your beloved theam and when you finally get a chance it is because your coach is punishing your captain and you are being trashed by a team that you last lost 30 years ago ... And Iker ... poor guy ... I'm not sue what exactly happened there between him and mOu but somehow I am 100% behind him here.
Dec. 23rd, 2012 07:13 am (UTC)
I agree, it was such great news about Puyi and Xavi and Leo renewing, and Abi back to training with the team, and then the terrible discovery of Tito's tumor :(.

I don't feel bad about Madrid dropping points because they simply didn't play that well. But I did feel terrible for young Adan, having to step in against one of the current top teams just because Mou was in a snit for some reason, and then getting humiliated like that. I have no idea what Iker did to incur Mou's wrath, but like you, I am behind him 100%.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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