Sunday, November 05, 2006

Playing catch up

It's been a rough week for FC Barcelona. Conceding a last minute equaliser to Chelsea at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night, drawing 1-1 with a strong Depor side last night that sees them slip to second place behind Sevilla and on Friday, Carles Puyol's father, Josep, died.

Right now I'm watching Real Madrid and Celta de Vigo boot the ball aimlessly from one end of the pitch to the other and wondering how on earth Real beat the blaugrana, they're bloody awful.

Like Nice Guy Eddie in Reservoir Dogs, it's first things fuckin' last. The Champions League tie against Chelsea, while featuring some fabulous attacking play from Bar
ça, a fabulous gol from Frank Lampard and some sharp golkeeping by Victor Valdes, will be remembered for the diving, play acting, incessant fouling and general childish behavior. Motta, Deco, Marquez, Carvalho, Didier Drogba and John Terry (sent off today against Spurs) were the worst offenders, but most players had a go. I know there's a lot of needle between these sides, lord knows I can't stand Mourinho or Drogba, but watching the match descend into farce at times and with some brutal fouls (Marquez stepping on Essien, Carvalho taking Guddy out of the game completely) committed by both sides was depressing. John Giles said it best; "what we have here tonight is a diving competition."

Leaving aside the theatrics for a moment, the result, or lack thereof leaves Barcelona in a rather precarious position. They're currently on five points while Bremen have seven. Bar
ça, it looks likely, will have to beat Werder in the last match to be sure of qualifying, otherwise it's the drudgery of the UEFA Cup to look forward to.

Onward and downward to the draw with Depor yesterday that sees Sevilla (2-0 winners over Osasuna, who can't buy a win at the moment). I've only seen highlights on youtube, so I can't really comment. The penalty seemed warranted, Saviola was taken out of it. Valdes was also very unlucky to save Depor's penalty and see the rebound slotted past him (he even managed to get a hand to that). Victor is one of the weaker links in the side, he blows very hot and cold but despite his side's poor run of form (one win in five), he's been playing pretty well these past three games.

On to matters of a more sombre nature. FCB is in mourning. Not only for Charly Puyol's father, but also for former player, Sergi Lopez, older brother of Gerard (ex-blaugrana currently at Monaco) who died in a train accident. The next league match is against Saragossa on Sunday November 12th at the Camp Nou and I imagine that Puyol will 1nce again don the captain's armband.

Real have just lost (again) and I'm going to watch The West Wing and try to finish this article on Santi Ezquerro. Forca Josep Puyol y Sergi. Bona nit.

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