Barça remain in first place in La Liga thanks to a fine performance from Espanyol on Sunday afternoon, coming from behind to beat Sevilla 2-1. The blaugrana meanwhile laboured to a poor 1-1 draw with Levante on Saturday night and had it not been for some good saves from Victor Valdes and two absolutely appalling misses from Mustapha Riga, the Dutch Darren Huckerby by all accounts, they could easily have lost. The aforementioned Valdes plus Deco, Xavi and Ezquerro (when he finally came on) did well but the rest of the team were listless in the extreme. It's to be expected that their minds were on Tuesday's match against Bremen, but some of their play was abysmal. Gudjohnsen needs to be booted out at the earliest opportunity. He had one decent touch, a lay off to Deco (who blazed over the bar) and that was it. One.
I was pretty disappointed to see Rijkaard take off Deco and replace him with Oleguer with twenty odd minutes left. It completely surrendered the initiative to Levante, who, despite being a limited side, played some good football, Courtois was excellent and Ettien made a huge difference when he came off the bench. They're not up to much but if they could find a decent forward who can get them even ten gols this season I think they'll stay up. Especially with 'nastic, Sociedad and Betis looking so poor (up to Sunday night I would have included Bilbao in that group but they looked good against Real and should they get Mendieta in January survival is definitely not beyond them)
It's Bremen in about twenty hours time and if Barcelona play like that again they're in real trouble. 'dinho will be back and Gio will no doubt come in for Sylvinho. Zambrotta blah, blah, blah, you know the team by now. It pretty much picks itself. Anything less than a win and they're out. See you on the other side.