Sunday, March 23, 2008

Just lose it...

I started to write this post at half time in the Barcelona-Valladolid match, ready to tear into the team but given the rest of todays events I decided to bin it and write a new one. The blaugrana, ala their previous outing on Thursday they made a bright start (Bojan had two excellent opportunities in the first few minutes) only to fade badly after Eto'o had given the team the lead. The penalty given to Valladolid was incredibly soft, it was never a foul by Thuram, Llorente just fell over, but what came afterward, the nerves, the shoddy passing, the lack of incisiveness was just shocking. Even after half time, even after going ahead again through Iniesta, after Bojan finally got on the scoresheet, even at 3-1, the Pucela had a gol ruled offside, they hit the post, the bar... it was all the blaugrana could do not to throw it away against a team that are only outside the relegation zone on gol difference and who lost 7-0 to Real. The FCB website screams "Thrilling rout" this evening but crikey it was far from it.

Henry was, yet again, bloody awful, looking slow and unfit. Perhaps he's been hanging out with Ronaldinho. Eto'o, despite his gol and fantastic, unselfish pass for Bojan's second lacked confidence in possession and was either over-playing the ball and losing it or unloading it far too quickly, knocking a succession of poor crosses into no-one in particular. The defense was 1nce again all over the bloody place and it was the 2005 Victor Valdes model on show today, with poor throw-outs and some very ropey play late on. On the plus side, Bojan was quite brilliant, scoring his sixth and seventh La Liga gols today. Iniesta and Xavi were their usual steady selves (a few wayward passes accepted).

Still, they needed to win to put some pressure on Madrid, who played straight afterward and they did. They needed to win to get over the disaster that was Thursday night (I could scarcely believe what I was seeing when Mata scored his second less than a minute after Bar
ça had gotten themselves back into it through Henry's header, it was farcical stuff) and they did. Somewhat incredibly, Madrid contrived to lose to Valencia, so the gap is down to four points and nine games to go. I have complete confidence in the blaugrana fucking it up though, no doubt by losing away at Betis next week or something equally ridiculous.

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