Monday, January 3, 2011

Barca Over Levante 2 - 1

Happy New Year!

Emerging from the winter break, this past Sunday Barcelona FC overcame a dogged effort by Levante UD to post a miserly 2 - 1 victory over their Spanish league opponents.  Playing without their iconic scoring talisman, Messi Wan Kenobi, as well as several other starters, Barcelona struggled to find the rythym and flow of their patented 'Tiki-Taka' style with their second team on the pitch.  The result was a scoreless first half, leaving the normally superhuman blaugrana looking merely mortal.

In the second half, however, the Barcelona backups finally found their rythym.  Dani Alves teamed up with Pedro Rodriguez twice in the fist 15 minutes of the second half, putting Barcelona up by two goals.  Perhaps relaxing just a bit, Barcelona was momentarily threatened when Levante's Uruguayan forward Christian Stuani volleyed the ball into the net past Valdes with ten minutes remaining, briefly giving Levante some hope.  However, Barcelona's reserves stepped up to the challenge and shut down Levante's last-gasp runs at the goal, thus escaping this dangerous match with a 2 - 1 victory.

This Wednesday Barca's 2011 campaign continues, with a critical match at Atletico Bilbao in the Cop del Rey competition.  Barca needs a win or a tie to advance.  Since this is not a league match, Pep Guardiola will likely use his backup team again, and give his regulars a little rest.  Assuming our reserves step up as they did this past weekend, this should not be a big problem.