Monday, December 19, 2011

Barca Wins Club World Cup

With two brilliant goals from Lionel Messi and two more from Xavi and Cesc Fabregas, FC Barcelona claimed the title of 'Best Club in the World' for the second time in three years this past Saturday, handily defeating Brazilian side Santos FC by the score of 4 - 0. 

As reported by The Australian:

"Lionel Messi grabbed a classy brace as the "artists" of Barcelona outclassed the Brazilians Santos 4-0 to lift the Club World Cup today and confirm its status as the best team on the planet.

The clash between the European and South American champion in Japan had been billed as a showdown between Messi, widely acknowledged as the best player in the world, and 19-year-old Brazilian sensation Neymar.

In the event, it was no contest - either between the two supreme talents or their teams - as Barcelona picked up its second world crown after winning the competition in 2009, when Messi was again the difference.
Barca boss Pep Guardiola called his men "artists" and dedicated the 13th title in his three-and-a-half years in charge to striker David Villa, who flew home after fracturing his shin in the semi-final and faces five months out....

They were like artists," he said, turning to their spectacular performance that secured the official title as the world's best side and saw the Catalan club net a cool $5 million.

'What was envisioned in their minds happened on the pitch.'

Messi, set up by Xavi, got the first after 17 minutes, before Xavi put Barcelona 2-0 up just seven minutes later to put it firmly in control, as prodigious forward Neymar struggled to get a sniff of the ball.

Cesc Fabregas, who pulled the strings in midfield, got the third on the stroke of half-time as the Spanish champion, which was at full-strength, threatened to run riot for the packed house of 68,166.

Messi got his second eight minutes from time as he rounded the keeper to roll the ball in after the influential Dani Alves threaded the ball through to him.

"We are extremely happy and our performance, especially in the first-half, was very satisfactory," said Guardiola, who declined to single out one player for more praise than the rest.

"I've tried to get the players to work together as a team and use the strengths they have. Our players have been playing very well, but it's important to keep that level going."

His opposite number Muricy Ramalho said there was no disgrace in defeat.

"Barcelona have played various teams around the world and nobody can beat them. Eventually some team may, but I don't think it's possible now," he said."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Barca Over Real Madrid Again

Defending champions FC Barcelona came back from a goal down against Real Madrid to take the El Clasico honours 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu this past week, in the latest rendition of this timeless derby.

After Alexis Sanchez cancelled out Karim Benzema’s shock 23-second opener, Barca took the lead when a Xavi drive took a wicked deflection off Marcelo and past Iker Casillas for the goal.

Cesc Fabregas then scored with a diving header for the former Arsenal captain’s tenth goal of the season to secure the three points which put Barcelona top on goal difference although Real have a game in hand.

On the down side, David Villa was taken off the pitch with a brokien leg.  Barcelona doctors now say he will be out of action for six months.  For any team other than Barcelona, the loss of a striker of Villa's caliber would be a season-changing events; but with Barca's deep resevoir of talent, the team should easily transcend this loss,

Pep Guardiola is now celebrating his fourth win at the Bernabeu since becoming Barcelona coach in 2008.  Visca el Barca!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Barca Crushes Levante 5 - 0


Cesc Fabregas scored twice as Barcelona threashed Levante 5 - 0 at the Camp Nou to stay three points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid ahead of next weekend's Clasico.

First-half goals from Fabregas put the home side 2-0 up before youngster Isaac Cuenca, Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez racked up a score that reflected Barca’s complete dominance of the match.

Andres Iniesta weighed in with a pair of wonderful assists, with Xavi, Dani Alves and Messi creating the others as the home side ran riot ahead of the high-flying underdogs, who stay fourth despite the hammering.

It could have been more but for some unusual misses by Messi, and an incorrectly disallowed Iniesta goal that would have been farcical had Barca not already been five goals to the good.

The win sends out a signal to leaders Real, who won 3-0 at Sporting Gijon earlier, with next Saturday’s clash at the Bernabeu set to be a six-point humdinger.