The past couple weeks were surely tough on both Barcelona team and its fans. The many heated discussions of transfers, fitness, progress and the level of the current Barcelona team almost lead the fans to think that the team is in an actual crisis. FC Barcelona brushed all these aside with a resounding victory against Sevilla FC. Details after the jump!
On Saturday night, the game between Barcelona and Sevilla saw a goal scoring parade – all scored by one team. The players and the coach were the same as before, the performance was the same and the style as well. However, one would have been able to know that the night was going to be Barcelona’s, it was perhaps the motivation, the spirit, the mentality, or maybe unlike before the team had a bit of luck!
The Catalan flood out-flowed Sevilla’s midfield; it took Barcelona players just four minutes to score the opening: a simple straight to the point goal by Messi who received the ricocheted ball of Sevilla’s goalkeeper, Javi Varas, fooled the defenders and shot the ball into the net.
The relaxed, typical Barcelona playing style saw a helpless opposition; the possession in the first twenty minutes was approximately eighty percent for the Blaugrana. Sevilla had two chances on goal and they were close to tying the game, but Valdes and the defense were there to keep the lead intact. The Blaugrana, on the other hand, continued to build their chances minute after minute with various attempts on goal: Messi, Pedro and Villa. The mobility that the forwards had made Sevilla’s defensive players lose their concentration. And while his effectiveness as a Barcelona player was being doubted as he was showered with criticisms and sometimes insulted, David Villa replied with style. He had not scored for the past month and six days before the game started; twenty four minutes later he was scoring one of the best goals in La Liga this season after a wonderful combination between him and Messi! The latter went past two Sevilla’s players and passed the ball to Villa on the right side; Villa, in his turn, went across to the penalty area and faked the defender Luna taking a step to the left before he launched the ball with his left foot into the far corner of the goal and into the back of the net.
The frustration was becoming more obvious on Sevilla’s players’ faces; this culminated at the end of the first half when the defender Abdoulay Konko received his second yellow card, and therefore and expulsion, after committing a foul against Pedro near the penalty area – it was the last thing Sevilla needed.
At the beginning of the second half, Sevilla’s coach Gregorio Manzano made two substitutions in order to keep the balance with ten players on the field, thus Dabo was substituted in for Luis Fabiano while Zokora was substituted in for Perotti.
Nevertheless, the same story of the first half continued with Barca’s ball possession and control of the rhythm of the game.
One might have thought that things can never go worse, anymore that they were. However, in the 53rd minute Romaric cost his team a goal; he was returning the ball to Varas with his head but Alves was faster to jump in the air tipping the ball slightly over the goalkeeper scoring the third goal of the night, his first of the season.
At that point it was time to rest some players for next Tuesday’s Champions League game against FC Kobenhavn, thus on the 60th minute Bojan and Mascherano came in for Pedro and Xavi and six minutes later Adriano was substituted in for Puyol.
Messi made the score sheet a 4-0 when he was able to make a brilliant run through Sevilla’s midfield and shoot a rolling ball into the back of the net. That was almost an action replay of it in the form of Villa’s goal in the injury time of the game making it a huge win of 5-0 against Sevilla!
Thus the curtains closed on a game that could have gone either way – right until the game started. The efficiency in finishing the chances that was one of the major causing problems for the Blaugrana was overcome on Saturday night with 5 shots scored out of the nine shots on goal.
It was the result of the dogged and continuous hard work that all the players do week after week; and it seemed as though Villa who did everything right in the past month except put the ball in the back of the net, finally did that! Twice!
It’s just another characteristic of great teams and players: they reply with style. And Barcelona and Villa surely did … And Messi was of course vintage Messi! This performance will surely ensure Barcelona goes into the on-coming Champions League match against FC Kobenhavn with their spirits high! Visca!