How I learned to stop worrying and love the club. Things seemed dire before the match, third place in La Liga, one foot out of the Copa del Rey, but let’s conveniently forget to talk about Champions League play and the Lionel Messi free kick in San Mamés. It took three perfect works of art to change everything back to normal for the club. A three to one victory in Camp Nou not only sees FC Barcelona progress to the next round and silence numerous doubters, but also remind the world of the three exquisite match winning forwards the club possesses.
Athletic Club was ravenous in the first half and thrashed an uninspired FC Barcelona two to one in the first leg of their round of 16 Copa Del Rey matchup. Barcelona will cry foul after the match which saw more than one unique decision from referee Fernandez Borbalan. Lionel Messi netted a valuable away free kick goal but was mostly ineffective in a match which Neymar was the sole bright spot.
Barcelona fans needed one thing from the last group stage match in Champions League play, a victory. Four draws in five matches in all competitions has left a bitter taste in the Blaugrana’s mouths, but there were three other things the faithful desperately wanted to happen to turn the recent tide for the club. With the top spot in Group C already secured, supporters hoped to see a goal from Paco Alcácer, strong displays from fringe players, and for Lionel Messi to break Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for most goals in the group stage. Well, one out of three ain’t bad especially with the dominating performance displayed by FC Barcelona on the night.
The curse of Anoeta continues as FC Barcelona is lucky to win a draw against a dominating La Real performance. A moment of magic between Neymar and Lionel Messi rescued the club one point. They now sit six behind Real Madrid heading into the first El Clásico of the season.
FC Barcelona failed to impress at home and to keep pace with Real Madrid. On a night where the club sorely missed Lionel Messi, Barcelona were only able to tie a very defensive Malaga. Ten men behind the ball for Malaga meant Barcelona’s offense was severely limited to wide play and the individual magic of Neymar.
Round 11 of La Liga sees FC Barcelona pull out a narrow victory over Sevilla FC at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium. Lionel Messi was the star of show pulling Barcelona back after they were undone by a beautiful pass from Samir Nasir that led to a Vitolo goal. Luis Suárez won the match in the 61st minute after a devastating Messi dribble.
Round 10 of La Liga sees an uninspired FC Barcelona struggle to find the back of the net as they dominate bottom feeding Granada CF in every other department. A lone goal by Rafinha in the 49th minute was the difference as Barça put in a lackluster shift before their trip to Manchester for Champions League play on Tuesday.
Round 9 of La Liga sees FC Barcelona narrowly defeat Valencia CF after Lionel Messi converted a penalty won by Luis Suárez in the second minute of extra time during the second half. Barcelona took an early lead after a controversial Messi strike in the 22nd minute, but Valencia responded with two goals early in the second half. Suárez tied the contest in the 62nd minute after a Neymar corner setting up a tense yet exciting finish.
In a weekend after Champions League play midweek where FC Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City, and Real Madrid all failed to win, the pressure was on FC Barcelona to impress away from home against Celta de Vigo. A win at the Balaídos would also mean Barça would vault to the top of the La Liga table. Unfortunately for the Catalans the Basque side dominated the first half so completely even a mighty club like Barcelona were unable to come back after a late Marc-André ter Stegen blunder.
The second match day in Group C of Champions League play sees FC Barcelona secure a late win two to one away to Borussia Mönchengladbach. Thorgan Hazard gave the home team an early lead in the first half, but second half goals from Arda Turan and Gerard Piqué gave the blaugrana all three points to keep the side top of their group table.