FC Barcelona had to work their socks off to salvage a draw through David Villa against a Sporting Gijon side who got an early goal through David Barral and then went about parking a double-bus in front of their goal. The match also saw some questionable refereeing decisions.
totalBarca brings you the goals from the match. Watch them after the jump!
FC Barcelona B vs Cartagena, Matchday 24, Segunda A
Saturday, February 12, 2011 @ 16:00 Barcelona time – Convert to local time
Venue: Mini Estadi, Barcelona (Capacity: 15,276)
In matchday 24, 8th placed Barça B faces the team currently three points above them in 7th – Cartagena. The reserve squad suffered their worst defeat of the season away at Cartagena (5-1) in September, but with Cartagena more shaky on the road (4 wins, 3 draws, 4 losses), can the B team take advantage and secure a win at home? Latest news and links are after the jump.
In yesterday’s pre-match press conference, taken over by questions about his contract extension, Guardiola still finds time to talk about tonight’s opponent starting off by reminiscing the day Preciado [Gijon coach] gave him supportive words he needed to hear at a time when his coaching career seemed destined to end when it barely began – losing 1-0 to Numancia and drawing 1-1 with Racing Santander in his first season in charge of the first team – acknowledging “it helped a lot because the situation then was not easy. People are happy now that I have renewed but had it not been for that [talk] I would not even be here [today].”
“His renewal for another year is excellent news for Barca and all of Spanish football. It’s as if he were born for no other thing! He knows the club from being a ball boy, when he played there until he became the coach, and now as coach he’s God. You have to be very brave to rely on so many players from the youth system, to give chances to Pedro and so many others. Now it seems easy, but it’s not.”
Guardiola speaks for the first time after his renewal for one more season.
“I wouldn’t be in any other club as good as I am in Barça“
The coach assures that “if I could, I would sign a half a year contract” but he will only leave Barça “if I don’t feel passion and wishes to continue anymore”.
Looking for more records. To get the 17th victory in a row.
Sporting – Barça (20h)
Josep Guardiola has named the 18 players that will form the squad travelling to Asturias this Saturday to face Sporting Gijon in the 23rd league match of the season. The only first team players not making the trip are Puyol and Jeffren, who remain injured.
Former FC Barcelona forward Thierry Henry, who plays for the American club New York Red Bulls, gave an extensive interview to The Red Bulletin, a modern lifestyle monthly magazine produced by Red Bull. totalBarca brings you excerpts from the interview in which Henry speaks about his time at Barcelona and also the Catalan club’s supreme style. You can read the first few paragraphs of the interview here.
Can you at least say that the level European teams play at is more consistent, more predictable than in MLS?
“Let me give you an example. When I moved to Barcelona, we didn’t win anything. Then [coach] Pep Guardiola appeared on the scene and suddenly the goals started coming by themselves and that was with the same team, the same players. Things just suddenly clicked. That’s the most important thing in football, to give a team confidence and to make things click. Then players who’ve had a tough season can suddenly find that confidence again to help the team and strengthen the team spirit. Good manager can set an upward trajectory in motion.”
In a piece on espn.com, James Martin, the football editor for the site, compares the current squad of the Catalan club to the basketball team that is known for entertaining many with its combination of athleticism, theatre and comedy. Bowled over by the club’s stats in La Liga this season, Martin says they seem more fit on EA Sports’ “FIFA 11″ than in an actual league. With 16 consecutive victories in the league, Martin thinks that FC Barcelona is “making a mockery of the competition“. Read the complete piece here. An excerpt after the jump.
British tabloid ‘ TheDaily Mail’ today came out with an article [ED. claiming it is theirs though it looks pretty much the same as] that its writer Pete Jenson did with Sid Lowe from the ‘Guardian.co.uk’ which was posted on totalBarca here today. It’s about an interview with FC Barcelona maestro Xavi Hernandez. The article from DailyMail.co.uk can be found here.
“It was a real pleasure to talk to him. Fascinating. I hope I’ve done him justice.” These were the words that journalist Sid Lowe wrote on his Twitter for Xavi, while promoting his latest interview with the 31-year-old player for The Guardian. Lowe has for long been a fan of Xavi, even saying that the FC Barcalona midfielder was his 2010 FIFA Ballon d’Or winner. Lowe retains some of the Spanish expressions that Xavi uses and even gives descriptions of how he reacts to questions, which infuses new life into the interview. With a visit to London just a few days away, Xavi spoke about the match against Arsenal, Cesc Fabregas, the El Clasico and Barca’s philosophy. Read the complete piece here. Excerpts from the interview after the jump.
February 11, 2011
February 10, 2011