Sunday, November 26, 2006

Barca v Villarreal and the day's other action - the brief version

Barca 4-0 Villarreal

More comprehensive match report to come, but for now, the quick version - keeping in mind that these two are my first and second teams, respectively.

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Ronaldinho. Simply the best. He now has 50 goals for Barca. And leading the scoring charts in Spain, no less.

Here's Villarreal's Argentine keeper Barbosa on his second goal:

"At least I will appear in all the shots of that goal," he said sheepishly.

"When he received the ball, I had no idea that he was going to try 'la Chilena.' [what South Americans call the overhead kick] This is the first time I have played against him, and the truth is that he has had an absolutely gigantic game."

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Bookings for goal celebrations. After a goal like that? Are you kidding me?

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Andres Iniesta. If Ronnie hadn't scored that wondergoal, people would be talking about his volley.

More goals in this season than his previous ones put together - and only a couple of months in. So far this season he has 3 goals in the league, 2 goals in the Champions League, and 4 assists (all in the league). Brilliant stuff in general. Thank God he didn't go to Real Madrid.

(This is really hard for me as Xavi is one of my favourite players ever, and he's playing well, too. But in this form Iniesta must start if he's not too knackered to. Rijkaard knows that. If only we had the same wonderful selection headaches up front as we do in midfield.)

By the way, that wrist-kissing celebration after his goal in Sofia was apparently in honour of his girlfriend Anna (awww). He did a bit of club-badge smacking this time around, which from him - been with the club since he was 12 - is only fair enough.

In the last few seasons, an Iniesta goal celebration would be a collector's item, since it was so rare. This season he's scoring so often that he's going to have to start putting thought into them.

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You know, if he were say, Brazilian and pretty enough to do ads for Armani (instead of an appearance that earns him the nicknames Draculinho and Casper), the football press would be drooling over 'the next superstar' or something like that endlessly right now.

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Gudjohnsen scoring again.

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Gudjohnsen going down far too easily for the penalty. If he was pulled, it was a very little pull. Seriously, stop it. You can't blame the ref when the player is the one doing it.

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That second half display.

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Giuly remarking the other day that Barca are now used to starting badly. That's not something you want to get used to, especially against top teams.

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A great team performance from Barca, full of hard work and determination but also good football. Pretty much everybody played well. Complacency, what complacency?

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As for Villarreal...well, I'll let their classy coach Pellegrini take it:

"It was an even game before the penalty. After Barca took the lead with the penalty it affected the mind of our players, and they took their opportunities then. Perhaps we didn't play well after going down 0-1, but that has nothing to do with Riquelme not being there. But Villarreal do seem like a different team without Roman."

A fair post-match assessment, without any whining or ungraciousness. Good stuff. That last sentence is especially true. Come on, Roman, your team needs you, and they need the real you.

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Having phrases like 'great display of attacking football' associated with Barca again. I'd almost forgotten what that felt like.

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Wishing that the phrases associated with Villarreal after they beat Inter last season would come back.

quick comments on other matches

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Real Sociedad. Finally off the bottom of the table with their hard fought point away to Atletico, although they still haven't won in the league and may very well be back on the bottom after this round finishes. They are looking better, especially in defence.

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Atletico Madrid. Just...what? How?

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Paolo Maldini. What will Milan do when he retires?

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The Milan strike force might as well go on strike, for all the goals they've been scoring.

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Tevez's performance for West Ham.

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Him storming off in a huff after being substituted. Carlitos, you can do that after you've scored 10 goals in the Premiership.

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Gareth Southgate, Martin O'Neill, Steve Coppell, and Chris Coleman, for their (mostly) gracious acceptance of the fact that the referee is a human being in their post-match interviews. It's nice to see so much common sense breaking out.

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Jose Mourinho. He's already started complaining about referees, and Chelsea hasn't even lost to Manchester United yet.

Quote of the day

"Gourcuff could be my Messi. Yes, Ronaldinho has Messi and I have Gourcuff!"

From the one and only Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, commonly known as Kaka. Okay, man. Whatever you say.


Yrsa Roca Fannberg said...

I think Rijkaard will leave:
when laportaq goes (as probably rosell will come in then) and knowing the cules, it will be someone anti laporta who takes over or he will go when he feels the cycle is over. Which i think will happen in about 2 years.
Messi will stay, as xavi has done and Puyol. these magnificent players only leave if the team is not winning as it is their club.

Iniesta is simply wonderful, he has been my favourite for a long time and has slowly been growing, great to see. Perhaps he will become the sub for Deco when he leaves.

One can notice Iniesta is growing up, as now in interviews he is not as shy as before, he talks rather than whispers.

Chelsea said...

I have to tell you this blog is brilliant!

Derek said...

Iniesta! The gods surely love that kid this season. What a beautiful, marvelous goal.