Sunday, December 23, 2007

Real Madrid was bigger that Barcelona at the Nou Camp

Julio Baptista netted an important goal and gave Real Madrid a 1-0 triumph over Barcelona on Sunday and a seven-point edge at midseason in the Spanish La Liga.

Real Madrid (13-2-2) won for just the third time in 24 years at the Nou Camp stadium, taking a big step toward repeating as league champions in the process.

Even though both teams created plenty of chances, it was Baptista's perfect half- volley that was the difference. Following a beautiful give-and-go with Ruud van Nistelrooy, Baptista one-timed a shot into the upper-right corner in the 36th minute.

In fact, Julio Baptista and Van Nistelrooy - whose eight goals is tied with Raul for the team lead - worked the give-and-go with consecutive one-touch passes.

Van Nistrelrooy's return pass got Baptista just enough space to unleash a shot that Barcelona keeper Valdes had no chance to save.

Barcelona (10-3-2), which was without leading scorer Leo Messi, never answered but had a few solid chances. Blaugrana striker Samuel Eto'o had his best chance in the first half, but was denied on a one-on-one chance against Real Madrid's Iker Casillas.

Barca's Ronaldinho Gaucho also had a great chance in the first, but his shot directed inside the right post was saved by Casillas, who finished with six saves.

Young substitute Bojan Krkic was denied by Casillas in the 83rd, and Yaya Toure shot wide off the ensuing corner for Barcelona.

Samuel Eto'o had another chance in the closing minutes, but Real Madrid defender Pepe deflected the shot wide.

It's important to say that Barcelona holds a slim one-point edge on Espanyol, and Villarreal (two points back) and Atletico Madrid (three points back) are also on its heels.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Leo Messi elated with the quality of new teammates

Argentinian talented player Lionel Messi is excited by Barcelona's new signings: French striker Thierry Henry and midfielder Yaya Toure.

Indeed, Messi is with Argentina for the Copa America, but he has watched from afar as Barça have landed Henry and Toure in recent weeks.

"It cheers me that the club is being reinforced with players of such quality," said Messi. "The signing of Henry is spectacular, he is amazing. And I faced Toure in the World Cup and he is a great player, I remember his huge quality."

On the future of midfielder Deco, Messi added: "He is a key player, who sometimes doesn't get the credit he deserves. He is a player who I would always want in my team. For sure."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Saviola must be patient about his future

FC Barcelona sporting director Txiki Begiristain is convinced that Javier Saviola must be patient as the club puts together a new contract offer for the Argentine footballer.

We must remember that Javier Saviola was said to be frustrated that no offer had yet been made, but Begiristain has confirmed the Liga champions hope to keep him at the Camp Nou Stadium.

"As we told his agent a month ago, after this break in the Primera Liga we will start work on the offer. We hope that he will study the proposal and will accept it," he admitted.

"In fact, the club is the one who decides when the offer is to be made."

The Argentine forward has come out of the Barcelona wilderness this year to score 12 goals in 21 matches, after having had loan spells at Sevilla and Monaco in the last two seasons.

And his deal with Barcelona ends in the summer but he has said that he will not speak to other clubs until his future at Barcelona is sorted out.

"Out of respect I won't speak about any clubs," the player expressed. "I have not left Barcelona yet and I don't know yet if I will have to leave."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Barcelona crush Gimnastic 3-0 with another good night of Saviola

Despite they hava a match in hand -against Real Betis to be played in Sevilla on Wednesday- Barcelona managed to get the first place of the table on goal difference last night with a 3-0 derby victory against Gimnastic at the Nou Camp.

It was another good night for Rijkaard's players. And it's alos fair to mention that the rival Gimnastic were really weak. In fact, they showed why they are currently bottom of the table and favourites for an early return to the second division. In-form forward Javier Saviola notched his seventh goal in four games in the 18th minute, slotting home from ten yards out after some sloppy defending.

However, it took hour for Giuly to make the points safe, although his shot seemed to take a deflection off Nastic debutant, Cesar Navas, who had diverted the ball into the French striker's path after Gudjohnsen's header rebounded off the crossbar.

It's good to mention that Andres Iniesta, who replaced an out-of-sorts Deco early in the second half, wrapped up the scoring a couple of minutes later, firing home from the edge of the box after Ronaldinho Gaucho had been dispossessed.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Saviola leads Barcelona in triumph over Alaves

Striker Javier Saviola made a great game and scored twice to help FC Barcelona win Alaves 2-0 in a first-leg, fifth-round match of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

Indeed, the Argentine player struck the first in the 57th minute and doubled his tally with a header 23 minutes later to make Barcelona a clear favorite to reach the quarterfinals of Spain's knockout tournament.

We must consider that the European and Spanish champion, which rested a host of players including Ronaldinho Gaucho and Deco, hosts Alaves in the return leg next week.

But it's also important to say that Alaves had defender David Coromina ejected after halftime.

During the second part of the game, Alaves supporters caused disturbances to protest at the running of the club by president Dmitry Piterman, a former United States triple-jumper. It was a tough moment for everyone. Even some officers had to stop the angry fans.