Live blog: Barcelona v FC Copehagen

Let’s give this a try…

Pre game: Copenhagen possibly have the worst kit the Champions League has ever seen. Seriously, most pub teams have better jerseys and you won’t see a bigger manufacturer’s logo anywhere

Meanwhile, Barca need to see how they can make a midfield work with both Mascherano and Busquets in it and Xavi out of it.

Someone may want to talk to Sportsnet about the graphic across the top of the screen showing the score “Bar 0 FCK 0″… Actually think I’ll go with that over C-hag

Game on:

4′: Messi drives into the box, draws four defenders, flicks it off to Villa who takes a few touches before hitting the crossbar. FCK have been warned…

9′: Very compact, disciplined shape from FCK in defense but Barca still finding ways through and the FCK line is awfully high at times. Could see Messi getting a few breakaways here.

15′: Despite recent fame, Puyol to me is still one of the most underrated players around. Defensively, he always manages to not just get to the ball first but his clearances are almost always what they need to be: effective. They never give attackers a second sniff at goal.

Goal: Love the commentator’s last words before the goal, “Surprising amount of space for Messi.” Messi’s first touch is immaculate. Opens the angle for the shot and then still has the presence of mind to place his shot between the two defenders trying to close him down.

21′: Totally agree with Fred’s comment below that Mascherano is overrated. Have never rated him as a holding mid and he took far too many bad cards with Liverpool. He might have been the first player on Maradona’s roster but I don’t think Busquets is too worried about losing his place.

25′: Colour commentator says he’d love to watch Barca train for a week. Sign me up for that too. For me that’s like sending an 8 year old to Disneyland.

30′: When you play Barca you can’t possibly defend against everything they throw at you because the movement is so fluid and the touch of everyone on the field is impeccable, but…one of the things you put on the board in the dressing room is ‘watch for Alves making blind side runs into the box to get on the end of switched balls.’ FCK not getting this.

37′: Commentators have been great but they’ve got the offside call on the Pique to Messi goal wrong. It has nothing to do with second phase. It’s a simple case of the ball being played forward to Messi (not lateral) and only the keeper being b/w him and the goal line.

Half time: As expected it’s all Barca but it was all Barca in their last Champs League game v Rubin Kazan (possession was 81% Barca) and it ended 1-1. FCK look very good in terms of defensive organization and have caught Barca offside many times with their disciplined shape. Would like to see more of Alves running at people 1v1 as he did towards the end of the half when he ripped a left footed shot after beating two defenders.

Meanwhile, ‘Appy ‘Arry Redknapp is discovering that if you struggle to get away wins at Fulham and Stoke you’re probably not going to get much joy playing current champs Inter at the San Siro. Down four-buzz at the half.

Glad to see Rangers up 1-0 at Ibrox to Valencia. My dad’s back in the auld country visiting his brother and told me they had tickets lined up for this so hope he’s enjoying it since they couldn’t get anywhere near tickets for the Scotland v Spain game.

2nd half:

60′: The knock on Barca really has to be: with all the possession and two of the best strikers in the world, the goals/chances ratio really has to be better.

62′: The FCK guy coming off had run just under 8km in 62 minutes. That would extrapolate to 12km in 90 minutes. That’s pretty high. Shows the demand that excellent ball possession puts on opponents.

67′: Santin is in for the bollocking of a lifetime after that flubbed header with a gaping net. Factor in the whistle only he heard that stopped him when he had a chance to threaten in the first half and the FCK manager is going to go to town on him if this ends 1-0.

73′: Probably the two best chances in the second half have gone to FCK. Santin off and to his credit the FCK manager embraces him and almost has a laugh with him.

78′: Xavi’s been on for five minutes and has probably completed 20 passes already.

81′: I’ll never understand how we got to the stage where flipping the ball a few yards behind an opponent seconds after a whistle (Iniesta) and a harsh kick at the back of an opponent’s legs long after the ball’s gone (N’doye) both merit the same punishment: a yellow card.

90′: For all their finesse, the second goal comes from a completely fluffed cross from Keita that Messi has to trap like a nine year old with both thighs before hammering home from in close.

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3 Responses to Live blog: Barcelona v FC Copehagen

  1. Fred Cutler says:

    Mascherano simply doesn’t pass well enough over 15-25 yards to be in a Barca midfield. Just you watch.
    Most overrated player in the history of world football.

  2. Gregor says:

    Agree as per mention above but I’ll add that I’m surprised that Pep didn’t go after Marcos Senna if he was looking for another holding mid to spell off Busquets. He was critical in Spain 2008 Euro victory and may be a bit of the boil but add him back to a midfield with Xavi and Iniesta and he might just find his form again.

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