Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Preview: FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano (game 28 liga 2012/13)

19 Mar

Following the splendid 4-0 victory over AC Milan in the Champions League Barça return to La Liga tomorrow night (Sunday 9 pm) with a home game against Rayo Vallecano. The Blaugrana will be without captain Carles Puyol who underwent a operation on his right knee on Friday night that will see him sidelined for at least four weeks, while Xavi Hernandez will also miss the game with a thigh strain.While the win over Milan showed what this team is capable of, it also raised the question of why couldn’t the players perform at the same level against Real Madrid and the first game in Milan. There may have been tactical errors and some bad luck involved in those defeats but it is quite clear that the level of pressing was nowhere near that shown on Tuesday night.

via Preview: FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano (game 28 liga 2012/13).

via Preview: FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano (game 28 liga 2012/13).

Match Report: FC Barcelona 3 Rayo Vallecano 1

18 Mar

Two goals from Leo Messi and another from David Villa earned Barça an entertaining 3-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou tonight to retain the 13-point advantage over second placed Real Madrid with just ten games remaining in the 2012/13 season. However, there was a price for the victory as Adriano Correira will now miss the next four to six weeks after tearing a muscle in his right thigh.With Carles Puyol and Xavi out injured and Victor Valdés suspended, Tito Vilanova and Jordi Roura also gave a rest to Dani Alves and Pedro, putting out a starting XI of Pinto, Adriano, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba, Fabregas, Busquets, Iniesta, Alexis, Messi and Villa. Paco Jemez’s Rayo have the third highest rate of possession in La Liga and right from the start they showed ambition to get forward with Trashorras turning in the area but shooting wide after just 44 seconds.

via Match Report: FC Barcelona 3 Rayo Vallecano 1.

via Match Report: FC Barcelona 3 Rayo Vallecano 1.

6 Mar

One pack. Eight cards. Sometimes that’s all it takes. So when North Carolina collector Peter DeLorme and his 12-year-old son, Spencer, got their pack of 2012 National Treasures Baseball in the mail from Atlanta Sports Cards on Monday, they knew they had eight opportunities to make collecting history. And on the eighth and final card in that pack, they did.

With Dad opening the pack and Spencer filming the break for posterity’s sake, all Peter knew for sure when he initially set eyes on that final card was that it was a 1/1 booklet of the legendary Honus Wagner. That would’ve been more than enough to qualify as the DeLormes’ greatest pull ever. But you can’t judge a booklet by its cover, so Peter opened it up to discover something much, much greater.

“Hey, I thought it was great when I realized it was a 1-of-1 for a jersey or bat,” Peter said. “But then when I realized it was the 1-of-1 cut autograph and bat, I was amazed. My son’s two favorite old-timers are Honus Wagner and Satchel Paige, so he freaked out when he realized what we had pulled! I was just glad he didn’t drop the camera.

The Knight's Lance

One pack. Eight cards. Sometimes that’s all it takes. So when North Carolina collector Peter DeLorme and his 12-year-old son, Spencer, got their pack of 2012 National Treasures Baseball in the mail from Atlanta Sports Cards on Monday, they knew they had eight opportunities to make collecting history. And on the eighth and final card in that pack, they did.

With Dad opening the pack and Spencer filming the break for posterity’s sake, all Peter knew for sure when he initially set eyes on that final card was that it was a 1/1 booklet of the legendary Honus Wagner. That would’ve been more than enough to qualify as the DeLormes’ greatest pull ever. But you can’t judge a booklet by its cover, so Peter opened it up to discover something much, much greater.

View original post 266 more words

Preview: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona (game 26 liga 2012/13)

1 Mar

Following Tuesday’s Copa del Rey elimination Barça have a quick chance for revenge over Real Madrid when the two sides meet for another clásico tomorrow afternoon at the Santiago Bernabéu in the 26th week of La Liga season. The game has been brought forward to the unusual kick off time of 4 pm to allow Madrid more time to prepare their crucial Champions League return match with Manchester United on Tuesday. One can’t help wondering why the LFP has never made such favours to Barça before a Champions League match.A lot has been said since Tuesday about Barça’s problems and the necessary changes we need to make before facing Milan on March 12. I’m not one for making sweeping changes as I have a total belief in the system and footballing philosophy of the club, and unfortunately the change we most need, getting Vilanova back to full health and back to Barcelona, is something we will just have to pray and wait for.

via Preview: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona (game 26 liga 2012/13).

via Preview: Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona (game 26 liga 2012/13).

Preview: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid (Copa del Rey semi-final second leg)

28 Feb

It may ‘only’ be the Copa del Rey, but tomorrow night’s semi-final second leg at Camp Nou between Barça and Real Madrid takes on a greater importance due to the delicate situation of both teams. There is not just a place in the final on May 18 at stake as both sides are looking for a boost in morale and improved performances in the run up to the crucial return matches in the Champions League last 16.Barça’s defeat last week at Milan has activated many of the underlying doubts surrounding the team. Is playing two attacking full backs leaving us too exposed at the back? Should Andrés Iniesta be used in midfield? Is there a place for David Villa in the team? Can Alexis Sanchez overcome his drop in confidence? Is there over-dependency on Leo Messi and should he be rested more? And perhaps most importantly – can Tito Vilanova make the correct decisions when he’s following everything from 6000 km away?

via Preview: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid (Copa del Rey semi-final second leg).

via Preview: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid (Copa del Rey semi-final second leg).

AC Milan vs FC Barcelona: Uefa Champions League Last 16 Preview

19 Feb

Milan against Barça in the Champions League. With a total of eleven titles of Europe’s top trophy between them there can be few contests on the world stage that equal the historic rivalry of these two great clubs. Fabio Capello’s Milan famously defeated Johan Cruyff’s dream team 4-0 in the 1994 final and since then the sides have faced each other on no fewer than ten occasions with a balance of four wins for Barça and two for Milan and four draws.Last season the teams met both in the group stage and again in quarter-finals. The first group stage match ended in a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou after Thiago Silva headed in a last minute equalizer for Milan and this was followed by Barça’s impressive 2-3 victory in the San Siro with Pep Guardiola bravely opting for a defence of three. The first leg of the quarter finals ended in an intense 0-0 draw in Italy and then Barça won the return 3-1 with two goals from Leo Messi and a third from Andrés Iniesta.

via AC Milan vs FC Barcelona: Uefa Champions League Last 16 Preview.

via AC Milan vs FC Barcelona: Uefa Champions League Last 16 Preview.

Preview: Granada vs FC Barcelona (game 24 liga 2012/13)

16 Feb

After a week watching others strut their stuff in the Champions League Barça are back in action tomorrow evening with a league fixture at Granada’s Los Cármenes stadium (Saturday 8 pm). Jordi Roura and Tito Vilanova have named a nineteen-man squad for the trip with the only first-team absentees being Johnathan dos Santos, Eric Abidal, David Villa, who has been in and out of hospital this week with kidney stone problems, and Xavi who trained normally today but who is being kept in reserve for next Wednesday’s Champions League game at AC Milan.The old adage in football is to take every game as it comes, and while for a player this is almost certainly the best philosophy, for a coach in the modern game there are surely situations when he finds himself looking at the coming fixtures with ample consideration for possible rotations. With Barça now twelve points clear of Atlético following their defeat at Rayo last Sunday it would be easy to give tomorrow’s game less priority given that in the following two weeks we play Milan and Sevilla before the cup and league clásicos with Real Madrid.

via Preview: Granada vs FC Barcelona (game 24 liga 2012/13).

via Preview: Granada vs FC Barcelona (game 24 liga 2012/13).