Saturday, May 02, 2009

Barcelona Make The World A Better Place To Live In, Put Six Past Real At The Bernabeu

Where do you start? How can you capture the essence of these 90 minutes -- so positively orgasmic, jazz-like in its improvisational creativity, a cool and calm dismantling of Real's title hopes the likes of which we are likely to never see again -- in mere words? Barcelona today made the world a better to live in because they created art so pure and rhythmic that we are all better off for it.

Was 6-2 a fair result? Perhaps, though it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Real had an average keeper in between the posts instead of Casillas. The man made about seven or eight awesome saves -- even as a Barcelona fan, I shudder to imagine what the scoreline would have looked like with a second tier keeper. Could Barcelona actually have scored ten? I am not afraid of answering: yes.

There were so many positives to take away from today's game that it was hard to keep count -- not including the obvious fact that, for all intents and purposes, the title race is over. Everyone played perfectly. It really is impossible to pick out any one player who stood out. Messi had two goals, an assist, about four run-around-half-the-Real-teams, and a couple of audacious attempts that mere mortals would not have even been able to conceive, let execute. Henry scored the all-important equalizer (yes, it's easy to forget that Barca actually were down a goal) and added another for good measure in the second half, and was a constant threat down the left flank. Xavi was epic -- he had four assists and, as usual, controlled the middle of the park. Iniesta continued his rich vein of form. Hell, the two centre-backs each scored for good measure, and Puyol's kissing of the captain's arm-band after his header gave Barca the lead will be the indelible image of the game. Pique, in addition to the goal, just kept on showing that he should be considered one of the world's elite defenders at this point. Even Eto'o, who failed to score, played a massive role with his work-rate, his drawing of defenders in the box, and his ability to switch with Messi to the right flank.

But speaking about individuals almost cheapens the entire exercise. As is the norm when Barcelona are at full flow, the whole was more than the sum of the parts. The team played together, and it was obvious from the first whistle that they had put the last couple of weeks (the uninspiring 2-2 draw with Valencia, and the rugby match with Chelsea) behind them. To come to the Bernabeu, with a once twelve point lead cut to four, with all sorts of pressure on them, and to deliver that kind of performance? Six goals, 63% possession, allround dominance? Just unbelievable. Credit Guardiola for the verve and enthusiasm with which Barca approached the task.

One thing to keep in mind was that after a long time, Barca actually looked threatening from set pieces. Not EPL-top-three threatening, but threatening nonetheless. The Puyol goal obviously proves the point, but Dani Alves also forced an excellent save from Casillas from distance. With the exit of Deco and Ronaldinho, this has been Barcelona's weakest link on the offensive side of the pitch. And while it still remains a relative weakness, it was nice to see at least the promise of a goal or two.

Barcelona now will be going into the Chelsea game with a lot of confidence, and four days of rest. Whether or not they beat Chelsea remains to be seen. But based on today's performance, Chelsea will have to play out of their skins to deny them. Remember, a score-draw gets Barca through, and unless Chelsea come out with another 4-4-1-1 (which is what they did last week), you have to imagine Barca will score.

But forget about the Champions League for the moment. Today was a glorious performance, and -- at the risk of jinxing us -- it has brought the La Liga title back to the Camp Nou.

UPDATE: The goals from today:


Asfandyar said...

Dude. It's way too hard to not imagine you wanking away as you typed up this post.

That said though, I'm going to have to agree. Barca were absolutely mesmerizing - helped though on their way by some really atrocious defending. Don't think it would've mattered though even if Cannavaro and co. turned up.

Pique getting the sixth was the icing on the cake as well. But, calm down. He's far from being one of the world's elite defenders, even though he was stellar today. He's going to be ridiculously good as he gets older.

Ahsan said...


Yes, it's fair to say I typed this post with one hand.

lala pathan said...

hahaha...i was waiting for this...what a day...i can't imagine wat chelsea and utd r thinkin...if they cud hav 15 players on the ground they wud hav them all in their own half and try 2 get a counter attack cause dat's the only chance they will hav :)... lol...i've been sayn it all yr long viva barca :p

Mosharraf said...

Xavi's turn on the fifth goal made my cry a little bit. And I am a die hard Utd. supporter.

Still. Try getting six past an English team. Only in the geelay khwaab of supersized Barca fans. Not in the real world.

But Xavi to Messi on the fifth. Aii Paapi. Where Mommy at?

Ahsan said...


My favorite was the fourth because it put the game to rest just when Real were threatening to get back into it. Also, the pass from Xavi was inch-perfect (as usual) and the pace and trajectory was just right. And I haven't even mentioned Henry's finish which was beautiful to say the least.

lala pathan said...

o c'mon guys ..the first was the best ..wat a pass from messi and brilliant finish from henry, under pressure, 1 goal down...after a long time i've seen him finish like that , not since when he lifted the E.P.L with arsenal..bravo messi and xavi..wat passes ..and atleast madrid tried to fight unlike the english teams...just sit in ur own half and counter attack, dats what the english do against barca...utd! boriiiing :)