Victoria (0ntheverge) wrote in _fcbarcelona_,

match report

Along with Spanish pop/rock band Estopa, Antonio Banderas was present at last night's game and had a few things to say about Barça.
"I can see Barça as champion in all three competitions. They’re unstoppable and I will risk saying they will win the three titles."

"It was a beautiful game of football with a fundamental star - Andrés Iniesta. He’s surprising everyone. Whichever team you support you have to take your hat off to Barça. They’re making us enjoy the season and they’ll give the fans a lot of pleasure."

(source) Barcelona moved six points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the Primera Division with just six games remaining following a stunning 4-0 win at home to third-placed Sevilla.

Pep Guardiola's side had seen their advantage cut provisionally to three points on Tuesday following Madrid's thrilling 3-2 win over Getafe.

But they took control of this game after just two minutes when Andres Iniesta lobbed Javi Varas with a superb dipping effort from outside the box.

Samuel Eto'o made it two after 16 minutes and Barca moved out of sight in the second half with strikes from Xavi and Thierry Henry.

Those strikes mean Barcelona have now scored a club record 92 league goals this season, putting them ahead of Johan Cruyff's legendary Dream Team with six rounds of the championship still remaining.

At the other end goalkeeper Victor Valdes has now gone 632 minutes without conceding a goal, a record bettered only by Barca legend Miguel Reina in the history of Spanish football.

With important games against Valencia and Real Madrid in the league and Chelsea in the Champions League coming up in the next 10 days, Barca coach Pep Guardiola left Lionel Messi and Carles Puyol on the bench for this game.

Messi had been laid low with a stomach problem and was a doubt for the game anyway.

Barcelona have struggled without the star winger on several occasions this season, but that never looked likely against an under-strength Sevilla outfit.

Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez left striker Frederic Kanoute on the bench, while Aldo Duscher and Renato were also excluded from the starting line-up.

Adriano and Andres Palop were also missing through suspension, the latter's absence meaning a rare start in goal for youth team keeper Javi Varas.

And the youngster's first contribution was to pick the ball out of the back of his net after two minutes.

There seemed little danger when Iniesta took up possession forty yards out, but the Spain midfielder carried the ball forward and - spotting Varas off his line - beat the keeper with a brilliant dipping effort from outside the box.

The Catalans then almost went two up after nine minutes when Eto'o cleverly turned his marker on the edge of the box, but blasted his shot over the bar.

At the other end, Jesus Navas, completely unmarked, missed a great chance to equalise when he sent a left-footed shot wide of the target from well inside the area.

Former Sevilla full-back Dani Alves then fired a long-range effort just off target for Barcelona as the Catalans continued to threaten.

And they went two up shortly afterwards when Eto'o finished off a classy team move involving Xavi and Iniesta with a low finish which Varas could only help into the net.

Henry and Iniesta both came close to extending the hosts' lead, but Sevilla had their moments as well and Arouna Kone should have done much better with a header from six yards 10 minutes before half-time which ended up closer to the corner flag than Victor Valdes' goal.

Kanoute came on for Sevilla at the interval, but the Andalusians had a mountain to climb now.

And their task became all but impossible when Xavi scored a third goal for the Catalans after 49 minutes.

Sevilla could only stand and watch as the league leaders passed the ball around seemingly for fun on the edge of their penalty area and, after Eto'o had fed Iniesta, the latter found the unmarked Xavi, who curled a brilliant right-footed shot into the top corner.

Sevilla simply could not get near the home side now and three soon became four when Henry latched onto Iniesta's excellent threaded pass and beat Varas with a low angled shot after 54 minutes.

The young keeper looked to have been expecting a cross and perhaps should have done better, but Barcelona already had the game wrapped up.

Iniesta and Xavi went off to standing ovations late on for some much-needed rest for the important games ahead.

But even without those two - or Messi - on the pitch, the Catalans continued to tear the visitors' defence to shreds.

Eto'o should have added a fifth late on and substitute Aleksander Hleb blasted wildly off target when he seemed certain to score.

Sevilla remain third despite the defeat, but are now just two points clear of fourth-placed Valencia.

Post-match comments:

Pep: "We cannot believe anything. If another team beats us
then they will have to show that they are better, but it cannot be because we have not done our job. We have seen something very exciting here. Now we will have a little break because on Saturday we have another game that is vital to us in Mestalla."

"We are delighted that it was like it was and that there was so many people," he explained. "There are only three more chances for fans to see the team at home. I am certain that with the supporters behind us we have a better chance of winning."

"It is certain that, whatever happened on the pitch, there will be lots of people wanting to see the team. But nobody can relax. On Tuesday they have to come back. I still think that if the fans are behind us at home then we will play better and it will help us be champions."

"To be human means not being perfect and that means that there are no perfect teams... there is always room for improvement."

"Before the game we spoke about the three points that we were then ahead of Real Madrid," Guardiola explained. "We also spoke about any worries and agreed to continue with what we had been doing and playing with calmness. Everyone knows that the 81 points that we have are because of our hard work. Nobody can take those away."

Eto'o: "Andrés is the best player in the world." "He always does something spectacular when he plays."

"We have to play the way we do and Madrid theirs. It does not bother me where we win the league, it only bothers me that we win it."

"I hope that we do not pick up any injuries and that we can continue like this until the end of the season."

Xavi: "We did not intend to send a message to the fans as we were simply do our jobs."

"We have to continue being calm and working hard in order to show out talent."

"Despite the Madrid result we did not let our heads drop."

"Nothing is easy and you have to work hard."

Thierry Henry: “We continue to do what we have to do; which is to win and play well.”

"Winning is the most important thing."

"We are close to winning something, pet we have not yet done anything."

"We always try to help each other out."

"Nobody wants to see violent incidents in football, but sometimes it happens."

"Whenever we go out it is to win."

"We are in the final of the Copa del Rey, the semi-final of the Champions League and on a good run in the league, but we have done nothing yet."

Dani Alves:"We all want to improve in every game."

"It is a great win, but we have not responded to any result."

"Barça have no limits and neither have we set ourselves any."

"We have to go ahead staying strong and working hard to win trophies."

Piqué: "It is easy to play in this team and with these players."

"When a team wants to be the champions, they have to be good defensively."

Do not hotlink. Do so and Hleb will find you.



Iniesta, Xavi and Pique





Etoo and Iniesta












Etoo and Keita








Xavi and Iniesta

Xavi and Iniesta



Hleb monster face



Next Game: vs Valencia in the Mestalla, April 25th @ 22:00 (4PM EST)
Tags: la liga, match report: 2008/09, picspam, post-match comments, videos


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