September 29, 2011
Here's a stupid question: how good is Lionel Messi?
A new moniker was created for him yesterday by an astute writer. The Adjective is a brilliant description, but it only suggests how good he is. 194 goals in 280 competitive matches is an astounding, and downright insane, statistic. But how good is it, actually?
September 26, 2011
I missed the first few matches of the season for personal reasons (good ones, fortunately), but I returned in time to catch a delayed version of Barça-Atleti and what a show it was. The best defense in the league versus the best offense turned out to be something of a one-sided affair that really could have been a lot worse than its final score of 5-0.
Certainly Atleti was complicit in their own demise, at least in the first half when they sat back and often failed to challenge Xavi in possession: that lack of pressure created David Villa's first goal (though nifty footwork was still required of the Asturian striker) and a host of other chances. Fabregas nearly scored a brilliant chip from distance thanks to a complete lack of off-the-ball marking that left him alone in a good position. But it was also Barcelona's brilliance that put them solidly ahead when Messi smashed in the third after a brilliant, mazy run that left the defense scratching its head.
September 11, 2011
Barcelona have confirmed winger Alexis Sanchez will miss the next eight weeks with a thigh injury sustained in Saturday night's draw at Real Sociedad.
Alexis, a big-money arrival from Udinese this summer, was carried off on a stretcher during the first half of the 2-2 draw in San Sebastian and Barca have announced the Chilean is facing a lengthy lay-off.
He is expected to miss the next 13 games with Barca pencilling in the clash with Real Zaragoza on the weekend of November 19/20 as a date for his possible return.