La Liga: Barcelona halted by Osasuna

OSASUNA 1-1 BARCELONA 

 Barcelona dropped points yesterday. They paid the ultimate price for missed opportunities, when Gerard Pique scored a last minute own goal. After their 6-1 thumping of Zaragoza, it was a disappointing night, Barca didn’t look like the team they did a couple months back. I also feel that the team selection contributed to the result. Why was Toure not started? Maybe Pep felt that a few players should be rested before their trip to Russia midweek? Also, the starting of Sergio Busquets and the exclusion of the inform Pedro just baffled me. Not to mention that a fit-again Henry was left on the bench. But the team looked tired and they didn’t play with the fluidity that they usually do. Messi had a couple of good shots that were missed. The most frustrating came in the second half when they were trying to build on their 1-0 lead, and instead of passing to a free Ibra, he decided to try chip it over the keeper. A waste of a chance in my opinion. However, his bad day=most players good day. He still managed to pull out a few good dribbles and helped set up the goal (Keita’s not Piques:-P). I think he needs a rest. Barca still lead La Liga but are only 1 point ahead of bitter rivals Real Madrid, who won against Getafe yeaterday. 

My Barca Ratings:

Valdes 7: He wasn’t really challenged much. But the few saves he had to make were class. 

Puyol 8: A solid performance from the captain. Held the defence together and assisted Keita’s goal. 

Pique 6: I felt he had a quiet show…till he stuck out his foot and the ball went into his own goal. 

Chygrynsky 4: still hasn’t done much to prove that he’s worth his money. Got booked and was subbed for Marquez. 

Abidal 7: Had a shaky first half, but settled in after a while. Was creative down the left and had a couple of good passes. 

Busquets 5: Wasn’t really in the game. A couple of poor tackles here and there. 

Keita 8: Superb! His goal gave Barca the lead. He controlled to ball well and didn’t lose a lot of possession. Was really the star of the midfield. 

Xavi 6: the conductor of the Barcelona was unusually off form. He managed a few good balls but was relatively hushed. 

Iniesta 7: Combined well with Abidal down the left. A relatively good performance. Was subbed for Pedro. 

Messi: 7 not at his usual best. But gets a 7 nonetheless for creating chances and being a nuisance to the Osasuna defence. 

Ibrahimovic: 6 I feel had he received better service he could’ve done better. He almost made a break-away from the midline only to be fouled by Flano. 

Substitutes:

Marquez 4: Poor. Not what he used to be. 

Pedro: Don’t think he touched the ball. Was brought on as a time wasting tactic. But a couple seconds later… oh well!

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