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Michelle Ackermann

Michelle Ackermann

Born in South Africa, soccer has always been a part of my life, and was pretty much ingrained in my genes. Journalism is my second love in life, and what better way to combine my two favorite things in life than to write about the one thing I am most passionate about. I follow the New York Red Bulls religiously, but have a deep passion for La Liga. This passion is part of the reason why I have moved to Barcelona to pursue my dream of becoming a sports broadcaster.


TANGENTS

Barça’s Defense Shaken to the Core, But Still Top of the League

Written by on August 27, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Posted in Barcelona, La Liga, Osasuna, Real Madrid

After a busy week for the Blaugrana boys, three victories in the bag, another injury for Carles Puyol, and Messi’s unstoppable goal scoring, the Barça boys look ahead to their next matchup; the second leg of the Supercopa against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu as they seek to give Tito Vilanova his first Cup as the new coach of FC Barcelona.

 

1. Defensive Backline – Cause for Concern?

In Spain, the saying goes: “It’s always difficult to win at the Reyno de Navarra”, and if last night had many pondering as to why we weren’t playing witness to that infamous fast paced dominant game that we have grown so accustomed to, well Piqué gave the same answer during his press conference earlier today. Of course, that surely cannot be the only reason, and as Barça’s defense seemed exposed during last night’s match against Osasuna, one must wonder how the last placed team managed to give Barça’s boys such a challenging first half. Piqué reiterated that the sun was real low at that point, and that the defensive backline couldn’t always spot the long balls played by Osasuna.

Other factors that may have played into the poor defense during the match may have been the fact that Xavi was on the bench, leaving Iniesta and Cesc in the midfield to fill his shoes. Add to that the fact that Barcelona was not playing deep enough, with Messi constantly having to fall back to assist in the setup, while Tello repeatedly struggled to find Messi…and this was while Barça had possession, which during the first half seemed few and far in between. Perhaps no grave concern as FC Barcelona managed a victory, and clenched a 5-point lead over rival, Real Madrid.

 

2. Three Victories –  One Week

A busy first week of the league for FC Barcelona, who ran circles around Real Sociedad, managed to keep Real Madrid at bay, and make a comeback against a determined Osasuna…not a bad way to start the season!  And with the opportunity to clinch their first Cup of the season in less than 48 hours, spirits amongst the squad are high. A great week for Barcelona, yet arch rivals Real Madrid seem to be losing grip, losing an away game to Getafe. Perhaps RM’s new signing, Modric, will help the Madristas get back on track.

 

3. Puyol – Injuries Keep Coming

A true player at heart, Carles Puyol got back up and finished the game after taking an elbow to the face. Upon arrival in Barcelona, news broke that the defender was on the way to the hospital. This morning, it was confirmed that his right cheek bone had been fractured during the clash with Osasuna’s Roland Lamah late in the game. Medical records indicate that depending on his recovery, he is more than likely to join the squad in the second leg of the Supercopa on Wednesday night.

 

4. Messi – Simply Unstoppable

Messi may have repeatedly stated that this season is not about beating personal records, but about the team as a whole, the Argentine striker seems to be in better form than ever. Reaching 173 goals following last night’s match against Osasuna, the Barça striker is now merely 17 goals shy of FC Barcelona’s highest scorer in domestic championships, César, with 190. Surely, we can all accept the fact that this will merely be one of the many records that this swift and agile striker is set to break this season.

Messi broke his first record of the season last night with the 2 goals against Osasuna, by becoming the only player to score two goals in both of the first games in a La Liga season, which hasn’t been done since the 1928/1929 season.

 

5. All Eyes on Supercopa

With the Supercopa less than 48 hours away, all focus remains on lifting the first Cup of the season, and according to Piqué, the Barça boys are ready to head to the Bernabéu and do just that. Will Mou pull an unexpected surprise out of his back pocket, or will Barça cruise smoothly ahead on their, thus far, smooth season?

For a full photo gallery and plenty more, check out http://on.fb.me/Mq0tSG


One response to “Barça’s Defense Shaken to the Core, But Still Top of the League”

  1. Ed Gomes says:

    Center Backs will be a big issue for Barca. In my opinion Busquets would be the best suited, especially with Song now able to fill in.
    I know Mascherano has found himself at the backline, but…

    Barca’s defense is its ball possession. If they aren’t able to maintain that superiority they get exposed. Now, getting that ball isn’t exactly easy.

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