Barcelona achieved a well-deserved 2-1 win over Real Valladolid at the Camp Nou on Sunday in Matchday 36 of La Liga. Pedro Rodriguez and Marc Valiente (own goal) scored for the Blaugrana, who enjoyed 71 percent of possession, created 17 scoring chances and attempted 12 shots, five on target and one to the crossbar. The Deciding Moment – Just 20 minutes after kickoff, Xavi Hernandez cleverly regained possession in Valladolid's defensive third after intercepting a clumsy pass by the visitors' centre-back.
With 90,000 fans looking forward to being presented with the prestigious La Liga trophy at the Camp Nou on Sunday, one would think that these are peaceful times at the Camp Nou -- the general feeling in the streets of the Catalan capital is not as blindly optimistic, I'm afraid. Barcelona supporters have always wanted their team to do well in all competitions, but their traditionally high expectations have become even higher in recent years. The amount of silverware which has been stored at the Camp Nou museum since the early 1990s, far from calming their hunger, has made them even more determined to achieve further glory.
After an incredibly euphoric evening when the Blaugranas shared the well-deserved Liga trophy with more than 500,000 Cules around the streets of the Catalan capital, it was back to the drawing board for president Sandro Rosell, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and manager Tito Vilanova on Wednesday morning. While the satisfaction of winning a fourth domestic league title in five years was evident during Barcelona's victory parade, the general underlying feeling is that this golden generation of players should have posed a stronger challenge on the European stage.
Barcelona achieved a courageous 1-2 win against Atletico de Madrid at the Vicente Calderon in Matchday 35 of La Liga. Alexis Sanchez and Gabi (own goal) scored for the Catalans, who enjoyed 58 percent of possession, created 12 goal-scoring chances and attempted 10 shots, four of them on target. - Match report: Atletico 1-2 Barcelona - Hunter: What to make of Barca's title It was a strange match for Barcelona, who were crowned La Liga champions before they even jumped on the pitch thanks to Real Madrid's inability to beat local rivals Espanyol at Cornella-El Prat the previous night.
Unfortunately, and as it perhaps was to be expected, the humiliating 7-0 aggregate defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals unlocked a dangerous spiral of disagreements between the board, the coach and players, allowed endless transfer rumours to be splashed all over the media and even brought hidden complexes from the past back up to the surface. Despite most Cule supporters agreeing about the need for a gradual renovation of the squad by making a minimum of three fresh, renowned, experienced signings, reports indicate that president Sandro Rosell, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and first team manager Tito Vilanova all seem to have different ideas about what direction the team should take next.
Barcelona achieved a valuable 4-2 win over Real Betis at the Camp Nou in Matchday 34 of La Liga on Sunday. Alexis Sanchez, David Villa and Lionel Messi (brace) scored for the Blaugrana, who enjoyed 69 percent of possession, created 19 goal-scoring chances and attempted 16 shots, 11 on target, two to the post. After an incredibly difficult week due to the humiliating 7-0 aggregate defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals -- with Messi sitting out the second leg -- the Catalans had the chance to bring back some stability to the club's day-to-day life by grabbing three more points in their journey to bring the domestic league trophy back to the Camp Nou.
Barcelona were defeated 3-0 by Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals. The Blaugrana, who enjoyed 58 percent of possession, created 15 goalscoring chances and attempted 10 shots, five of them on target. The aggregate 7-0 scoreline allowed the Bundesliga champions to qualify for the European Cup final at Wembley. Barca's disastrous 4-0 defeat collected in the away leg of the Champions League semi-finals in Munich made achieving a comeback at the Nou Camp incredibly difficult, but not many within the Blaugrana community dared to go as far as denying the possibility of their team qualifying for yet another European final.
Let's be honest. Nobody in their right mind would bet against Bayern Munich qualifying for the Champions League final after witnessing their impressive 4-0 demolition of Barcelona in the away leg of the semifinals. The way in which the Bundesliga champions dominated all facets of the initial clash between two of the most renowned clubs in world football impressed not only their devoted Bavarian fans, but also a large number of neutrals around the world and, to be perfectly honest, even some Catalan supporters.
Barcelona achieved another point in their quest for the domestic title after drawing 2-2 on Saturday against Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames in Matchday 33 of La Liga. Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez scored for the Blaugrana, who enjoyed 58 percent possession, created 15 scoring chances and attempted 12 shots, six on target and one to the post. This has certainly been one of the most difficult weeks in recent Barcelona history. Unfortunately for them, a huge number of football fans and even the Catalan media have taken the team's worst defeat at the European level since 1997 to criticise players ferociously, as if all the glory they have so consistently brought to Catalunya in recent years had been instantly erased from their memories after 90 minutes of football.
Barcelona were defeated 4-0 by Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the away leg of the Champions League semifinals. The Blaugrana enjoyed 62 percent of possession, created four goal-scoring chances and attempted three shots, only one of them on target. Having already done their homework in their respective domestic leagues, both coaches could prepare exclusively for this match for the past two weeks and an incredibly even contest was generally expected. However, it was the German champions who always seemed to have the upper hand in terms of strength, hunger and overall effectiveness.
Despite being the most successful team at the European level in recent history, having qualified for six consecutive semi-finals and lifted the title three times in the last seven years, football experts around the world seem to agree that Barcelona are not favourites to beat Bayern Munich and qualify for the final round of the competition. Personally, I don't necessarily share their opinion, but can clearly understand what makes them think that way. - Schaaf: Bayern's epic battle - Pep will support Barca, Xavi says - Mueller primed for Barcelona showdown - Press Pass: All eyes on the Allianz The absence of key defensive players such as the courageous Carles Puyol or Javier Mascherano has undeniably weakened the Blaugrana back line, to the point that any set piece against instantly becomes an even clearer goal-scoring chance for their opponents.
Barcelona achieved a valuable 1-0 win against Levante at the Camp Nou in Matchday 32 of La Liga. Cesc Fabregas scored the goal for the Blaugrana, who enjoyed 78 percent of possession, created 18 goalscoring chances and attempted 13 shots, nine of them on target. This result helps the Catalan side maintain their 13 point lead at the top of the table over Real Madrid. - Barcelona slips past Levante With the decisive Champions League semifinal against on-form Bayern Munich only three days away, Tito Vilanova was right to reserve key players such as Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and the recovering Lionel Messi.