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Barca Clear Top Spot deafeting the Yellow Submarine

Posted by aguntuk On December - 22 - 2008   
Gerrard Pique and Pires fighting to possess the ball in the La Liga match between Villarreal and Barcelona

Gerrard Pique and Pires fighting to possess the ball in the La Liga match between Villarreal and Barcelona

The Blaugrana came from behind o defeat Villarreal with ten man.

The goal scorer of Villarreal was Ruben Cani. But after a few minutes later Keita leveled it and the match wining goal came from the former arsenal striker Thiery Henry.

The visitors had to play the final 17 minutes with a man down after Gerard Pique received his second yellow card.

After this win Barcelona have increased their lead at the top of the La Liga to 11 points, while the Yello Submarine have drowned to sixth place with 29 points.


Barcelona were relaxed when they started the match. Their body movement was clear. but still they were aiming to thrash Villarreal.

But in the very beginning the home side attacked first. They showed some fine football play with passing and through.

In the 13th minute, Henry threatened the Villarreal defense. They had to struggle to close him down.

On the other side, Carles Puyol failed to play Rossi offside and thus the Italian was clean through. but this time Valdes, who is in great form this season, was the savior.

Barcelona won a corner 28 minutes in that so nearly resulted in a goal. Sergi Busquets seized on a clearance from the corner and volleyed from outside the area, bringing out an incredible save in Diego Lopez.

Samuel Eto’o came into the game towards the end of the half to free Henry again, but by this time the Frenchman was being closed down more effectively and thus the opening period ended goalless.

 Barcelona's Gerard Piqué gets a Christmas card from the referee, but not one he would have wanted. However, the ten-man Blaugrana still held on for a 2-1 win at Villarreal

Barcelona's Gerard Piqué gets a Christmas card from the referee, but not one he would have wanted.

After a tight first half, the game came to life following a fine goal for Villarreal set-up by a delightful through ball from Giuseppe Rossi and despatched coolly by Ruben Cani from a tight angle.

Barca were forced to raise their game. Less than ten minutes after that Dani Alves showed his worth with a superb cross for Seydou Keita to put in an absurdly brave header and level the scores.

It was clear that the Blaugrana were loaded with belief and desire, and as such it was no surprise when they took the lead. The on-form Thierry Henry was the man of the moment as he effortlessly side-footed past Diego Lopez following Xavi’s neat cross.

Villarreal then dtarted to fight back. With Nihat and Franco both on the pitch Villarreal were clearly looking to rescue a point, but Barcelona were still in the ascendancy.

Villarreal, perhaps buoyed by that piece of luck, came forward in earnest in the last ten minutes. First Pires threw away a superb chance with eight minutes left to go and then Guille Franco panicked when one-on-one with Valdes and hit his shot well off target.

The catalans now can have a nice Christmas, leading far away from their contender. The win not only handed the Blaugrana a massive ten-point lead going into 2009, but it also gave them a victory over every single one of their five direct title-rivals. They have now also passed the toughest phase of the season having successfully negotiated four of those five rivals in successive weeks.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said he was taking nothing for granted pointing out that there was still a long way to go in the championship race although they lead by 10 points.

“It is comforting to see the way the players are performing but nothing has been decided yet,” said Guardiola after Barca’s victory. “The game was difficult as we expected but we had luck on our side. I think that even with 10 men we were too impetuous and there were moments when Xavi (Hernandez) and (Dani) Alves were too far forward and we were caught out. We have to know how to manage these types of matches even though it is difficult for a coach to get players to stay back.”

Their Cameroonian striker, Samuel Eto’o, acknowledged that the club now have a commanding advantage over the competition, but he warned that it is only temporary.

“The advantage is enough, but it is not definitive,” he said following the win over El Submarino. But if we become complacent, then our rivals will take that advantage away from us. The good thing is that there are fewer and fewer games now. But something that no one can take away from us is our winning mentality.”

To watch the goals and highlights of the match click below

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