Messi with match ball and Barcelona captain, Carles Puyol, via his twitter account.
5-1. The score for the Barcelona-Valencia match, four of which was scored by the petite Argentine, Lionel Messi.
Messi is currently one goal behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who won last season’s Pichichi award, for league goals this season at 27 with only 15 matches left to play in Liga. This match was played in typical Barcelona fashion with the Catalans reigning high with ball possession, leaving only one chance for Valencia to capitalize on.
Pablo Piatti gave Valencia their only goal in the 9′ but after that, the battle was sorely one-sided as Barça ripped their defense to shreds scoring goal after goal after…well…goal. It all began with Messi’s two goals before the half, all within a 5-minute window. Barça called all their forwards up to help Messi find that perfect goal. In the 22′ it was a low cross-pass as Pedro kicked the ball to Messi, bring the match to an even score.
The second goal in the 27′ stemmed from a beautiful defensive shake from Andres Iniesta to passed to Eric Abidal, who later crossed his shot, finding Messi near the far post leaving him one goal away from a hat trick.
Cesc Fabregas almost scored an amazing goal, but it was deflected from the under-side of the crossbar. With the pressure piling on coming into the second half, Messi didn’t score his hat trick until the 75′ despite a few dangerous chances from Barca as well as Valencia’s Feghouli.
In his 200th match with Barcelona, Messi found the will to score his fourth goal after Dani Alves couldn’t hold a shot, taking that disadvantage and turning it into his 146th goal as a blaugrana.
Andres Iniesta was subbed out for Xavi in the 86′ and scored in the 90′ when Messi slipped the ball through to Xavi who lifted it beyond Alves and in leaving Valencia stunned.
Barcelona plays next Sunday against Atletico Madrid in Liga and won’t play their second leg match against Leverkusen in Champions League until March 7th.
By Maria ‘Nenela’ Dorta
Karim Benzema celebrates his goal with Mesut Ozil and Raphael Varane as he gives Real Madrid their 4-0 victory
Things are getting a little bit easier for Real Madrid, who still have a gap of 10 points between rivals Barcelona, giving them some air to breathe if they were to lose a game. There’s still a lot of league to go but no matter what anyone says, 10 points are 10 points and it will be hard for Barcelona or any other team to reach them.
Real Madrid was a little bit nervous for this game because in the first round of La Liga, they tied against Racing and the white ones knew that if Racing’s boys wanted to make their life a living hell, they have everything to do it. Madrid were playing at home and they needed to make the first goal.
The first half is where we saw a much stronger Madrid. In a lot of games, Madrid started loosing in the first minutes of the game but this time the score was still 0 – 0 until minute six, when Cristiano must have told himself “this has to change,” and launched a beautiful header to the left post, making it the first goal for Real Madrid.
Things were changing for Real Madrid and Racing was making things a little bit difficult for them. The galacticos were trying to find one more goal before of the half time but Racing’s defense was making some walls in front of their goal, preventing a a scoring chance. A second yellow for Cisma left Racing with 10 men bringing a beautiful and flawless pass from Xabi Alonso in the 45′ to Benzema’s feet giving Madrid their second goal.
The second half was a little bit different. We saw more drive and strength from the Real Madrid boys as they were making a lot of beautiful passes, however they were still struggling to finish. Some corners, some crazy passes, a lot of stolen balls but the things were just the same: Racing fighting to leave with a tie and Real Madrid looking for more goals.
At the 63′, José Mourinho made his first substitution, Özil out and Di María in. This was the first game for Di María after two month-long injury. The Bernabéu was screaming and clapping when he entered the pitch. And they had the right to. A pass from the middle of the pitch landed on his feet, he found the right spot and the right angle and shot. It was a like a shooting star that made his way across the big area to the end of the net. Madrid was up 3-0.
Racing felt defeated and we could see that in their game. It was like they didn’t want to fight anymore. They made their last substitution and Real Madrid did as well. Santander wanted this game to be over because it was too painful to keep playing without any goals, however Real Madrid thought differently. Another goal came from the amazing and delicate French boy, Karim Benzema. A small pass from Khedira put Benzema in the position to make one of the most beautiful goals so far.
With Madrid’s 4-0 defeat, they head into their first Champions League match in the Round of 16 against CSKA Moskva on Tuesday looking to keep thier undefeated CL streak intact.
Sevilla was in a hard spot this last couple of games, having not won a single game and currently adjusting to a new manager, Michel.
This weekend saw another Sevilla; in the first half they had the ball almost every minute and it was beautiful to watch. They tried and tried because they knew it was the only way they could win this game. Osasuna was there but they were like a ghost, trying to do some damage but nothing aggressive making it a little bit sad to watch. In the 16′ a bounced ball made his way to Negredo who made a short pass to Medel and this without thinking it made a shot with all his strength and the ball was inside, the scoreboard was now 1-0.
The second half started and we could see that Sevilla’s boys were tired leaving holes in their defense but even that didn’t help Osasuna. Some opportunites for both sides but the scoreboard didn’t move. Jesus Navas and Reyes were the leaders in Sevilla and it was a delight to see them play.
The referee called 4 more minutes for extra time and what a long 4 minutes to Osasuna, when they thought things couldn’t go worse, a goal from Trochowski put the knife in their heart. A beautiful pass from Navas from the right side as he just touched the ball and went inside. After so many weeks without knowing what victory was, Sevilla had just won 2-0.
The came, they played and they prove to Sevilla fans why they never gave up. Hard work and strength can do everything.
Getafe 1 – Espanyol 1
Granada 4-1 Real Sociedad
Athletic Bilbao 3-0 Malaga
Gijon 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Mallorca 4-0 Villarreal
Levante 3-5 Rayo Vallecano
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