Barcelona off to Best La Liga Start Ever; Best La Liga Team Ever?
FC Barcelona has gotten off to the best start in the history of La Liga after their 3-1 win over Celta de Vigo on Saturday.
Cesc Fabregas had the first shot to give Barca the lead, but his shot went high. Iago Aspas had a great run in the 20th minute as he had a one-on-one with Victor Valdes. It looked like a certain 1-0, but Valdes came out and made a terrific stop.
A minute after V.V.’s great stop, Barcelona opened the scoring. Adriano passed it to Pedro who put a short cross into the box and found the Brazilian, who put it in the back of the net for the give-and-go goal and the 1-0 lead.
Just two minutes later, Celta equalized via the counterattack. A great pass to Fernando Augusto led to Barcelona’s defense being exposed and Fernando alone against Victor Valdes. Augusto’s shot was blocked by V.V., but Mario Bermejo was there to slam in the rebound to make it 1-1.
Three minutes after Celta tied it up, Barcelona retook the lead thanks to David Villa. An absolute sick back-heel pass by Villa allowed Andres Iniesta to run into the box as the Celta defense chased after him. Andres slipped the ball back to el guaje who put it in for the 2-1 lead.
Lionel Messi nearly had a goal just before halftime as he stole the ball and had a one-on-one with Javi Varas, but the Celta keeper held his ground and didn’t give Messi the angle he was looking for.
In the second half, Celta almost scored within a minute as Iago Aspas nearly snuck the ball through Valdes, but just went left of the post. Valdes made a nice save in the 57th minute on a Celta free kick.
Barcelona doubled the lead in the 61st minute as Iniesta found an offside Jordi Alba on the left side of the pitch, but the flag stayed down and Jordi beat the keeper for the 3-1 lead.
Celta continued to press on, trying to counterattack. But the Galician team could not find the goal.
The big scare came late in the game as Messi took a cleat to the right knee. The Camp Nou stood in silence as Leo was lying on the pitch with the medical staff checking on him.
Finally, chants of “Messi, Messi” rang out as he was helped on and remained in the game. After the game, the squad confirmed that Messi did not suffer any injury and he’s OK.
FINAL: FC Barcelona 3 – 1 Celta de Vigo
With the win combined with Atletico Madrid's loss to Valencia, FC Barcelona sit alone atop La Liga with 28 points and are unbeaten this season.
Here are the three most important points from FC Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Barcelona’s Defense Continues to Bend, but Not Break
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Yes, the Barcelona defense is still allowing counterattacks to hurt them, but they are doing enough to get by in games.
It’s not pretty, and it’s very far from being the best, but it’s good enough so far.
Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol will be back soon. After the game, Tito Vilanova stated that Pique may be ready for the team’s Champions League match against Celtic later this week.
With Adriano out for three weeks due to a thigh injury in Saturday’s game, look for Martin Montoya to get more playing time. Dani Alves is healthy again, so Barca is not as thin in the back line as it may seem.
One thing I don’t want to see is Sergio Busquets playing center-back. It’s not that he doesn’t do a great job; it’s just that it’s not his natural position. Busi does not belong in the back line. His talents belong in the middle of the pitch. Alex Song would be better to play CB if Tito needed either Busquets or Song at the position.
Also, Busi is already Barça’s “insurance policy” in the back as Sergio plays as a third CB when needed.
Tito is finally trusting Marc Bartra to play CB for this team. The kid has shined since his breakout game against Celtic, and Bartra needs to start again.
Let's hope the Barcelona defense doesn't give up too many big plays as the season goes on.
Can We All Finally Say That David Villa Is Back? Yes!
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David Villa is heating up and he’s looking like the guaje of old.
Villa has started the last three Barcelona games. Villa has three goals; one in every game.
After the Celta Vigo game, Tito Vilanova told the press that he feels David Villa is finally ready to play a full 90 minutes of football. Villa told the media he feels better than ever.
“I feel better every day, physically and mentally. Three games as starter now, and my body is dealing well with it.”
According to stat guru Mr. Chip, David Villa has a better goal-scoring rate (goals per minute) than his teammate Lionel Messi, Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, and Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao this Liga season.
Take a look at this:
David Villa had 8 shots in the Liga so far this season, 7 of them were on target, and 5 have turned into goals.
If you didn’t believe it before, believe it now: David Villa is 100 percent back.
Can This Historic Barça Team Be the Greatest Liga Team Ever?
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With 9 wins and 1 draw, Tito Vilanova is the manager with the best debut in La Liga history after 10 games. Tito Vilanova (W9-D1-L0) overtakes Bobby Robson (8-2-0 in 1996) and Jose Mourinho (8-2-0 in 2010).
With 28 out of 30 points earned and a goal difference of +20, this 2012-13 FC Barcelona team now holds the record for the best start in the history of La Liga after 10 matches, beating the previous record held by the 1991-92 Real Madrid team who had 28 points and a 19 goal differential.
As I’ve mentioned before, we are witnessing one of the greatest teams in Liga history in this Barcelona squad.
Two questions now have to be asked: Can this FC Barcelona team be the greatest Liga team of all time? And can Barcelona break last year’s Real Madrid record and collect 100 points in one season?
Let's think about it.
There are 114 points available in a Liga season.
Barcelona already has 28 points out of 30 possible points after 10 games. Last season's Real didn't reach 28 points until Matchday 12, so they are ahead of last year's Madrid. Add in the fact that last season's Real Madrid struggled in March and April, held to three ties in a stretch of six games.
Yes, FC Barcelona are currently on pace to break Real's record, but it's still too early to truly say they have a realistic shot at breaking the record as there are 28 more games left in the season. We'll talk about this further at the halfway point of the season.
It's going to be tough, but it's not impossible for this team to get 100 points.
Let us know your opinion on this issue in the comments section.
¡Histórico FC Barcelona!
Xoel, The Voice of FC Barcelona on the net, period.
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