Magical Lionel Messi Hat-trick Sinks Valencia; FC Barcelona - 3, Valencia - 0

Varughese RajanContributor IIMarch 14, 2010

FC Barcelona Failed To Impose In First Half

First Half saw a very open game, but one has to say that Valencia had the better oppurtunities. We struggled to create meaningful chances. In the 5th minute it was Valencia who had the first chance but Jordi Alba sent her header high. In the 18th minute Pablo cut inside Maxwell but his shot was easy for Valdes to save. Barca were FC Barcelona vs Valenciastruggling to bring Messi into the match and the young attacking line of Pedro and Bojan was failing to impose themselves. In the 22nd minute Barca had their first real chance when Milito met with a Xavi corner but Valencia custodian Cesar did well deny Milito. In the 27th minute we saw the first glimpse of real Messi in the game but Cesar was again on hand to palm the chance away. In the 31st minute valdes quick intervention saved Barca when Dominguez tried to cut-back a ball from David Silva. The next minute Messi saw his another attempt denied by Cesar. The second half ened with more end to end stuff but with no goals.

FC Barcelona Dominates The Second Half

Thierry Henry was introduced at the start of the second half in place of Bojan and that started to change the tempo of the match. Barca started to dominate possession and create chances. In the 50th minute Alves picked up Xavi in the box with a cross but Xavi headed wide. In teh 52nd minute Messi had a great chance to put Barca ahead after squared the ball to Messi, but his shot went just wide. The Balon d'Or winner made up for that miss with a great goal three minutes later. Xavi sent the ball to Messi, he ran into the box skipping past two defender with a single move and another Barca players Celebratingwith a cut in and slotted splendidly between Cesar's leg to take Barca 1-0 up. In the 67th minute Maxwell had the ball in the back of net, but he was adjudged offside. Messi had two more chances before he put Barca 2-0 ahead. It was again a wonder goal. In the 81st minute, Messi received a wonderful pass from Henry on the right, he cut in and curled the ball past Cesar in pure Messi fashion. Within a minute of his second, Messi bagged his thrid. Henry once again played Messi through after the defense lost the ball, Messi made no mistake in completing his hat-trick.

This victory should serve as a great motivation for the Stuttgart match. Real Madrid is currently leading their match 4-1, so Barca has to contend with second position as of now. Messi has been in sublime form in last two matches. Another problem for Guardiola will be the fact that the team played so well without Ibrahmovic. Henry looked like the player we know last season, but Bojan and Pedro were a dissappointment. Guardiola also erred by starting both together. Now with Valencia tie over, all the focus will be on Wednesaday's Champions league encounter against Stuttgart.


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