While the International break maybe annoying to some for disrupting the seasons flow, I enjoy the brief rest period they give us and from the evidence of the matches, the Barcelona players are still firing on all cylinders.
Spain 2-1 Czech Republic
David Villa grabbed all the headlines after his second-half brace meant that he not only secured the win for La Furja Roja, but also the all-time scoring record for Spain. The first half saw the Czechs "park the bus" and despite bossing the possession, Spain were not threatening Petr Cech at all. Then they found themselves behind after Jaroslav Plasil beat Casillas with the aid of the post.
Del Bosque made changes in the second hala, and the chances began to arrive. Iniesta continued his recent run of form and was unlucky not to score on the day, but he did provide both assists. For his first, Villa received a pass from Iniesta and cut in from the left and fired past a helpless Cech. This unsettled the Czechs and after Iniesta was fouled moments later, Villa could get his second from the spot.
Euro 2012 Qualifiers SPAIN VS CZECH REPUBLIC HighLights - 25-3-2011-.mpg (via MrLOOOKA2010)
Hungary vs Holland
Ibrahim Afellay was on the scoresheet in a comfortable win for the Oranje. Hungary started the better, but after great play by Sneijder and Van der Vaart, the latter slooted the ball past the Hungarian keeper for the lead. Hopefully he can do the same past Casillas in a weeks time! Afellay had a chance to double the lead but fired wide before scoring just before half-time with a decent strike.
Holland were tearing Hungary apart and the third came after the break, when Kuyt finished into an empty net. Van Persie added a fourth and Holland played out the time, nearly adding to their lead after a breath-taking chip by Sneijder. Afellay was good and if he can start to replicate this form for the Blaugrana, then it will be good news for all.
Hungary vs Netherlands (0-4) Goals & Highlights 2011 Hungary 0-4 Netherlands (via FastGoalsHD)
USA vs Argentina
Lionel Messi was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch, but after Cambiasso opened the scoring, young talent, Juan Agudelo levelled things later on for the draw. Los Albiceleste were much the better side in the opening period, with Messi cutting the American defence apart at will. However, despite the dominance they only found the net once, and that cost them dear in this friendly, that could be a game in this summers Copa America.
The goal came around thanks to Messi, and his good interchange with Lavessi saw him cut the ball across the box for Di Maria, whose shot was parried to Cambiasso who made no mistake with the finish. Second half however, saw the United States show a lot more passion and they drew level through Agudelo's strike. The game reminded me a great deal of the game Barca had with Sevilla a few weeks back.
Messi was excellent, and looks to be replicating his club form at national level, Mascherano was solid like usual, but the great surprise was the half-decent showing by error-prone Gabby Milito.
USA VS Argentina (1-1) 03-26-2011-Univision.wmv (via camnet2000)
Dani Alves will be in action later today, as Brazil take on Scotland at the Emirates Stadium.