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FC Barcelona News; 22 September 2011; Barça and Real Madrid Draw, Cesc Fabregas Breaks a Record

Not the best day at the office for Lionel Messi. Only two assists...
Not the best day at the office for Lionel Messi. Only two assists...

Valencia 2-2 Guardiola: Emery gets the better of Guardiola early on, but Barca fight back | Zonal Marking
This was the key factor in the game. Emery’s double left-back strategy had worked well at the Camp Nou last year – Valencia scored with a break through Mathieu, and were 1-0 up at half time until Barca staged a second half comeback. The idea, of course, is that because Alves’ runs are so dangerous, by fielding a defensively-aware player on the left of midfield, you have a player who is comfortable tracking back to his own defensive line.

"We’re going home with bitter-sweet feelings" |
In the end the 2-2 draw, as far as the game went, means that "we’re going home with a bittersweet taste". Having said all that Alves is aware that it’s not easy to win in Valencia, and so he believes that the team "has the feeling of having done a great job. We put in a lot of effort and the result could have been better".

Cesc Fabregas sets new Barcelona record against Valencia | Mail Online
Cesc Fabregas scored in his fourth consecutive match for Barcelona — a record for a new player at the Nou Camp. Fabregas salvaged a 2-2 draw for Pep Guardiola’s men at Valencia as the Spanish champions avoided defeat on a night when Real Madrid were held 0-0 at Racing Santander.

Jose Mourinho reaps what he sows, plus why Cesc Fabregas is worth every penny to Barcelona -- Graham Hunter -- soccer - ESPN
Thus far, Fabregas has played in a couple of different midfield positions and also as the "false" center forward role. He has the capacity to burst into the box and score, timing his runs not only to beat the offside trap but also in the certain knowledge that Xavi, Andres Iniesta and particularly Messi will release a perfectly timed pass.

Barcelona's Javier Mascherano: We have all failed with Argentina -
"We know that we are failing. We cannot keep saying every time that a new cycle is beginning or things like that. It sounds repetitive. It is time to talk less, put our heads down and work. The qualifiers start now and we have to concentrate."

Liga fails to keep to script - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
There's not a soul who doesn't expect Barcelona and Real Madrid to occupy the top two places at the end of the season, but nor did anyone anticipate the two giants tripping up so early in the season. Barca's 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad was followed by the same scoreline at home to Milan last Tuesday.

Real problems? | Sky Sports
Real Madrid were shocked 1-0 at Levante on Sunday and the typical media frenzy followed - but what interested Revista's Guillem Balague most was the reaction of manager Jose Mourinho. An embarrassing confrontation involving several Levante players and Angel di Maria and Sami Khedira led to the latter's dismissal, prompting Mourinho to break his policy of keeping criticism of his players in-house.

Report: Racing Santander v Real Madrid - ESPN Soccernet
Real Madrid conceded more early ground in the Primera Division title race as Racing Santander winger Oscar Serrano came close to making it two successive defeats for Jose Mourinho's side. A 1-0 weekend defeat by Levante was almost matched with Serrano's shot which forced Iker Casillas into the best save of the match.

Jose Mourinho admits to concerns over Real Madrid form - ESPN Soccernet
After the narrow Super Cup defeat to Barcelona, Madrid looked in good form at the start of the season as they scored ten goals in their opening two La Liga games against Real Zaragoza and Getafe. However, they could only beat Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 in the Champions League and have since lost 1-0 to Levante and been held to a goalless draw by Racing.

Jose Mourinho subject of Real Madrid dressing room revolt - report -
Sources within the squad told the newspaper that: "Khedira had obeyed orders" from Mourinho. The Portuguese had reportedly told his players to jockey the referee whenever he was asked to make a decision, resulting in Levante being punished with yellow cards for every 2.5 fouls, as opposed to their previous record of one every seven or eight misdemeanours.

Real Madrid's Florentino Perez says Fabio Coentrao did not cost €30m - report -
The Portugal international was Madrid's most expensive summer signing, but he has so far failed to justify his hefty price-tag on the field. Confronted with Coentrao's transfer fee by one of the club's paying members, Perez reportedly explained that the Portuguese left-back did not cost €30m, as defender Ezequiel Garay moved to Benfica in a €12.5m switch.


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