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From The Mind of Xoel: Barça Marches On in the Copa

FC Barcelona moved on in their 2013-14 Copa del Rey as El Blaugrana defeated FC Cartagena 3-0 at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night. In this article, Xoel Càrdenas gives you his take on the game, his Best and Worst, and what's next for El Blaugrana.

David Ramos

FC Barcelona moved on in their 2013-14 Copa del Rey as El Blaugrana defeated FC Cartagena 3-0 at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night.

Pedro got the scoring started in the 31st minute as a nice Martin Montoya cross inside the box found a cutting Pedro who put it in the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. In the second half, Cristian Tello grabbed a goal in the 68th minute as a nice pass from Neymar found Tello on the left side, and the kid did the rest. Great to see Tello get a goal, as he's coming back from a recent injury. Near the end of the game, Neymar got his goal as a great cross from Andres Iniesta found Neymar who headed the ball in for the 3-0 score line.

The Best: Neymar, Sergi Roberto, and Pedro.

Sergi Roberto had, in my opinion, a good game against Cartagena. The kid needs more games, and even though this game may have not been very competitive, the game was important to Roberto since he doesn't get as much playing time as "The Big Three" midfielders of Xavi, Iniesta, and Cesc Fabregas. After the game, Sergi let the media know he is gaining confidence. "Little by little I'm playing more. I feel I've won the confidence of the coach."

Let's hope so, because if Barcelona is going to win trophies in 2014, Sergi Roberto will be an important part of the rotation.

Pedro had a solid game. Pedro is having a "sneaky good" season, if you will. He now has 11 goals in all competitions; and has scored 6 goals in his last 8 games. Yet, there are actually some people that are saying he struggles at times. Doesn't make any sense. Pedro has been a beast this season. The internal competition between him and Alexis Sanchez is great to see. With no Neymar for the upcoming Getafe game, Barça will need Pedro to be sharp and get goals.

Neymar continues to shine. He's been the heartbeat of this team ever since Leo Messi went off injured. Neymar has now scored 6 goals in the last 3 games, all within one week. Eres grande, Neymar!

The Worst: Not much

What can I say other than there were a few plays that the Barcelona defense looked a little off. Also, there was a few times where the offense continued to pass and pass, but not get a shot off. But there is not too much for me or any Barça writer to get worked up about.

What's Next?: Sunday at Getafe

Barcelona will be without Neymar due to accumulation of yellow cards as the Catalans will travel to Madrid to face Getafe. Look for Andres Iniesta to get the start, as he did not start against Cartagena. But for me, I will be looking to see if Tata Martino goes with Cesc Fabregas at the False 9 position. As I mentioned in my previous article, I don't believe Tata should use Cesc at the False Nine spot, as it weakens the team and Fabregas' natural abilities (passing, etc.). That being said, I still expect Tata to start Cesc at the False 9.

Xoel's Final Word

It was a nice win for FC Barcelona as they finished off FC Cartagena by a score line of 3-0 at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night.

The winter break is coming. And it is crucial to go into the break with a win. Barcelona will have to win at Getafe without Neymar  Of course it would be great to have the Brazilian prince on the pitch, but hey, this team is talented and skilled enough to get the job done without Neymar.

No Messi. No Neymar. But excuses.


Xoel, The Voice of FC Barcelona

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