Barcelona, regrettably, keep dropping points in La Liga and are now, after Real Madrid’s win over Atlético, four points behind the eternal rivals and league leaders. The absence of both Messi and Suárez was clearly felt as their subs did not provide that spark in offense which we are accustomed to, and weren’t as dangerous in front of goal as Messi or Suárez could have been. This game was incredibly frustrating as Barça were utterly dominating Málaga, but were unable to come out of the fixture with the three points. Usually, our team struggles with the infamous “FIFA Virus” after a break due to international competitions, a dire consequence of overwork that seemed to always affect our players. Going into this game, the prospect of dropping points because of the virus loomed ominously over the event, made worse by knowing we faced a team against which we’ve struggled on recent occasions. The cursed virus seemed to have been vanquished by our players who seemingly played a terrific game but which would ultimately add to our frustrations on this day, as we couldn’t get past an inspired Kameni.
Before I spew a veritable stadium-full of vitriol on the refereeing, I would like to clarify a few things. I am not attacking the refereeing because I am upset my team didn’t get the three points and I am a “spoiled fan.” I am an avid believer in losing as a way of building character, and the importance of losing well: meaning doing your very best in every occasion even against great odds. Also, I am not writing this as a knee-jerk reaction to a match that recently finished. I am done with it, I’ve processed it, and it is what it is. Me kicking and screaming won’t change what already happened. All this being said, this was shameful. A referee cannot, under any circumstance, be the absolute single reason a team didn’t win or lose. And let’s get one thing straight: he was the ONLY reason Barcelona did not win this game. No two ways about it. Not the bus parked in front of Kameni, not our missing Iniesta, Messi, and Suárez, nor the less than desirable match played by some of our players. When it is a fact this game could have been won with a single score, it is therefore also a fact our players did enough. Shameful. A farce.
Irish Goat’s Three Gamboling Goleadores!
1st Goleador: Gerard Piqué
It is clear for all those watching that our dear Piqué has not missed a single step since missing a few matches due to injury, and therefore more than deserves a place on this list. He played his first of many terrific matches, and was undisputedly the best player for both teams on the pitch today. I wish I could write that he capped of a great performance with a goal, but sadly, that is not the case.
2nd Goleador: Sergi Roberto
Sergi had a solid game. Honestly, defensively he did not need to do much, so his prowess in this match was more oriented towards attacking. His overlapping runs with Arda were proving to be much more dangerous than anything else mustered down the other wing by Neymar, who still refuses to associate in any meaningful way with either Lucas or Jordi. When all was said and done, Sergi provided some of the most dangerous crosses and passes into the opposing team’s box which, while not resulting in a goal, earned him a spot in the goleadores.
3rd Goleador: Carlos Kameni
If we are all completely honest with one another, Kameni was one of the best players on the pitch for this fixture. This is, if I am not mistaken, the first time I include an opposing player in the goleadores, but frankly, I believe he deserved a spot. Kameni always seems to enjoy playing against Barcelona as he, more often than, not tremendously steps up his game when playing against us. While I would’ve liked for him to maybe miss a couple of saves, he put on a spectacle that was quite enjoyable, and that, in the end, is precisely why I watch, and love, football.
Visca Barça and see you soon for the next one.