Saturday, March 1, 2008

Barcelona & Real Madrid Split Screen

Atletico Madrid 4 Barcelona 2

Real Madrid 3 Recreativo 2

Henry nearly collided into the keeper twice. He was one and one and miss trapped one ball and then miss timed another, as Messi looked on from the bench, and Deco too. Messi came on later but it was too late. Henry again has yet to shine in Barca and he’s scoring goals, it’s just that the demands are high for him.

Atletico Madrid, with the Uruguayan Forlan and the Argentine Maxi, are in fourth place in La Liga and you can see why. Barcelona went ahead after an incredible overhead kick by Ronaldinho. Guess who’s back. Well, let’s hope. But Atletico fought back and won the game 4-2. They have a lot of skillful players in Maxi, Simao, Forlan, and a youngster named Aguero.

Puyol struggled in this game and was more of a help to Atletico. He was involved in three of the goals for Atletico. One a deflection, so he’s excused on that one, but on another he lost the ball and the ball was picked up and after a few feints, nailed pasted the keeper. The scorer of both of these goals was Sergio Aguero, a young Argentine, both strong and quick, and short and squat like Maradona. Top clubs like Bayern and Liverpool where in the hunt for this player but Atletico scooped him up for a record payout for the club. And then Puyol also caused the penalty, as he fell from behind on top of Aguero who was about to shoot free and clear in front of the goal. Not a good night for the Barca lion.

Gol TV did something I hadn’t seen before; they flipped back and forth between the Real Madrid and Recreativo game and the Barcelona game. Raul went up against the keeper bravely as a cross came in and won the header, tying the game as Recreativo got an early goal off a corner. Later, Recreativo had two players sent off and Madrid one. Enter Robinho. Within minutes of his entrance into the game he scored. It was a solid strike into the near post as the ball popped back to him. On his second, he flipped the ball over the keeper after he was put through. He was all smiles after scoring both goals after a quick thumb sucking gesture in honor of his baby, but the ease to which he plays, scores, and beats defenders is unmatched right now.

Jose Antonio Reyes came on as a substitute late in the Barca game. Where has he been? He scores the goal that wins the title for Real Madrid last year and disappears. His transfer from Sevilla has in some ways I’m sure enabled the revival of Sevilla as a club, giving the club money to buy other players, but I’ve just not heard much from him of late.