November saw us get back to our winning ways, and not a moment too soon! There are few things better for the psyche than putting together a string of good performances and that's exactly how the month began. We handily won our first two league games at home before having a spirited 2-2 draw away against Athletic that featured a superbly saved penalty kick (http://youtu.be/keyY--Zxx9A). So we were riding the wave of a three game unbeaten streak when Barca came to pay a visit.
Lionel Messi opened the scoring inside the first minute as Barca showed their dominating ball movement after a sloppy turnover at midfield. We managed to get one back, however, thanks to a strike by Uche. We were later awarded a bit of a questionable penalty just inside the box and Franco Jara stroked one home to give us a 2-1 lead going into halftime. 4 minutes after the restart, Alexis Sanchez got loose on the wing and leveled the game at 2. Then it was the Messi show as he scored three consecutive goals to turn what was a close game into a rout.
Thanks to our little streak, we managed to stay in 5th place and on target for a Europa League bid. We're barely a third of the way through the season, however, and it remains to be seen if we can keep up this early pace.
We had another scoring spree in the second leg of our Spanish Cup matchup against Osasuna and we advanced with an 8-5 aggregate score. Our opponent in the 5th Round will be Betis. They visit us first next month and then we hit the road for the away leg to start off the New Year.
As one starter returns at striker we lose another one. This time one of our starting center backs has gone down.