Chapter 4- Welcome to La Liga
Barcelona. A team that I had played twice. And beaten. Yes, Barcelona are the team that the 31,220 fans had come to see play Sociedad. I've had history against Barcelona. My Chelsea team pulled off one of the greatest upsets of all time against Barcelona. We defended strongly and counter attacked. That would be the key to victory today. The counterattack that Barcelona had so much trouble defending. And that would be how we jogged of the pitch with three points. We did it last year, now we have to do it again this year. Beat Barcelona. Barcelona looked their usual self during warmups. Messi doing rainbow flicks, Iniesta playing perfect passes, and of course Gerard Pique making a fool of himself while trying to dribble. On the other side of the pitch, a stoic Carlos Vela leads the team in drills. Xabi Prieto has handed the red hot striker the captains arm band for the game. Gonzalo Castro sits in the dugout, scowling. He wants to play. Sadly for him, he won't get the chance. Finally, the game starts.
It's the 12th minute now, and Barca are dictating the pace. Pass after Pass after Pass. The team is chasing the ball, and I'm worried about fitness. We're running an awful lot to start the game. Mascherano is in our half and he's found Xavi. Xavi flicks the ball towards Neymar, who's dribbling towards Inigo Martinez at the top of the box. Neymar takes a touch to the right and smashes the ball towards goal. The ball goes JUST WIDE. Neymar misses a low drive by a couple of feet. I breathe a sigh of relief.
It's the 17th minute now, and we have the ball with Inigo Martinez. Gonalons shows for a pass and receives the ball. He turns right off Mascherano and flicks the ball over the top for a wide open Griezmann. Antione takes a touch and smashes the ball towards the top CORNER. NO! So close, but an incredible save from Victor Valdes. Never thought I would say that.
33rd minute. Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass, lose ball, get ball back, Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass, Pass, lose ball, get ball back, Pass, Pass. Jeez, Barcelona are lulling me to sleep.
Finally, the half time whistle blows. It's still nil-nil, but chances are hard to come by in this one. Barca are just holding the ball, and just wasting time.
Half Time Pep Talk
Alright lads, not a bad half. We just need to be a little bit more clinical. Let's go and get an early goal here so that we can set the tempo, and make them play a bit more attacking and careless. We can do this lads. Let's go
It's the 63rd minute now, and Alex Song is warming up on the touchline. That's not the focus of my attention though. All my attention is on Neymar, who just African dribbled Mikel Gonzalez. He's through on goal now, and he's calmly tucked it into the back of the net. DAMN IT!
Full time now. Nothing happened at all after the goal. Nothing but pass, pass, pass. It's been a frustrating game, and we leave the pitch with the minimum amount of points.