Saturday, December 15, 2007

I've Seen Things You People Wouldn't Believe or: Valencia v Barcelona

It was a miserable result for Valencia CF (many of the team's supporters split from the agony at the half), as well as a humiliating public depantsing for their keeper extraordinaire, Santiago "Roy Batty" Canizares, who let three goals burn past him. But the entire team has been dreadful this season and since former Barca superstar Ronald Koeman took over in October, there's still no turnaround in sight for Valencia. Honestly, though, it's hard to imagine anyone stopping those first two strikes by Barca's Eto'o, who looks stronger and more healthy with each game. Canizares appeared... well, flaccid and seemed to be experiencing a full-blown existential crisis trying to stop the well-tuned Barca sans Ronaldinho (he shivered under the covers on the bench, no doubt being rested for next week's grand Christmas present/classico against Real Madrid). In short, the loss of form wasn't all due to Canizares. Valencia's defense simply looked pathetic and as the match went on, their players grew more and more frustrated and quick-tempered, relying on cheap shots to stave off the attacks by Eto'o, Gudjohnsen, and Dos Santos. The latter player, who must've been given a talking to about his frequent selfishness on the pitch (he has a tendency to keep the ball and take reckless shots when he should pass off to an open player, as was obvious in last week's Champions League match against Stuttgart; Eto'o and Gudjohnsen both displaying their displeasure with the otherwise wily youngster from Mexico), delivered a wonderful unselfish assist to Gudjohnsen for the final goal. All in all, Barca look fantastic and seem to finally have a trouble-free backline composed of Abidal, Milito, Marquez (who had a brilliant game today), and captain caveman, Puyol (who just keeps getting better and better). Barca look hungry and ready to deliver a Christmas present to their fans worth savoring.

The victory for Barca did come at a price, though--an injury to Leo Messi at the end of the first half. This is the worst possible news for Barca at this time (Messi is the team's leading scoring so far this season) and it's being reported that the young Argentine will be out for a month or so.

Here in the Portland area, the match next Sunday (the 23rd) between Barca and Real Madrid will be televised on GolTV at 9:55 am. For those of you who don't have GolTV, the Marathon Taverna Sports Bar, located at 1735 West Burnside (503-224-1341) does carry the station and if you feel inclined to fight off some of the tackleball fans who will, I'm sure, be crowded in there as well, one out of their many televisions should be free to watch what could be the match of the year... until they meet again later in the season. Best to call beforehand, though, just to be safe.


Linda said...

Santiago "Roy Batty" Canizares
Oh my God, that is exactly who he reminds me of. Thank you. (I thought he had a decent game, actually.)

And I'm happy to say, for once, that Gudjohnsen was excellent. Desperately unhappy about poor Leo Messi, though.

Derek said...

Yes, you're right, Gudjohnsen was fantastic. I really like him in that midfield position instead of as a striker. He works hard and I was glad to see him and Dos Santos (who I do really like) link up.

And Canizares.... I think it was that second goal that really stung. The look on his face! It can't be easy being a player for Valencia right now.

Messi. Messi... Messi... Messi. He picked the worst possible time to get injured! Just kidding, of course. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Damn tackleball fans! Always gettin' in the way of football fans like us! They're lucky football matches don't last 3 hours like their commercialfests do.