Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Racing Santander v. Barcelona

Three goals in seven minutes from three different players. And by the 27th minute of the first half, it wouldn’t have been arrogant to consider the game over. I’m surprised that Racing Santander didn’t just turn out the lights in the stadium during half-time so that their shell-shocked supporters could split to feed their sorrows with plentiful plates of boquerones and mugs of Estrella Galacia. Surrender now before things got even worse and Barcelona really started getting their groove on.

But this is football. Teams, especially good and respectable teams like Racing, don’t give in even when they’re obviously outclassed by the flashier more powerful Barça. Still, it’s got to be rough for their fans. I don’t think anyone would have blamed them if they’d ditched their team and headed for the exits.

But this is football and supporters don’t do that. Ever. Thankfully, Óscar Serrano gave the home fans something to cheer about in the 72nd minute when he slipped the ball through defender Rafa Marquez’s feet and scored one past keeper Victor Valdes who seriously didn’t have much to do before then.

It’s been a good four weeks of La Liga and it’s difficult to imagine but Barça look even stronger than they did last season. I wasn’t sure how Ibrahimovic was going to fit into the squad—he seemed selfish and petulant to me while playing at Inter and for the Swedish national team—but his kinetic repartee with Messi, keen vision, and physical strength up front is excellent and he’s fun to watch. He’s also more dependable than either Eto’o or Henry when it comes to finishing.

I know it’s early still, but I think Barça are realistically on their way toward another brilliant season.

Racing Santander 1, Barcelona 4.

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