Sunday, March 30, 2008

Barca lose as Villarreal move to 2nd spot

One man's downfall is another one' gain. Barcelona slipping up against Betis meant that Villarreal are now in the second spot in the La Liga. Barcelona met Real Betis at the Vicente Calderon stadium as Betis have a 2 match stadium ban for fan violence and Barcelona would have fancied their chances against Betis as they were on a neutral venue. They needed to start well and did just that, totally dominating the first half with more than 70% possession and also scoring twice through Bojan and Eto'o in consecutive minutes. A third goal would have totally killed the game off but they were unable to find that and went into the break with a comfortable cushion.
After the break Barca were comfortable and it needed something special to break Barca down. The introduction of Rafael Sobis and David Odonkor did just that. Odonkor's ran through the right and lifted the ball to Edu who headed it in. And after 10 minutes a penalty from Edu was saved but Barca were unable to hold on to their lead and Juanito put Betis level and it Edu again for Betis in the 78th minute who got the winner. Barcelona would be cursing themselves for not letting a 2-0 lead but also the chance to close the gap on Realmadrid to just 1 point.
And Barcelona slipping up against Betis meant the Yellow submarines had the chance to move into second place and they were up against a formidable Athletico Madrid side. Villarreal turned on the style and scored twice in the first half through Cazorla and Nihat. And it continued in the second half with Nihat getting his second and sealing the win.
At the end of the day Frank Rijkaard would be pondering what went wrong and Manuel Pellegrini would be thinking to challenge Realmadrid all the way to the title.

Click here for goals

Barcelona - Betis - Goals

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