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Match Report: Barca 4 Valladolid 1


This Easter is so wonderful! Barça is back to only four points after Real Madrid lost to Valencia (2-3 in Madrid) and Barça beat Valladolid.

Barça didn’t play much better than in the 2-2 draw at Almeria last week,but they managed to score four times.

Frank Rijkaard made two changes to the team that lost at Valencia: Thierry Henry returned to the team at the expense of Gudjohnsen and Sylvinho came in for Abidal.Yaya Toure continued in midfield but once again showed that he is not fit enough to play at the level expected of him.

The first chance for Barça came in the second minute,but Bojan’s shot lacked the necessary power and was cleared off the line, two minutes later a superb first time lay-off from Xavi gave him a clear chance but Valladolid’s goalkeeper Asenjo saved well.

Barça then slowed up a little but after twenty minutes Iniesta brought another save from a shot from the left, and a minute later a corner found Toure whose shot from close in was again saved by the keeper. Then in the 23rd minute Valladolid failed to clear a Barça attack and Bojan took advantage to dribble out to the left before crossing to the unmarked Eto’o who side-footed home a volley.

Barça were looking comfortable but after 29 minutes a Victor Valdés throw towards Bojan on the left was intercepted by Sesma who sent in a cross, Thuram made contact with Llorente who fell to the floor and inexplicably the referee blew for a penalty that never was. Sesma sent Valdés the wrong way for the equalizer. For the last fifteen minutes of the first half Barça failed to react and the crowd’s nerves and impatience were transmitted to the team, fortunately Valladolid failed to take advantage of a couple of chances that fell their way.

The second half began with Toure giving the ball away which led to a Valladolid shot over the bar after just few seconds. However, Barça responded and in the 47th minute Toure’s pass was flicked on by Bojan, and Iniesta scored.

In the 61st minute Gudjohnsen came on for Toure and a minute later Barça scored again. A free kick from Xavi found Puyol in a clearly offside position, the Barça captain failed to control well but a Valladolid defender’s interception sent the ball straight to Bojan who shot low past Asenjo into the far corner.

Eto’o nearly made it four after he tried to divert Xavi’s mishit shot, but his effort bounced onto the ground and incredibly over the crossbar. For the last fifteen minutes Barça again seemed to lose their concentration and Valladolid had four dangerous occasions, once hitting the post and on 83 minutes Manchev hit the crossbar. While Valladolid cursed their luck Barça went straight up the other end and Eto’o took the ball wide of the keeper before unselfishly crossing for Bojan to tap in from a yard out.

Barça: Valdés; Zambrotta, Thuram (Abidal 70′), Puyol, Sylvinho; Xavi, Toure (Gudjohnsen 61′), Iniesta; Eto’o, Bojan (Pedrito 85′), Henry

Goals: 23′ Eto’o 1-0, 31′ Sesma (pen) 1-1, 47′, Iniesta 2-1, 62′ Bojan 3-1, 84′ Bojan 4-1

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