Barcelona Still 10 Points Behind After Win Against Atletico

While FC Barcelona has taken some time in recent matches to fully get into the game, on Sunday night they started out fully in their stride. Barcelona were guests of Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon stadium and with none of the apparent grogginess of late they started out on the attack.

This seemed to pay off after just seven minutes when Lionel Messi scored, however the referee ruled it out for handball. Next up came Xavi, whose 30 yard free kick forced Atletico keeper Courtois to show what he could do and save the ball.

The hosts quickly stepped up to the mark and responded to the Barcelona attack with a couple of dangerous looking breaks of their own. However, solid work by the defence and by Victor Valdes ensured nothing came of these.

The match started to get a little tough, but Barcelona settled down and then showed why they are considered the best team in the world at the moment when Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Dani Alves worked in perfect harmony to score the first goal of the match. However, Atletico’s Falcao responded with an attack on the Barcelona goal, which was denied by the quickness of Valdes.

After the break Atletico came on with a renewed sense of purpose and quickly started to push. This paid off a few minutes into the second half when Falcao, on the back post, volleyed the ball into the Catalan’s net from a corner.

As is so often the case Barcelona dominated possession, but even so the hosts were quick to attack when they had the opportunity. Dani Alves was instrumental in setting up an attack on the Atletico goal, but the ball was just beyond Messi’s reach and Alexis headed it over the post. Close to the end Barcelona’s defence messed up and allowed Falcao into the area. However, Valdes kept his head and reached the ball to prevent a second goal.

The match was won from a free kick by Messi. The ball soared over the Atletico defence and looked like it would go over the goal; however at the last second it dipped and went into the back of the net, much to the surprise of the Atletico goalie.

The final score was 2-1 to Barcelona, but with a 10 point disadvantage to Real Madrid their dream of another Spanish league title in 2012 was already over; coach Pep Guardiola admitted the fact, saying only that they would continue to play until the end.

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What Chance Does FC Barcelona Have Of Winning The Spanish League?

With an away victory against Real Betis on Saturday night and a clash between Real Madrid and Sevilla on Sunday resulting in a victory for Madrid, the most important question for many Barcelona fans is whether their team has what it takes to finish the season with the 2007 La Liga title.

Prior to this weekend, May 5th and 6th, FC Barcelona was in top position with Sevilla just one point behind and Real Madrid trailing two points. While Barcelona’s victory at least gave room to breath a little, the result they were hoping for between their two closest rivals was a draw. Instead Madrid moved up into second place although they still remain two points behind Barcelona. That margin is too close for comfort and the fight looks like it will go on right to the end.

Barcelona’s form has been rather patchy at some points during the current season, including a period when a run of five matches saw them score one goal in each, drawing four times and winning just once; and one of the lowest points in the domestic calendar must surely have been in January when fellow Barcelona team RCD Espanyol beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Estadi Olimpic.

The team definitely lacked something when Lionel Messi was out of action through injury and perhaps Ronaldinho’s lack of form at times is due to the immense pressure there must be on all the players. And so, back to that big question; does Barcelona have what it takes to win this year’s Spanish League title?

Whatever the answer, it’s not going to be easy to do. As winners of both the Spanish League and Champions League titles in 2006 the pressure has been on the repeat their performance and after being knocked out of the UEFA competition the focus has been purely domestic. With clear focus, determination, hard work and a little luck the team does have what it takes to hold on to the title for another year, but if they make anything more than the smallest mistake then their ambitions will be thwarted.

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Soccer Trivia and Facts

There’s nothing like a little bit of trivia to test your knowledge of the sport of soccer. You may say that soccer is your favorite sport, but how much do you really know? Following are some facts and tidbits that you may or may not know about soccer.

· Soccer originated generally in its present form in Britain.

· The world’s oldest club formed in 1857 is Sheffield FC

· Soccer is the most played and most watched sport on Earth

· Soccer is called football in practically every country except America, who call ‘Grid Iron’ football and football soccer.

· Famous soccer rivalries include the Old Firm (Scotland), Manchester derby, London derbies, Milan derby, Real vs Barcelona, and many more.

· Some famous soccer players: Pele, Maradonna, Charlton, Eusebio, Cruyff, Dalglish, Ronaldo, Beckham, Mattheus.

Those are some basic bits of soccer trivia and facts. How much did you know? Well, here are so more soccer facts to test your knowledge:

· The sport of Association Football (often referred to as soccer or simply football) is the most popular team sport in the world, in both number of spectators and number of active participants.

· The largest attendance for a soccer match ever was 199,854 people – Brazil v. Uruguay in the World Cup at the Maracana Municipal Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, July 1950.

· In the largest soccer tournament ever, no less than 5,098 teams competed in 1999 for the second Bangkok League Seven-a-Side Competition. Over 35,000 players involved!

· The most goals scored by one player in a single soccer match was 16

– Stephan Stanis (France) playing for Racing Club de Lens in December 1942.

· Based on video evidence, one of the fastest ever scored was in 2.8 seconds by Ricardo Olivera (Uruguay) in December 1998.

· The international governing body of soccer is the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), based in Zurich, Switzerland.

· Diego Maradona was only 16 when he made his soccer debut for Argentina.

· Soccer goalies didn’t have to wear different coloured shirts from their teammates until 1913.

· Eusebio scored 46 goals in the European Cup for Benfica.

· Chris Woods once went 1196 minutes without conceding a goal while at Rangers, from between November 26 1986 and January 31 1987.

· Ryan Giggs’ dad was a professional Rugby League player.

· In 1973, the entire Galilee team spent the night in jail for kicking their opponents during an Israeli League game.

Have you had enough soccer trivia and facts? These are only a few of the interesting soccer facts that are floating around out there.

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