it’s not just you, puyi. pep was on another level of concentration, fiddling with his pen and paper, wildly gesturing to players, exercising all of his facial muscles, and not celebrating goals. the result was another 3 points at home after a nailbiter of a match. the official website didn’t do me any favors as the pre-game headline reminded me that we have yet to win a 3rd ucl group match under pep. thank you for that, really. as if i don’t get enough pessimism from pep already.
the top story for me this week was fontas extending his contract until 2015. yay!! here’s a video of our young defender, looking quite happy with his extension. it’s in catalan so i can’t really follow well (i think he says something about working hard to play more minutes) but who really cares? just looking at his face and hearing his voice is enough.
and here’s a video of him sharing what was probably a congratulatory hug with his mister, right after the clip of puyi doing his best impression of the easter bunny.
cesc. you look like che guevara. seriously, your hair shouldn’t be legal.
anyway, about the game. i was really disappointed that fontas didn’t start and puyi didn’t play, but the good news was the return of the masch! pep chose capita xavi, busquets, iniesta, MVP, abidal, alves, adriano ( 🙂 ) , el jefe and a golden victor valdes as his starting 11.
the biggest mistake viktoria plzen made last night was show up at the camp nou in white. didn’t they know that triggers an attack switch in the collective consciousness of cules everywhere? in fairness to them, their only other kit is blue and red, so they really had no choice but go blanco. the gambrinus liga champs came out hopeful, but the boys in blaugrana came out inspired. barely 10 minutes in, don andres made the ball dance with our little flea before gracefully slotting it into the goal. i watched that goal over and over again from all the different angles. absolute beauty. the control was excellent, and the understanding between those two was honed to perfection. iniesta dedicated the goal to his baby girl, and everyone joined in the group hug — everyone except for busquets, who was pulled aside by pep for some tactical talk. way to celebrate, pep.
well, after that goal, it was 70-odd minutes of suspense, the most exciting part of which was probably alves colliding with VV. the czech side made us work hard, and there were a lot of chances that we weren’t able to follow through with. A LOT.
then there was this horrific moment:
messi last night was just phenomenal. the scoreline doesn’t reflect all the runs he made, and all the chances he created, but the credit for that goes squarely to plzen’s defense. the moments just before he went down are a testament to his character — obviously in much discomfort, he skipped forward with his weight on his good ankle and even made an attempt to score. hands down amazing.
finally, with less than 10 minutes to go, david villa sent the ball flying into the back of the net. a beautiful goal once again, and here’s pep overjoyed once again:
here’s a video of the goals:
at 2-nil, it was time for subs. around 10 minutes before, pep had these guys warm up:
which certainly got my hopes up. but it was not to be. pep subbed keita for iniesta, and a little while after that, subbed newbie isaac cuenca for villa. based on the twitter and fb chatter from our players, this was the highlight of the night. it always gives me a warm feeling inside when see how solid our players’ support system is, especially when senior players encourage youth players.
unfortunately, he was the last sub for the night. i feel really bad when pep doesn’t use all his subs, especially when we’re ahead. he could’ve rested messi, or more importantly, given the other guys more minutes. our next champions league fixture will be against plzen; hopefully we’ll see new faces too 🙂
post-match, from iniesta: very happy with the win and for having helped the team with a goal. the feeling was unbeatable. now to think about the game on saturday. a hug and thank you for all your support!
from puyi: hello everyone, today we have 3 valuable points. congratulations to isaac cuenca on his champions debut. i dedicate this victory to all women for breast cancer awareness day. hugs
note – well. i am a woman and i thank you capita for dedicating this victory to me. i’ll take that hug now.
puyi also posted this photo on his facebook ( he certainly is channeling the 80s, isn’t he?) :
one memory they surely recall with fondness is june 30th, 1996. felip ortiz, xavier molist and puyi were part of the barca youth side that demolished real madrid’s reserves during the 1996 juvenil copa del rey final at the romareda. the final score was 4-2, and puyi scored the fourth goal! here are some more photos of the three amigos:
also notable on puyi’s twitter page was this photo:
again, cesc. please. till next time! my next post will be about this weekend’s game. if you’re looking for a blaugrana treat, do check out my good friend ishay’s post for the capita – http://www.foodandthefabulous.com/drinks/captains-brew-a-cocktail-for-carles-puyol/ 🙂