u mad, puyi??
alaves made us suffer through their 1-point lead for about 20 minutes before adriano (yay!!!) scored the equalizer. our boys on the stands were not happy campers in the cold..
fortunately, our boys on the pitch were able to turn our rocky start around.
thiago made his presence felt in the midfield. after adriano scored the first goal, villa got on the scoresheet twice! el guaje just had a few minutes to relish the feeling of his 300th goal before he netted his 301st. enhorabuena, guaje!! now aim for 400!
here’s a video of the match highlights — kudos to tello for unselfish play on that last goal! —
after villa scored his brace, we had a few more nice attempts at the goal. this one, from the half, is my favorite —
#MascheGOL — it’s going to happen soon!!
with 10 minutes to go, tito subbed puyi out and sent cesc in, which meant we will have to wait till our next match for a possible shirt exchange. although i hate seeing our captain walking off the pitch, i do like watching him pass the brazalete to the next guy. every time he has to leave the pitch, puyi always takes the extra time and effort to run up to whoever’s next in line, secure the armband around his arm, and leave with words or gestures of encouragement. it’s a small thing, but it’s a massive sign of respect, and in turn it gets him more respect too.
since he took the reins as manager, tito has fielded many a b-team player. i find his approach to the cantera very refreshing; he doesn’t seem to tiptoe around their feelings/egos much. he’ll say openly in a presser that this player needs to improve, or this player can’t expect a lot of playing time because he’s competing with others for the spot. (i do enjoy tito’s pressers a lot; he gives really smart and honest answers)
last night was special, because tito granted a 1st team debut to a canterano for the first time ever. and you don’t get more “la masia” than carles planas — joined the academy at age 10 as an alevin, and has risen through the ranks ever since. as a defender, he says puyi is his reference point. but of course. he even wears the same number on his back 🙂
he came in for adriano in the middle of the second half. congratulations!
gosh our young boys all look so yummy… haha that sounds so wrong 🙂
as far as competitions go, i really love the copa del rey. i love the notion of second or third division teams getting their 180 minutes against liga powerhouses, which they otherwise would not have the chance to play against. i felt very happy for alaves that they scored at the camp nou. just imagine how it felt for sergio herrera to make his debut as alaves’ keeper against barcelona — and at the camp nou, no less! even if we scored 3 past him, he was still so excited after the game, thanking pinto for his signed shirt. he kept his own shirt, by the way — a souvenir from his first game. stuff like this makes me feel all warm inside.
i also love the copa because we can field our younger players and the first team players who need/want more minutes. At the same time, we can rest those who’ve been exhausted by the liga and the champions league. two-legged ties, when properly dispatched during the first round, give us this luxury of playing time.
despite having fixtures where the odds seem immeasurably pooled in the stronger team’s favor, the prospect of upsets (as in madrid-alcorcon) makes the copa pretty exciting. it’s never devoid of drama, and every so often i enjoy cheering for the underdogs 🙂
but more than anything else, i love the copa because it’s pinto time 🙂
today is FC Barcelona’s 113th birthday! feliç aniversari to our beloved club. thank you for giving us this beautiful man: