Spanish League - FC Barcelona Begins a New Season of La Liga after Beating Sporting

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In what was the beginning of a new season of Spanish League soccer, FC Barcelona began the work of defending its championship title with a 3-0 victory over Sporting. However, even though the team claimed victory, Barça didn’t exhibit a level of play appropriate to a champion; with a slow pace and simple plays the players just managed to keep control of the ball and the game. Sporting entered the game with five players missing due to injury, but in the first ten minutes of the game, the lack seemed not to matter. Diego Castro almost gave his team the lead, but his shot went over the bar. The score first opened less than 20 minutes into the game, and the point did not belong to Sporting. Barça midfielder Seydou Keita launched a shot at minute 18 and Bojan Krkic was able to head the ball, sending it straight to the bottom of Juan Pablo Colinas’ net. The goal made the Asturians realize that they needed to raise their level of play, increasing their offense in order to tie the score. They tried, but the task was difficult to accomplish, as Barça was able to retain control of the ball. As the minutes progressed, the excitement increased and the tension became palpable; Barça kept pushing Sporting, which could do nothing but defend itself in order to avoid being crushed. With midfielder Xavi Hernandez leading the team in the middle, Barça continued the offensive strategy but without raising its game. Still, Sporting’s defense wasn’t strong enough to hold off its rivals, who scored a second goal at minute 42 when Dani Alves cleared the ball, later headed by Keita. The goal was the last of the first half, and the teams went into halftime with a score of 2-0. In the second half, Sporting changed its strategy of play, opting to place players in Barça’s field and applying direct pressure to the player who had the ball. The team even came close to scoring halfway through the second quarter with Mate Bilic and David Barral. From that moment onward, the pressure of the game fell on Bojan and Swedish player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the players at the front and the main targets of attack for Sporting. The two players – and in particular Ibrahimovic – intensified their attacks on the goal, exponentially increasing goalkeeper Colinas’ work. By contrast, Sporting made very few dangerous plays. In fact, there were only two threatening situations for Barça, but the incredible ability of goalkeeper Victor Valdes prevented any scoring. Shortly before the end of the game, Ibrahimovic finally got his goal, scoring - just as with the first two goals - with a header. The third goal concluded the game, and Barça upset Sporting 3-0. Despite being champions of the Spanish League, Barcelona did not begin the season in first place; a devastating 4-1 victory by Getafe over the Racing Santander gave the former provisional points, launching the team to the top of the standings. Barça comes in at second.
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Stephen Lars has 1 articles online

About the Author Stephen Lars has been a prominent writer on regular Spain Primera Division games, sports news and the online betting industry for many exceptional sports web sites. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.

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Spanish League - FC Barcelona Begins a New Season of La Liga after Beating Sporting

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Spanish League - FC Barcelona Begins a New Season of La Liga after Beating Sporting

This article was published on 2009/09/04