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22.12.2009 22:09

A hatful of goals in the Camp Nou (4-2)

Pau Ramírez

Johan Cruyff kicked off his new career as manager of the Catalan national team with a great 4-2 victory over Argentina on Tuesday evening. Young Barça striker Bojan scored the goal of the match.

Despite the cold and the rain that fell throughout the day, more than 53,000 spectators turned up to support Catalonia in the Camp Nou on Tuesday evening.

Barça style guides Catalonia

20091222_M3_5426.jpgThe six Catalan players from FC Barcelona named by Cruyff (Valdés, Piqué, Puyol, Xavi, Busquets and Bojan) featured in the starting line-up and imposed the Barça style of football (a 4-3-3 with plenty of short passing and a lot of possession). The Barça style was helped long by the presence of three former Barça players - Oleguer Presas, Joan Verdú and Sergio García.

The main surprise in the line-up was to see Gerard Piqué playing in front of the back four. He looked comfortable and protected the backs of Xavi and Busquets. Xavi, who was named as FIFA’s 3rd best player of the year on Monday, took charge of directing Catalonia’s play in midfield. Bojan and Sergio García pressed the Argentine defence and the fullbacks, Bruno Saltor and Capdevila, posed a constant threat down the wings. Catalonia dominated the first half while Argentina looked to the counterattacks of Higuaín and Lavezzi, plus some penetration down the wing by Papa.

The few chances enjoyed by Argentina in the opening 45 minutes ended up safely in the hands of Valdés. However, Catalonia got the reward for their persistence when, Sergio García headed in a Verdú cross from the left wing just before the break (1-0).

Goals galore in the second half

20091222_M3_5405.jpgThe second half was a lively affair with chances coming on both sides. In the 55th minute, Bojan set the stadium alight with a great goal. He broke from the left, went past three defenders and beat Pozo with a powerful low shot. Almost immediately Pastore pulled one back for Argentina from outside the box.

Catalonia made it 3-1 in the 69th when Sergio González converted a penalty kick after a foul on Corominas. Once again Argentina hit back immediately thanks to Di María.

However, Catalonia didn’t allow the visitors to enjoy their fight back and Moisés headed in from another Verdú cross to make the final score 4-2.
A hatful of goals in the Camp Nou (4-2)
Match stats
Catalonia: Víctor Valdés (Codina, m.77); Bruno Saltor, Puyol (Serrano, m.62), Oleguer, Capdevila; Xavi (Sergio González, m.55), Piqué (Moisés, m.46), Busquets; Verdú, Bojan (Corominas, m.65) and Sergio García (Fernando Navarro, m.73). Manager: Johan Cruyff.
Argentina: Pozo; Cristian Álvarez, Demichelis, Otamendi (Pareja, m.46), Papa (Dátolo, m.62); Pastore, Bolatti, Gago (Banega, m.76), Di María (Salvio, m.82); Lavezzi and Higuaín (Palermo, m.66). Manager: Héctor Adolfo Enrique.
Goals: 1-0, m.45: Sergio García. 2-0, m.55: Bojan. 2-1, m.63: Pastore. 3-1, m.69: Sergio Gonzáles (p). 3-2, m.71: Di María. 4-2, m.75: Moisés.
Referee: Álvarez Izquierdo. Yellow cards for Puyol (m.35), Moisés (m.48), Demichelis (m.51), Dátolo (m.80) Di María (m.81), Pareja (m.85)
Stadium: Camp Nou, 53.000 spectators.

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