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08.03.2009 12:48

Satisfaction all round

Jordi Clos

Saturday turned out to be a great day for Barca as they broke the run of five games without a win, again kept a clean sheet and opened up a six-point gap at the top of La Liga.

This was Guardiola’s team at their best again, controlling possession – 68% - pinpoint passing- 494 completed passes against 206 for Athletic – and another thrilling display of attacking firepower. In all, Barca had 18 shots on target and with three attempts finding the woodwork, it really was a miracle that there wasn’t another goal feast at the Nou Camp.

Solid at the back

QM3D1021.jpgBarca’s defence was also on form, playing higher up the pitch and not allowing Bilbao a single shot on target. Victor Valdes’ latest clean sheet was in fact the first the team had achieved since their 5-0 demolishment of Deportivo on January 17th.

Six point gap

Even though the football at the Nou Camp was pretty spectacular, it wasn’t the only point of interest for the fans who had one ear pressed to the radio for the score at the Bernabeu, where the Madrid derby kicked off at the same time. The 1-1 draw gave the Barca fans yet more to celebrate as Guardiola’s team cruised to a six point lead over Real Madrid.

Puyol the only negative

QM3D1122.jpgThe only negative for Guardiola was captain Carles Puyol’s ankle injury that will see him sidelined for three weeks. The captain will undergo further tests on Monday.
Satisfaction all round
Masia vs Lezama
The Barça-Bilbao game was also a duel between academies, with Barca fielding seven players who’d come up from La Masia whilst six players from the Bilbao academy at Lezama were in the Bilbao starting lineup.

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