Murcia 3-5 Barça

Barça finished a disappointing league campaign with an entertaining 3-5 win at Murcia. It was fitting that Frank Rijkaard’s last match in charge should be an open game with a lot of goals. Giovani dos Santos who hasn’t scored a league goal all season, tonight scored a hat-trick.

Barça started the game terribly and for the first twenty minutes we looked like a broken team facing another embarassing defeat. Murcia had already created a couple of chances and then in the 8th minute a cross from the promising Dani Aquino was headed against the bar by Ivan Alonso. Gudjohnsen had a long shot tipped over for Barça and then in the 15th minute another cross from Aquino was headed goalwards by Ivan Alonso forcing a fine save from Pinto. From the corner Barça showed they still don’t know how to defend at set pieces as Ochoa was unmarked to score at the near post.

Fortunately for Barça, Murcia have been relegated for a good reason: they are a poor team. Barça took advantage of Murcia’s poor defending to score three goals in ten minutes. In the 23rd minute Henry played a one-two with Messi and pulled the ball back to Eto’o who turned the ball home. Three minutes later Xavi sent a pass through to Henry who beat the offside trap and beat the goalkeeper to the ball before scoring into the empty net. Then it was Gudjohnsen’s turn to thread a pass through to Eto’o who when faced with the goalkeeper unselfishly squared to Giovani who had a simple job of putting the ball home.

The second half began with Barça totally dominating. Gudjohnsen and Messi had chances but then in the 52nd minute a great run from Giovani in which he bounced passes off Eto’o and Messi ended with a sublime chip from the Mexican over the keeper into the net. Murcia responded briefly forcing two fine saves from Pinto, then in the 66th minute Henry crossed from the left to Giovani on the edge of the area who picked his spot superbly to complete his hat-trick.

Rijkaard then decided to give debuts to both right-back Fali and midfielder Rueda who came on for Thuram and Gudjohnsen, and Bojan came on in place of Henry. We will not see Thuram again for Barça while the futures of Gudjohnsen and Henry are unclear. Barça relaxed towards the end and Murcia managed to pull two goals back. First Ivan Alonso scored from the penalty spot after Puyol fouled Mejia, and then Abel scored direct from a free kick with five minutes to go.

Barça: Pinto, Oleguer, Thuram (Fali 70′), Puyol, Abidal; Giovani, Xavi, Gudjohnsen (Rueda 74′); Messi, Eto’o, Henry (Bojan 76′)

Goals: 16′ Ochoa 1-0, 23′ Eto’o 1-1, 26′ Henry 1-2, 33′ Giovani 1-3, 52′ Giovani 1-4, 66′ Giovani 1-5, 81′ Ivan Alonso (pen) 2-5, 85′ Abel 3-5

Leave a Reply