Barça v. Viktoria Plzen: More football than goals (2-0)

FC Barcelona overcame Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League by just 2-0. Barça were the much better team for the whole match and created lots of chances, but had to work really hard to break down the visitors.

Jordi Clos

October 20, 2011 02:02 AM

Barcelona (FCB).- Barça’s first win at the Camp Nou in this season’s Champions League was tougher than expected, maybe due to ignorance about the Czech team, Victoria Plzen. The reigning European Champions looked very good. FC Barcelona went ahead early on with a goal by Andrés Iniesta (10’). In fact they could have killed off the match before halftime, if they’d had a bit more success, and more luck, in front of goal. They dominated the whole game, but weren’t able to breathe easy until minute 81, when David Villa made the score 2-0.

Superlative Iniesta

FC Barcelona started very well, and had 2 chances within the first 2 minutes. Barça were breaking down the opposing defensive web with lightning 1-2’s. A combination between Iniesta and Messi led to the first goal by Iniesta, with a great change of foot, and a cool left foot shot into the bottom corner (min 10). Aside from the goal, Iniesta's performance in the first half was simply outstanding.

Although conceding an early goal, Viktoria Plzen closed down the Barça attack with certain success, but Barça won the ball back quickly. There was no Puyol, but Barça’s manager, Josep Guardiola, played with four defenders (Alves, Mascherano, Abidal and Adriano) to neutralise the Czech wingers.

Lots of football without much success

The game became a Barça monologue. However, reaching the half hour mark, Viktoria gained a little in confidence and opened up slightly. Barça were off target with their shooting, although they had several chances to extend their lead, like a low effort from Villa (min 25) or a counter-attack that saw the Czech keeper save from Messi (min 27). Pedro and Messi had a couple of chances each before the break, and Messi hit the post from a free-kick. The 1-0 scoreline at half time was poor baggage to show for the football Barça had played.

Omnipresent Messi

Barça came out after the break ready to finish the job quickly. The Czech defence was under constant pressure. In minute 59, Messi lifted the 74,000 fans out of their seats with a fantastic solo run, culminating in his second shot onto the post. The goal was resisting Messi, and not for want of trying, as he intervened in almost all the attacking moves.

Villa closes out the game

As the game went on the uncertainty of the result was becoming more uncomfortable for Barça than for Viktoria, who still had reason to dream of the miracle. Czech hopes faded as soon as Villa scored to make it 2-0, after a counter-attack that he himself had started (min 81). The last few minutes allowed Guardiola to send on Isaac Cuenca, for his debut in an official match. Barça claimed the win that keeps them at the top of the group, alongside AC Milan, with seven points.


1-0 Iniesta (min 10)
2-0 Villa (min 81)