FC Barcelona lead the Spanish League after victory in Gijón (0-1)
An early goal from Adriano gave Guardiola’s men the three points in Gijón which take them to the top of the Spanish League’s table for the first time this season. On the negative side, Abidal was forced off with an injury.
Barcelona (FCB).- As they were in their last two visits to El Molinón stadium, Barça were really made to work hard by Sporting Gijón and they ran out winners thanks to a single first half goal from Adriano \u2013though they could easily have increased their lead in a dominant first 45 minutes. After the break the game was more evenly balanced, with Barça controlling the home team\u2019s efforts, despite losing Abidal to injury and, in truth, Valdes was rarely under threat.
The win puts FC Barcelona at the top of La Liga (Spanish League) going into the international break, with 14 points alongside Llevant, but with a better goal difference.
Adriano opens the scoring
Barça\u2019s manager, Pep Guardiola, began the game with another tactical innovation, sending out a 3-3-4 line up, with Pedro playing as a false number nine, Messi a little behind him and Villa and Adriano out wide. The system helped Barça dominate and after a Xavi shot had bounced off the woodwork, Adriano was quick to pounce and his shot deflected off Canella past Sporting keeper Juan Pablo to give Barça a deserved early lead.
One up, Barça now began to completely take charge and Thiago and Villa combined on the left to nearly double the lead before Messi had a penalty shout turned down by the ref. The second looked to be a matter of when not if, as Sporting defended en masse and could only muster a couple of counter attacks before the break.
Abidal injury and return to back four
The hosts upped their game in the second half though., and played with a greater intensity and more presence in attack, upsetting Barça\u2019s rhythm, which was further disturbed by Abidal\u2019s injury, forcing Guardiola to bring on Maxwell and Piqué for the Frenchman and Pedro, whilst reverting to a traditional back four. After a first 25 minutes or so under immense local pressure, Barça began to take control again and take the sting out of any Sporting threat by employing their trademark domination of possession and not allowing the hosts a sniff of a chance.
0-1, Adriano (min 12)