Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 0 minute ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION
Messi scores most goals in a year as Barcelona tighten grip on Spanish football
December 27, 2012
 Print    Send to Friend

BARCELONA: With Barcelona having made a record start to the season and Lionel Messi hitting the most goals in a calendar year it is easy to forget the clouds of uncertainty that hung over the Camp Nou last summer as they sought to topple champions Real Madrid.

It appeared as though Barca had reached the end of an era as Pep Guardiola chose to walk away after being pipped to the title by his nemesis Jose Mourinho whose side notched up a record 100 points and 121 goals in the process.

It had taken Mourinho two seasons but he had finally ended Barcelona’s hegemony that had seen them win three consecutive championships and two Champions Leagues since Guardiola returned to the club in the summer of 2008.

During his first year a fear element set in at the Bernabeu as Mourinho desperately sought and failed to find a way to counteract Barca’s technically strong passing game but last April Real came out on top 2-1 in a key game to decide the title at the Nou Camp.

Real seemed to be a team on the up as they had consolidated without the need to spend lavishly in the transfer market, but rather they attempted to fine tune the squad with the addition for example of Luka Modric from Tottenham Hotspur to add competition for Mesut Ozil in midfield.

It would be easy to think that Guardiola decided to leave in the face of this and indications that his Barcelona team was on a downward curve.

While Lionel Messi was prolific as ever with a record of 73 goals for the 2011-12 season the club had become more dependent on him and rumours had developed that Guardiola had lost the support of members of the dressing room like Dani Alves, David Villa and Cesc Fabregas who were not happy about sitting on the bench.

In a number of league games they had struggled as the opposition packed the midfield and prevented Barca from playing and although the team did capture the King’s Cup against Athletic Bilbao they were also knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea in the semi-finals despite dominating in both legs.

The decision to promote Tito Vilanova to the top job was widely supported to ensure a smooth transition but there were plenty of questions over whether Guardiola’s reserved assistant had the charisma for the role.

Fears were raised as Real came out on top in the domestic Super Cup, the season’s curtain raiser between the league and cup winners, but since then Barcelona’s form has been relentless.

Despite a catalogue of injuries especially in defence, the Catalans made a record start to the league season as they only dropped points in a 2-2 draw with Real and the main reason for the prolific form has been the displays of Messi.

Agence France-Presse

 

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
Roma hold Manchester City, Barcelona stunned
London: European football greats Francesco Totti and Xavi Hernandez set Champions League records for oldest goalscorer and appearances on Tuesday but neither could cap th..
That’s woman power, exults Priyanka on Kom’s Asiad feat
Priyanka Chopra, the reel life M.C. Mary Kom, is ecstatic about the real life boxing champion’s gold winning exploits in the women’s flyweight category (48-51kg) at the 1..
English giants brace for Champions League test
London: Last season’s beaten finalists Atletico Madrid host Serie A leaders Juventus in a high octane Group A battle in the Spanish capital while Arsenal need a win at ho..
Manchester City face Roma test in must-win clash
London: Manchester City will look to bounce back from an opening defeat at Bayern Munich when they host Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday, as Jose Mourinho’s Chelse..
Messi reaches 400-goal milestone, Neymar scores hat-trick as Barca hit Granada for six
BARCELONA: Lionel Messi grabbed his 400th career goal while Neymar smashed a hat-trick as Barcelona stormed back to the top of La Liga with a 6-0 thrashing of Granada on ..
 
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright