HERCULES vs BARCELONA: By the time I switched onto this game, around ninth minute, Messi had uncharacteristically made two mis-passes. La Liga’s leaders had history against them when they took this game. The last time Hercules played in La Liga, they did the double over Fabio Capello’s Barcelona in 1996-97. This season they gave Barcelona their only defeat in the Nou Camp, courtesy two Nelson Valdez strikes. For Barcelona’s previous defeat in their fortress, you may need to rewind your mind way back to October 2009 to Rubin Kazan in a Champions league group encounter.
The Catalans have been scintillating this season away from home, though, with a 100% record and scoring in the first half in all, but one, of those nine games. They scored again tonight, before the break, through the excellent Pedro. Pedro’s contribution to this Barcelona team is often unnoticed, due to the presence of a handful of all time great footballers playing around him. To me, he seems the most under-rated player in the game, currently.
Pedro’s goal tonight was the 399th goal scored by Barcelona under Pep Guardiola. Of these Leo Messi has scored a whopping 120 goals, followed by Pedro with 42 and Samuel Eto with 36 goals. This season alone Barca have scored more than 100 goals in all competitions; In La Liga they are averaging three goals per game and have let it a meagre 11 goals. No wonder, no one wants to leave this Barcelona side as they look set to smash and create records. Sergio Busquets was recently been sought after by Manchester United, only to see the Catalan academy kid, sign a fresh contract extension.
It was important Pedro scored tonight not only to ensure Barca score a perfect ten, in their away games this season, but also to keep the trend that every week in La Liga, at least one goal was being scored by a current world cup winner.
The match finished 3-0, Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona scored their 400th and 401st goal as Messi scored his 36th and 37th of the season. I hit the bed at 5am in the morning …. not much of a sacrifice when you know you are watching, arguably, the best team ever in soccer.