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A look back at FC Barcelona’s 5-2 thumping of Atletico Madrid

Dani Alves (Reuters)

The best team in the world, FC Barcelona, takes the field again today in La Liga action when it faces Racing Santander in a match that will be shown live on ESPN2 (4pm).

There are teams enjoying strong seasons in Europe, such as Chelsea, Real Madrid, Juventus and Inter Milan, but it's tough to argue with the belief that Barcelona remains the team to beat in Europe.

Want proof? In case you missed it, here are the highlights of Barcelona's 5-2 drubbing of Atletico Madrid on Saturday.



  1. Ives, maybe so. But I don’t think that they are — that team has a lot to prove.

    This is an interesting year in world football — so many of the traditional powers have fallen off while new teams have come to the fore. Anyone have any idea who’s going to win the EPL?

  2. Barça’s attacking skill is simply amazing to watch. they make the game look so simple and artful.

    @ Pico, Las Claves de Johan Cruyff, great article and great comments afterwards! it might just be different types of journalism or just a different culture but the barcelona commenters were engaged in a discussion of style of play and football philosophy. Of all the blogs on this site and other sports blogs in america i read mostly arguments about rankings and depth charts and rarely anything about philosophy or rhythm.
    not being from barcelona, i have only visited 2x, i find it hard to be “supporter” as many american fans title themselves, but I admire everything about that club from its history to its fans to its actions on the field. (except danny alves)

  3. Yeah, as a rojiblanco fan this one definitely hurt. I was just hoping we would put up a fight at the camp nou so the result is upsetting especially taking into account our current form. I have no knock on barcelona because they play some of the sexiest football I have ever seen. They are the best team in europe and I am always inclined to put messi over christiano in terms of the best player as well. Real Madrid’s defense has looked shaky so far this year and I could see barca throwing up another 5 goals on them in their big derby this year again.

  4. fischy,

    chrgrynskiy is not the first choice defender for Barca. With players having been in international fixtures and injuries he was in. He won’t be for the big CL games.

    As far as Real goes, I’ll say this: they have a quality coach in Manuel Pellegrini. He’s a class act, and has produced scintillating winning soccer in every team he’s coached since his days with San Lorenzo, River, and Villarreal. It will be interesting to see how the team gels as it goes.

    It will be an exciting clasico, for sure!!

  5. For those praising Barca’s defense, check out the highlights again — and look at the positioning of this guy: Dmytro Chygrynskiy. I love the way his name looks on a jersey, but he got abused on both goals.

    Having said that — it’s hard to see how you beat a team that has players with the passing skills shown by Busquets and Xavi on those first two goals, and the ball control and touch shown by Ibra and Messi. That was beautiful — some of the best football I’ve seen.

  6. E, of course I see the difference. Note my hesitance to proclaim ANY team the “best” right now.

    (SBI-Then don’t BCC, but don’t tell others they can’t or shouldn’t. Something tells me though that if people were proclaiming Real Madrid the best you would protest just a wee bit less.)

  7. Ives, I am not sure how you interpret my post as me telling people they can’t have an opinion. You say your piece, I say mine . . . isn’t that what all this blog stuff is about? No ones mother has been insulted here (yet, ha).

    My point is this: it does not mean much to declare a team the best in September. Yes, I know there are some pre-season trophies, but no one puts any stock in those. Anyone who watches La Liga knows that the race for the title does not start until the first Superclasico.

    In league play, Real Madrid has scored 11 goals to Barca’s 10, and both teams have given up 2. In the Champions League, Real has scored 5 goals and Barca ZERO. Where’s the Real Madrid highlight reel?

    (SBI- BCC, here’s what you wrote: “Why do writers insist on calling teams “the best” two or three weeks into the season? Same thing is going on with NFL guys and it’s silly.” In your opinion it’s silly for writers to have an opinion. What’s more silly, a writer who covers the sport expressing an opinion on the sport, or someone telling them they’re silly for having an opinion?

    And you answered a question I was going to ask you. I was going to ask who your team was, and based on your defense of Real Madrid, it’s clear that you’re a Real Madrid fan who has a problem with them playing second fiddle to Barcelona. After a quick search of your comments I know that you are, in your own words, “A Madradista”, and one who never misses a chance to criticize Barcelona.

    As for “where are the Real Madrid highlights” I suppose you missed this post:

    I ran the Barcelona video because there was just plain beautiful soccer and I thought readers would appreciate it. Clearly most, at least the ones who weren’t Madrid fans, would appreciate it and they did.

    So who’s really being sensible here? Me, for offering an opinion on who the best team in the world is, or you for having a problem with that opinion because I didn’t say your team was the best in the world?

    It’s all good though BCC, I know you’re a regular and appreciate your regular contributions. Just try to understand that praise of Barcelona doesn’t have to be seen as a diss of Real Madrid. It’s not always about your team.)

  8. I watched this game and Real’s game. For me both are the class of La Liga and quite possible even Europe. But you know that old saying “Defense wins championships”? I think there will be no better testament to it than Real-Barca this year. Barca is just as deadly (if not deadlier) on the attack, but their true championship pedigree shines through on their defense. They defend as a team – hounding the opponent to get the ball back (that is when the opponet actually does have the ball).

    So far, the evidence shows that Barca is the team to beat – just in case you forgot who won all those trophies last year.

    Once the losing starts for Real or the politics kicks in at high gear (whichever comes first), we will see what this team is really made of. At this point it’s looking like Real could be staring at a boat load of debt with not much to show for it at the end of the season.

  9. I watched the first goal and whispered to myself, “Wow…look at the attacking talent they have in that celebration.”

    And then Messi and Dani Alves came into the picture. Barca is ridiculous.

  10. This guy,

    You’re in for a rude awakening. Real’s defense is a joke. They are going to have problems this year unless they get some d help in the winter transfer window.

  11. BCC: Well… Barça has won the Supercup and the Spanish Supercup already this season. Admittedly, both cups are early-season contests and don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. But it does show that Barça is playing well and playing to win.

    To everyone, if you saw that game, Atletico actually looked quite good. They were pressing well, and their two goals were opportunistic and well-taken. Atletico did their best to clutter up the midfield by withdrawing Forlan, but it wasn’t enough. In the second half, Barça was content just to ping the ball around, and Atletico was never able to dominate or create chances.

  12. But a lot of hardware has been given out since May, and Barcelona was on top. They’re the champions, and they’re the best until proven otherwise. The burden of proof is on the other teams now.

  13. Yawn. Why do writers insist on calling teams “the best” two or three weeks into the season? Same thing is going on with NFL guys and it’s silly.

    Let’s talk about best in the world in about thirty weeks. Not a lot of hardware being given out in September.

    (SBI-It’s an opinion BCC, you’re entitled to your own, and you’re entitled not to have one, but you’re not entitled to tell people what opinions they can have. Seems silly really.)


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