Sporting Gijon vs. Barcelona – Spanish La Liga Review (Part 1)
David Villa’s exquisite finish was simply not enough to give Barcelona the three points as Sporting Gijon worked hard to get a 1-1 draw from the league leaders. The home team kept on denying Barcelona with the help of their resolute defending and the La
Blaugrana found themselves at the end of a very difficult away fixture before going into the UEFA Champions League during the midweek.
The Catalan Giants were confident with a 16 match all-winning streak in the Spanish La Liga. However, after a tight defensive strategy employed by the Sporting Gijon coach Manolo Preciado, it was hard for Josep Guardiola’s men to take all three points while
being away from home.
It was David Barral who took the lead for the home team with only 17 minutes gone in the referee M. Lasa’s watch. Later, it was all Barcelona trying to get past the Sporting defensive walls and it was not until the 80th minute when David Villa
picked up a pass from Lionel Messi and earned his team one points. The Catalans tried very hard to win the game till the end but it was hard for them to breach Sporting’s defensive walls.
With the game kicking off in Municipal El Molinon, Barcelona started off by dominating possession. By winning the ball in the opposition’s territory, the Catalans rushed forward. It was Lionel Messi who started a wonderful move from the right flank and played
a deadly pass towards Andres Iniesta. Even though the shot taken by Iniesta looked to be finding the target, Pichu Cuellar perfectly denied him the goal scoring opportunity. Pichu later had a very tough day between the two poles and denied Barcelona several
opportunities to give his team a hard-fought one point.
Despite the fact that the visitors were dominating possession, Sporting Gijon were the ones who took the lead during the 17th minute. It was David Barral who scored a remarkable goal. The goal was filled with individual brilliance as Barral found
the back of the net with the help of his stronger right foot. The former Real Madrid striker got past Gerard Pique on the right flank then managed to expose the Argentinean centre back Diego Milito and right when Maxwell was about to reach him, he found Victor
Valdes charging forward. Barral took his chances on goal and found the lower bottom corner as he took his team a step forward in the game.
After scoring the first goal of the game, Sporting decided to go on their back foot. The Asturians did a great job while defending and got almost eight to nine men behind the ball. With so many players defending against Barcelona, it was definitely hard
for the Catalans to capitalize and even runs from Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta didn’t help them in scoring goals.
Barcelona started to dominate possession in the opposition’s territory. Despite the fact that they had most of the ball, they still didn’t look to be very fluid while being in front of goal. Sporting Gijon did a fantastic job to deny the visitors the opportunities
that they were trying to create. The Asturians barely left any gaps between their defensive walls and it was almost impossible for the Spanish Champions to breach through.