Saturday, September 29, 2007

Barça Update: Hats Off

Wanna see a trick?

Tonight was one of those games that was never in doubt, with a streaking, in-form Barcelona taking on last place Levante. How bad is Levante this year? Going into tonight's game, they had scored two goals through five games, while conceding ten for a league worst -8 goal differential. It got worse for the Frogs (where do they come up with these nicknames...) as Thierry Henry decided to show everyone why he makes all those euros by scoring a natural hat trick on 4 shots.

In other news, Barça officially got their captain back from injury, with defender Carles Puyol coming on as a halftime substitute. In addition to being a world class defender, Puyol may be the ugliest man on the planet. Fortunately, the captaincy isn't a beauty contest and the armband, which had jumped from alternate captain Ronadinho to second alternate Victor Valdes to Xavi, finally came back to number 5. The only remaining significant injuries are Ronnie, who's expected back on Wednesday (unless he spends Monday night in da club), and Eto'o, expected back in about a month.

Barça now have a break in league play until next Sunday, when they take on Atlético Madrid in what has the potential to be an upper-table clash at the Camp Nou. Before that, it's off to Germany to take on VfB Stuttgart in Champions League group play Wednesday. A win there would give Barcelona a commanding position for the remainder of group play. But for now, the standings:

1) F.C. Barcelona / 4-0-2 / 14 points / +9
2) Real Madrid / 4-0-1 / 13 points / +10
3) Villareal / 4-1-0 / 12 points / +3
4) Valencia / 4-1-0 / 12 points / +1
5) Atlético Madrid / 2-1-2 / 8 points / +5

Pelé Sez: Barcelona sits atop the table for the first time this season, but don't get excited. There were only two Saturday games, so sixteen teams are in action tomorrow, including three that can pass Barça in the standings. I say they finish the weekend in third.

By the way, since they played Barcelona, Sevilla have absolutely tanked. They went into the match tied for second and have since lost to Barça, lost at home against Espanyol, and lost tonight at Zaragoza (the team Messi singlehandedly throttled on Wednesday). Depending on how tomorrow's games work out, Sevilla could see themselves drop to sixteenth place, or fourteen spots in ten days. Sure it's early, but wow. I never did that with Santos. Maybe it's the crazy pink uniforms. Mathematically, the best they can hope for is to start October in 11th place. Given the games tomorrow, I figure they drop to 13th. And I'm Pelé, so you should listen to me. Love! Love! Love!

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