It is little wonder that Sandro Rosell the Barcelona president spoke today about a new and improved contract for the Barcelona and Argentina number 10. Lionel Messi stepped up to the plate again to rescue an off colour Barcelona from a shock home defeat in the champion’s league.
All was going to plan, to a certain extent, when Tello fired in the opening goal for the Catalans after 13 minutes. Barcelona were already missing their first choice left back, Jordi Alba, and their captain and centre back, Carlos Puyol, so when Pique left the field injured after 12 minutes, Barcelona knew they were in trouble.
Mascherano was filling in for Puyol and has done so successfully before, but he is a midfielder at heart and with nobody to organise him, is prone to making mistakes. Adriano and Alves are better going forward than defending, so alot was being asked of the former Arsenal player Alex Song. Song is versatile and played a defensive midfield role for Arsenal butis also not a central defender.
The defensive deficiencies were highlighted after half an hour. Adriano was out of position, while Mascherano and Song failed to stop the cross before Alves pit it into his own net. The nerves at the back seemed to creep through the team and Barca did not enjoy their usual possession, encouraging Spartak Moscow to push forwards.
When Romulo finished a Russian counter attack to put the visitors ahead, Vilanova brought Alexis on for Alves but the equaliser came from a predictable source. Messi did not have one of his best games but he knows how to score a goal. Two goals in eight minutes gave Barca all three points but the defence must be sorted out soon. Song and Mascherano will be torn to shreds in La Liga, especially in El Clasico.