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With the football season coming to an end, Goal looks back at how the big European clubs fared this term. In this edition we look at Barcelona's campaign..

SPECIAL
By Kaustav Bera


This Season's Stats
                  La Liga: Champions
Champions League: Semi-finals
Copa del Rey: Semi-finals
Supercopa de Espana: Runners-up
Games: 60
Won: 43
Lost: 9
Drawn: 8
Win %:  71.67
GF: 158
GA: 66
GF ratio: 2.63
GA ratio: 1.1


La Liga

 

FC Barcelona, inspite of having a pretty mediocre season atleast by their lofty standards can have atleast something to show off for Tito Vilanova's first full season in charge. They won the league and how, with nearest challengers, Real Madrid a massive 15 points behind them.

In winning the league, they also successfully managed to reach the magical figure of 100 points, thus equaling Jose Mourinho's much vaunted 100 point haul last season. In doing so, they also went unbeaten for an amazing 19 games in the league before finally seeing Real Sociedad playing spoiltsport. 

 

 


Rating:
 


Copa del Rey

 

Familiar foes Real Madrid were waiting for the Catalans on their way to make it two titles in a row. While a creditable 1-1 draw at Bernebau in the first leg certainly made the Blaugrana favorites, but Madrid turned the tide at Camp Nou notching up a remarkable 3-1 away win in the semi-finals.

This was a tame finish to their spectacular run which saw them thrashing minnows Alaves 6-1, Cordoba 7-0 and Malaga 6-4 before finally being downed by Los Blancos.

Rating:


Supercopa de Espana

The first tournament of the season saw the Catalans match up against who else but Real Madrid, who had won the league last season while Barca triumphed in the Copa del Rey.

A two legged affair, it was a close affair which was unfortunately shaded by Madrid on away goals after it finished 4-4 at the end. Barcelona had secured a nervy 3-2 win at home but Real won back 2-1 at Bernebau to take it on away goals.

Rating:


Champions League

After last year's unexpected dismissal at the hands of Chelsea in the semi-finals, it was expected that Barcelona would give it their all in this year's Champions League. Keeping their invincible league form in mind, people expected it was easy sailing for them after they drew a much weakened AC Milan in the Round of 16.

They were however brought crashing down to the ground with a 2-0 away loss at San Siro. A response was awaited and respond they did with gusto as they smashed them 4-0 at Camp Nou. Next up was the much vaunted big spenders PSG. It was the same case as they halted to 2-2 at Paris and somehow went through on away goals after being held 1-1 at Camp Nou.

In the semi-finals when up against Bayern Munich who had absolutely thumped anyone in their path, it was expected to be a battle of equals but little did anyone figure out that it would be an absolute no contest. A one sided encounter of epic proportions, after losing 4-0 away, instead of a response what we received was a meek surrender at the Camp Nou where the mighty Catalan army capitulated 3-0 ending the encounter 7-0 in favour of the eventual champions.

Rating:


Top 3 Players

Lionel Messi
Andres Iniesta
David Villa
While FC Barcelona might have faltered in everything but the league, Lionel Messi continued his breathtaking form which has seen him win the Ballon' d Or a record four times. Building on the last season, the maestro managed to score against all La Liga teams this season. In spite of suffering a late injury a return of 60 goals and 14 assists certainly speaks more if anything more was warranted, that is.

If Messi is the outlet through which Barcelona marvel, Andres Iniesta is the architect of the fancy moves which the Argentinian finishes with aplomb. Although the diminutive Spaniard might not score many, his overall play is not only mesmerising but also equally effective as seen by his 18 assists this season. Being deployed both on the left of midfield as well as part of the front three, Iniesta is comfortable in playing at any position on the pitch.

A bits and pieces player and lacking the sharpness since his career stalling injury, David Villa was raring to go this season. Unfortunately for him and the Spanish faithful, the ace striker was only used sparingly by Tito Vilanova and that too not in his favoured center-forward role but out wide. However all that did not matter as whenever called upon, he produced the goods. With 16 goals and 6 assists from only 26 starts, it was a successful season for Spain's leading goal scorer

Games: 50 (Started: 44)
Goals: 60
Assists: 14
Games: 48 (Started: 40)
Goals: 6
Assists: 18
Games: 43 (Started: 26)
Goals: 16
Assists:
6


Top 5 Matches


1. 3-2 away win against Sevilla, September 2012.



2. 3-0 away win against Spartak Moscow, November 2012.

Dani Alves celebra en el Spartak de Moscú-Barcelona

3. 4-1 home win against Atletico Madrid, December 2012:

Lionel Messi - FC Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

4. 4-0 home win against AC Milan, March 2013:

Barcelona celebrating vs Milan

5. 4-2 home win against Real Betis, May 2013:

Lionel Messi, Barcelona - Betis


Interesting Facts

  •   Barcelona have the best away win record in La Liga this year when they won a staggering 74% of their travels.
  • Such is Barcelona's belief in their tiki-taka philosophy that they have attempted to cross only 2% of the time in the La Liga this year.
  • The Catalans registered themselves on the scoresheet 115 times in the domestic league this year.
Fanview
 

Ranadeep Guha

"The first half of the La Liga season was an excellent start for Tito as Barca ended the first round of the season with a record breaking 55 out of a possible 57 points.Barcelona won the league convincingly with 100 points on the table and 15 points ahead of second place Real Madrid.
However, Barcelona's Champions League run was not as good as it had been in the recent years. Besides losing to Celtic and to AC Milan at San Siro only a Messi inspired comeback at Camp Nou took them to the Q/F.  They went to the semis after beating PSG on away goals with an injured Messi. They met Bayern in the semis and it was deemed to be one of the best matches of the season. Barca had Messi injured and Bayern took this advantage and split them wide open while brutally mauling them back and forth. They were humiliated as they failed to score over the two legs and the aggregate score was 7-0.

The lack of Puyol or a responsible centre half has been the biggest problem of Barcelona this season. Barcelona played with the inexperienced Marc Bartra, Adriano and Mascherano in their centre back position for the most part of the season and that caused a lot of defensive problems."

 

How have FC Barcelona fared this season? Leave your comments below or discuss with the writer on Twitter @hopelessk.

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