As expected, Barcelona eased through their Club World Cup Semi Final at Yokohma, easily dispatching of Asian champions Al-Sadd with a breezy 4-0 victory, with goals from Adriano (x2), Keita and Maxwell. Still, the biggest news from the match were negative, as David Villa left the pitch with a fractured shinbone.
In terms of football, it wasn’t the most interesting of matches. Somewhat similar to La Liga matches at the Camp Nou or the Santiago Bernabeu, where the only question is by how much Real Madrid or Barcelona will win, landing easy pray into their nets.
The Qatari team that beat Esperance from Tunisia in the quarter finals were literally shaking in their boots from seeing Barcelona, with pathetic defending ability helping Adriano score the first goal. It didn’t get much better the rest of the way as Barcelona, with a mix of regular starters and subs in the lineup, made a comfortable picnic at the Yokohama venue.
In all seriousness, with whatever importance this win and the match against Santos hold, the injury to David Villa is the major issue remaining after the 90 minutes.
This hasn’t been Villa’s most succesful season so far, and that’s being gentle with the striker, a Euro and World Cup winner with Spain. A goalscorer in the Champions League final and hasn’t scored less than 20 goals in a season for the past 10 seasons (all competitions). He had a slow start last year as well, but his five goals in 15 league matches were more worrying than before. Barcelona’s less than perfect form added to the problems.
Villa, in form or not, is vital to yet another run at every possible title. Even plans of selling him are thwarted now, with a broken leg more times than not taking a player out for a season, and having lasting effects when the player returns.
Barcelona did win, making the Santos clash a reality, like Neymar and Ganso dreamed about after winning the Libertadores Cup a few months ago. I’m pretty sure there aren’t too many happy faces within the Barcelona squad despite the win.