Renfe: Estación Vallecas (Línea C1)
Metro: Estación Villa de Vallecas (Línea 1)
Líneas de Autobuses: 54 / 58 / 103 / 142 / 143 / 145.
Address: Nuestra Señora de la Torre, calle Puerto de Reinosa, 28031 Madrid
Saturday morning saw FCB at home to Banco de España. This fixture has been a feisty affair that rarely disappoints in goals and drama. This game was no exception. FCB started with a much-changed line-up that contained a few surprises. Josue in net, with Jose, Omar, Rama and Harry in the back line, Macca, Matt and Mathi in the centre of midfield with Ed and Ish on the wings and Joe up top. A few notable absences. It was a handsome bench made up of Cian, Dorus (fashionable as ever) and Luigi (who is still learning to tell time). There were some fans in the stands thanks to Ricky and Fabian who were resting their legs in preparation for The Madrid Marathon. Both finished this in a respectable time, well done lads!
The game kicked off and FCB started weakly, everything was frantic and inaccurate. Once some passes were strung together the bhoys let cool heads prevail and play began in earnest. Their opponents could not get any passes together and had to resort to long balls over the top that were easily dealt with by the back line and midfield. Banco were playing very narrow and that left acres of space for Ed and Ish to get in behind. Some great passing and pressing kept Banco from getting any foothold in the game and the culmination of all that hard work paid off with a great team goal, the ball went left, then came back in through Matt, then Macca passed through the defensive line for Ish and Joe to combine with Ed finally slotting the ball in the bottom far corner. 1-0. The game continued with FCB firmly in control and able to show their tough defence and great counter-attack. This had the desired effect and tempers frayed. Some not so sportsmanlike kicks at strikers off the ball, followed by some handbags at dawn (more than a few times) and few yellow cards were the extent of this. The game slowed down at points but FCB ramped up the energy time and again to allow no respite.
Half Time 1-0
The second half started well for the men in red, they were doing much of what they did during the later stages of the first half, only better. Probing, passing and running ragged. The men in blue weren’t getting a sniff at goal. Spaces began to open up and were being exploited by the home side and a second was only a matter of time. In a similar combo that got the first Ish got himself an assist and ed calmly finishes. 2-0. There was blood in the water and the home team went for it, ruthless in defence and accurate when going forward, the third goal wasn’t waited for long. Ed broke into the space in the wide channel and delivered a delightful ball to Ish who lost his marker and volleyed home with a great finish. 3-0. Three was not enough and pressure was applied when the midfield worked the ball well, lost it, but quickly won it back and Matt broke through to hammer the post, only for Mathi to have an easy finish at the back post. His parents in the stands did not make the trip in vain. 4-0. Rami made some changes with Jose coming off for Dorusm, Joe for Luigi and Macca coming off for Cian. Banco would not go down without a fight and after some slack pressing allowing the danger man ample time to place his pass inbetween a usually stalwart defence and Josue rushed to meet the threat. He wasn’t quite quick enough and made contact with the player, this did not stop the men in blue from finishing an easy chance. 4-1. Disappointed with losing a clean sheet and a livid Rami on the sidelines were the result. They dusted themselves off and went onwards. In a near carbon copy of the fourth goal, Ed got in behind again on the right and provided a tantalising cross for Ish to head home. 5-1. This would not be the end as red shirts bombed forward in search of a 6th to make up for losing a clean sheet. The ball broke to Ed on the edge of the area and filled with confidence from his performance thought, why not? A beautiful strike, a delightful arc of the ball and that sweet sound of the ball hitting the net in the top bin! What a way to round off his performance. 6-1.
Man Of The Match – Ed: Captain, hat-trick hero and two assists, could he be any better? Only if he looked like Dorus.
Miss of the Match – Mathias Pensatori
FCB returned to winning ways this past Saturday against Bar La Piscina after last week’s stalemate in the Sex Toys Arena. The boys-in-red lined up on their home pitch with a very talented starting eleven, despite missing two key play-makers in Mathias and Fab.
Rami opted for strength, poise and height in the back, choosing Ricky, Omar, Rama and Harry to counter what was sure to be some tricky play up front from the opposition. Matt, Alejandro and Calum featured in the centre of the pitch. Now there are three lads with a keen ability to switch up play and turn the key to our hearts. The front three saw Ed and Luigi on the wings and Joe now-you-see-him-now-you-wish-you-hadn’t Simmons as centre-forward. And who could forget our very own Jorge Pires in goal. Not me! Not I…? Not I!
From the very first minute, FCB showed its defensive prowess, foiling any chances that the opposition had in its half. Part-time fashion models Omar Majid and Rama Pérez Toledo made some brilliant tackles to let those boys know that if they wanted a shot on goal, it wasn’t going to come through the middle. And aside from a couple corners inside the first twenty minutes, Bar La Piscina created no problems for Pires.
As the half progressed, FCB looked the most threatening. The full-backs and wingers made great use of space to spread the opposition’s defence and create chances along the wings. Two injuries for the opposition also broke up play and gave FCB a psychological advantage. With under five minutes left in the first half, the ever-more-brilliant Calum Cant swiped a ball from the feet of the Bar La Piscina centre-back, dodged another hapless defender and slotted in a beauty past the keeper to make it 1-0 to the home side.
The second half saw few changes from either team. As Bar La Piscina now had to make up a goal, they looked somewhat keener on playing the game in lieu of their tactical time-wasting theatrics. Nevertheless, FCB stuck to its game and held Bar La Piscina from creating any serious chances on goal. With fifteen minutes left, Rami made his only substitution of the match, introducing FCB’s second-most-bald player, Cian Deegan, for Alejandro. Despite hearing Rami whisper to Graeme “He’s nowhere near as good as Alejandro but we need some fresh legs in the midfield to see this game out” Deegan’s confidence couldn’t be damaged, and he joined FCB’s first-most-bald player, Matt Laverty, in the midfield as the boys held off Bar La Piscina for a massive 3 points.
Man of the Match: Omar
Goal of the Match: Calum, of course
Quote of the Match: Aaaaaah! – Calum as he was savagely tackled from behind
After last week’s disappointment against Union Seleccion, Britanicos were looking to start the new half of the season with a strong start against AD Carrozas. The message was clear all week in training that last weekend was gone now and we had to put all our energy into Saturday’s game. With a slightly reduced squad compared to normal, the team only had a squad of thirteen. Británicos started with Jorge in goal; a back four of Ed, Harry, Rama and Josue; a midfield three of Fabian, Calum and Matt; the two wingers were Jordan on the right and Cian on the left and a first appearance for Carlos upfront.
Británicos got off to a great early start at Vallecas with a nice move started from the back which resulted in Carlos calmly playing through Calum who had the freedom to run at the keeper and easily slot it past him – 1-0 to the men in red. This settled the nerves and Britanicos really started to play some nice football. Only a few minutes later Britanicos came attacking down the left flank. Cian picked out Matt but his Welbeck-esque scuff fell straight into Jordan’s path at the back post where he took aim and smashed it into the top right corner to give Britanicos a 2-0 lead. This time the next attack came down the right after some patient build-up with a superb cross from Ed finding Carlos who headed home to grab a debut goal. The fourth goal came with a lot of help from the opposition keeper as Matt finally got on the score sheet after hitting the bar twice already. Finding space from 25 yards his shot was straight at the keeper but he managed to spill it over the line. Not long after, Calum found himself in space just outside the box after good running from Jordan and he found the corner of the net with the outside of his boot. The final goal of the half came from another long-range effort from Matt with some debate about who to give it to after a big deflection off an AD Carrozas centre-half. Superb stuff from all the boys in the first half. The first half was exactly what Rami had demanded from his team with Britanicos playing at a good pace and moving the ball around very well not giving the opposition any time on the ball.
The half-time team talk was very simple – keep doing what we’re doing and make sure we keep a clean sheet! No changes yet at half-time but for sure Adi and new boy Sam would be itching to get out there and make a good impression and maybe grab a goal for themselves. Although the number of chances created in the second half matched the number created in the first, the end result for the pressure on the Carrozas defence was not the same. Británicos started very well on the front foot with an early first-half goal tapped in by Carlos after another good team goal coming down the left-hand side. As the second half continued, Britanicos kept opening up the opposition defence but were continuously denied chance after chance by a new second half keeper who looked much more assured in goal than the first half keeper. Subs Adi and Sam came on to add some needed energy to the team who came on for Cian and Jordan respectively. However, the frustration continued as Matt and Calum both claim close after setting each other up for one on ones with the keeper. With not long left and both teams tiring, with the result already confirmed by this point, Britanicos found the net once more through Matt who created himself a yard of space after Ed won the ball back high up the pitch and managed to hit both posts before finally rolling in. Across the whole match Britanicos hit the post seven times and were completely dominant.
It had been a successful first game of the second half of the season and it showed the rest of the league that Britanicos mean business! Well done to Cian and Matt who shared Man of the Match but many more could have been awarded it. A very good team performance to build on with the next fixture in two weeks’ time away to AFEN Fraher.
Man of the Match: Matt and Cian
Goal of the Match: Jordan Maston
Quotes of the Match: AD Carrozas midfielder when talking to Calum – “You’re Georgey Best” stated repeatedly throughout the second half for no apparent reason.
Rami Majid (of course) – Thats Murphy’s War. Nick Hyner to Rami: Law or War Rami? Rami: It’s Murphy’s War!!!!!!
The penultimate round of the Bunwer League Apertura saw FCB take on mid-table side Chiquifru knowing that a win would set up a championship decider for next week against leaders Union Seleccion. The excitement at the prospect setting up the game of their lives was palpable among the players in the changing room before kick-off and the message was clear: this was to be a dress rehearsal with defensive mistakes likely to be punished by the opposition much more severely and shooting off target met with even harsher opprobrium than normal by Rami next week!
The starting lineup was composed of Jorge, Harry, Omar, Rama and Ed at the back, Christoff, Fabian, Cian and Ped Curran in midfield with Sober Calum in support of Luigi up front. The first few minutes saw a somewhat nervy performance with wind and a bobbling ball affecting the fluency of the men in red. Nerves were settled after around fifteen minutes though as Calum’s run into the box was spotted by Ed and the Lancashire lad squared for Luigi to shoot through a mangrove of legs into the bottom corner. The first goal proved cathartic and the encouragement and pressing were ramped up to produce the second goal a few minutes later when PC7 was on hand to volley home from close range after Rama had squared the ball having ghosted to the back post from a freekick. Before halftime the score was increased still further to the advantage of the men in red as a ball over the top was squared by Calum into the path of Luigi and the Venezuelan made no mistake for 3-0. The last action of the half was to see a stunning save from perennially bored FCB stopper Jorge who reacted superbly to a close-range effort from the Fru frontman after a deflected corner and in doing so showed why his team remain on course for the league’s ‘Golden-Gloves Award’ for the stingiest defence. The lads went into halftime focused and pleased with a decent if slightly disjointed first-half display.
The second half saw an unchanged side take to the field, though this wasn’t to last for long as Ed felt the effects of clumsy tackle suffered in the first half and thought better of risking his fitness ahead of next week and was replaced by Mr Simmons fresh from his PE teacher duties. By now the opposition were starting to feel the effects of the relentless Brits’ pressing and were giving the ball away in dangerous positions after ill-advisedly playing too much football at the back. After trying to play one neat pass out of defence too many FCB robbed the Fru midfield and fed Fabian just inside the area and the Norwegian dynamo belied his FCB-goal-virgin tag to finish delightfully into the side of the net beyond a despairing goalkeeper flinging himself in vain full length to his left. After being buoyed by his first goal in FCB colours the young man from the north was pulling out nutmegs and double-drag moves all over the place and staking his claim for a starting place next week’s showpiece event.
The scoring was ended on around 80 minutes when Matt on for Cian set up Mr Simmons to finish neatly on his right foot from an angle. Adi was now on for Pete and Jose for Luigi (having done the 60-70 minutes Rami allows him) to see the game out. Despite the late precautionary removal of key defender Omar and ice-packs being applied to various parts of Ed, Pete and Luigi, Manager Majid can reflect on a job well done by his charges who go into next week’s decider with the confidence that their fitness, intensity and desire give them an excellent chance of making it two Apertura titles in 3 years.
Man of the match: Fabian Amdal Åsland
Goal of the match: Pete ‘Pedro’ Curran #PC7
Quote of the match: Probably Rami, who even remembers the things he says these days?