Fifa Club World Cup – Barcelona Wins Over Atlante to Seal a Spot in The Final
Barcelona arrived to Abu Dhabi on Sunday creating a lot of expectation among fans and media. And that was just the beginning of a great week for Barcelona, having Messi back from an ankle injury that was bothering him since last week. Messi's comeback was very positive for the team since he leaded them to a victory against the Mexican team of Atlante 3-1 and assured them a spot in the final of the Club World Cup. Messi demonstrated once more on Tuesday why he was designated as FIFA's world player of the year. Coming from this injury he didn't show any negative effects and was able to score when he received a pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic 54 minutes into the game. But Atlante started strong as they were the first ones to score. They took advantage of Barcelona poor performance at the beginning of the game. They took the lead after just five minutes when Guillermo Rojas advanced through the defense and got to pass goalkeeper Victor Valdes and score. Barcelona tried to put everything together to find their rhythm and they had several opportunities when Ibrahimovic shot from distance. But it was not until minute 35' when Sergio Busquets tied the game. Xavi's had a corner shot that flicked off to Busquets who shot the ball to the far post. Barca had the opportunity to go to the half time break with a lead; just when the first half was about to finish Alves had a clear opportunity when he fired into the side-netting with only Vilar to beat but it was not enough. Messi came into the game as a replacement for Yaya Toure at minute 53 and while the entire crowd singed and screamed his name.
The move from Pep Guardiola was great as 10 minutes later Messi was able to score the second goal for Barca to take the lead 1-2. "We are Barcelona and some people take for granted that we are going to win and it's very hard," said coach Pep Guardiola. "It wasn't a marvelous game but it wasn't too bad." Pedro Rodriguez sealed the victory for Barcelona on minute '66 when he receive a very good pass from Iniesta and fired from a very close range. Rodriguez is the first player to score in six different competitions in one year. Atlante missed several opportunities to equalize the game. After 73 minutes of play Gabriel Pereyra missed a clear shot in front of Barca's goalkeeper. Guardiola is now a little concern about Andres Iniesta since he left the game with pain in his leg and it is unclear if he will be able to play on Saturday. Barcelona is now moving to the final of the Club World Cup against the South American champions Estudiantes of Argentina on Saturday for the sixth trophy of the year. They have already won the La Liga BBA, the Champions League, Copa del Rey, the Spanish Supercup and the European Supercup respectively.