Barcelona’s treble-winning Season Review

Published 06/07/2015, 3:44 AM EDT


Barcelona convincingly beat Juventus 3-1 in a hard fought Champions League final to secure their 5th Champions League trophy and a magnificent 4th in the last decade. Goals from Rakitić, Suarez and Neymar rounded the victory off despite Morata’s equaliser 10 minutes into the second half.

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The Treble is complete. FC Barcelona won their second treble, the only team to do so. Starting the season well, they took a mid-season tumble at the start of 2015, they recovered and they did so in style to win each and every trophy possible in a convincing manner.

Pre-season

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The end of the 2013-14 season, saw the 2 keepers of Barcelona Victor Valdes and Jose Pinto Leave. They were replaced by Real Sociedad’s Claudio Bravo and Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. Long-time Barcelona captain, Carles Puyol announced his retirement after 15 years with the first team and was named the Assistant to Sports Management for the club. Days after Gerado Martino stepped down, former Barcelona player and Captain, Luis Enrique was named as his replacement. He previously managed FC Barcelona B (leading them to 3 place in the Spanish second division) and AS Roma.

Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez both were sold to Chelsea and Arsenal respectively. Ivan Rakitić was signed from Sevilla. Barcelona also signed Luis Suarez from Liverpool for €81.25M. The Uruguayan striker was banned till October, following a biting incident in the World Cup.

Barcelona bought in defensive reinforcements by signing Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia and Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaleen. Barcelona also signed Brazilian fullback Douglas from Sao Paulo.

In August, the FIFA Appeal Committee upheld its transfer ban on Barcelona in regards to “breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18. Barcelona are not allowed to buy players during the 2015 summer and Winter Transfer windows. Barcelona had a mixed pre-season, winning 2, drawing 1 and losing 1 match. They finished their 5 match in convincing style, winning the Joan Gamper Trophy 6-0.

La Liga  

Barcelona began the La Liga campaign at home against Elche, winning 3-0. Barcelona were unbeaten in their first 8 matches. They lost the first Classico of the season 3-1 at the Bernebau, before a shock home defeat the following match week allowed Real Madrid to take the lead in La Liga. Regaining momentum, Barcelona won 5 and drew 1 of their next 6 matches. Barcelona reached their lowest point in the season when they were defeated 1-0 by Real Sociedad. There was an alleged bust up between Messi and Coach Luis Enrique, and some betting companies predicted the sack of Enrique mid-season.

Barcelona rallied after that. A 6 match winning run, along with results of Real Madrid, allowed the Catalans to catch up. They received a shock blow as Malaga took a 1-0 win at the Camp Nou. That was the last Liga defeat. Barcelona remained unbeaten after that till the end of the season. In the next 4 matches, which included the Classico at Camp Nou (Barcelona won 2-1 thanks to goals from Mathieu and Suarez) allowed Barcelona to take a 4 point lead in La liga as they capitalized on a mid-season wobble for Real Madrid.

However, they blew a 2 goal lead to draw 2-2 with Sevilla. This ensured the race would go down to the wire, as their lead was cut to only 2 points. On Match Week 37, Barcelona won the Liga at the Vicente Calderon courtesy of a lone Leo Messi goal. It was revenge. Athletico Madrid taking a draw at Camp Nou in Match week 38, during the 2013-14 season meant they won their 10 La Liga at the home of the reigning champions. Barcelona returned the favour in the 2014-15 season.

Club legend Xavi who announced he would be leaving the club after 17 years, played his final home game as Barcelona ended their season with a 2-2 draw with Deportivo. Xavi lifted the 23 La Liga of Barcelona who have now won 7 of the last 10 ligas.

Copa Del Rey

Barcelona began its Copa Del Rey campaning in the round of 32 against 3rd Divsion SD Huesca. They won the tie 12-1 on aggregate (4-0 away, 8-1 home).  In January, they faced fellow La Liga outfit, Elche CF in the round of 16, winning 9-0 on aggregate (5-0 home, 4-0 away). On 21st and 28th January, they faced Athletico Madrid in the Quarter finals who knocked out holders Real Madrid.

Messi scored a decisive goal in the first leg at the Camp Nou as Barcelona won 1-0. At the Vincente Calderon, Barcelona ran out with a 3-2 victory in a rough match that saw 2 Athleti players sent off as the Catalans took the tie 4-2.  Semi-final opponents, Villareal were beaten 3-1 both home and away (6-2 aggergate) as Barcelona reached their 37th Copa final  with a bid to win it for a record 27th time.

Facing them were familar opposition, Athletic Bilbao, who have the second highest tally of Copa Del Reys with 23. The final was played at the Camp Nou where Barcelona put in a commanding display to win 3-1 courtesy of a Messi brace and a Neymar goal. Messi’s first goal is considered one of the greatest goals he has ever scored. The win meant Xavi signed off his last match at the Camp Nou with a trophy.

Champions League

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Barcelona were drawn into Group F, which included PSG, Ajax and APOEL Nicosia. They began their march on Berlin, with a narrow home win over APOEL. Their next match so PSG edge out Barcelona 3-2. This however was a minor stumbling block as Barcelona won their next 4 games to take the first place in the group. The MSN Trio were at the forefront of this, scoring 13 of the 15 goals. Luis Suarez scored his first goal against APOEL in a 4-0 away win, along with a Messi Hat trick.

Barcelona faced the English Champions, Manchester City in the round of 16. They dispatched them with ease winning 3-1 on aggregate. The quarter finals saw them drawn against group stage runners up PSG. This time it was a no contest, with Barcelona brushing aside the Paris side 5-1 on aggregate. The MSN trio embarssed the £50 M defender David Luiz in both legs. The Semi Finals saw them drawn up against a tournament favourite, Bayern Munich, managed by former Barcelona legend, Pep Guardiola. The last time they met in the semi-finals, the Bavarians destroyed the Catalans 7-0 on aggregate. This time it was not the same. Barcelona ran out 3-0 winners at home and a 3-2 defeat at Munich earned them their tickets to Berlin.

The final saw them drawn against Juventus who had defeated arch rivals Real Madrid in the semi finals. Barcelona comfortably beat the bianconeri 3-1 to lift their 5 Champions League trophy and complete their second treble. It was a fitting finale for Xavi to lift the Champions League in his final game with the Catalans.

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Barcelona’s knockout stage of the champions league saw them defeat the Champions of England, France, Germany and Italy.

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