Of the 200 games that Pep Guardiola has overseen as Barcelona manager, we pick out twelve that have been particularly important
It is not easy to choose just eleven classic games under Pep Guardiola, because there have been so many. It means that we have had to leave out some truly memorable matches, such as the 4-0 battering of Bayern (08/09), both the European Supercups (09/10 and 11/12) and even the 2-0 win away to Madrid in the semi finals of the Champions league of 10/11. But here are our eleven highlights from the first 200 games of the Guardiola era:
1. FCB v WISLA KRAKOW (4-0) 13/8/08 Champions League
The first official game under Pep Guardiola was a convincing win in the qualifying stages of the Champions League with goals from Eto'o (2), Xavi and Henry. The return leg was a mere formality.
2. R. MADRID v FCB (2-6) 2/5/09 League
The game against the arch rivals came after Madrid had managed to narrow Barça's commanding lead down to just four points. But Barcelona's response was their biggest ever win at the Bernabéu with goals from Henry (2), Puyol, Messi (2) and Piqué.
3. CHELSEA v FCB (1-1) 6-5-09 Champions League
This Champions League semi final return leg came after a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou, leaving Barça with a huge task at Stamford Bridge. The Blues even went ahead with a delightful goal from Essien in the first half, and FCB were left with ten men after Abidal was sent off. But in the dying seconds, with Barcelona desperately pushing forward, the ball landed at the feet of Iniesta who scored the goal that put his team in the final. The pictures of Guardiola celebrating the goals were seen around the world.
4. FCB v ATHLETIC CLUB (4-1) 17-5-09 Copa del Rey Final
The Catalans qualified for the final of the Spanish Cup for the first time in eleven years and were up against the other team with the most titles, Athletic Bilbao, who were back for the first time in 25 years. The atmosphere at Mestalla was amazing, and the Basques went ahead early on, but Barça replied with goals from Touré Yaya, Messi, Bojan and Xavi to win the cup for the 25th time, and also collect the first trophy under Pep Guardiola.
5. FCB v MANCHESTER UTD (2-0) 27-05-09 Champions League Final
Having won the Cup and League, Barça then went to Rome in search of their first ever treble, where they were to meet the defending champions, Manchester United. The Red Devils looked strong until Eto'o found the net after 10 minutes. From then on, Barça absolutely dominated the Premiership side and a Messi goal in the 70th minute made certain of the club's third European crown.
6. FCB v ESTUDIANTES LA PLATA (2-1) 19-12-09 Clubs World Cup Final
In 2009, Barça had already won the Cup, League, Champions League and both Supercups, and were now after the Clubs World Cup for the first ever time and to complete an unprecedented six titles in one calendar year. Abu Dhabi was the venue, and after beating Mexican outfit Atlante in the semi finals, they met Argentine side Estudiantes in a tough final. The South Americans went ahead but Pedro then scored to take the game into extra time, where Messi scored a goal with his chest to settle the match. So historic was the occasion, that Pep Guardiola couldn't fight back the tears when it was all over.
7. FCB v VALLADOLID (4-0) 16/5/10 League
The league title was Barcelona's to lose, and they made sure they didn't with goals from Messi (2), Pedro and an own goal to complete a record breaking season in which they collected 99 points.
8. FCB v R. MADRID (5-0) 29/11/10 League
Guardiola was also on the bench for a historic 5-0 win over Mourinho's Real Madrid, who came to the Camp Nou as leaders, but were totally outclassed by the brilliant Catalans. Xavi, Pedro, Villa (2) and Jeffren found the net, 16 years after the Dream Team had beaten the same team by the same score with Pep Guardiola on the field.
9. LEVANTE v FCB (1-1) 11/5/11 League
Barça only needed a point to make sure of the league title with three games to go and managed to do it with a goal from Keita, which was all the more emotional after a series of vicious comments against the club coming from Madrid and the shock of Abidal's illness.
10. FCB v MANCHESTER UTD (3-1) 28/5/11 Champions League
Yet another stunning display from FCB. The club returned to Wembley 19 years after winning the European title for the first time there, now to face Manchester United once again and after the historic elimination of Madrid in the semi finals. Goals from Pedro, Messi and Villa settled the win and the trophy was collected by Éric Abidal, following an unforgettable gesture by his captain Puyol.
11. FCB v R. MADRID (3-2) 17/8/11 Spanish Supercup
This season started with back-to-back games with Madrid. After drawing 2-2 at the Bernabéu, the Supercup was decided at the Camp Nou. It was as intense a clásico as ever and was decided by a peach of a goal from Messi in the final minutes. It was a huge dosage of morale for a team that soon after added the European Supercup, the 12th out of 15 for Guardiola.