PSG 4: 0 Barcelona
I don’t have answers. I only have questions for the biggest one-sided blowout this year in the Champions League
I’ve never witnessed Barcelona FC the greatest club team in history lose a Champions League match like I witnessed a few days ago. Where was the defensive unity? Where was the sharp passing and linkup play in the midfield(blaugranistas have been asking this for awhile)?
Image By Christopher JohnsonWhere was the real Messi? Will the real Messi please stand up. You know the diminutive number 10 for Barcelona FC who can pull of uncanny feats of brilliance with a soccer ball? This guy below:
We saw Neymar from time to time; he looked determined, energetic and lively in spurts, but his fire couldn’t ignite the Barcelona trio also known as MSN(Messi, Suarez, Neymar).
Where was the midfield?
Luis Enrique aka Lucho built a very dynamic team made to hold possession but also to strike with lethal precision. In Lucho’s system, the midfield doesn’t often dictate tempo like Pep Guirdiola’s barca did. The midfield is expected to send the ball to the Big 3 as soon and as often as they can to start the attack. The final ball is normally made on the counter and passed in by Neymar or Messi. Historically the midfield has always been an integral part of the dominant Barcelona teams of the past. But under Lucho, Barcelona’s midfield nowadays features as waterboys to the superstars. But, every once in awhile we see cameos from a less potent but still deadly Iniesta or the versatile skills of Rakitic; we usually suspect the subtle impact of a Sergio Busquets when the team needs to play a more patient passing game. This strategy even worked for Barca. They finished 1st in the league, the Champions League, and the Copa del Rey in Lucho’s first season. And If it’s not broken don’t fix it. Unfortunately, sports fans want trophies for glory and pride. Barcelona has a winning pedigree and their fans won’t let anyone forget that fact. Lucho’s been in this predicament before. When he first arrived the team didn’t gel right away as they did during the latter stages of the season. There were even rumors of Lucho being on the hot seat almost midway through the season.
Will Lucho figure it out?
Time will tell. But he’s done it before. I believe Barcelona will be victorious once more maybe not this season. They lost 4-0 and have to score 4 or more to move forward in the UEFA Champions League tournament. As amazing as Barcelona is, surely not even they can overcome such a deficit. But the game at the Bernebeau will be for pride and for honor. Even if the potential for advancing is slim, I expect a more tactically aware and effective Barca team then the one from the 1st leg. Furthermore, it’s not time to regroup and prepare for next year’s Champion’s League. There is still a lot of season to compete, there’s sill silverware to play for. Barcelona isn’t finished just yet.
For Further reading here are some great Rants:
Barcelona-PSG Match review