That Was Heroic
Ahead of anything, we should say that the Parisian
team performed a heroic match with a high level of
tactical discipline throughout the match. The reaction
of Marquinhos after clearing Jordi Alba dangerous
ball reflected how passionate and spirited the
players were in the best way possible.
One of the most annoying things for a big team
to face is an opponent who defend with each and
every player.Unfortunately for Barca, PSG was just
that team. Not using ” the bus method ” but instead
defending using all the lines. This means that the
Catalans needed to pass through four gates, starting
with Cavani and ending with the ” normal ” defensive
line to make a real threat on the French goal. That
disturbed Barcelona players and led them to make
numerous mistakes and repeatedly lose possession
of the ball in key and very dangerous areas.
The Beginning or the End
Especially in the first half, PSG’s serious attempts
to ragain the ball were focused in two areas :
– Where the build starts in the opposition areas.
– Where the attack ends near their penalty area.
There are to logical reasons behind this :
First : Pushing forward against a team which
has Messi and Neymar is not the best of
ideas. Especially under the absence of
the defense Brazilian leader, Thiago Silva.
Second : As we all know, the area between
the pitch’s midline and the opposition penalty
area is where Barcelona build their plays
and make the most of their ball exchanges.
As a result, trying to press and run against
them there would use your players up and
result in a dead team towards the end of the
match which may cost you the 3 points.
Is Atletico Spanish ?
Three out of three balls which hit the back of Ter
Stegen’s net were from crosses. Two of them
were from set-pieces. In all the three occasions,
the goalscorer was either improperly marked or
not marked at all. The obvious weakness when
it comes to dealing with crosses and set-pieces
in both Barca and their rivals Real Madrid makes
you ask yourself ” Is Atletico really from the same
Land ?! “. Many Catalans say “No” by the way.
Both of Barcelona goals where scored no more
than three minutes after the preceding PSG goal.
Furthermore, they both included bad marking ;
Luiz and Van Der Wiel should’ve been closer
to Messi and Neymar respectively. This is a
sign of lack of focus and the French team was
punished for it despite the good mentality
they played with overall. Maybe this problem
wouldn’t have been there if Silva was there
but, this is a bad sign which should
not be ignored by Laurent Blanc.
Busquets or Masci ?
After the brilliant campaign Mascherano had
in the World Cup, there were many demands
by both fans and experts to play Javier in his
original role as a defensive midfielder. Right
there, Masci was able to show his great
tactical and psychological leadership. Right
there, Masci was the MVP of his team, and
perhaps the whole tournament. Following
the signing of a new manager and two centre
backs, everybody thought that it was finally
the moment. Everybody was mistaken. Against
Paris, Busquets gave a new reason to support
those demands. He was a weak link in one
of his most significant strengthes, dominating
the midfield and aborting the opponent’s
offensiveattempts. On contrary, Javier was
the best man of his side concerning defensive
performance as he covered his teammates’
mistakes as well as his own ones. The big
problem is that although Mascherano is
originally a midfielder, he currently is Barca’s
best centre-back. Pique is not Pique since
forever. Vermaelen is extremely injury-prone.
Mathew failed, to an extent, in his first real test.
To asses Edinson Cavani in a fair way, we
have to separate our assessment into two
parts. The Uruguayan excelled in the tactical
aspect of his game. He pressed Barca’s
defenders well, he was making spaces and
chances throughout the match and he never
stopped running. He even ran all the way back
to his penalty area to clear a dangerous ball.
However, Cavani was awful when it comes to
last touch. There is little-to-zero doubt that
was Ibra there the result will be for history.
Knight of the Night
Picking the best player of this match is a
quite hard task. David Luiz performed well
in defense and scored the first goal but was
partially responsible for Messi’s goal. Pastore
was an “excruciating pain” for Barca defense.
Personally, I’ll go with the young Maestro,
Marco Verratti. He was all over the midfield
and was the best in keeping the ball and
the flow of the play no matter how high the
pressure was and how narrow the area. In
short, the Italian helped his team “come out
of the bottleneck” to threaten the Spaniards.
In addition to all that, he scored an important
goal with a nice header. Right behind him
comes Motta who provided much-needed
strength and dominance to his French side.
Do you think PSG deserved the win ?
Who was the MOTM in your opinion ?
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