Barcelona Hard Journey to the Secret Garden, An Analysis.

That Was Heroic

Marcinus reaction

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.

The percentage of aerial duels won shows how passionate and determined PSG players were

Four Gates


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.

Atletico Madrid corners

Concentration Problem


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.

Verratti vs barcelona
Verratti excelled in both ends of the stick.


Do you think PSG deserved the win ?

Who was the MOTM in your opinion ?

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