UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

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UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by BarcaKizz on Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:04 am

Well... 0-1 down. Whats done is done. First we have the Clasico to worry about, but then we have the return leg. I believe its our biggest game this year. The Champions League is the real crown we want this year, and this would be a marvellous challenge to overcome.

Cut to the chase. I expect a very defensive game from Chelsea. Do they expect to sit and hold Barca out for 90? I'm not sure, but they don't pose much of an attacking threat. I expect them to line up exactly the same, it worked well for them. The Camp Nou may be larger, but don't expect any more width from them, they'll keep it narrow and try to box us in. They will look to counter if they can in the first half, but if they make it to half-time without conceding, expect another titanic struggle against a defensive wall ala Inter.

Chelsea: 4-5-1

Cech
Ivanovic Cahill Terry Cole
Lampard Mikel Meireles
Mata---------------------Ramires
Drogba

So, how do we break down the wall?

As much as we dislike it... 3-4-3 might actually be the go... They won't attack us, and they won't use width. Their only chances would be getting in behind our defence on the counter, and 3 at the back can deal with this threat easily.

The introduction of Pique can neutralise Drogba, Mascherano and Puyol to the sides can mark Ramires and Mata.

Alves and Pedro/Adriano can be used wide, we must stretch their play. The only defensive responsibilities they'd have is winning the ball back quickly and ensuring that Cole/Ivanovic do not overlap (they probably won't).

I think we all expect Cesc to get the nod again, he must make runs in behind. Messi should stay high against the defence, he will get minimal space in the hole. He may roam, but not too deep.

This allows Iniesta and Xavi to work together in midfield.

Barca:

Valdes
Puyol Pique Mascherano
Busquets
Xavi - Cesc - Iniesta
Alves ------ Messi -------- Pedro

Of course I'd be happy to see a 4-3-3 of Alves, Pique, Masch, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Alexis/Cuenca, but I'm not sure if it will happen and I'm offering a tactical variant to what we all always want.
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by CBarca on Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:25 am

Nice OP and analysis, Kizz.

What do you guys think about Cuenca playing?

Chelsea will obviously be trying to be as narrow as they can, and Cuenca as we know is the widest player we have and will be near the touchline at all times, stretching out the Chelsea defense as much as possible. However, Cuenca- while a dribbler, is somewhat of a natural winger, looking to beat the defender and cross it in, which is not what we need- but he didn't do that much vs Milan so he can certainly be told to just stretch out the defense as much as possible and try and work it in.

Then again, he also doesn't offer much, if any, goalscoring presence.

So, what do you guys think about Cuenca in this game?

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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by BarcaKizz on Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:32 am

Personally I'd rather Adriano or Pedro to be stretching the play. They both can do it, they pass better and potentially can offer more of a threat. Cuenca's crossing won't be that useful against a box full of Chelsea beasts. As good as his dribbling is, he'd be up against Ashley Cole.
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by The Sanchez on Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:36 am

A useful weapon. I agree with 3-4-3 as Im sure Chelsea will again park the bus and when they get the chacne, go on the counter. Fab was not fab and now Im starting to dislike him (of course not as much as alex) and well if 3-4-3 is taken in place than Fab most likely will be put and making runs. Hopefully he lifts up his game otherwise, he may stuff up the way we play and the effect on the scoreline.
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by svt on Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:28 am

Apologies for the long post.

I think Chelsea will attempt to park the bus with a narrow back 4, 3 holding midfielders and two shuttling forward in the form of Ramires tracking Alves and Mata attempting to be a link to Drogba out on the right.

-----------------Drogba
-----------------------------------Mata
--Ramires-------------------------------------
---------Mireles--Mikel--Lampard
-----Cole----Terry---Cahill----Ivanovic-----

The main problem for us will be their narrow defence combined with 3 holding midfielders that will play exclusively in their own half and attempt to suffocate all space.

To combat this, I'd like us to go ultra attacking, something like:

------Pedro--------------------------Alexis
-Adriano-------------Messi-------------Alves
------------Iniesta-------------Xavi
--------------------------------------------------
---------------------Busquets
---------Masch--------------------Pique

Although this can be assumed to be a 4-3-3 on paper. I propose that neither Adriano or Alves fall back past the line above Busquets unless tracking a very dangerous counter attack. So this then becomes a 2-6-2 if you will.

Busquets will once again be the key to this formation, playing as a 3rd central defender and deep lying midfielder.

In defence he should not attempt to pick up Mata (who I assume will be playing off to the right again) but rather track Drogba. This will free up Masch to track Mata and Pique will to help out Busquets if needed with Drogba while watching Ramires out on the right.

During possession Busquets needs to be able to recycle the ball for Xavi, Iniesta and Messi with one touch passing immediately and speed the tempo of the ball around the midfield.

Xavi needs to switch the play from side to side much quicker than he did in the first leg today so we can take advantage of gaps that will form on our wide pitch. This will serve to bring Mikel out to Xavi and potentially open up more space between the lines for Messi and Iniesta to work in the middle. In the first leg, Xavi was left relatively unmarked, if this occurs again he needs to send the ball vertically more than he has so far this season, and attempt to dissect their back line with through balls to our inside forwards.

For this to happen, we need both our fullbacks Alves & Adriano to act as wingers which will stretch Chelsea's fullbacks out while playing in close vicinity to our inside forwards to play 1-2's and attempt to get in behind Chelsea's back 4.

Pedro & Alexis also need to make diagonal runs towards goal for Xavi/Iniesta/Messi for the FULL 90 mins to pass the ball to. Although this is a tiring and thankless job, these runs should serve to pull at least one of Cahill & Terry towards them allowing more more space through the middle for Messi to run towards goal or play through balls to the opposite inside forward. If they start their runs from deep, they might be able to distract one of the holding midfielders as well creating further space in the middle for Iniesta or Xavi.

This whole formation works on the concept of opening the middle of the pitch up for Iniesta & Messi to play through and create magic in. This is formulated by flooding the wings with wingers (Alves & Adriano) and inside forwards (Pedro & Alexis) that must all be tracked.

The numerical advantage once again comes from Busquets playing a hybrid position and Xavi drawing out one of the holding midfielders to mark him or risk being punished by his through balls to Pedro & Alexis.

Once Iniesta & Messi are against any 2 of Miereles, Mikel or Lampard they should be able to consistently get past them and set up goal opportunities for each other as well as Pedro & Alexis with through balls.

One goal in the first half and the flood gates should open! Hopeful outcome if we take our chances this time:

3-0

Pedro/Alexis to score the first goal.
Iniesta to get the second ghosting.
Messi last with a 1-2 with Iniesta!

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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by billy_gr on Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:09 am

The way for success is pretty clear for me.
Xaviesta in the middle and 3 proper attackers in the front.
I can’t believe how Pep refuses to use the best midfield collaboration in the last decade
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by free_cat on Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:12 am


We should go with this in the second leg:

VV
Alves - Pique - Mascherano - Adriano
---------------Busquets

---------Iniesta-------Thiago/Cesc
Alexis---------Messi--------------Pedro

Important: Xavi should not play. Against mega park the bus teams he is useless (vs. Inter, Vs. Chelsea yesterday, vs. Chelsea in 09...). We need someone who takes risks.
It's a 433, but in attack it should look like this

VV
---Pique - Mascherano
-------Busquets
Alves-----Iniesta-------Thiago/Cesc-----Adriano
---------Alexis--Messi--Pedro

Pedro and Alexis tucking in, Adriano and Alves acting as wingers.

We need players in between the lines!!!!!!! Not everyone before the park the bus.

Also, Pique should make some runs into the box from minute 0. To head crosses.

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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by mowgli on Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:17 am

I want to see Pique back. Even though Masch has been great this season, you can clearly see that he has a physical disadvantage no doubt. And we need some height cause they really had some risky corners, and long throws. Drogba vs Pique would be interesting to see.

Also, what about playing Messi on the right? It was far too congested in the middle last night so by placing Messi's starting position on the right this may spread the pitch a bit more. But of course he should drift into the middle, and have Alves on the overlap like usual.

I understand Messi is deadly as a false 9 but yesterday he was limited by the bus Chelsea parked, and it was frustrating to watch.

Sanchez in the middle?

Cuenca, or Pedro on the left.

Xavi and Iniesta is a must in the middle without a doubt, and Busquets as well. I really don't want Cesc to start and I'd rather have Thiago come on.

Either bencing Masche for Pique, or placing Puyol at the left since he is needed for matches like these.

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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by BarcaLearning on Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:40 pm

Puyol and Macherano bunched u pwith Drogba too much, that will be fixed. Also Adriano should push more forward and far more than in the first leg. That should help a lot already. Chelsea did well in the space limiting in between the defense and midfidler, almost like they had 3 lines and wasnt easy for Messi. Next leg I think if Adriano is wide left more, hopefully Iniesta, Cesc and MEssi and play more through the middle with 1-2s and just make lots of runs than they did....

Thats some of my thoughts. I think the key will be if we keep a clean sheet we will win and go through, but if we concede 1, Im not sure if we can score 3 they way they defend....
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by franavaro on Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:22 pm

I'M surprised no one has mentioned Xtian Tello. He is definitely more of a threat than Cuenca. Thiago and Pedro should definitely not play any of our next 2 matches. Our starting formation shld be a standard 4-3-3 with Alves - Pique - Puyol - Andriano - Busquets - Xavi - Cesc - Iniesta - Alexis - Messi. Tello must definitely be brought on for a tiring Xavi in the 2nd half. I hate to say this but Xavi has become too slow to be too effective against d defensive formation must teams adopt against Barca. A midfield of Busquets, Iniesta, and Cesc provides the vision, urgency and ball retention abilities needed to overcome these our defensive opponents. I just hope Pep has the balls to make the right choices.

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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by The Sanchez on Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:12 am

@free_cat wrote:
We should go with this in the second leg:

VV
Alves - Pique - Mascherano - Adriano
---------------Busquets

---------Iniesta-------Thiago/Cesc
Alexis---------Messi--------------Pedro

Important: Xavi should not play. Against mega park the bus teams he is useless (vs. Inter, Vs. Chelsea yesterday, vs. Chelsea in 09...). We need someone who takes risks.
It's a 433, but in attack it should look like this

VV
---Pique - Mascherano
-------Busquets
Alves-----Iniesta-------Thiago/Cesc-----Adriano
---------Alexis--Messi--Pedro

Pedro and Alexis tucking in, Adriano and Alves acting as wingers.

We need players in between the lines!!!!!!! Not everyone before the park the bus.

Also, Pique should make some runs into the box from minute 0. To head crosses.
I originally thought you were kidding, but just recently I have watched the Inter and Chelsea 09 game and your right, Xavi is useless against teams that park the bus. I think we all know that Cesc doesn't play well in the 4-3-3 formation so have Thiago there instead or have Cesc in the free role position in 3-4-3. Im not worried tbh. You can't win back to back games parking the bus against Barca. It just won't happen, especially at home!
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by free_cat on Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:41 am

They don't need to win though.

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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by iNFINITY9910 on Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:48 am

OP has a point, Liverpool played 3-4 -3 most of the time against us and we have had trouble with them almost all the time. just saying

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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by The Franchise on Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:55 am

True, but you didnt defend with 10-11 people behind the ball and not looking to keep possession at all vs Pool.

They had alot more space to attack.

That being said, I am not against 343/333 anyway.
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by Kick on Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:57 pm

I have a feeling Mata will be dropped for Sturridge, he offers speed to match Ramires down the right which will help on the counter.

Cech
Ivanovic Cahill Terry Cole
Meireles Mikel
Lampard
Sturridge Ramires
Drogba

It is going to be an Amazing 45 minutes if it is 0 all at half time, best of luck!
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by shadeslayer on Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:52 pm

I wouldn't say Xavi's useless. Agreed nothing much of note in those matches, but remeber the SF last year vs. Real? Put in a MOTM performance. And I don't think Pep's going to drop him.
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by billy_gr on Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:10 pm

the wole Xavi disussion is bulshit really...
he has the killer through ball. not his fault that 2 of our 3 attackers were static and messi had to come deep to get the ball.

not to mention he was great vs milan in san siro, and milan were parking the buss too
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by RealGunner on Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:16 pm

Drogba has picked up a knee injury and will be re-assessed on monday
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by messixaviesta on Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:20 pm

paxtonpale wrote:Xavi is useless against teams that park the bus.

I don't really agree with that. It's the job of Messi and Iniesta to dribble and create space which Xavi can then exploit. As has been mentioned before Xavi is perhaps the greatest master of space football has ever seen. For that to happen Messi and Iniesta must do more in tandem against such teams and intelligently bring other team members into play. This in turn means that first of all Iniesta can't be shunted on the left wing where he gets to touch the ball once every ten minutes. As importantly as anything else Xavi must not be forced to play so deep. If a team is sitting so deep in their half, why the hell do that? He must be right behind Messi and Iniesta to exploit the space that they create as only he can.


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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by billionmillion on Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:07 pm

@free_cat wrote:
We should go with this in the second leg:

VV
Alves - Pique - Mascherano - Adriano
---------------Busquets

---------Iniesta-------Thiago/Cesc
Alexis---------Messi--------------Pedro

Important: Xavi should not play. Against mega park the bus teams he is useless (vs. Inter, Vs. Chelsea yesterday, vs. Chelsea in 09...). We need someone who takes risks.
It's a 433, but in attack it should look like this

VV
---Pique - Mascherano
-------Busquets
Alves-----Iniesta-------Thiago/Cesc-----Adriano
---------Alexis--Messi--Pedro

Pedro and Alexis tucking in, Adriano and Alves acting as wingers.

We need players in between the lines!!!!!!! Not everyone before the park the bus.

Also, Pique should make some runs into the box from minute 0. To head crosses.
Actually Xavi's problem was counter-attacks. he is not so useful at counter attacks. and if you play against parked bus team counter attacks will happen often. also in midfield instead of waiting for a safe pass you must do risks. you can not make safe passes against parked teams, you need to make risk, just like messi did in last minute against Chelsea (his one two with Busquets)

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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by Albiceleste on Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:49 pm

If Alexis does not play, should Pep consider Afellay?

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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:11 am

No, he hasn't played all season, why should we play him in the most important game of the season?

If Alexis is injured Pedro and Cuenca should start imo.

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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by FennecFox7 on Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:44 am

Are you kidding? Play afellay :coffee:

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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by CBarca on Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:51 am



Go Afellay!

But he shouldn't play. Still, love watching that.
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Re: UCL 2nd Leg: Barcelona v Chelsea

Post by alexjanosik on Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:14 pm

Frankly I dont get the bench Xavi arguments.I thought he had a good game against Chelsea.He completed over 100 passes.If that was Pirlo or Scholes people would be creating 100 threads on the Gen Sec.
Regarding him taking more risks I dont know what game free was watching but there was nothing he could have done differently.There was no one in space in the final third for him to pass into.He tried a couple of long balls but they just didnt come off.
Chelsea didnt allow any space in behind so there was no question of him taking any risks.
Also every time Chelsea launched the ball forward Masch and Puyol struggled to deal with Drogba.The last thing that was needed was Xavi trying a dangerous pass to someone in between the lines(where there not even an inch of space) and Chelsea launching another ball.
His job is complete control of the midfield and he did that again.
The fault does not lie with him.Fault lies with our forward line bar Messi and especially Mr Passback who should be the one to be benched.
Xavi starts against Chelsea.Mr Passback benched in favor of Tello who can score goals and Pedro on the other side.Hopefully Pedro can find his goal scoring boots.

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