FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by free_cat on Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:57 am

@billy_gr wrote:
@free_cat wrote:You are not going to concede 1 or 2 every game either.
Against top sides and given our track this year?
It’s definitely more probable than scoring 3

Not after Tito is back and we get past our usual dip in performance in February.

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by The Franchise on Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:27 pm

I do believe we need to improve at the back, but I am siding a little more with Free on this.

Overall it depends on the game, there is something more important that actual defending.

Possession and pressing.

If we do both, then we have to do very little defending.

So, yeah, I do believe we have improve defensively but I would not rule us out because of it...not when other teams have flaws themselves too.
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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by futbol on Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:19 pm

Pique is starting to annoy me to no end tbh. Slow on the turn, a disgrace in the air for a guy that tall, too rash and gets regularly beaten when dragged out wide (how easily Bojan got past him :facepalm:). Although the latter is mostly Alves' fault as well for playing like a winger and not like a fullback. And what's his excuse for looking like this?



I totally believe that agent who claimed that Guardiola wanted to get rid.

Can't blame Mascherano for his f*ckups. He's not a centerback and will never develop the required positional sense of a world class centerback.

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by The Franchise on Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:14 pm

Total nonesense, all of it Laughing
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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by Forza on Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:53 pm

It's been a few days since the game, so now that I'm no longer severely depressed about the result I'd just like to say congratulations on the win and best of luck against P$G.
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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by Donuts on Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:20 am

futbol what was the point in that image? looking like what exactly lol
anyways the team did well i don't see why your nit picking no defender has a perfect game.

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by ToEy on Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:31 am

We need Roura to take more NZT-48 from the movie Limitless. Or we need Tito to be back soon. Could probably still handle PSG but certainly not dortmund/bayern/juve/madrid, without Tito

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by danyjr on Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:04 am

@Donuts wrote:futbol what was the point in that image? looking like what exactly lol
See: belly

PS: Remember this?


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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by Donuts on Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:50 am

Well he is sitting down in that angle anyone looks fat.

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by danyjr on Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:44 am

I don't Very Happy

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by Donuts on Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:48 am

eh I still think your over viewing that picture, his physique is fine and his abilities are not showing any decrease in a sense of speed or stamina.

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by danyjr on Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:26 am

I wasn't the person who brought up that picture. I was merely pointing out what futbol meant.

I think Piqué has improved this season compared to 2011-12 but meh he's what everyone makes him out to be. Varane will be better than him in a couple of years.

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by The Franchise on Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:51 pm

He got beat by Bojan....well yeah, believe it or not, Bojan actually has some talent. Funny that a player who was at Barca and is now another giant club might have some level of ability.
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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by alexjanosik on Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:21 pm

Been a long times since I have posted.Been super busy the past month with the financial year ending and all.
Anyway its been a roller coaster of a month for us.
On the specific game,I think we needed to put in a champion performance to go through and thats what we got.A champion performance from a champion team.
For over a year,I have been banging on about how our pressing game had gone astray and how it had been costing us big time.
Not pressing affects us in 2 ways.Firstly it means that we dont win the ball back early.And against park the bus teams it makes life difficult.If we win the ball back early,it allows us to attack before the defense sets itself and that gives us a bit more of a chance.Perfectly well illustrated against Milan when we were able to create plenty of chances against a parked bus and score because of pressing.2 of our goals came because we won the ball back deep in their half and attacked before they could reorganize.It has been ages since we consistently won the ball back so high up as we did against Milan.And the results were there for everyone to see.

That leads to a related point.I had observed that for some time now we have been playing big games on the backfoot mainly because we have stopped pressing.Especially games against Madrid roles have been reversed.We have stopped pressing them and they press us relentlesssly.As a result they are always on the frontfoot and we are mostly on the backfoot.
Against Milan we pressed and were always on the front foot.

Pressing also helps our defense.Its not a coincidence that we went 14 games without a clean sheet and that we have conceded far more goals than in previous seasons.The most important reason for it is our lack of presssing.We were never a great team defensively in the conventional sense.What made us a great team defensively under Pep was our pressing and defending from the front.We pressed and defended as a team and were great defensively.We stopped pressing and all of a sudden our defending became atrocious.Now some may argue that our problem is individual defensive mistakes at the back and not presssing.I would argue that our pressing meant that our defenders were never put under constant pressure that would lead to mistakes.This year we are conceding far more shots than previous seasons and hence we are making more errors.And the reason we are conceding more shots is because we dont press.

The message from the Milan game is loud and clear.If we want to win the big ties then we need our pressing and intensity back.We cant afford a superstar player who walks around all game and covers 7 km in a big CL tie( probably 6.9 km of that walking).

On the players on the night,thought everyone performed excellently except for Masch who once again tried his hardest to cost us another CL.Would be best that he is kindly shown the door in the summer.
Alves didnt have the best game offensively as he was wasteful with the final ball but his energy was immense.

Dont get the crticism of Villa that he did nothing besides the goal.He was given a sacrificial role and performed it brilliantly.He played centrally and his job was to occupy the CB's and ensure that Messi got just that tiny bit more space to work his magic.Villa did his job brillianlty and Messi who was playing behind and to the right was able to work his magic with the wee bit more space.Villa being there meant that Mexes and Zapata couldnt rush out and crowd Messi and that was one of the important reasons for us winning.
His goal was just the icing on the top.Never have I been so happy for a player when he scored.After being so unfairly treated he came up with the winning goal and the reaction of the crowd was amazing.Terrific game from a legend and from here on out he deserves to start every single game.

Iniesta was amazing.Full of fight,energy and dribbling.Worked tirelessly throughout and stepped up in yet another big game.Xavi,his partner in crime too was immense.Coming back from injury we needed him at his best and he delivered yet again on the big stage.A real captain's performance from the maestro.
Messi finally decided to run in a game and the result was there to see. Tremendous game from him.The first goal was a touch of a genius and reminded me of Ronnie against Chelsea.Second too was very good.Never stopped working and put in a great effort.Easily his best performance of the year.I hope he works as hard atleast in the big games.

MOM for me though was none of the above.For my money Busquets was the MOM without a shadow of a doubt.Simply imperious performance.I have watched the game thrice and he didnt put a foot wrong throughout.I mentioned winning the ball back early and he was the prime example. Won countless balls high up the pitch and released the ball early.It required tremendous anticipation,positioning and skill.A supreme showcase of anticipation,intelligence,skill,passing and vision from a supreme player. I think it is the best performance of his career and couldnt have come at a better time.

Overall I am very pleased.If we play with the same intensity we will destroy any team and can win the whole thing.But the question is will we or will we go back to playing on the back foot?

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by CBarca on Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:08 pm

Sergio Busquets wrote:MOM for me though was none of the above.For my money I was the MOM without a shadow of a doubt.Simply imperious performance.I have watched the game thrice and I didnt put a foot wrong throughout.I mentioned winning the ball back early and I was the prime example. I Won countless balls high up the pitch and released the ball early.It required tremendous anticipation,positioning and skill.A supreme showcase of anticipation,intelligence,skill,passing and vision from a me. I think it is the best performance of my career and couldnt have come at a better time.

100% agreed Busquets.

But seriously, I agree with every aspect of your post.

Thing Dani, Free, about the defense. Yes we are great at scoring but our defense is not good enough. I WOULD agree with you if we can press as well as we did vs Milan in every game.

But this seems to have been a one-off this season, and until I see us do it consistently, I'm not booking us as favorites for the CL. Without our pressing game and with the defense we have I can't see us doing it.

If we can press as well as we did vs Milan in all the CL games for the rest of the campaign, then I think we are the best team.
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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by The Sanchez on Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:26 pm

CB Laughing

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by danyjr on Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:47 pm

Good post by Alexjanosik...can't agree more with pretty much every point you made. I personally feel Barcelona board have been wary of pressing because it has a knock on effect to their defence being caught out in counters but as you pointed out, you are risking more by not pressing by simply giving more time to the opposition to plan out counters. I think pressing should be the default tactics against better teams.

I bet you though this was a one off. I don't see Barça ever pulling a performance like last week's unless they are desperate.

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:19 pm

Barca don't press less because of tactical reasons, we just got complacent

¿Cómo se recupera la magia que se ha perdido estas dos últimas semanas?
Dani Alves:– Pienso que nosotros no hemos perdido la magia, sino la intensidad que nos ha hecho diferentes al resto, ese hambre con el que presionábamos al rival cuando perdíamos el balón...

P.– ¿Nos está diciendo que se ha perdido el hambre?
R.– Concretamente, hemos perdido el hambre de querer comernos al rival. Esas ganas que antes teníamos, ahora no se notan, y eso se contagia. Las cosas buenas se contagian y las no tan buenas, también. Debemos recuperar todo eso, y en ello estamos trabajando. Más allá de lo que digan y de lo que piensen. El trabajo nos permitirá recuperarnos.

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by danyjr on Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:38 am

Of course a team who's won it all in such a short time has less hambre to win more, hence the lack of intensity displayed by Barcelona compared to say 2010-11 season. But I think your pressing as a whole hasn't been as efficient as before even when you've tried to press. Players like Fàbregas are completely clueless when they press and Alexis is a bit of a headless chicken à la di María. And of course Messi walking doesn't help at all, I've seen at times Xavi or Iniesta running all the way from midfield to do what Messi should be doing.

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by The Sanchez on Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:31 am

Messi pressed constantly when we didn't have the ball which was great to see! Sick of him walking around...
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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by Kaladin on Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:02 am

@The Sanchez wrote:Messi pressed constantly when we didn't have the ball which was great to see! Sick of him walking around...


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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by danyjr on Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:48 am

lol good one Laughing

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by messixaviesta on Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:41 am

Forza Rossoneri wrote:It's been a few days since the game, so now that I'm no longer severely depressed about the result I'd just like to say congratulations on the win and best of luck against P$G.

Thank you very much
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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by messixaviesta on Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:55 am

alex, I am delighted to see you are back. As for your post, every word is gold. What a comeback not just from Xavi but also from you !!!

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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by The Sanchez on Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:56 am

This tie should have taught us something, and it won’t have taught everyone the same lesson. For me, it underscored this point:

Barça is the best team in the world when it plays its game. When it stopped pressing as much, Milan got at our defense. But Milan pressed, laid themselves open for a counter and got burned. And that’s that.

The way we played last night would have beaten any side in the world. Period. Because for the first time this season, the team defended and attacked as a unit. Messi wasn’t standing around, Messi was pressing, which made the jobs of Busquets and the defense so much easier. Alba was alert, so when Pique got skinned, a defender had his back.

The pressing was key – when we win the ball in the opponent’s half as we did so many times this game, everything is completely different. Not only are we getting more easily in dangerous positions (two of our goals happened this way) but it also has a very demoralizing effect on the other team when they can’t get the ball past the halfway line.

That’s how it’s supposed to be. I guarantee you that Mourinho and his henchmen were watching that match, saying “Lordy! Thank the stars we didn’t see THAT Barça!”

It’s always, “But the NEXT time.” I don’t believe that. There is no next time. Milan was the next to last team in the competition with a playing style that perfectly syncs with our weaknesses. Juventus is the other one. Not coincidentally, both at Italian sides.

They didn’t defend any differently than they did at home, except for moving the blocks a little farther back because of the presence of Villa. So they had to, or the over the top balls were a danger. Smart tactical move from us. They didn’t play any worse. The difference was that we weren’t crap. And that was that.

But the biggest difference is in the time of year. The team is coming into another physical peaking cycle. The match at Milan was typical of the team’s February performances. In the past, things such as a 1-1 draw against Stuttgart (!!) have also happened in February.

And the team isn’t in full form yet, but will be by April. And by then, I wouldn’t want to be our next Champions League opponent.

Player Comments

Valdes- It was very rare to see him in action, but the couple of times he was called, he didn’t disappoint. And his distribution was spot on. Always found a player. Also like to mention the confidence of coming out with the 1v1 with Niang. He came out confidently and quickly reducing the angle Niang had to shoot at as well as giving him less time to shoot at.

Alves- Yes we couldn’t win the battles up air…for most of Alves’s crosses found no one. He pulled defenders and threatened all game. Link up play was great and was pretty much playing as a winger using the space that Messi/Villa left. 1 or 2 times he didn't track his man leaving SES to shoot at Valdes...
Mascherano- Masch played a great game but his structural vulnerability to high balls over the top scare the bejeesus out of me and I don’t think he will improve in that regard. Last ditch, reckless slide tackles have been common in his game and I'm worried that its the only element in his game. Saying that he regularly intercepted the ball, distributed the ball well especially his long ball to Alves. Intercepted the ball that led to Villa's goal.

Pique- Real force in the air and didn't lose many aerial battles throughout the game. Saying that his distribution wasn't as good as Mascherano and was beaten far too easily by Milan's attackers...

Alba- Dealt very well in a back three. Intercepted the ball, passing was accurate and quick and his goal reminded me of his run in Euro's. Pressing and positioning wasn't a let down as usual.

Busquests- He made the difference and turned our midfield from wishy-washy-pass-sideways to a more-direct-and-in-Milan’s-face unit. He was everywhere that he needed to be and we saw the results of him playing direct when he set up Messi for his 1st goal. That precise bullet of a pass into Messi’s feet for the 1-2 with Xavi before the goal was beautiful. He also was prescient in how he managed to intercept so many balls between Milan players. Pretty much everything what Alex said.

Xavi- Controlled the game. Less touches and more passes. Pressed and pressed, got the ball then controlled the tempo of the game, setting the strandards.

Iniesta-Takes up all the right positions, intercepts several balls, releases players just at the right time and with the right weight of passs to start a counter attack, gets fouled many times because with his ball control he is usually unplayable for the opposition, fights his heart out for the team, gets an assist and almost gets a goal from a wonderful shot. Enough said. Beautiful player :bow:

Villa- Had to play a sacrifical role. People claim he was invisble but tbh it doesn't matter to me. His job was to occupy the two CB's and give Messi more time and space to do his magic and he did it and it proved alot! The finishing for the goal was pretty so classy and at that point of time, the icing on the cake.

Messi- He was omnipresent. His movement, passes and dribbles were sharp. Was allowed the time and space constantly to do his magic and he didn't waste this opportunity. Finishing was top notch, simply had the game of the year!

Pedro- Somewhat below the scintillating level of the rest of his attacking team-mates, as he did not really come up with any decisive moments in a rather subdued display.
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Re: FC Barcelona - AC Milan | Tue March 12th | Champions League 2nd Leg

Post by messixaviesta on Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:19 pm

Wonderful post man. Loved reading it.

BTW enjoyed your use of 'Mourinho and his henchmen'. It shows that at times he is viewed more like a mafia boss than a football coach. We should let him know that. Who knows it might even please him.

Another comment that I have heard to describe us that night is 'blood thirsty wolves who hadn't eaten for days'. Smile

Does anyone have a link to the picture in which Iniesta pumps his fists in the air after the match?

Last but not the least where is mole when all this is happening?



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