Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

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Total Votes : 23

Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by The Franchise on Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:52 am

@barcaholic wrote:
@Donuts wrote:I agree neymar shouldn't of been on the right, but honestly it looked like Tata told the team to exploit their LB who seemed to play horrible.

I thought so too. Using neymar in the right to link with alves was a smart move by tata to exploit a weakness there. in the few minutes he played he set up a chance to messi and made an assist to alves. very good game reading and he deserves credit for it.

I would go as far as to say, it being Neymar had almost nothing to do with it. It was a pretty routine 1-2 which Alexis, Pedro..or any of our midfielders/forwards really (probably not Tello) could of pulled off.

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by futbol on Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:07 am

Neymar did some absolutely wonderful things in the few minutes he played on the right. Showed an immediate understanding with Alves, assisted Alves, should have assisted Messi (if he didn't scuff the shot, which was weird) and got himself into a shooting position, just slightly offside after a linkup play with Messi. Definitely did more than Alexis in 75 minutes. He can't cut inside and shoot on his favourite foot (not a huge problem as he knows how to use his left anyway) but he shows inventiveness and does other things very well, no matter if left or right. Alexis on the other hand is just a very predictable player on the wing, especially against organized teams. Extremely 1-footed, no inventiveness, not dribbling past anyone, no connection with Alves, just laying it back to Messi every single time. Doesn't mean that Neymar should now play RW forever. My argument is that he did well there in this game and that Pedro would have done feck all except pass it back like Alexis.

Not subbing out a midfielder was actually a good thing. No need to mess with the shape of the midfield. It will inevitably result in gaps and defensive instability when you take of a midfielder "on the fly".

Alves gets a another free pass here while Alba's name is mentioned in a negative context. Alves did absolutely nothing except foul people half a dozen times in the first half, receive an early yellow card, play crosses against 5935 inches taller City defenders and miss a golden opportunity. Playing against 10 men and taking the defensive Kolarov off helped his performance and that goal rescued his day. At one point Clichy drove into the box into acres of space though with Alves nowhere to be seen, just like the Real Sociedad goal. Luckily Clichy crossed it directly into Valdes' hands.

Can't argue against the result. And it can't be total coincidence that Barca has only conceded 2 goals in 5 games against Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Man. City. But we look very unorganized. City shouldn't be able to create chances and pour forward with 10 men and get into spaces as they did. Although it's probably by design to keep the lines spread further away for a more direct counterattacking approach. Our midfielders don't really fit that style though as they aren't physical enough to close down spaces quickly enough. If he wants to play like this we need Vidal.

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by CBarca on Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:08 am

Like I said in the general section, I thought most of our players played well without being that outstanding. I thought as a whole that summed up our performance-- I thought it was better than what we've seen in the recent weeks and it was pretty good, but not great, nor anywhere near our best. I thought for the most part our defense was pretty good. I thought our pressing was pretty good if not inconsistent, but still not at our best at all. I think if we haven't developed a top pressing game by this point in the season, we should be expecting most of our games to look like this in terms of pressing. Which isn't as bad as it used to be. Overall we restricted them to very few chances and against City, with this defense, I'm very happy about that.

Alexis I thought played well overall but he continues to lack that final touch or product, especially in big games like these. He's still one-dimensional and restrained on the right, but he's our best runner off the ball and the only one who is willing to give the outside backs/center backs any problems off the ball.

Going from right to left, Messi played well without being outstanding, like the rest of the team. The sloppy Messi I had seen in games previous (missed the Rayo game) was completely gone and he did a decent job pressing- better than I've seen in a while (though he could work harder I feel). He was decisive and his presence commanded a lot of the City back line. Looked the player from Barca most likely to get a goal and did well to win the penalty and slot it home coolly. Overall his influence was limited because he was tightly marked, but I was happy with what I saw.

Didn't understand Iniesta on the wing. Again, it looked like we were just trying to fit Cesc in- which I think in hindsight we can all agree was a bad decision, and Pedro on the left with Iniesta in the middle would have been preferable. I would have preferred to see Iniesta farther central (even though he often drifted there) to make combinations with Messi and Xavi, which at times had looked pretty decent. Agreed with Dani regarding the subs.

I wasn't overly impressed with our offense, but they got the job done. I don't know if it was Tata telling us not to go for the throat after the red card, but I'm not sure why we didn't. I was almost upset at the 1-0 scoreline at the end before Dani Alves scored because this stuff can bite you in the ass, and I didn't think we were taking advantage of the extra man. I still don't think we were- we seemed very satisfied with going into the second leg with a 1-0 lead. While I would have been satisfied with that as well, I'm not sure I would have given our 40 minutes with an extra man. Especially since City had been giving us little trouble and we created more than a couple good chances in the 10 minutes immediately following the red card.

However, I'm ecstatic with a 2-0. Tie over as far as I'm concerned. Job well done.

Oh, and Dani Alves was fantastic. Anybody who thinks he has been off this season can jog on, his pressing was fantastic, the balls won this game as well as his work offensively off the ball...all looked like prime Alves. Then the goal to kill the tie at the end- the man working the hardest from beginning to finish and making offensive moves at the end when no one seemed willing-- and that goal could prove crucial. Man of the match for me.
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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by barcaholic on Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:10 am

@The Franchise wrote:
@barcaholic wrote:
@Donuts wrote:I agree neymar shouldn't of been on the right, but honestly it looked like Tata told the team to exploit their LB who seemed to play horrible.

I thought so too. Using neymar in the right to link with alves was a smart move by tata to exploit a weakness there. in the few minutes he played he set up a chance to messi and made an assist to alves. very good game reading and he deserves credit for it.

I would go as far as to say, it being Neymar had almost nothing to do with it. It was a pretty routine 1-2 which Alexis, Pedro..or any of our midfielders/forwards really (probably not Tello) could of pulled off.

He didnt sub him in for that exact play.... he wanted to strengthen the right side of attack. neymar is a threat who keeps defenders on their toes and draws attention. Lescot often went to support clichy which opened more space in the middle. messi had a chance from a similar play as well. I agree that neymar shouldnt play in the right regularly and we could argue that pedro wouldve been a better choice but tata thought neymar will do a job there and he subbed him in and it paid off. So, he deserves credit for it.
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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by The Franchise on Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:52 am

I dont know about you guys, but it seemed very clear to me Neymar wasnt comfortable on the right. He is an incredible talent and he can still contribute, just like Iniesta can on the left...but its not the same for him, I can clearly see it in his movements. He is much more reluctant to take people on.

I dont know why there is any comparisons to Pedro or Alexis, all provide very different things and you play each one not on talent, but what you need at that time.. There is no argument of talent or what Neymar is capable of...only if something better could have been done for him or the team overall. Which the answer is yes...be it a more natural player there, including Messi...or simply putting him on the left and one of the midfielders "on the right". Anyway, who cares..this is too much writing for a pointless thing. Merely pointing out my lack of confidence Tata knows exactly what he is doing.

Removing a midfielder gives defensive instability? No chance.

Cesc is so easy to by pass its untrue. Yaya was skipping past him easily and generally speaking he offers very little defensively. Pedro defensively speaking gives you alot more. Its not like Cesc was invaluable to closing spaces in the middle...they (City) were down 2 players in there by the time people like me were asking for a sub and more importantly, we were pressing...something a Pedro does better than Cesc. All in all, not taking off a midfielder (or bringing on one) for the false sense of defensive stability has failed us many times before, when will we learn?

Blaming Dani Alves for that Clichy chances makes me question your understanding. I saw the play clearly, Busquets was more at fault for that one, he was slow to close the space with Alves..who had tracked the man inside. Alves is supposed to follow him inside if Busquets cant/hasnt got him.. but really the main issue is our winger who should be following the leftback. Of course Alexis at the point was doing the work of 2 people and couldnt be in two places at once.
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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by windkick on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:05 am

@Donuts wrote:I agree neymar shouldn't of been on the right, but honestly it looked like Tata told the team to exploit their LB who seemed to play horrible.

I agree he shouldn't, but him on the right is what set up the Alves goal. It's not as if Neymar has proved to be horrible on the right since he sways to more of a central/center forward/right type of role with Alves as the actual right winger. So he ends up more so behind Messi which is not bad since both are so creative.

I don't get the moaning from everyone about the penalty. it was a clear foul (whether it was a red or not is debatable, but he did tackle him while going at goal which in most cases is a clear red) and he was a fraction out the box but almost already in and from the view the ref had it more than likely looked in than out since Messi fell inside the box (pretty much almost near Hart he fell so far in). So people need to just deal with it.

Over all I am glad with our possession. Glad with the win; we just went to the Ethiad and blanked City who are the best scoring team in Europe and we came away with 2 away goals. One goal at home and this tie could pretty much be over. I am not sure starting Iniesta on the left was the smart idea, but I give Tata props for trying something new. Thats the first time he played that set up; just as against Real Madrid he used a new set up...which helps keep our opponents honest since we might not start the players they expect us too.

My one main complaint was we waited too long to make some subs.

Visca el Barca!!

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by Winter is Coming on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:17 am

Neymar was great I like his first impression he had a few one-two's with Messi then from right moved to the middle and passed it to Xavi I believe then run straight towards the left to get the ball back and almost had a chance, I believe someone slide tackled the ball away, but it showed great effort and work from him.

I don't see us slipping up at home considering the game before were playing a team sitting in 17th at the moment in La Liga. The team I want to avoid tho is Bayern and Chelsea tbh.

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by futbol on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:17 am

My argument isn't really that Cesc provides defensive stability per se (although you underrate his hustle I believe, look how he battled and pressed Yaya in his own box). It's rather that the team was already warmed up to playing that "4-6-0" formation in that moment and resetting it "on the fly" by taking a body from midfield away might have opened gaps. I would have started 4-3-3 as well with Cesc on the bench and 2 winger but if you start "4-6-0" then don't change it unnecessarily during the game. If that makes sense.

I haven't rewatched any scenes yet so you might be right, it might have been Busquets' fault and not Alves'. Still doesn't excuse those crosses and silly fouls. He plays very brainless these days.

Wonder what Tata will do once Neymar is fully fit again. He can't play Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc and Neymar all together in big games, can he? Laughing

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by futbol on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:21 am

Nerman's short cameo.



We already look a different team without him. He adds so much in the final third. He just makes things happen.

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by Harmonica on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:25 am

Oh yeah, Neymar was awful when he came on, really sloppy play. Slightly too high situation to sub player from injury, Pedro would've been good. Although playing against 10 men with walking pace was made for Brazilian.
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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by futbol on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:28 am

"Walking pace". I know a certain player who has specialized that aspect of his game. hmm

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by Winter is Coming on Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:16 am

Xavi, 34, covered more pitch than any player from both teams and had 4 times more passes than Fernandinho.

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by Donuts on Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:28 am

well that's expected he's had over a week of rest while everyone else is practically unrested.
nontheless that's a good stat.

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:43 am

@Winter is Coming wrote:Xavi, 34, covered more pitch than any player from both teams and had 4 times more passes than Fernandinho.
What's the exact count and where do you guys keep finding kms run stats? I never see them around at free websites.

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by CBarca on Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:37 am

Xavi Proud

Had a great game. At age 34 running more than everyone in a UCL knockout game :bow:

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by futbol on Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:58 am

@BarrileteCosmico wrote:
@Winter is Coming wrote:Xavi, 34, covered more pitch than any player from both teams and had 4 times more passes than Fernandinho.
What's the exact count and where do you guys keep finding kms run stats? I never see them around at free websites.

On the official UEFA homepage. It's called "Match Center": http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/matches/live/index.html?day=7&session=1&match=2011855 (don't know if the direct link works)

Anyway. Just rewatched the second half and the first 20 minutes of the first half (am watching the rest now). Some of my initial criticism was harsh. Team didn't look unorganized at all. Allowed City a few half chances but overall their counterattacks were well handled.

Mysteriously lost a bit of shape for a short time after City went down to 10.

Yaya didn't do much except that 1 bulldozing run in the first half.

Gave them only 1 corner the entire match.

What stood out though was some lazy play by a few Barca players and I don't have an explanation. Alves and Alexis in particular, under no pressure whatsoever, played the ball back to the middle in their own half and directly into the path of City players. Things like that, just needlessly careless.

Offense was kinda lacklustre but still got the job done. Can be classified a "professional away performance" I guess. I'm just not sure if this was a stroll in the park as it looked like or if we really couldn't penetrate more even if we wanted. But then again City pretty much parked the bus. Once they opened up in the second half Iniesta slotted in a throughball which put Messi 1 on 1 with Hart and Demichelis got sent off.

Messi is really confusing me these days. Sometimes it lookes like he's still injured. Second half he barely took anyone on. Still does some great things, holding the ball under immense pressure and finding an outlet. But for his standards, that's wasn't a good performance by any means. Or I'm simply expecting too much.

Can't take back my criticism of Alexis. He doesn't do enough in these tight encounters. Certainly not on the right wing. There was a telling scene. A break was on, he stopped completely and gave the ball to Alves who then continued to dribble forward. It's as if Alves is the winger and Alexis is the rightback tracking back and doing defensive stuff. He looks devoid of conficende again.

My prefered lineup from now on:

Nerman Messi Pedro
Iniesta Xavi
Busquets
Alba Masch Pique Alves

Hope that's what we do in the return leg.

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by Winter is Coming on Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:33 am

@BarrileteCosmico wrote:
@Winter is Coming wrote:Xavi, 34, covered more pitch than any player from both teams and had 4 times more passes than Fernandinho.
What's the exact count and where do you guys keep finding kms run stats? I never see them around at free websites.

I actually found it at the City forum, one of the City supporters posted it lol




lol 0% success in crossing.


Last edited by Winter is Coming on Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:18 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by BarcaLearning on Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:15 am

@Donuts wrote:
@Twoism wrote:
@BarcaLearning wrote:Lets be more clear and serious. We only won becos of that red card. Im not saying we didnt deserve it or that we were crap, but I was overall disappointed.

Firstly we played the same whole game in all of our CL first legs, cautious, and with Cesc and Iniesta bunch up. Thats always the big game safe option lineup. Our strats are the same. I was to a point depressed thinking here we again, we so often we should take more risks and playh the blal up and counter faster, instead of being safe and waiting for opposition to set their defense, but it just seems we ALWAYS like to do this in these types of game. Even after Man C down to 10, we didnt change!!!

Overall, due to whatever reason, we just didnt really kill the game and almost conceded on a few occasions. We should have done MUCH better under the circumstances. 2-0 is good but in the circumstances, im not satisfied, which is rare for me for this team Razz

If we are like this vs say Bayern, we may get raped again Sad

You just won 2-0 against BPL best team away, with billions of oil money and hardly broke a sweat. Look at your team records away in England and be happy with team performance. Tata got it right with tactics and selection imo, he was not kidding about that possession. Anyways ughh fans these days.
truth be told, the Barca fans these days find anything to moan and be emotional, despite a good victory.

Actually I dont do this normally, in fact its the opposite often Razz What I am not happy with is we are too cautious and secodnly, we could have and should have went for it more after Man C went 1 down. But it was clear that didnt happen, and its standard for now it seems in these CL first legs. Being in control is one thing, but thats not all we should doing.
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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by BarcaLearning on Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:19 am

And it was great to see Yaya enjoying himself with his former teammates. This game showed hes very different to Busquets who also played a good game. I just love the guy though Very Happy

I hope Aguero is back next leg and perhaps Pelle giving them some surprise and focus on attacking, to see both teams at their best and going for it, 2 of the best attacking teams with players i like, that would be awesome Smile
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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by windkick on Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:50 am

Speak for yourself. I'd much rather deal with Dzeko and Negredo than Kun

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by BarcaLearning on Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:56 am

Thats what I mean, I actually want a better Man C than a weakened one. Considering we are at home with 2 up, we wont crash out until some miracle happens so, for spectacle, definitely as many stars as possible would be great Smile
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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by The Franchise on Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:51 pm

Fußball wrote:My argument isn't really that Cesc provides defensive stability per se (although you underrate his hustle I believe, look how he battled and pressed Yaya in his own box). It's rather that the team was already warmed up to playing that "4-6-0" formation in that moment and resetting it "on the fly" by taking a body from midfield away might have opened gaps. I would have started 4-3-3 as well with Cesc on the bench and 2 winger but if you start "4-6-0" then don't change it unnecessarily during the game. If that makes sense.

I haven't rewatched any scenes yet so you might be right, it might have been Busquets' fault and not Alves'. Still doesn't excuse those crosses and silly fouls. He plays very brainless these days.

Wonder what Tata will do once Neymar is fully fit again. He can't play Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc and Neymar all together in big games, can he? Laughing

You mean the play where he ended up fouling him? That was a terrible play. He had him cornered....just stand behind him and let make a blind clearance. Instead he got physical and fouled him, gifting them relief.

Resetting on the fly to the formation we always play? I see no danger. And defensively, there wasnt an extra body in midfield anyway, it was in attack more than anything because obviously Iniesta isnt going to run in behind or isolate himself on the wing.

TBH, I dunno what your talking about. Most people seem to think Dani Alves played very well.
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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:53 pm

I'm with dani in this one, not quite sure what people are complaining about with Alves. To suggest he was as bad as Alba is laughable.

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by alexjanosik on Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:01 pm

I dont know what game everyone was watching but Alves was brilliant.MOTM for me.He pressed,won a lot of balls,played with intensity,set up chances and scored one.If proof was needed for the doubters,today once more proved why Alves in ten times the player Alba is.

I hear a lot that Alves has declined and that he is not as good offensively.And the reason for that is simple enough.Every single game,if u look at the stats,Alba has more touches and more passes than Alves.Simply astounds me why we let that clown have so much of the ball and that too over Alves.And mostly he does nothing with it.Alves is a player who is the top assister in La Laiga over the past 10 years and routinely got close to 20 assists a season.And yet as soon as Alba comes in,we shift our entire mode of attack more to the left.I have no idea why.Its not a coincidence that Alves offensive output has reduced the past 2 years,same time Alba has been here.For me its clear.Alves is a far far superior player both offensively and defensively.Channel majority of the fullback play through him and we will see once more the beast Alves that we saw against City.Or we can continue to let that clown have more of the ball and do absolutely nothing with it.

Also dont think Alexis was poor.I think he had a very good game.Did a lot of the intangibles right and was the only one offering some movement all game.Also dont understand him being subbed off for Neymar.If Neymar had to come on,Cesc should have been taken off and Neymar put on the left.As it is Neymar was very poor after coming on.Far too casual and disinterested and did nothing.Dont understand the praise he is getting.

Overall I am very pleased with the result.I thought we played very well and almost everyone played well except Alba.
Yes we were cautious but City parked the bus and patience was the order of the day.We probed and probed,restricted them to a couple of half chances and got 2 goals.Overall we were in control the entire match.Should we have gone for the jugular after they went a man down.Maybe.But then even then we had a few chances to score.The Xavi one from inside the box,the Alves chance,the Messi chance towards the end.
This game reminded me of the CL SF against Madrid a couple of years ago,the one where we won 2-0.There also Madrid parked the bus like City.In that game also we played cautious and didnt play gung ho.We probed and probed and came away with a result.Very similar game imo.

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by alexjanosik on Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:05 pm

Also can someone post a gif of the disguised Xavi throughball to Fabregas.Beautiful play which deserved a goal but was wrongly called offside.

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Re: Barcelona - ManC, Champions League Round 16

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:38 pm

Cesc's offside:
http://giant.gfycat.com/LividIcyKillerwhale.gif

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