A disastrous 90+ minutes of football see Barcelona being dealt their biggest Champions League blow for years
LOUD Stadio Olimpico
Now THAT was a proper football atmosphere! AS Roma fans were the team’s 12th, 13th, probably 14th player. They were pushing their team forward from minute one and got what they deserved in minute 94. Their presence was almost tangible as whenever Barca started attacks, the players found themselves surrounded by a pack of Wolves, Roma players, as if there were always extra men on the pitch.
Umtiti should reconsider his position
If the Frenchman thinks he deserves a new contract, he does not! Full stop. It’s in games like this you earn yourself a raise, not against Leganes. Sadly, the player shot himself in the foot by starting all this primadonna acting about a new deal not even two years into his Barca stay.
It’s as if he always plays with his head down, his feet too slow, and his attention tardy. Sorry, Samuel, you do not deserve a raise yet.
Barca 2018 or Stoke City 2010?
The Blaugrana were effectively locked in on their half with no real prospect of getting out. Iniesta was always surrounded by a man or two. So, for the want of a better solution, Pique and MATS just hoofed those balls upfield hoping for a 1.82m Suarez to overjump Roma basketball players. It’s an okay tactic to play when you have a giraffe up there or at least some Edin Dzeko, who was magnificent for his team. It’s probably not when your tallest man is the one who kicks this ball.
Turn and face the strain, Ernesto! It was your loss, first of all. Barca are 1-0 down – no reaction. 2-0 down with no real strategy – no reaction. Barca are 3-0 down – and you bring Andre bloody Gomes on. Like really?
For an entire season, people have talked about how flexible this Barca team were, how many plans B and extra features they had and it was true. And it worked. And somehow, Valverde just abandoned this tactic for this one night.
It’s not over till it’s over
Ernesto Valverde was right in his assessment of the tie after the 4-1 in Barcelona. It was just fine for fans, a 3-goal lead even with a goal conceded on your own soil. For Valverde, it was not. Sadly, he was right. Even Jurgen Klopp said on Monday that ‘even Barca were not through yet’.
It’ll take some time to sink in, but now at least, the fans will treat these leads, even against seemingly much inferior sides, in a more cautious way. It’s football 2018, lads and it’s MAD.