166 Comments

  1. mom4
    March 12, 2013

    Nice tactical preview, Euler.

    All I know is if Cesc is announced in this lineup I will start throwing things. That would be awkward as I’ll be at work at the time.

    • March 12, 2013

      That’s certainly one weapon that needs to be used. But Barca actually have a number of different ways they can break this block in terms of passing.

      For example, when Messi drops deep and the CB tracks him it opens up very dangerous diagonals.

      The main adjustment that needs to be made-the Barca players cannot keep looking to play ball to feet. They have to look to make runs and run onto balls played into space.

  2. flyzowee
    March 12, 2013

    Mr. Roura says that if there is a need to revolutionize the game then Barca will do that. I don’t even know what that means but anyways. Go Barca!

  3. Art is a blast
    March 12, 2013

    Wasn’t our pressing in 1st leg kind of hapazard? 1-2’s and triangles and the ball is past our backline. Gave away too many fouls

  4. March 12, 2013

    ACK!! From the Twitters (usually reliable PedrithoFCB:

    Tito vuelve a Barcelona el próximo 25-Marzo, regresa para el partido de Liga contra el Celta (30-Marzo). Gran noticia, vuelve el mister.

    Our coach is coming home soon!

    • mom4
      March 12, 2013

      Hope he’s ready and not rushing back.

      Also not sure how I’ll feel if Xavi is playing today. Do they ever let that man fully recover from things?

  5. providence
    March 12, 2013

    Puyol is out of the tie w/ knee discomfort

  6. March 12, 2013

    While tactics will no doubt be important, the personnel employed will make the most difference in this game in my mind. Last game, not only did we go unprepared, unmotivated we also chose the most un imaginative lineup. That last game was screaming for a vertical player like Alexis Sanchez. I agree with most of the content in this article, playing 3 lines of 3 plus one, running at players, etc., but in order for these guidelines to be executed we must put out the right players.
    More importantly we need to keep up a constant feeling of imminent danger. Dangerous players like Adriano, sanchez should definitely get some time.

  7. Archie
    March 12, 2013

    Trying to understand Euler:

    —Mascherano—Pique—Adriano
    ELSHAR—–NIANG
    ————-Bousquets
    —-Xavi—BOATENG
    –MUNTARI———-Iniesta
    —————MONTOLIVO
    —–Messi-AMBROS
    -Pedro——Sanchez——Villa/Tello
    CONST—–MEXES-ZAP—-ABATE

  8. March 12, 2013

    Valdés, Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Villa and Messi

    • March 12, 2013

      Cant say i am too happy with that lineup. Why start Xavi when he barely got the green light less than 24 hours ago when we have Fabergas and Thiago. How is Alexis not starting after the game he had at the weekend? He should start ahead of Pedro or Villa, take your pick. Adriano should be playing instead of Alba considering we cannot concede a goal.

      Well at least they havent tried to force Fabergas into the squad. Doesnt seem like management have learned too much over the past few weeks.

      Fuck it though… I BELIEVE!!! Come on Barca!

  9. Barcelona line-up (official): Valdes – Alves Pique Mascherano Alba – Xavi Busquets Iniesta – Pedro Messi Villa

    That’s look like a straight forward 4-3-3 formation with a false 9. Brilliant get ready for a lot of boring passes.

  10. TITO
    March 12, 2013

    So no Puyol, no Adriano, no Alexis.

    Shouldn’t there be a revolution today? I see the same line-up over and over again. No Cesc though.

  11. flyzowee
    March 12, 2013

    It is true that the false 9 refuses to die but lets hope that collective brilliance is enough to overcome any tactical flaws tonight. Believe.

  12. TITO
    March 12, 2013

    I hate it, i hate it. when we are predictable as the snow this winter.
    When, just when we are going to be less predictable????

  13. So basically Villa will start on the left, Messi false-9 and Pedro on right. Brilliant tactical innovation. I am having enough. Is Tito knowingly screwing the team.

    • March 12, 2013

      I know you’re vexed about the lineup, but …. really …. come on. Work with us here.

      • Give me a reason why this is happening? Am I going to watch again two hours of Messi being neutralized without any problem and we being hit on counter? Looks like it. With this line-up Milan had to play really really really really bad to go out of the Champions League.

        • March 12, 2013

          Well, the match hasn’t started yet, so it’s difficult to know what we are going to see, yes? Just be patient, and let’s see how things turn out. If Villa scores a hat trick, won’t folks be eating their words?

          I would have preferred Sanchez over Villa and Adriano over Alba, but the coaches know their players better than any of us.

          • I would have Villa ahead of Sanchez but as a Center forward. But this line-up does not have any option of the same. We will be seeing Villa on left, I am pretty sure.

        • Thank God it’s 3-4-3 or a 3-3-4 with alves pretty much high. Can someone tell Alba to stay back. I take back the criticism.

        • Messiah10
          March 12, 2013

          Or we play REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY WELL!!!

  14. March 12, 2013

    What is with the blatant reluctance to play the guys that are hot right now…Spanish favoritism?

  15. replayed
    March 12, 2013

    I wouldn’t call this lineup predictable.

    For one thing, this is the first genuinely significant match David Villa has started all season for the team.

    As a huge fan of the alba-iniesta-villa left side and what it did against Celta de Vigo, I’m guardedly optimistic.

    • March 12, 2013

      I hope you’re right. But Celta de Vigo was a long time ago and teams have adjusted.

      And more importantly-Celta played a deep block. That put Villa & Pedro close to goal and allowed them to operate in the final third.

      If Milan play like they did in leg 1 Villa and Pedro will be 40m from goal. Villa’s skills in the final third may not even come into play as Barca may not create enough penetration to do so.

      What’s clear-once again the match is going to depend on Messi dominating multiple phases of this game.

  16. March 12, 2013

    Perhaps this was driven by injuries-Puyol is out and with Adriano you never know-but this line up, to me, is problematic.

    There’s no clear source of vertical stretch on the front line other than Messi. Alba’s positioning has damaged the team’s transition defense on the L flank over and over. Today he’ll be up against Niang or Boateng-both of whom gave him fits in Leg 1.

    Barca’s best chance today may come if Allegri does in fact play conservative and station his block deep and “park the bus”

    That the defense this barca line up is more suited to face than the one Milan used in leg 1.

  17. TITO
    March 12, 2013

    This is fear. I smell fear, fear of trying something new, extraordinary and little bit more adventurous. This is just play safe, and if we are lucky, we’ll go through.
    I still believe that we can do it, cause we are much more better than them, as a team and as individual players, but i was really hoping for a different line-up.

  18. KEVINO17
    March 12, 2013

    It’s quite possible that this formation will be used as a 3-3-4, with Pedro and Alves going in behind if Milan play a high line. Surely Masc has been given the job of marking El Shawari, rather than Alves. It could be very attacking. Depends how we play.

  19. KEVINO17
    March 12, 2013

    Can’t believe this will be a false nine. Surely Villa will be playing in the middle with Pedro on the left?

  20. Archie
    March 12, 2013

    Uh. Alba stays back, at least he’s fast. Villa stays in middle with Messi and Pedro behind. Alba (contradiction) and Alves attack wings. Bousquets plays defense. Masch chases ElSharawy. Pique doesn’t stride forward. Xavi receives the ball from kick-off and doesn’t give it back until Barca 4-0 Milan?

  21. Barca_Donut
    March 12, 2013

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here. I was checking though my phone the other day and stumbled on a quote from Pep, don’t 100% know how it got there, but it sums up how I feel.

    “I’ve learned what it means to win and to celebrate it with moderation. I’ve learned what it means to lose and that defeat really is painful – but losing is what helps you get up and appreciate how hard it is to win. I have learned that accusations and excuses are useless. When you lose it is your responsibility and when things don’t go as you planned, it is also your responsibility. This sport and Barca have given me this.” – Pep Guardiola, September 2011

    I don’t know whether we’re going to win or lose tonight. If we win, it will be incredible. If we lose, it will be painful. But if Barca play like their lives depend on it, I will support them as if my life depended on it.

    I wouldn’t have it any other way. Som un equip! Visca Barca!!!

  22. elacule
    March 12, 2013

    i’m watching with the sound off. still tense as heck, but what? barca just scored!!! yay!@

  23. Blau-Grenade
    March 12, 2013

    One goal down. Three more to go!!!!

  24. Doug
    March 12, 2013

    Wow – what am awesome shot by Messi. We’re going to need a few more.

  25. Doug
    March 12, 2013

    Definitely should have been a penalty

  26. Blau-Grenade
    March 12, 2013

    Glad Xavi and Iniesta are taking shots from outside the box.

  27. HisR0yalFlyness
    March 12, 2013

    Defense still giving some scares but this is the Barca we know!!! 2 more in the next half and we in a gear.

  28. Archie
    March 12, 2013

    Fox Soccer 2go just showed the first goal from every angle about 40 times!

  29. ilie
    March 12, 2013

    Alba has to control his urge and stay back, he was caught up a couple of times they almost score.

    Otherwise we are playing very well.. Visca Barca!!!

  30. Just putting this out there before what happens in the match effects my thoughts:

    Main point We should keep pursuing Tito’s plan of making Barca faster and more direct. Punish counters with our own. Secondly stop trying to have 8 damn midfielders. Has far too many ups & downs. Diversity rather than excess of 1 thing. It’s what got us the best season ever BTW. STOP deferring

    1. We are finally ready to take in a proper finisher/nine now that we can/need to put someone in front of Messi.
    A finisher who takes lot of shots, doesn’t defer to Messi, co-ordinate attacks with him but takes his own chances. A guy who can hold play/the ball with his back to the goal.
    Or we’ll probably get Neymar. That can kinda work out too.

    2. No more balanced 4-3-3. Our default template needs to become lopsided again so we can make best use of our players now rather than fit them in with what suited players 4 years ago.

    3. Is it just me or have we stopped making diagonal runs towards the goal, targeting the space between FB & CB. Infact our runs into space to reach a through ball have become quite limited. Bring this back. It should be our main weapon.

    4. Also anyone remember when our forwards used to interchange frequently? We need more interchange, make movement more dynamic. 4 principal attacking players should switch positions easily.

    5. The 9 + Messi + 2 attacking FBs = double pivot. That or atleast the fullbacks have to be WAY more coordinated.

    6. Can somebody teach Barca to defend the far post. I haven’t seen them do it since 2003. How can we not do something so basic for 8 years?

    ^this is what makes us suffer alot in corners and those switch-flank attacks. Our permanent weakness.
    _________________________________________

    It’s time to get back to more basics rather than going forward in the same direction. Focus more on what we don’t do well before improving our biggest strengths. Much bigger return from that.

  31. Apologies for doubting the tactic. Finallly the Management reacted and we saw the real Barca. What a half. The tactic was perfect with Villa in front of Messi and Alves playing as a winger on right. Only thing which is yet to click is Alves cross.

    But Alba is a worry it’s better to have Adriano, he is also quick. And one more thing can we have Puyol for Mascherano. That mistake almost cost us.

  32. Artur
    March 12, 2013

    As soon as we find some breathing space for Messi we dominate as per usual. Stunning great performance by our team.

    David Villa occupying 2 centre halfs in the centre, Dani assaulting the right flank and Iniesta destroying the left flank. Gives Milan something to think about and half a second for Messi. All the time that he needs to slot the ball in the back of the net. Best finisher on the planet.

    VISCA BLAUGRANA!

  33. On the match: MESSI and busquets great but whole team pressuring well. Dani’s crosses negated by our height. We need to take more shots from afar. Messi should stop dropping so deep.

    We NEED to keep up the tempo, slowed down in the end there. Not okay.

    Alexis and Tello both at the 60th? Would so love that. Alba needs to stay back and defend, his side not being used for attack much.

  34. KEVINO17
    March 12, 2013

    Listening to Zeljko Kalac (former AC Milan keeper) say the shove on Pedro was definitely a penalty. That should have been the game right there. Too early I suppose, because the ref knew it was a red card as well.

  35. barca96
    March 12, 2013

    They actually for some reason slowed down after Iniesta’s volley. Hopefully they will put some intensity in the 2nd half.

    • Blau-Grenade
      March 12, 2013

      That will do a world of good for Villa!!! Great shot from his weaker foot.

  36. Blau-Grenade
    March 12, 2013

    Three down. One more goal to go!!!

  37. nia
    March 12, 2013

    H all, I made it back just in time. Good game eh? We need one more goal, just in case 😉

  38. barca96
    March 12, 2013

    Alexis in for Villa.
    Song in for Pedro.
    We need stability and more players who can hold the ball.

  39. nia
    March 12, 2013

    nervy time these. Heart is pumping at a 1000 beats per min

  40. Blau-Grenade
    March 12, 2013

    Four goals finally! I expected Barca to score 4 goals… and they did!

    • Messiah10
      March 12, 2013

      U were pretty damn close though! Who would’ve thought? 2 clean sheets in a row!!!

  41. jordi™
    March 12, 2013

    Im actually in tears :’). This group deserved a historic comeback.

  42. jordi™
    March 12, 2013

    Robinho the legend. Tells the Milan players to get forward. Plays sideways pass to no one 😆

  43. TITO
    March 12, 2013

    That was the worst performance of the season, no doubt. It should have been 8.

  44. pr17
    March 12, 2013

    villa, alba and most importantly masch. great performances.

  45. TITO
    March 12, 2013

    Gallata made it too!!!!
    That’s our next opponent.

    • Blau-Grenade
      March 12, 2013

      Balotelli is a great player. I have a lot of respect for him. Not sure where the hate is coming from.

      • This is what he said after the first leg

        Mario Balotelli: “I didn’t participate today because of the laws of the Champions League but I do not know why Messi didn’t participate.”

        • jordi™
          March 12, 2013

          Fake quote probably. They do that a lot with Ibra and Balotelli on twitter.

  46. Messiah10
    March 12, 2013

    Man we came out to play today! Pressing like nobodies business and Our Midfield was simply sensational! I love this team so much! We were a little shaky in the back, but boy what a joy to watch! God I love this team, this club, this feeling! Visca Barca! Visca Barca!

  47. Tarik
    March 12, 2013

    Pretty sure I’m the only person in Istanbul who stopped watching the Galatasaray match to focus on the Barcelona match. Chaos outside. I am going to pretend they’re cheering for Barca also.

  48. deckardcain
    March 12, 2013

    I’m so happy right now I could run naked through town. What an unbelievable game, what an extraordinary team. Messi steps up when we need him the most, sensational.

    Only thing that had me rattled all game was why they still insisted on pushing Alba so far up the pitch, I almost had three heartattacks when Abbate sprinted past him a couple of times.

    But still: http://www.barcelonafootballblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/messihate.jpg

  49. KEVINO17
    March 12, 2013

    Biggest tactical change today was that Allegri was forced to drop his groundsman.

    • Jafri
      March 12, 2013

      Hahaha. Biggest change on the night 😉

  50. KEVINO17
    March 12, 2013

    AC Milan defence was not technically very good and they had never experienced Barca-style pressing. They didn’t have a clue.

  51. DumbOx
    March 12, 2013

    Kxevin!!!! You’re prediction (4-1) was (almost)correct!!! 4-0, you couldn’t have willed an even better result! Visca Barca!!

  52. March 12, 2013

    Messi was a beast in every area of the pitch. Good things happen when Messi defends. What a night!

  53. faizal
    March 12, 2013

    You are right kxevin..we are unstoppable when we play like the best team in the world

  54. Guys forgot it’s a 4-0. Ok it’s not a final. But with 2-0 they though they had one leg in the quarters. We hurled them back out. This 4-0 also would hurt as much as the 94 final. Finally the Golden Team gets the revenge for Dream team.

    • barca96
      March 12, 2013

      Found this great comment by jaktonat over at the Guardian.

      Milan came witha plan they said – As Mike
      Tyson said ” They all have a plan untill they
      get hit in the face ”

  55. Jim
    March 12, 2013

    At last. We play a sensible formation and Villa repays us. Joy ! Great pressing and the midfield were brilliant. Couldn’t have done this without an amazing level of fitness though. Maybe the coaches judged it right and we’re coming into our physical peak.

    • barca96
      March 12, 2013

      Yeah they haven’t played like this in 2013. But the players used to be able to play like that for the whole match until last season. I wonder if there’s a change the training regimen. Even in this match they slowed down a lot in the 2nd part of the 1st half and likewise in the 2nd half.

  56. HisR0yalFlyness
    March 12, 2013

    We need to see Villa in the starting lineup all the way to the final. This is the Barca we know. I love my team. When we play like we should its such a beautiful sight. VISCA EL BARCA!!!!!

  57. y2k156
    March 12, 2013

    It just clicked. I went in pessimistic but we were simply superb today. Really special victory this! Visca barca.

  58. zashaw
    March 12, 2013

    Euler, thanks for this tactical preview! I really felt I understood this game much better than I normally do, especially in the first half, thanks you your write-up. And I’m also very happy with the result, of course!

  59. Ryan
    March 12, 2013

    We did even better than Kxevin’s 4-1 prediction! Visca!!

  60. March 12, 2013

    I sat quietly, cautiously optimistic, nervous throughout the game. Only Alba’s goal made me explode. The grass’ effect on the game was so clear to see. The ball was moving well, reached our players faster and also got away from the opponent faster. Even when they tried to work a quick transition forward, the ball invariably was over hit and rolled away rather than come to a stop as would have been the case in a field with uncut and dry grass.
    But what a response from my team. Respect. Love.

    • Blau-Grenade
      March 12, 2013

      Great insight on the grass!!!!

    • KEVINO17
      March 12, 2013

      Yes, very interesting point on the grass. It’s a bit like golf, isn’t it. When they cut the greens short it really sorts out the men from the boys. Amazing how many times AC Milan tried a ball over the top and it just zipped away.

  61. Jafri
    March 12, 2013

    Gosh, I did not sit down for the entirety of the match. What a game. What a match by us.

    We. Are. Through.

  62. Barka
    March 12, 2013

    I thought everything was over when Niang got the ball and raced towards Valdes. Luckily he didn’t score and Messi got the second goal a few minutes later.

    THis was a great game from us.

  63. psalmuel
    March 12, 2013

    ever since pep left, we haven’t pressed like we did 2day,good to see new tactical tweats. Notice how villa and pedro’s presence occupied milan’s RB,RCB leaving messi with just The LB and the LCB, oboy! Messi is a genius! what a match! I lost my voice after going nuts over messi’s 2nd goal. And where is that writer on goal.com who wrote an article about messi failing to turn up against italian teams?

    • Ryan
      March 12, 2013

      Folks just look for oddities in the stats to denigrate Messi. It has ranged from Messi not scoring on English teams, to later not scoring in England, or from open play, not showing up for Argentina, to not scoring against Italy teams. Let them scamper away and find an obscure feat that Messi hasn’t accomplished yet – he’ll do it eventually anyway!

  64. KEVINO17
    March 12, 2013

    I love the fact that Alves wasn’t afraid to cross the ball because:
    1. He knew there was a CF there (even if not a big one); and
    2. If Barca lost the ball we would be pressing like crazy to get it back. No problem swinging in crosses if you press like that.

  65. xavi_purrnandez
    March 12, 2013

    MAGIC (said with RayRay’s intonation)! that game was easy on the eyes (if not on the heartrate). Visca el Barça :)

  66. icemel
    March 12, 2013

    Screaming, pounding the floor with each goal.
    This is one to savor…whci on can do while waiting to get hectored here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/mar/12/barcelona-milan-champions-league

    A “swarm” is right. They made sweet honey with the ball at their feet; but the sting with which they pressed today is the story.

    Not sure I could have survived 4-1, but sure glad the team obviously read the rest of Kevin’s post…on second thought maybe they DID read the post and figured we’re going to get 4 we can spare one.

    whew!!!

  67. KEVINO17
    March 12, 2013

    Fascinating to watch how much easier it was to circumvent the three-man midfield defence on a good pitch. Xavi, Busquets just fired bullets at Messi, Iniesta between the lines and they just trapped the ball in plenty of space. Suddenly, Allegri’s tactics (and his players) looked very pedestrian.

  68. culewifetoamadridista
    March 12, 2013

    I love this team! I love you all! Never doubted this team. Visca Barcaaaaaa!

  69. Blau-Grenade
    March 12, 2013

    barcastuff ‏@barcastuff
    Barcelona are the first team ever to turn around a 2-0 loss from the first leg in the Champions League knockout stage history #fcblive

    • endico
      March 12, 2013

      I don’t think this is correct. Deportivo once overturned a 1-4 deficit against AC Milan by winning the second leg 4-0 in quarter finals the year Mourinho won the CL with Porto.

      • Ryan
        March 12, 2013

        But that isn’t overcoming a 2-0 deficit. (Granted, it’s an even bigger achievement!)

        • endico
          March 12, 2013

          That’s exactly my point. I don’t see why this should be mentioned as an historical feat when something more superb as already been achieved by another team. Anyway as a Cule I’m extremely delighted by the win.

          • Tsivoman
            March 13, 2013

            It’s historic because Barca did not have an away goal, that’t the difference.

    • Jafri
      March 12, 2013

      The complete stat was that no team has turned around a two goal deficit without having at least one goal in the first leg, so the 4-1 doesn’t count in this case.

  70. Sam M
    March 12, 2013

    “Mine is a most peaceable disposition. My wishes are a humble cottage with a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, the freshest milk and butter, flowers before my window, and a few fine trees before my door; and if God wants to make my happiness complete, he will grant me the joy of seeing some six or seven of my enemies hanging from those trees. Before their death I shall, moved in my heart, forgive them all the wrong they did me in their lifetime. One must, it is true, forgive one’s enemies–but not before they have been hanged.” -Sigmund Freud Civilization & Its Discontents

  71. cuqui
    March 12, 2013

    Iniesta MOTM for me. Incredible defensive game and his assist to Leo was razor sharp.

    No other player in the world scores that first Messi goal. Blanketed by 5 players and he jackhammers it in.

    Been a long time since we’ve seen this intensity. Moving towards peaking later this spring. The plan is coming together.

  72. KEVINO17
    March 12, 2013

    Thought Busquets was excellent today. Sometimes he can be too conservative. But he kept pinging the ball forward through tight areas.

  73. sd
    March 12, 2013

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTM5kQ7SR4w

    Watch closely as the players celebrate. Mascherano comes running and jumps up, cramps and then comes running/leaping on one leg. Pretty ridiculous. Of course, I lost my shit when they scored too! Also people jumped out from the crowd.

      • Kari
        March 12, 2013

        Heya, mom4! Bring cookies with sprinklers for everyone! We gon’ to the quarters!

    • mom4
      March 12, 2013

      Great pic.

      Right click. Set as background.

  74. mom4
    March 12, 2013

    Just finished watching (DVRed/ had to work).

    We were pretty again!

    • mom4
      March 12, 2013

      But the Fox Soccer commentators were ATROCIOUS!

  75. providence
    March 12, 2013

    I nearly died wen it was 3-0. and Milan was still pressing. Jesus!!! dat Bojan ball across nearly killed me. …

    • Ryan
      March 12, 2013

      Reminds me of how he celebrated Villa’s goal in the 3-1 CL final vs. United. The guy just loves good goals!

      • barca96
        March 12, 2013

        And Messi’s 2nd goal and his celebration is really like the one in Wembley.

        • barca96
          March 12, 2013

          And did you guys notice Alba celebrating like Messi did in the pic after the final whistle? Beautiful moments.

        • Ryan
          March 12, 2013

          I thought that too! No kicking of microphones this time though. :)

        • nzm
          March 12, 2013

          And Villa’s goal celebration was like his celebration after one of his manita match goals vs. Madrid!

          • Jafri
            March 12, 2013

            That’s Villa’s celebration for his special goals :)

          • endico
            March 12, 2013

            When I saw his celebration I remembered Wembley 2011. it’s almost alike.

          • nzm
            March 13, 2013

            No – at Wembley, he went right and Xavi bowled him over. At Camp Nou for the manita win, he went left and slid like that.

            It was a special goal all right – you could just see it in his body and face that it exorcised a lot of demons for Villa.

  76. rocherto
    March 12, 2013

    Joining the party late. Had to close my ears and eyes after working all day. Caught a flight home and turned on the dvr.
    WOW!!!
    LOVE THIS TEAM!!
    This was another moment where I was down on my knees in the living room.
    So proud of these boys!!

  77. barca96
    March 12, 2013

    At times in the first half it looked like we played with 4 forwards.

    • Jafri
      March 12, 2013

      I think this was a 3-4-3 with Messi at the tip of a 4 man midfield diamond, Villa in the middle and Pedro and Alves on the wings, transitioning to that elusive 3-5-2 with Pedro/Alves on the wings and Villa and Messi the two centre forwards.

      Of course with Barca being Barca, it was also amoeba amoeba amoeba 😀

      • KEVINO17
        March 12, 2013

        Agree, and I like the slightly broken structure. The three at the back know they’ve got to defend (although Alba didn’t always get the message) and the other seven know they’ve got to go forward to shut down the play, instead of having two wing-backs who aren’t sure what they should be doing.

  78. Chiu
    March 12, 2013

    – Unbelievable! We made it! One of the most historical comeback in CL history against 7th times European Champion; AC Milan.

    – The first half was just wow. Beautiful! This is the real Barca that awe the world and add up lots of bandwagoners hehe. The aggresive pressing, rapid ball circulation and the player movemeent was excellent. Early goal from Messi really calm the team and we took absolute control on the game. Milan almost have no considerable threat, except that Niang run. We just showed up when it needed for the most important game of this season, thus far

    – For the quarters, I hope and we must do the rotation again in liga and “sacrifice” the two liga matches before quarter to rest the first team. We have luxury to do that with comfy cushion over RM; which I think they implicitly already giving their liga hope. They must be focussing all the energy on CL as well.

    Visca Barca!

    • KEVINO17
      March 12, 2013

      Barca is now in a wonderful position. The “reserve” team is probably the 2/3rd best team in the world. No reason they can’t play in the league, particularly now we have a huge advantage in the league. Time to put Xavi, Iniesta in a cryogenic chamber for a couple of weeks.
      My only two worries from this game were:
      Pedro – didn’t seem to add much; and
      Masc. I love his passing, but he does jump in a lot.

      Would love to see Alba, Adriano operating together on the left wing. Both can go forward, both can defend.

    • March 12, 2013

      Yup, I loved that too! ” We need more goals, let’s gooooo!!!” 😀

      • deckardcain
        March 12, 2013

        A terrific example of the want in the team tonight!

  79. March 12, 2013

    I believed in this team, and my belief was not reduced by a defeat or three. These are the best players in the world even if their coach is physically so far away from them. If this doesn’t make people believe in and have faith in their players, I don’t know what will.

  80. K_legit in Oz
    March 12, 2013

    Jordi Alba! What a beast!

    Mascherano has his limitations in the aerial game but his reading of play and crossfield passes are an absolute delight!

    • KEVINO17
      March 12, 2013

      I see Roara said they played Masc because of his ability to reach the wings with his passing. It does make a huge difference.

  81. Chiu
    March 12, 2013

    – Our reaction to long ball pass from opposition should be taken into serious consideration for Tito,cs. Esp in the counter, our high line defense really got exposed. Exacerbated that we dont have height and speedy CB to recover or chase them. I realise this is the risk of the system like Barca. We play high line, and leave too much space between the last line and goalie. Am not sure what would be the solution. Am not blaming Masche either for that “isolated incident” of Niang run free; his height and anticipation to jump maybe a bit late or else. But that Milan chance almost cost us the expensive CL quater spot. I hope Tito could fix this soon.

    _ Villa in CF positioned really give Messi more space behind him. We saw the hesitation from Milan CB to move forward to heavy mark Messi because it would leave Villa in free space. Very good changes from Roura or Tito.Ini-Busi-Xavi also gave some lesson to Milan how to control the midfield; very crisp passing, movement and ball recovery (esp Busi)

    – The quarter final would offer many probability of big matches, even another classico. Lots of big teams ie Barca, Bayern, RM, Juve, Dortmund,PSG (big names). Just two “weaker teams” ie Galatasaray and Porto/Malaga (decided tonight). The likelihood we get draw a big team is high. Anyone hope for another classico? I personally dont mind for another classico :)Bayern, Juve and PSG are dominating their respective league. RM is recovering their top form gradually after lousy start. Dortmund not doing really good in Bundesliga, but the potential is still there. It would be an enjoyable quarter for neutrals. Just for pragmatic reason, Galatasaray or Porto/Malaga would be the best draw

    Visca Barca!

    • March 13, 2013

      mweh, you know RM is gonna get Galatasaray or Porto/Malaga, right?

      Although by writing this it probably makes it so that they draw us.

      Anyway, the review’s up y’all!

  82. endico
    March 13, 2013

    We qualified that’s incredible but we need to put things into perspective before we become overjoyed now and be disappointed again later.
    AC Milan was not considered a favorite to win this competition. They had a lifeline because we were lazy in the first leg. Yesterday we were able to win because they defended but when they were behind they came out and caused us some trouble.
    My point is Barca is not the favorite anymore. We have one of the weakest back-line among the remaining teams in CL. RM, Bayern, Juventus and Dortmund won’t have much trouble with our defense but as a fan I hope am wrong.

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