Epic

 

freize

When the gods want to punish you, the saying goes, they answer your prayers — and the Gods of Football have, of late, been especially punitive. Looking to draw a soft penalty to finish off the clásico and the league along with it? Why, here’s three! (You take one, and your archrival will take the other two.) Praying that your club president will finally come to his senses and ship that mean ol’ coach back to the miserable island from which he came? Presto! (What are you sulking about? You’re still captain!) Ever daydream that one day you would be the Zamora-winning first-string keeper between the posts of a world-class team? Done and done! (No, I mean done. Right now, mid-match, of a derby, with a Champions tie in two days. No sweat, right? You’re at least pumped for another Copa final!)

I’m inclined to think that the Gods of Football, at least those who preside over La Liga, are of the Greco-Roman pantheon. For one thing, I have it on good authority of the History Channel that the divinities of other cultures are not mythological deities but extraterrestrials who beamed to Earth eons ago to share some of their intellectual property with us (e.g., blueprints for the Temple of Angkor Wat, or how to make a really cool crop circle with little more than a scythe and a dream.) And the northern European variety, the Valhallians and Nibelungs and such, well, frankly they intimidate me. We’ll wait to see how Champions plays out before we deal with them again.

No, I’m pretty sure we in La Liga are dealing with your Mediterranean-garden variety gods and goddesses. They don’t care about how you eat or dress or feel about your kid’s best friend’s new young stepmother. They’re content to sit back and watch the show like the rest of us, only from the best vantage point ever … that is, until one of them gets a bee in their bonnet and then you have what is called a “problem.” Kind of like when Mom gets into one of her moods. You’re pretty sure you haven’t done anything wrong, but it’s best to stay out of her way until Dad gets home.

urkelSometimes the gods decide they’ve had enough of each other and would like nothing more than to spend some quality time with you. They can be hard to spot, if you don’t know what you’re looking for. If you are an archaeologist, you might think that a god resembles a reality-tv “Housewife,” lounging about in spa wear with an ambrosia smoothie complaining about her husband chasing young girls in the form of a farm animal. If you are a Hollywood director, you might believe that the denizens of Olympus shop at a mall outlet called something like “S ‘n’ M!”, where they grab unisexy leather harnesses and micro-minis right off the rack (as gods, they’re sample size.) But if you are a soccer fan, you know that the Gods of Football walk among us disguised as Steve Urkel from “Family Matters”: short pants, long socks, and a left-breast pocket brimming with writing utensils. He’s been there the whole time, but you hardly notice him … until he points at you and your universe turns inside out.

Now, a lot of Greco-Roman gods played favorites, usually against each other, for reasons beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. Maybe it’s a big laugh riot on Mount Olympus to say “Make it rain!” and then turn your pitch to sodden mush, or to explode a big volcano just as your team is about to fly over Iceland for a very important match. Other times, they pick some poor sap and say, “I want that one!” as if you were a puppy in a pet shop window instead of a world-class winger with a golden foot and glossy hair.

For example, if your name is Lionel Messi and you play for FC Barcelona, then you are Odysseus and your story is The Odyssey (trust me, I already did the BuzzFeed quiz for you.) Odysseus is king of the world (well, o.k., Ithaca) and, like you, is trying to get back to where he once belonged, with his wife and young son. There’s a bit of political upset back at the home field, which may or may not motivate his team’s drive to get to where they need to be. Odysseus is famous for being quick on his feet, such as when he has to figure out how to dribble past so many Sirens clutching at him, and he can nutmeg ya in the blink of a Cyclop’s eye. This has won him the admiration of Zeus’ daughter Athena, who is the goddess of philosophy and, like most smart girls, alternately makes her Dad proud of how much she has achieved or gives him a headache for going on about how independent she is.  But Athena is a standoffish gal, and leaves Odysseus pretty much to his own devices. This has drawbacks, such as when he lollygags around Circe’s island after she turns his entourage into a litter of piglets long enough to make you wonder how bad he really wants it.

outfitIf you are Cristiano Ronaldo and you play for Real Madrid, your hero is Aeneas and your story is The Aeneid. Odysseus is a guy with a god on his side, but Aeneas really is a god — or a demigod, anyway. His mother is Aphrodite, so he’s probably good-looking (if the tendency of his ex-girlfriends to throw themselves on flaming pyres is any clue), but you don’t hear much about his dad. Eventually, Aeneas arrives on a strange peninsula dotted with attractive villas and hand-pressed olive oil, where he will found a great European capital under the protection of the goddess Ceres (you might know her as Cibeles.) Aeneas is a mama’s boy; like Odysseus, he’s done well enough for himself in the Trojan Wars, but whenever he gets into trouble Mom sends him an invisible cloak and he moves about unsuspected until the last minute. It’s kind of like when you wander about pretty much invisible for an hour or so and everyone on the other team gets their hopes up only to see — tah dah! — a free kick granted only a few yards from the penalty area and — bingo! — we get to watch you prance around the stadium announcing that you are, in fact, present. However, even though Aphrodite is more hands-on than Athena, she tends to get wrapped up in her latest relationship so it’s risky to depend upon her much.

If you are Diego Costa and you play for Atlético de Madrid, your hero is Achilles and your story is The Iliad. Your name means something like “anguish,” which is a feeling familiar to Atleti fans, and you are famous for your colorful armor, which archaeologists have never found but there’s no reason to think it doesn’t resemble a mattress. Unfortunately, you don’t have any kind of special guy-goddess relationship. In fact, you spend so much time with your buddies, like Patroclus, that your mom worries that you’ll ever have a girlfriend that isn’t some kind of set up like that chit Briseis. But what you have, and what your fans love about you, is heart. Heart and muscle. Well, mostly muscle. Achilles is a “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting” kinda dude, and there are times, like when he drags poor Hector around the fields or stomps on Dani Alves up and down the left side, when he seems to be kickin’ ass just for the heck of it.  So far, Plan A is working. But look out, because sometimes Achilles gets into a mood and disappears into his tent for the afternoon, such as in previous city derbies when Barcelona really could have used a hand keeping the merengues behind them in the League standings.

And where does that leave us fans and spectators? We’re the chorus, I suppose. Kingless, godless souls who pray that their match is the comedy offering of the evening and that the tragedies are played out in other theaters. Who like to sing a little ditty from time to time, and with a penchant for stating the obvious.

fans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

SoccerMom obsesses over FCB and this blog instead of grading papers, burning dinner and/or raising her small children. She blames a Spanish husband and easy access to Hispanic-targeted cable sports channels for her football addiction and consequent failure as a professor, housekeeper and mother.

173 Comments

  1. ooga aga
    April 1, 2014

    Mind blowing! She came back as strong (and as twizzling) as ever. Now I can go to bed happy. Thank you soma.

  2. April 1, 2014

    Simply Divine.

  3. April 1, 2014

    Somastically Somaesque!

  4. amitojduggal
    April 1, 2014

    Need a Morale boosting article ahead of the game, anyone?

  5. April 1, 2014

    quite nervous about today’s game.
    I cannot remember the last time we started a CL tie at home.
    We’ve gotten so used to finishing the CL ties at home, knowing exactly what we have to do, this feels a bit weird. Add to that, we’ve scored only 1 goal against them in 3 games!
    Visca, may the gods be with us.

  6. Dar_vincy
    April 1, 2014

    I feel playing at home in the first leg is a positive headache to have.
    Aside our victory against city, we almost tend to approach our 1st leg games with less intensity, hunger and zeal.
    One thing is sure, if there was a temptation to relax, be complacent and less focused, having the knowledge that we need to score more and concede none (or less) would put them on their toes.

  7. April 1, 2014

    This is truly wonderful, SoMa! Brilliant!

    I especially love the idea of Messi as Odysseus, with his cunning brain, his bravery, and his tricksy feet. 😀

  8. April 1, 2014

    I suppose that means Puyol is Hector. I always liked Hector. He opposed the war, but was also the best and most virtuous warrior in Troy, respected ny all including his opponents, and only eventually falling to Achilles who was after all part god. He also liked to give Pique Paris shit for being led astray by a pretty face and starting the whole war in the first place.

    Cesc is Theseus, endlessly wandering around an impenetrable maze. 😛

    • PrinceYuvi
      April 1, 2014

      So, Shakira is apparently Helen, fairest of them all.

  9. Laurentiu88
    April 1, 2014

    i didn’t think alves press was of someone who is thinking of new team… first instance it remind me of pep famous presser before semifinal, like letting some steam out from the dresser, from a team that felt it received too much unfair criticism (remember cesc’s words after city game)

  10. PrinceYuvi
    April 1, 2014

    This is pure gold,
    especially for a greek mytho aficionado like me 🙂

  11. ciaran
    April 1, 2014

    Diego Costa starts for Atletico, miraculous recovery hahaha

  12. April 1, 2014

    I would like to thank Fox Sports for showcasing a game likely to end 0-10 over two legs and putting 1st vs 2nd in La Liga on Fox Deportes which doesn’t come up with most sports packages.

    • Messiah10
      April 1, 2014

      Really? I have it on Fox Sports 1. I’m in the Midwest w/Kxevin. That surprised me because Bayern vs Man United is on Fox Sports 2. Usually Fox puts English teams above any other leagues because of the popularity of the English Premier League. Sorry that you won’t be able to listen in English.

    • ooga aga
      April 1, 2014

      here in seattle, Barca-ATM is on Fox 2. bayern Man U is on normal fox. but honestly i can see why — at the bar I am at, there are 5 Man U fans for every 1 Barca fan.

    • Messiah10
      April 1, 2014

      Nice. I love Seattle. My best friend lives in Wallingford near Gas Works Park.

  13. ciaran
    April 1, 2014

    Pinto is so bad with the ball at his feet. We got away with that

  14. ciaran
    April 1, 2014

    Pique injured and Bartra coming on. Hopefully it’s nothing serious

  15. barca96
    April 1, 2014

    Chelsea 2012. Pique off injured. Really bad news.

  16. Jim
    April 1, 2014

    Damn ! Struggling now. Looked like a hammy to me rather than a knock on the tailbone too. If so, that’s him for most of the season.

    We need to keep serious ball now.

    • ooga aga
      April 1, 2014

      im guessing it is his hip socket/pelvis or his femur…:(

  17. Jim
    April 1, 2014

    Diego Costa hammy …..

    • Jim
      April 1, 2014

      Back on ??? He’s foolish.

    • Jim
      April 1, 2014

      Ok. Off again. Could have been his whole season.

    • barca96
      April 1, 2014

      I’m not sure if Someone insisted on him continuing or he was trying to pursuede Costa not to continue.

      How long do you reckon Pique will be out if it really is his tailbone that’s hurt?

      Neymar would’ve rolled a few more times there when Arda Turan tackled Messi.

    • Jim
      April 1, 2014

      Tailbone not long but he was holding his hammy on the ground and the way he walked off wasn’t good. If it is a pulled hammy that’s him for all bar the last Atletico match I’d reckon. But let’s wait and see – I’m in super pessimistic mode as it’s CL night. Other than that fair first half and they can’t afford many more bad tackles with three on cards.

    • Messiah10
      April 1, 2014

      Sadly, Jim, they were afforded plenty of more bad tackles.

    • barca96
      April 1, 2014

      Oh I didn’t notice him holding his hamstring. And it didn’t look like he would’ve injured his hamstring. Let’s hope it’s just his back and neither him or Costa will miss the World Cup.

    • Jim
      April 1, 2014

      Apparently it’s a knock on the pelvis. Words fail me – unless, I suppose, it is tailbone

    • ciaran
      April 1, 2014

      Beaten at his near post from 35 yards. Great strike but bad positioning in my opinion

    • Jim
      April 1, 2014

      Bit harsh, Ciaran. It was a one in a million strike with bend on it.

    • Messiah10
      April 1, 2014

      That’s really harsh. That was a hit & pray strike. That’s Diego’s 2nd goal all year. He got a hand on it. I thought his positioning was pretty good. No one would’ve stopped that.

    • barca96
      April 1, 2014

      I wouldn’t bet on anyone stopping that shot except for Courtois. He is massive and his reach is exceptionally long.

  18. barca96
    April 1, 2014

    What a strike. Wow.

  19. ciaran
    April 1, 2014

    We haven’t really looked like scoring at all this evening. I think Cesc needs to come off and a forward on

    • Jim
      April 1, 2014

      Yeah, I’d agree.

    • ciaran
      April 1, 2014

      Alexis about to come on, if it’s for Neymar I won’t be happy

    • barca96
      April 1, 2014

      But Neymar will have to make way for Pedro. Or perhaps Xavi?

  20. ciaran
    April 1, 2014

    NEYMAR!!!!

  21. Jim
    April 1, 2014

    On the plus side good display from Bartra.

    Yesssss

    • Messiah10
      April 1, 2014

      Great display. Not just good. I’ve called for him to start more games. He’s a hell of a defender. If Varane can start for EE at 19 ears of ago then Bartra can surely start for Barca.

  22. Jim
    April 1, 2014

    What a ball from Iniesta !

    • Jim
      April 1, 2014

      Iniesta’s on fire.

    • Messiah10
      April 1, 2014

      One of the best passes I think he’s made, and that’s saying a lot. He’s unbelievable. A joy to watch. Alexis has made a difference coming on for Cesc. I was surprised Cesc & Ney started. I don’t know why Tata insists on playing 4 in midfield.

  23. ciaran
    April 1, 2014

    Courtois must be the best shot stopper in the world at the minute

  24. Messiah10
    April 1, 2014

    How many fouls do Atletico have? Ridiculous. Ref hasn’t had a horrible game, but Arda Turin had 3 bad challenges before getting booked. Iniesta has 1 and he’s in the book? Koke has gotten away with a few. Juan Fran is just an ogar. Pinto has been very nervy. How can you have that bad of a left foot that you won’t even touch the ball with your left? We really missed Valdes that first 20 minutes when they pressed their hardest. Looks like we’ll need an away goal and a shutout or 2 away goals.

    • Laurentiu88
      April 1, 2014

      22

    • Laurentiu88
      April 1, 2014

      really proud of our team. iniesta was magic. neymar up there too. the team was great going forward..

      pinto should have had that covered, and he invited panic too often.

      all to play for.

  25. Messiah10
    April 1, 2014

    Why is Dani putting in crosses from 40 yards out?

    • barca96
      April 1, 2014

      Alves’ crosses reminds me of Shaq O’Neill’s free throws 😆

  26. Messiah10
    April 1, 2014

    No Puyol in there to win the headers with pure Heart. What an unlucky draw. A lucky strike to get an away goal lead.

  27. HisR0yalFlyness
    April 1, 2014

    Paging Lionel Messi! Paging Lionel Messi! Has anyone seen him? Supposedly he was on the field but somehow managed to be invisible.

    • barca96
      April 1, 2014

      Not sure what more he could’ve done. Whenever he had the ball, he had 3 men around him.

  28. April 1, 2014

    interesting that as soon as fabregas comes off iniesta is allowed to work his magic in midfield. the result? a goal within 3 minutes. special shout out to bartra who performed wonderfully given the circumstances.

    • Messiah10
      April 1, 2014

      This ^^^ Tito has to stop with 4 in the middle. Cesc has played well this year, but he stifles Iniesta’s magisterial play when he is put on the left. Bartra was a stud like I knew he would be! He’s a hell of a defender and has deserved to play far before this game.

  29. barca96
    April 1, 2014

    Alexis messed up twice.

    First one when he first came on, he could’ve laid it off to Iniesta but held the ball and played a cross in. Second one was free to pull the trigger but again decided to hold the ball.

  30. ooga aga
    April 1, 2014

    all i can say is that today the best team in the world tied 1-1 in a game they probably shoulda won.

    • barca96
      April 1, 2014

      Wait are you talking about us or Bayern? I’m a bit blur. It’s 5am here.

  31. Messiah10
    April 1, 2014

    I have to say that I’m disappointed Tata started Neymar. I know he brings an extra dimension, but Atletico matches are Dog Fights. Neymar is not a fighter as much as Pedro & Alexis are. I don’t know what Alexis & Pedro have to do to get a start after the 7-0 demolition they were a part of. Neymar is also less experienced. This is his 1st year in the CL and especially at this stage. You think Diego would’ve had that much space on the right if Pedro were there helping out? No way. The shot was so lucky it’s disturbing how unlucky we’ve been this year. I can’t believe the injury to Pique. He was undercut and no call? Costa made no play on the ball. He’s the king of dirty tricks. He knows them all in the book and has probably invented some himself. I’m frustrated but will take the draw even though they have a advantage with the away goal. We CAN beat this team! We’ll do it next leg! Visca Barca! Anims Pique!

  32. ooga aga
    April 1, 2014

    cant wait to see what the pitch looks like in el calderon, 8 days from now…

    • Messiah10
      April 1, 2014

      Ha. Great point.

  33. TITO
    April 1, 2014

    Overall a good performance, not great. AM defended quite well, and sometimes with 10 men in defense.
    A bit disappointed with some of our players for holding the ball for to long and in that way missing the momentum of surprising the opponent.
    Don’t know what to think about the return leg. Now that Costa is out i’m more confident of progressing cause they wont be so lethal up front.

  34. April 1, 2014

    Well..ok, this is a very poor result (1-1) but one that was totally expected. There were some positives I drew from many players in a Barca shirt not named Messi.

    This is a bad result in that Atleti dont really have to play the next leg. Just one request Tata. Puleeeez play Alexis Neymar Messi in place of Cesc and have Iniesta play in his sweet space. Lexus brings so many valuable things in a tie like this, I am confounded as to why Tata insists on this iniesta-on-the-wing-cesc-in-a-four-man-control-the-game-midfield strategy.

    Alexis needs to start that game and perhaps it’s time for Messi to move back to that wing for the next leg to open up the extremely compact and tight center.

    I am pessimistically hopeful.
    We have the talent to win there, but will we have the luck and heart?
    that question will ultimately settle this tie.

    Barca for life.

    • Jim
      April 1, 2014

      Don’t know how you can question the heart of this team. I’m guessing the four mids was played because our resurgence against RM and City came using it. As soon as Costa went off it probably wasn’t the best option I suppose.

  35. TITO
    April 1, 2014

    We don’t have to win, just to score as many as they do. 🙂

    • TITO
      April 1, 2014

      That’s why i said “to score” which excludes zero’s.

    • barca96
      April 1, 2014

      Well Tito mentioned “score” so obviously not zero but in any case, if they score 1 and we equal that, it’s still not enough as we’ll only go to penalties.

      We need to outscore them. Best way is to do it early before they Park the bus even deeper.

  36. barca96
    April 1, 2014

    Neymar needs to stop throwing himself on the ground and rolling too many times. It’s so embarrassing to see.

    • April 2, 2014

      I think he is trying to match CR7, might go down even if somebody sneeze.
      If he also learns when to pass the ball, and when is the right moment to run with it, it will be excellent for us.

  37. ooga aga
    April 1, 2014

    very proud of young marc bartra.

    the worst thing about this game? no ray hudson.

    • KEVINO17
      April 1, 2014

      The worst thing was Gerry Armstrong. He said, ten times, that Barca needed to get Messi into a one-on-one with the keeper. Duh.

  38. Puppet
    April 1, 2014

    Bartra was very good today, won almost every header that came his way and was aggressive when pressing. This game also showed off just how world class Busquets is, both his pressing and break-up play, as well as his close control and passing from the back were superb. Shades of Chelsea from how Atleti were playing us, hopefully we can end this tie like 2009, not 2012.

  39. psalmuel
    April 1, 2014

    At 1-1 and with Diego Costa out, I fancy our chances. We just need to score one and the game is complicated for them cos, any loss or draw by more than a goal means they are out. The ball is in their court

  40. psalmuel
    April 1, 2014

    but how I wish it ended goaless. Haven’t been to goal.com yet, don’t wanna read one of their sucky headlines. ‘Clueless barca fail to breakdown athletico’ etc

  41. Valdemar II
    April 1, 2014

    We were very good IMO, a lot of the match was spent 100% on their side of the pitch, 1-0 would have been ‘fair’. Barta, Mascherano doing great things. When they were leading we played fantasy football until scoring.

    They got a lucky goal, usually against us it is from a corner, and they are the worlds #3 or #4 team, margins are not high. Our odds for advancing are worse now than before, but I hope they will suffer from fatigue next game giving us the edge.

    • Valdemar II
      April 1, 2014

      Also, ‘best team in history’ played 1-1 against Moyes’ men, how are pundits going to spin that one?

    • Nav
      April 1, 2014

      Who calls them the best team in history?

    • G6O
      April 1, 2014

      Theirs was an away game, and if nobody scores more goals in that tie, they go through. Ours was a home game and right now we’re out

    • Nav
      April 1, 2014

      That is an extremely pessimistic way to look at things :/

    • G6O
      April 2, 2014

      Football is a low scoring game which stars with score being 0-0 – and the null expectation is always that the game will end 0-0 (even if most games do have goals). So you consider the starting position and work from there.

      Also, Atletico is very good at parking the bus so while this is really more of a domestic than a europe game, and we are more than capable of winning there, it is not a position you want to be in

  42. Nav
    April 1, 2014

    1-1 is alright. Not the best, but certainly not something that puts us out of the running. I’m very confident that we’ll get a result in the Calderon.

    • KEVINO17
      April 1, 2014

      You would have to expect us to score at least 1. We score 2 and they suddenly need three at home.

  43. ooga aga
    April 1, 2014

    4 weeks out for Pique with a fissure in the pelvis.

    baptism of fire for bartra.

    • Nav
      April 1, 2014

      This is the worst possible news. Valdes AND Pique out? Christ :/

  44. flyzowee
    April 1, 2014

    I must say that giving the the effort made by barca today, this is one of the games where even if we had lost 1-0 Id still would have given them a standing ovation in my living room. Im so proud to see our players fight like that. A big shout out goes to Neymar who seemed to come into his own when allowed to move freely from touchline to touchline and also to iniesta who was particularly aggressive with his forward play today which was good to see.

  45. Jim
    April 1, 2014

    Can’t catch a break, can we ?

    • Nav
      April 1, 2014

      Trial by fire for Bartra :/

  46. April 1, 2014

    And Neymar continues to troll the world. A decisive player. SuperCopa, both Classics, Catalan derby and today. Active, dangerous, destabilizing. The pass from Iniesta was fantastic, but don’t forget that one-time strike to curl the ball around a huge, quick keeper. Hate away, but all he does is help win matches.

    — My MOTM leans ever so slightly toward Busquets. So good today. Neither he nor Bartra lost a single ball.

    — Speaking of Bartra, his second sublime outing in a row, and people can’t say “Yeah, but it was an easy opponent.” Whole back line was excellent … even (shudder!) Mascherano.

    — Messi was a second-half no show. Unfortunate. Just walking around. He can’t let himself be marked out of the match like that.

    — Sanchez was brilliant. Another destabilizer. His pressure helped work the ball loose to instigate the goal scoring sequence. Too bad he doesn’t have Neymar’s confidence and shooting ability. That pass in the box was screaming for a volley. What a player.

    — Fabregas. Hmmm. Many questions to be asked of him over the next months. You almost wonder whether he and Xavi exacerbate each other’s weaknesses.

    — No keeper alive stops that Diego strike. Period.

    • Serena Andre
      April 1, 2014

      Neymar was decisive in the Catalan derby at the Camp Nou as well. He provided that assist for Alexis’ winning goal in the first match. With a double nutmeg no less. His ability to thrive under pressure is incredible.

      Our defense was amazing today. Atletico never really looked like scoring. But I guess it’s just our luck that their best striker gets injured and his sub scores the goal of his career.

  47. April 1, 2014

    Buzz is that Diego Costa is out 3-4 weeks with a hamstring. The way he submarined Pique, only fair.

  48. ooga aga
    April 1, 2014

    Tata with a better win-loss and better goal difference than Pep after his first 50 games. almost identical though.

    *http://www.fcbarcelona.es/futbol/primer-equipo/detalle/noticia/martino-llega-a-los-50-partidos-oficiales-con-el-barca

  49. April 1, 2014

    Overall it is a decent result. Not great, not as bad as most are making out. We played well against a very resolute and dogged team. It is not so easy when the opposition stick everyone behind the ball, just ask Bayern (and they were playing a far inferior team to Athletico).

    I have to say all the talk of Neymar, but for me Fabergas is the one who should be questioned. So far he has played in pretty much every single big game and so far he has been invisible in all of them. The “first season” excuse is long gone now. He adds very little in these sorts of games. Earlier in the season when we were a bit more direct and playing against teams that were a bit more open he thrived, but when we play against physical, aggressive teams that defend deep and press, well he seems to vanish. I can understand why Tata started Neymar, he adds something different, something magical, even if he still does not quite understand how to fit in perfectly, he has been far more decisive in the big games than Cesc.

    I sincerely hope Cesc sits out the return leg next week and goes for a front 3 of Neymar, Messi and Sanchez. Let Iniesta play where he belongs, in the middle, feeding through balls like he did for Neymars goal.

    Oh and what about Bartra! He impressed the shit out of me today. I have to say he deserves more big game starts. Very composed and assured for such a young player and more pace than Pique.

    Busquets was unreal tonight as well. Like seriously, unreal. Every time they were in a position to start an attack he shut it down before they even had a chance. His work goes unnoticed for the most part but he gets my MOTM. Unsung hero.

    Alba was also rather magnificent. He is seriously starting to win me over now. I was really worried about his defensive capabilities but he seems to be proving me wrong, hope he keeps it up.

    Biggest disappointment tonight for me was Messi. They contained him very well and I felt he was not able to get into the game as he usually does. HEre’s hoping he scores a hatrick in the return leg to make me look like an idiot 🙂

  50. PrinceYuvi
    April 1, 2014

    Apart from the Goal, Neymar played a crap match ?

    He’s a Striker,
    he should worry about creating chances, scoring golazos
    & not 95 % Pass completion rate.

    Atleti were too busy triple marking Messi,
    and next thing you know Ney bit them in the back.

    Yeah, seen that before.

    Atleti were supposed to be A scary huge Unscalable Wall,
    But they did look stunned after enduring waves and waves of attack.

    I hope we win this.

    Also, Bartra !!

Comments are closed.