Delayed Liveblog: Barcelona – PSG

To the surprise of many, I work for a living. It has deadlines and client-facing interaction, so I am often unable to watch Champions League matches. I like to give my undivided attention to my pitch-dwelling friends, so I just use the handy DVR feature on my TV box modem machine and then do the nearly impossible: I avoid the score. I shut down social media, don’t check Whatsapp, and make sure that I avoid emails from “friends” likely sending me spoilers.

I didn’t bother avoiding the first leg against PSG because I wasn’t going to be able to watch later, but the second leg offered me the opportunity to do exactly that, so I took it. And then, while I watched starting about 4 hours after it ended, for reasons I still do not understand, I kept a liveblog. And this, dear readers, is that liveblog. It’s not much, but it’s what I have. It has been lightly edited for readability. Please, come and re-live the match with me. Comments from me after the fact appear in [brackets].

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, approx 8pm Eastern.

I’m excited for this match. Cautiously optimistic. What is happening to me? I have 150 messages on my WhatsApp group about the match, but my wife points out that can mean anything. Maybe Beyonce did something. Or maybe we lost on a controversial penalty.

Minute 3: GOOOOL! I actually clapped and cheered. Is this going to be a match? No way. Can’t be. 3-1 final. Never gets close. But what if?

Minute 12: Only 12 minutes!? Wow. Matuidi is going to get sent off.

Minute 14: No seriously he is going to get sent off

Minute 16: Neymar just wide and I thought it was in. Gasps heard here.

Minute 19: PSG have settled. This is now a slugfest. Needed that Neymar goal. Messi totally bottled up.

Minute 30: PSG starting to waste serious time. Mats with his first save. Messi leads a break finally and overhits a pass to Rafinha. Not a good match for Messi.

Minute 33: Some flurries of action but nothing very dangerous and this seems more like 2-0 or 2-1 than even 3-1. Suarez breaks and his shot goes to Trapp.

Minute 34: Wait why did Busi just get a yellow for a foul committed by Veratti? Replays don’t help, but he misses the next match, whenever that is. [I still don’t understand this, though I haven’t really looked for an explanation. Did he wave an imaginary card at the ref? Whatever it was, bad idea from Busi. What got accomplished?]

Minute 37: Lucas is down and the ref goes over to Trapp while play is stopped to remind the GK about time wasting. Lucas up and clearly just buying time. Boring.

GOOOOOOOLLLLLL. Iniestaaaaa! A backheel and Trapp puts it off Verratti I think for an own goal. No it’s Kurzawa. That makes more sense. Wait, is this me believing? I stood up and pumped my fist and maybe scared my wife. [I had a great moment there where I convinced myself it wasn’t Kurzawa and that it was Verratti who had deflected it in, but I was pretty sure Verratti had been in midfield like half a second before and I thought “oh my god he can teleport” and then I replays showed it was Kurzawa after all]

Minute 41: Cavani gets a yellow after being fouled by Pique…Not smart! Freekick is cleared and Neymar tracks it down on the left side. What a game by him. He cares.

3 minutes added time! That is substantial for a first half. Can we grab a third? Doesn’t seem like it then tons of pressure. A corner… Nothing. Bad corner from Neymar. 2-0 at half. Okay. Could be worse! Wait a free kick in a good spot…If only we had aerial threats! But we don’t. Halftime for real.

Okay second half. We need more of that, I guess, but a counter is going to kill us isn’t it? Ugh. But this is fun! I think. I’m less optimistic than I was 3 minutes ago but I have a new beer!

Minute 46: Argh Draxler gets through and it’s a corner. Yikes. Di Maria warming up. What a super sub.

Penalty!!! Wait no what what what oh okay yes a penalty. Clear penalty. [I freaked out here when Neymar wasn’t awarded the penalty. I’m not sure how I typed that much on my phone before the penalty was given. I’m pretty sure that if it hadn’t been given that I would have just typed what what what forever] Goooool Messi! 3-0!? Okay…

DVR just skipped around and apparently Cavani hit the post? Um…Okay. DVR is totally freaking out. Random double speed while sound stays the same. [lasted about 2 minutes and it was really weird. It would go forward in time, then zip backwards only replay the same thing at twice the speed] I think it’s done now.

Minute 54: Freekick…Comes to nothing, but Rafinha gets it back and can’t get it over Trapp…Neymar freed into the box by Messi and bundled over but not a penalty. Seen it called though. Di Maria on for Lucas. Keep the ball away from him, please!

Minute 57: Barça playing so hard. They’re like Kansas: great starters but no depth. It’s all Barça right now. Gotta make it count.

58: And now PSG able to get some space in midfield. Di Maria already changing the game. Corner to PSG and it’s pinball time. Phew. Out for goal kick.

60: I’m actually nervous now! What is this! Their goal is coming and I can feel it. Felt like we were on top for a minute there and #4 was coming but it hasn’t

61: fuck there it is. Ah shit. That was coming. Brilliant finish there. We need 3 more and that ain’t happening. It was a great try, Barça! Dipped for a second and that was it and unfortunately I called it.

62: Now they’ll hit us for another. Oh what a save from Mats! [Right here I saw a text from a friend saying WHERE ARE YOU??? and I thought that was weird, but I did think all of my friends were at the bar, so they were probably just drunk from the 3-0 and subsequent sadness, but there were odd doubts that crept in–did we really do it? No, I told myself, that couldn’t be possible. I wrote back “Cavani just scored :(” I was vindicated in that interpretation when it ticked to minute 86 or whatever and it was 3-1.]

63: Neymar gets an obvious yellow. Dumb. Iniesta off for Turan. Messi is captain now. We’re all let down here. [I still don’t know what “we’re all let down here” means, but…I guess I did at the time?]

67: Suarez gets a yellow for diving and I thought it was a penalty at first but no that was a good call. Definite flop and maybe he should have shot. The team doesn’t believe…

68: Neymar weaves through but Suarez commits a foul to free him and it’s called back. Damn. PSG are being more adventurous and it’s helping. Di Maria changed everything.

I have 140 messages waiting for me from my friends. Hmm. [This is that doubt that I had from earlier, but also, I had 150 before the match, didn’t read any of them, and have 140 now? Someone needs a new abacus.]

70: Draxler is still on the field? Huh. Hey so is Rafinha. There’s another goal in this, it feels like, but… Not from Neymar who slips.

72: Suarez is going to get sent off…

74: Just explained away goals to my wife as Messi skews a shot wide. She’s excited that there’s no extra time and disappointed that Barça has to score 3 instead of “just” 2. And Draxler is off.

77: PSG seems to be wasting time…Get up ya muppets. You’re through.

84: Gomes on for Raki. This one is dead… But imagine if we score 3! Something something Istanbul.

85: Uh yeah that’s not happening.

86: Did Di Maria just fall down?

87: I think Neymar might have killed Aurier? Nah he’s okay. 3 minutes and added time for the greatest finish of a match in history…Fk comes to nothing but it’s another fk…

88: GOOOOOOOOLLLL. What a goal from Neymar! Great FK.

89: Penalty! Oh my god no this isn’t gonna happen. What a great pass from Messi. Now Neymar…Goal!

90: We need one but haha nope nope nope…. How much time? What is this feeling. It’s 5 minutes.

91: Pique with a header right at Trapp. Sub for PSG.

92: Suarez looking for a penalty but it’s not given.

9…5? 6? Who cares: SERGIIIIIIII GOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL AJFUEHEHDHSUDHRBEJFJDBFBDBDBFJRJCJDJDJDJDJDJFJSKASIWIRIRBDBDGBBFFBF FBDBDB

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.

4 Comments

  1. *~ Dumangõli - Oüdyaar, Aisalangådi ~*
    March 11, 2017

    .
    Very similar flow of emotions.
    One thing I have a new found respect for is this feeling in my gut, a sort of intuition that may carry with it positivity or anxiety.

    I felt it very strongly during the dying moments of our home clasico, and sure enough ramos scored and we had to settle for a point.

    Gut was RIGHT.

    On the morning of the PSG CL 2nd leg, I was actually filled with a lot of positivity and felt kinda confident going in. It might have had to do with the great results we had enjoyed, 6-1 gijon, 5-0 celta..

    Gut was Right. As we later found out.

    Just like you said in the liveblog*, after messi scored the penalty and we were 3-0 up, yes i pumped my fist and walked around but for some reason i was extreeemely nervous soon after. I for some reason feared something was coming.

    Again – Gut was right.

    Cavani scored. And my heart sank. I actually switched off the tele and left the building.

    When neymar scored that freekick – i was like, yea nice.. but it has come a bit too late. felt a bit sorry for the guy too. the only one who really tried hard. Apart from probably Ter stegen. Then the penalty happened and neymar scored again.

    I laughed to myself. This cant be. Surely the football gods cant be so cruel as to give a culer hope TWICE and then take it away.

    For me, that moment, between sergi roberto’s outstretched boot making contact and the ball hitting the net felt like eternity. when the net bulged, i couldn’t believe it. I just screamed expletives and woke up everyone.

    Surreal Game.

  2. *~ Dumangõli - Oüdyaar, Aisalangådi ~*
    March 11, 2017

    .
    This is something I have wanted to say for a very long time.

    A tale of two guys – Lucho and Neymar.
    How many of y’all still want these guys out of our club?

    I want to highlight something that may be seen as blasphemy but one that i am convinced is the truth.

    Make no mistake, Pep’s team could NOT have pulled off such a victory. No way in hell. Pep’s (barca) team was designed to function in a state of grace and comfort. Pressure did not suit that team. That team, 75% of the time had the game wrapped up in the first 30 mins and then just played keep ball.

    The other thing that would have kept pep’s team from achieving such a victory was the sheer design of the system. Every time that ball would have to be worked meticulously and carefully through defense, through midfield and into attack for it to culminate into a goal. Hardly from crosses or scrappy circumstances in the box.

    Guys,
    below are the things lucho has improved and changed for the better among many other things that i might miss.
    – we get the ball in to the box quicker.
    – we dont have to pray to gods and shiver every time opposition has a corner.
    – we can hope when we have a corner.
    – we dont have to feel uneasy in defense.
    – we can win in many different ways.
    – we have a better goalie than valdes (though this one is to zubi’s credit)
    – we can win games like the psg 6-1 and bernabeu 0-4 where it could have been 0-7

    Sad to see him go.
    As pep said, he is the perfect trainer for barca.
    Where do we go from here?
    surely has to be a step down.

    Only a Guardiola return would keep us at par.

    • georgjorge
      March 11, 2017

      I don’t want either Lucho or Neymar gone, but this comparison is a bit flawed. Two things you don’t mention is that a) a Guardiola team might not have conceded four goals away from home thanks to not giving the ball away that much b) the advantages you mention also are offset by disadvantages, like not having a midfield which can keep the ball at all times anymore.

      No idea who of the two might be better suited to 2016 Barca, and I guess we won’t know anyway. Pep will surely not leave ManCity after a year, and Lucho won’t be there either.

  3. Jason
    March 11, 2017

    That was awesome. Its been several days now and i attempt to relive the experience through videos, pictures, and my own recollection. This live blog you did helped me relive those most amazing 95 minutes of football Ive ever seen.

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