Barça 3, Sevilla 0, aka “Sadness amid joy”

It was glorious. You seek superlatives, a way to adequately sum up the destruction of Sevilla, and there really aren’t any. So why not glorious?

Amid the display, that was really only about 20 minutes of real work, the joy in the Barçaverse was universal. Here, there and everywhere, watching Barça take apart the fourth-placed team in La Liga as if it was an early-season exhibition match, was amazing.

Sevilla is mining a skein of bad results, but that shouldn’t detract from the elegant destruction that we witnesssed. Fittingly, the player that everyone was talking about after the match, the man whose style symbolized the kind of, “Would you please put your neck here? Thanks.” execution, was Andres Iniesta.

In an interview a while back, Juanma Lillo, the man responsible for a lot of what Pep Guardiola is, was talking about players. He said, simply enough, “Andres is football.”

Iniesta doesn’t make sense. He isn’t tall, powerful or strong. He isn’t fast, nor is he a dribbler. His nickname, Illusionista, comes from what he can do with the ball, how he can move in a way that makes time stop, makes opponents unaccustomed to making things happen by pausing, react in the wrong way. Iniesta is the pause between the melody in the waltz first movement of the Brahms Fourth, an absence of sound so perfect that it keeps the beat and the rhythm intact. Iniesta’s game is about timing, rhythm and logic, la pausa come to life.

That he had his most amazing match of the season on the same day the rest of the team did is beautiful, particularly as a great athlete and competitor enters his twilight.

“I know that Andres would like to play more often than he does,” said Luis Enrique after the match, expressing the essential reality of an athlete, even an aged one who probably, deep down in the recesses of a mind, a presentiment that gets shoved aside, doesn’t want to deal with.

People watched him play today, and said after the match that Iniesta has still got it, words with roots in greed and fear.

We want the most from our legends, want them to be magnificent forever, want them to be forever young, these players with whom we age. If he is old, then what is happening to us? We say that he still has it, but we know that he doesn’t, not in full, that fandom and nostalgia just want him to.

Fear. Barça is changing. Iniesta represents the last of that magical era, of Xavi and Puyol, players we hoped and assumed, like Iniesta, would be there for us, forever. Busquets, Messi and Pique are different, still of the club, but in a different way. There is something so pure about Iniesta.

Busquets came to the club in 2005. Pique returned to the club from Manchester United. Messi is an alien, sent from his home planet to show humans how their game should be played. Iniesta is different, a snot-nosed kid in a dark Masia room, weeping from homesickness. He doesn’t score goals, doesn’t create amazing, mazy runs. His game exisrs in the spaces between things, moments eked out from the wealth of athletic riches of others as he uses their own effort to dismantle.

Iniesta is football in the way that Barça was football against Sevilla, as they ran and danced and played in a way that was selfish and entitled. “The ball will be ours because we know how to make it dance. So stand back.” All three goals were beautiful, bountiful expressions of football, born of player and ball movement, everything so fast that the opponent had no answer.

Jorge Sampaoli, the man so many want to replace Luis Enrique, sat on his bench in semi-darkness, understanding that you can’t coach against what happened to his team. You can only watch, and hope that time passes quickly enough to keep an evisceration from becoming a humiliation.

Iniesta and the ball, during the second half, were at one moment surrounded by four Sevilla players, louts determined to turn possession in the Barça end, to bully the ball from the littlest of them all. He moved, got the opponent moving with him, stopped, started again, spun, paused and suddenly he was free, with more than enough space to make the ball dance.

By telling ourselves that he’s still got it, is yet a man in full, we ignore the perfect situation that his teammates created for him, when he doesn’t have to chase a faster, stronger oponent with the ball, doesn’t have to track a counter that moves too dast for his body, even as his mind understands exactly what is happening. We deny the man himself the bliss of defying time, of being able, even with the grey that streaks his coif, of being able to be in that “best midfielder in the game” conversation.

He doesn’t “still got it,” but in the right situation his skills, the ones that never erode with time, can show themselves. He can’t chase a break but he can pick a pass, can read the rub of a defense in a way that allows him to seem almost telepathic as he dissects an opponent. It is extraordinary.

We want more of that, we want that forever. Seven hundred games isn’t enough to slake our thirst for genius. Iniesta’s coach, the one who has to be the bad guy, understands that Iniesta’s skills are living in that space, like the player approaches the game, berween being right there, and just a beat off. Use him too much and that balance is eroded.

The sad part is considering a time without Jniesta, a time we have already had to face when Xavi left the club, a player possessed of that same magic, that same sleight of hand that let him turn more talented, more physically gifred players inside out.

But where Xavi controlled a match, Iniesta influences it, places balls in spots that either ask or answer questions. “What can you do with this pass?” “Boy, I sure wish someone could find me with a perfect pass once I start this … oh.”

Nobody wants to see magic leave. Nobody wants to face a time drawing ever closer, in which Barça will be different. Iniesta is a vibrant link to that time. Masia, triangles, juego de posicion, Guardiola, magic.

Today, the team’s beauty was his beauty. He sparkled because they sparkled. But not every day will be like this, not every day will find everyone happy because the team played a flawless match. Our happiness, our collective joy, shouldn’t be dependent upon perfection. There is so little margin for error there.

Demanding that the game be perfect to be fully enjoyed dooms us to unhappiness, a weird joylessness that doesn’t mesh with what we are seeing in the still-vibrant, dying embers of a genius. Iniesta’s game isn’t about joylessness or narrative. It’s about singular delight, almost unspeakble beauty, and magic. Just like football, just as Iniesta is football.

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

38 Comments

  1. LAcule
    April 6, 2017

    i write this wearing the teal iniesta jersey from a few years back so take this at face value.

    just a fantastic blog and through what you have written about iniesta, mirrors what fc barca at its core is all about, or what we hope and believe it to be. i still have that faith.

    what a wonderful game today, with perhaps the perfect mix of supporting cast you have referenced to have iniesta shine on all the biggest of stages one last time. i for one will not bet against fc barca playing like this. today looked different, i hope it may continue

  2. georgjorge
    April 6, 2017

    A beautiful article. Iniesta is my favorite player of all time exactly for what you described (so brace yourself for a page-long appraisal in the comments section once he retires). He is all about doing impossible things with the ball, but in a way far more workman-like than Neymar or Ronaldinho.

    That after so many years of playing his tricks, which haven’t changed all that much, can still utterly confuse opposing players says a lot about the quality of his play. And he never seems to be even remotely interested in showing off to opponents, in starting fights and brawls, or in mouthing off to referees – just wants to get the ball running again. If he wouldn’t regularly lose all his amazing skills once he enters the penalty area, he could have been the best player in the world alongside Messi, but then playing against Barcelona would have been downright unfair.

    It will be sad to see him retire (I hope he will add one more year like Xavi did), but new joys have come. We don’t have Puyol or Xavi anymore, but we have an evolved Piqué and a calm Umtiti to admire, as well as Neymar who can create joy with his crazy tricks.

  3. Davour
    April 6, 2017

    Wonderful article, wonderful game. It was the old triangles, now with Neymar instead of Xavi, and Rakitic added his flavour, SR had a good run and everybody was really solid. It must be a nightmare facing this team when so many are on song – Suarez energetic and erratic, Neymar running through defenders like water, Iniesta floating about the grass, Messi slotting home and creating, Busi being a octopus, defence solid through and through, a youngsters gets his home debut, and so on. We have two players, M & N, who can receive the ball deep, surrounded by the opposition, and still create an opportunity. Neymar had a few crazy, mazy runs, and not Messi’s control leading up to Suarez bicycle kick – how he kept the defenders at bay and then at the right moment he sped up and created danger. Beautiful.

    So much fun!

  4. April 6, 2017

    I have ever possessed two Barca jerseys. One from the 2011-12 season, with my surname on it, which I gave to my dad, and one from the 2012-13 season, which was given to be as a birthday gift. I still wear it every matchday, I still wash it after every match.

    Now it’s getting worn out, the letters and the number on the back are half-torn. Instead of the “i” in :”Messi” there’s a “!“. I still wear that jersey, still cling to it, because superstition tells me if I buy a new jersey, a new tracksuit, a new something… Barca would stop winning. If I change my jersey, with a new shiny one, the one that costs a mini-fortune in this country’s standards, Barca would stop winning. How can I stop wearing my jersey, which has given me so much joy, so much exhilaration, so many reasons to scream in triumph, how can I change it to a new one, which will take some time to get comfortable, which will not have the memories of the other, the old one? The new one will be different, new yet not comfy, smooth and yet rough.

    How can you assure me that Barca will continue winning if I change the jerseys, even if the cold sense of reality tells me that I should have a substitution once my trusty old jersey is too baggy, too torn? Shouldn’t I hold on to it? Surely if I never buy another jersey, Barça will win forever! Why should I get another jersey? Should I stop living in the past and instead buy the next season’s new jersey, the one that will have the new multi-million logo of the sponsor we all like and everybody is envious of?

    At what point did I stop talking about jerseys and talked instead of player legends?

  5. omoh
    April 6, 2017

    God help me the day Iniesta leaves Barca. I might shed a tear like I almost do reading this.

    I’ll never forget the name a chelsea fan once called him. “POWER STEERING”

    • dl
      April 6, 2017

      Very elegant turn of phrase (by the chelsea fan) — it matches Iniesta very well. He is such a classy guy and I never get tired of his magic.

  6. Quaizar
    April 6, 2017

    Kxevin, a beautiful beautiful article and Peter your comment was very moving. (wonder if English is your first language). I came here for solely one man. Messi! and then discovered Xavi, Iniesta and Dani Alves (I wish he retired here). Now you guys are turning me into a cule! Raj, I was like you not wanting to be tied to a team, but at least for the time being I have become one!

  7. Hamid
    April 6, 2017

    Iniesta is the kind of player that every player wants to be… but never will. In a football world where everyone wants to be the hero of the day and the talk of social media, Iniesta stands as the antithesis of everything that ails our sport today. For someone who brought the Word Cup to his country and countless trophies to his club, his humanity and humble demeanour is both inspiring and unsettling. He even gives the impression that is apologizing to those who foul him “don’t worry if your skills don’t match mine. I just can’t help it”. He can’t indeed.

  8. sebanovic
    April 6, 2017

    The Brahms analogy is particularly apt because that melody is an incredibly simple chain of falling thirds, cloaked in magic. Iniesta is in the end a player who turns the basic into magic.

  9. luisthebeast
    April 6, 2017

    That first goal of Barca is a piece of art.First the way that Leo fools 2 defenders and make the cross and then the power of Luis to get rid off the defender and then the instict to finish with that amazing bicycle!
    Offcourse not much talk here about our No9,i remember when he had a bad game the posts were about that we played with 10,when he is our best player the posts is about Iniesta,the weather,the sounds in the mountain.

    • ciaran
      April 7, 2017

      I don’t agree that he was our best player in this match and there’s no doubt that he’s not our best player other than that so I don’t really know your point.
      Our team performance was very impressive and the game management from Lucho was very impressive.

      Iniesta is magic but those magic moments like where he maintained possession surrounded by a hoard of Sevilla defenders was a nice reminder of what he’s capable of. It is a pity that our next best midfielder in Rakitic isn’t a tempo setting midfielder as it would free him up for a bit more of that sort of thing.
      I think it would be great if for next season we basically switched roles for our interiors and pivot so that the central midfielder of the three played like an interior and he would have two pivotes alongside him. I think it would force Messi a little more to the right and Busquets would have less ground to cover by himself. Our fullbacks in theory would also have more cover, especially if the rumours of Bellerin are true.

      • georgjorge
        April 7, 2017

        True – midfield after Iniesta is still a big mystery. I still have some hopes that Denis Suarez or Arda Turan under another coach will up their game considerably because on paper their playing style should fit quite well. Rafinha could do it as well in theory, but he seems to be very unfortunate with persistent injuries.

        Also, could there be any connection between Lucho announcing his resignation, and three at the back being employed so heavily? I know it’s been tried out before occasionally, but could this be a strategy favored by Unzue? Just idle speculation.

    • georgjorge
      April 7, 2017

      The posts are about Iniesta because the article above is about Iniesta. It’s not a review of the game as a whole. There’s also little talk in those posts about Neymar, who was magnificient, or Messi, who scored two clinical goals.

      Don’t be offended, Suarez is – as your name says – indeed a beast and very valuable to the team. That situation where he took the ball off their goalkeeper through force and fed it to Messi sticks out, because he never ever seems to stop hassling the opponents.

  10. ooga aga
    April 7, 2017

    Poor Rafinha. Had surgery today, docs say he will be out for four months.

    • georgjorge
      April 7, 2017

      Damn, that is harsh. This is his third season with the team, and already his second serious injury, each costing him months of development. I really hope he will overcome these obstacles.

  11. Grindelwald
    April 8, 2017

    Glad to see Madrid getting a dose of their own medicine . A defeat would have been preferable though, but draw ain’t too bad.

    • georgjorge
      April 8, 2017

      Atléti not yet there, but starting to look their old shape a bit more again. RM is still very strong right now (and as much as it pains me, better than us at playing out from the back under pressure). But the league is on again!

      • Davour
        April 8, 2017

        Yes, but in a sense their set-up is more similar to Barca a couple of years ago – they have a solid team with the midfield running the show and less focus on the attackers (in the pitch, not in the media) – like when we had Villa and Pedro (good but no world beaters) – and they have good FBs.

        I can’t believe Zidane opted to sub Kroos only one goal up. Thanks, I guess.

  12. Davour
    April 8, 2017

    0-1. Mathieu gives another masterclass in why this was one season too many in this team. Absolutely atrocious decision. Ter Stegen did not cover himself in glory, either, though it is a difficult call – go further out and it’s an easy chip. But a bit further, please.

    But this is what we have. Really, look at the bench. We have to live with this, and there is still another half to catch up. Neymar is not finding his mojo, and Messi rarely sees the ball. Gomes and Denis at the same time provides too little; neither is anywhere near good enough at the moment, though they are trying.

    Goddamn injuries; goddamn April. But we should be able to score twice – should…

    • Davour
      April 8, 2017

      … but couldn’t. Pity. And it took a Mathieu fuck-up, a Neymar red and general crappiness to show Umtiti is, after all, mortal – though he had decent game. Roberto showing why you wish we had another proper RB to let him have a go at CM instead of Gomes and Denis.

      And Messi probably ran himself tired enough to be mortal, too, on Tuesday. Too bad he has lost that free kick touch for now.

    • Rami
      April 8, 2017

      The mistake Mathieu did, was once he spotted sandro’s run he tried to run forward to make it an offside only to immediately realise he wasn’t going to make it and then decide to run after sandro,
      This one second hesitation made it impossible to catch up to him.

      In his defense it was a single mistake, Added to that our players were very good at pressuring malaga through out the first half, But somehow let malaga’s left back have all the time in the world to pick that pass,

      • Davour
        April 8, 2017

        But it was not a single mistake; it has been building up and he has not looked fit or composed, wasting strange passes. I always felt he was a decent squad player before. I’m simply pointing out that he is not at this level any longer. And the mistake was, to me, rather horrid, and one that an experienced defender should not do. Others at Barca have done it, it is a risk with the high line, but this was not even close. He is fast; just run him down. But he was not the only one at fault, of course, as I indicated above. He was, however, the one tilting the balance in the wrong direction.

        Just unfortunate. But this is our problem; our squad is not strong enough on a consistent basis. The best team in the world starting Denis and Gomes? I don’t think so (not that LE had much choice, just pointing out that our squad lacks edge).

  13. Grindelwald
    April 8, 2017

    Today is a sad day in Spanish football, the day it became very obvious of Lisa’s bias towards Real Madrid. Neymar’s red is the height of referee incompetence and a league decadence! It’s just sad to know that Barca lost the league title due to Enrique absurd selections and a lucky Madrid team piggybacked by the Spanish FA. God forbid we’re seeing the shadow of General Franco .

  14. Rami
    April 8, 2017

    So what happened?
    In essence, The wrong player chose the wrong day to pull a ‘shocker’ performance.

    Lucho by opting for a back-line of Masch-Mathe-Umtiti-Alba, Automatically brought more offensive responsibility to our left side, As masch isn’t able to contribute forward as roberto can, A sacrifice he was willing to make for more security at the back.
    Neymar being our main horsepower at the left, Was now tasked to deliver even more as more hangs in the balance, And he failed, Big time!
    Let’s forget about the sent-off for a moment, At was clear from the first half that his movement were uncharacteristically sluggish, un-energized, With many failed dribbles, Passes and wrong decisions, And lucho realized that nothing worthy will come from the left and immediately subbed roberto at the start of the 2nd half, And then went and killed any chance of a comeback with a sent-off.

    Yet let us make thing clear, Neymar in my opinion has been our best player this season and the most consistent and influential one (At scary levels), Which is why his sudden horrendous performance in this match caught the team off guard at the worst time, I’m in no way scapegoating neymar, And he surely isn’t solely responsible for the loss, Many players also under delivered.

    In neymar defense, He played 180 minutes in FIFA break, Then immediately after played full 90 minutes against granada and sevilla, And in 3 days will also play full 90 minutes against juventus, This seems unhealthy and excessive, It would’ve been wiser to bench him in this match and give him a break, At worst case, Use him as a super-sub if things didn’t go well.

    Goddamn it!, What a shamd we lost these 3 points!

    • Grindelwald
      April 9, 2017

      Just realising that Neymar has played 360 odd minutes in 2 weeks!

  15. Rami
    April 8, 2017

    News report say that neymar will most likely be suspended for 2-3 games for contempt and disrespectful gestures at the 4th referee, Mentioned in the first referee report.

    Absolutely unacceptable and shameful from neymar, We can excuse a player for under-delivering performance wise, But to commit idiotic yellows, Get sent off and deprive your teammates from a comeback to a match, Then getting yourself banned for more matches and running the team’s chances to win the league is uncanny for a player of his caliber.
    I’m speechless.

    • Davour
      April 8, 2017

      Yes, idiotic. Probably is connected to what you wrote above about Neymar’s minutes recently – overplayed (but who should have replace him? Arda & Rafinha injured and we failed to buy Ansesio…)

    • Anders
      April 8, 2017

      I don’t know. He sarcastically applauded the 4th referee when he went to the changing rooms. Seems very excessive to me to punish that with a 2-3 match ban.

      • G6O
        April 8, 2017

        And even the red was red technically but I don’t think there was malicious intent — he went for the ball, couldn’t get there in time, collided with the defender in such a way that his elbow hit him in the face.

        Let’s see what the powers that be decide

      • Grindelwald
        April 9, 2017

        Yh, Misconduct by barca players are usually given corporal punishments. That shouldn’t come as a surprise given Messi’s laughable ban.

  16. luisthebeast
    April 8, 2017

    From the moment that Mathieu decided to not follow Sandro run it was all done.I hate when defenders do that.Today the big miss was Pique.I dont understand why they choosed to miss an away game,a must win game and not Sociedad.
    Shit.Teams dont need to do much to score against us.La Coruna scored 2 from corners,Valencia 2 from corner and fast transition and Malaga with a long ball.
    Lucho fucked up this season,he is stubborn and i dont want Unzue to be the next coach.Same mistakes,things that dont worked,again and again they try to prove that are working.
    Non existent right side all season.
    Some players must go but this season is a result of the mistakes of coaching stuff.
    We still can win all but it s so painful a simple mistake to lead in a opponent goal.So easy.

    • Jim
      April 9, 2017

      Hi guys. Still on vacation so typing this secretly under threat of a killing from wife and daughter so I’ll be brief. Only saw the goals on YouTube.

      Sandro’s goal to me is just another sign of the way we disrespect defending. I couldn’t tell from the YouTube vid if we were trying to play three or four at the back. We are still trying to play offside right on the half way line. That is next to impossible, especially with no pressure on the ball. We had plenty of time to set up defensively for that long ball but nobody did. Of course, Mathieu made a mistake in not falling deep and following Sandro’s run. He’d probably have out run him as has been said. But everyone does that bar Pique. And You could see Mathieu’s thinking as it was one on one. He was the only defender within ten yards of the half way line !!! Where was the rest of the defence ? How can our ( defensiv-ish ) RB be so far out of the picture ? How can Umtiti be fifteen yards into their half marking nothing when Sandro’s run was right into where he should have been ? If he was up raiding ( and he shouldn’t have been) why hadn’t Busi dropped into the back line to cover ?

      You can’t lose goals to an absent defence and a long ball out of their defence. We don’t even do that in Scottish football, for goodness’ sake. Whoever play CB are a PAIRING! They need to be able to cover for each other and should be close to each other at all times when we don’t have the ball. This is schoolboy stuff I’m afraid. We used to do this all the time and now we seem to be returning to it.

      Unzue’s a difficult one, Luis, without knowing how much about who gives the instructions to play offside so high or leeway to our CBs to go wandering aimlessly. If he’s part of it and doesn’t roast them for it then I agree he’s not the man. We’re wasting our talent with amateurish defending.

      However, in the absence of really any knowledge about any of the candidates he’s still my choice for continuity and immediate knowledge of how we ( should!) play. I thought it was quite yelling at the end of the PSG game. It seemed to me Messi gave LE a perfunctory hug but was all smiles and genuine hugs with Unzue. Not sure there has t been something lingering there which would be sad if true. Win trophies or not this year LE has tried to do it his way and deserves credit for that. Don’t like our football under him but I’ve enjoyed the wins and it has been successful.

      Anyway, I’ve been rumbled and told I have a Frecciarossa to catch to Rome. I don’t think anyone here is Italian but if they are, I’m told that Romans like folk from Turin even less than they’ll like me as a Barca fan so it’d be safe for me to wear the Barca shirt I brought for the purpose next Tuesday ? Is there a decent centrish bar where I could watch the game ? Ideally one which serves decent cocktails so the two ladies with me can be occupied 🙂

      • Mishti
        April 9, 2017

        Huh, Jim, you have mentioned the word that is not to be mentioned, ‘defense’. Most likely I don’t understand some ideas behind ‘Juego de Posicion’ very well, because to my simple-minded self, one of the afflictions of modern Barca football (and Pep is a big culprit in that) is that defending has become somehow equivalent to the wishful thinking “possession=defense”. Ironic, because defending comes in when you actually lose possession, and even if you depend on positional play to deal with that, the team has to be set up so that players are in position to defend. It seemed we had improved under LE, but in recent games back to square one. We get incensed when someone like Capello declares that Barca can’t defend. And we throw all sorts of stats around to show that it is not the case. Those stats come from us dominating possession, not actually defending well. These days, once our off-side line is breached, you can count on the opponent scoring. I have no qualms in saying that we defend badly as a team. And we have, for most parts of the last decade. As you said, it comes from the utter disrespect we have for the idea of defending. Yeah, it does not often come to bite us given the quality of our offensive play. But every now and then, it does. Then we howl and cry, and go back to being the same next day. I will never understand it, because I don’t see why it is necessary to do away with the idea of defensive awareness. May be there is something subtle going on there that I fail to grasp.

        I would also raise another uncomfortable, and potentially unpopular question. Ever since Puyol left the scene, I have often wondered, who is the on-field leader of this team? Among the people who get to wear the armband on any given day, Pique probably comes closest to have a personality that can, in adversity, actually impose its will on his teammates or even the oppoenents and push the team forward. Wonderful as they are as players, I wouldn’t really categorize Messi, Iniesta or Busquets as leaders of that sort. What we lacked yesterday, most of all, seemed like a lack of mental edge, a killer instinct. Pique wasn’t there, nor Rakitic, and once Neymar left, it seemed there was none of that particular ‘intangible’ left on the pitch. It is not unconceivable that a team with Barca’s quality can grind out a win with 10 men. It happens all the time. But it seemed like the team didn’t quite believe it was possible. They tried, as they always do, but got outmuscled and outwilled. The missed chances were only a symptom of that overall situation.

        Can I also raise my hat to Malaga? They played an almost perfect match. Executed their game plan perfectly, won all the individual battles against our best players. Neymar had a poor match, but credit is also due to their RB for dealing with him so well. It doesn’t happen very often to Neymar, so he clearly got rattled. And it likely had a part to play in that clumsy tackle that got him sent off. As a competitive athlete I would never expect him to be comfortable with being outplayed on an individual level, but it is bound to happen every now and then. He’ll need to develop better ways to cope with that.

        • Mishti
          April 9, 2017

          Just remembered that Pique is actually not one of the designated captains, rather Masche is.

  17. TITO
    April 9, 2017

    I dont think we had a bad game. We had our fair share of chances, but as always, Kameni decides to be Kameni against us. That was poor defending from us, didnt understand why we had to attack with 10 players with no one in the back while the result was still 0-0. We were chasing what? Everybody knows that we are vulberable when we do that, even my 11 old son, and we continue to make the same mistake.
    Malaga away is and will be a tricky game, LE should have taken more seriously this trip. Anyway, nothing is lost if we win in Madrid. And given their form at the moment we can get a win, it wont be impossible.
    And Ney, what to say, i think tiredness was the reason for such a performance and reaction.

  18. Rami
    April 9, 2017

    I understand the temptation to throw in the towel, It’s the easy thing to do, But not the right thing, History has many lessons rewarding those who persevere.

    In la liga 1991-1992, On the 38th fixture, All real madrid had to do to win the league was to win against Tenerife, RM were 2-0 up, Then the match ended 3-2 for Tenerife, With we won a historic ‘European Cup-La liga’ double for the first time in our history.

    To me the malaga loss, Is the same as that cavani goal, And isco’s tweets are the same as di maria ‘hush’ gesture, But we had the last laugh eventually, Because we persevered until the last moments, A champions mentality.

  19. PPos
    April 9, 2017

    Luis Enrique definitely got his lineup wrong. Malaga is one of his bogey teams. A midfield of Gomes and Denis Suarez is a no, no when the opponent is defending with 5 at the back. They’re just too young. They don’t have the experience of Iniesta or Xavi to unlock teams like that. It make sense he rotated thinking about Juventus on the horizon but I think it would have been better if he had started iniesta and sergi Roberto. I keep thinking Luis Enrique is too thick to see that denis and Gomes are too ripe and that if he had been more tactful. We would have been first and had La Liga on our hands not at the mercy of Madrid’s mistakes. But I’m not surprised. Luis Enrique’s tactics have always been poor. Look at his stint at Roma for a clear example. But hey there’s 10 games remaining and Madrid is going through an injury crisis at the back so there’s lots of hope. The last time we lost and tied to Malaga in a season we won La Liga, La Copa del Rey and the Champions League

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