PSG destroy the Catalans with another blushing marker already in the first leg
The French star, unstoppable, enshrines himself at the Camp Nou with a treble
Koeman anticipates the reappearance of Piqué and the defense returned to water
It was a miracle to score 6-1 to lift a 4-0 against in 2017, and Barça will need another even superior miracle to eliminate the Paris Saint Germain. Superior because he will have to do it away from home, in Paris: he will have to put four goals without conceding any and it will not have its fans to generate an electrifying atmosphere typical of supernatural events.
Neither does Barça have the players of four years ago, in the already contrasted regression of the squad and the club (Neymar, for example, is in the rival), nor does PSG go with the lily in hand. When the decisive day arrived, he competed like a great. So long waiting for PSG, and he’s already here. Barça left, moving further and further away each year, and has not returned yet. Not even Paris remains after the shaking received. Since 2007 I did not fall into round of 16. He did it in the first leg, much to the shame.
Scared by those terrible experiences of the last precedent, how can we forget it! Barça and PSG wanted to avoid a catastrophic accident at first to decide to go to a letter. They assumed calculated risks (more Barça than PSG, also more punished lately in Europe) so that the damages were not especially burdensome, but the stars are characterized by rebelling against ties and convenience.
Y Kylian Mbappé is a star. He knew it was his game, especially against Messi and in the absence of Neymar, and he behaved as a worthy successor to both (he is 22 years old). He would have come out applauded from the Camp Nou, without a doubt, with an imposing, huge triplet.
Mbappé did not compete only with Messi, transferred the duel to the individual terrain. It also exposed Dembélé and Griezmann, rivals for the ownership of the French team, humiliated in comparison. Dest won the first race, but in the second he forced Ter Stegen to leave and did not stop biting into the space between Dest and Piqué, ahead and behind, not even after scoring the goal. He collected them one after another.
Mbappé not only beat Messi: he also exposed Dembélé and Griezmann
If the Barça defenders thought to leave relieved by the Neymar’s absence, Without the fear of being ridiculed by the fanciful Brazilian, they soon saw that they would have a lot of trouble with others. Not only with Mbappé, who runs and dribbles in the race and leaves bodies in the gutter. Icardi bothered the centrals and Kean He tormented Alba before heading alone on another glaring marking error on a lateral foul.
He put all the eggs in the Koeman basket, promoting – or accepting, depending on how you look at it – the reappearance of Piqué with unsettling if reckless speed with a player who damaged two ligaments in his knee on November 21 and has little training. If there was no risk with the ligaments, it could exist with the muscles. It was not fine, it did not improve the present and a bad clearance led to a goal.
The return of Piqué did not report improvement, nor that of a Dest overwhelmed by Mbappé
Sergiño Dest, who had been absent for a month, lined up next to Piqué and between the two they displaced Mingueza, corroborating the assessment of the report that was leaked from Ramon Planes regarding the young and dutiful defense “He’s not ready for big games.” Neither did Umtiti, who sat with him.
It was important and Barça presented the gala eleven, with Pedri and Dembélé, booked on Saturday. The good guys played and the improvement was not noticeable. With that, it is not enough what results in the frustration and the complexes of a Barça that returns to say goodbye to Europe too soon and too ridiculed, with another four-goal thrashing.
Pochettino had only beaten Barça once in eleven games, but he raised a game without fear
Very cordially, Pochettino and Koeman greeted each other with the effusiveness of old friends. Not in vain they have known each other since in 1994 they faced each other in a Barça-Espanyol as defenders, they continued their relationship in the Premier until they ended up in the Champions League. Pochettino was not afraid against Barça (a victory in 11 games), eternal rival as a parakeet I confess that it is, although contacted last year to replace Valverde, and planted his with the same 4-3-3 as Koeman. The pieces being distributed in the same way, with nuances, naturally, PSG had more the ball than Barça. From the serve.
This is how the French team minimized the Barça team: taking the ball from him and isolating his best men (the forwards). They wore theirs, who are also the attackers. But the difference was substantiated in the attitude, bravest of the visitors, and in the conception of the game.
Even the PSG full-backs attacked, intervening in two goals
PSG attacked even with the wings (Florenzi and Kurzawa), who helped in two goals, without Dembélé or Griezmann finding out and Verratti He expanded in the center of the field like the one who feels himself the owner of the game. The waves followed one another in the second half, without Barça, devoid of personality and leadership, irrelevant its three captains, knowing how to avoid another black stain in the history.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen (5); Dest (4), Piqué (4), Lenglet (5), Alba (5); De Jong (5), Busquets (4), Pedri (4); Dembélé (5), Messi (5), Griezman (4).
Technician: Ronald Koeman (3).
Changes: Mingueza (5) fear Dest (m. 71); Trincas (sc) by Pedri (m. 78); Pjanic (sc) by Busquets (m. 78); Puig (sc) by Piqué (m. 78); Braithwaite (sc) by Griezmann (d. 85).
Paris Saint Germain: Navas (8); Florenzi (6), Marquinhos (6), Kimpembe (6), Kurzawa (7); Gueye (4), Paredes (6), Verratti (8); Kean (7), Icardi (7), Mbappé (10).
Technician: Mauricio Pochetino (8).
Changes: Ander Herrera (6) for Gueye (d. 46); Draxler (5) by Verratti (m. 73); Danilo (sc) by Kean (m. 85); Kehrer (sc) by Florenzi (m. 89).
Goals: 1-0 (m. 27), Messi transforms a penalty with a powerful high kick. 1-1 (m. 32), Mbappé dribbles Lenglet and shoots Ter Stegen closely. 1-2 (m. 65), Mbappé throws a left foot with the goal unguarded. 1-3 (m. 69), Kean headed just at the far post for a lateral foul. 1-4 (m. 85), Mbappé culminates a quick attack with a crossed parabolic shot.
Referee: Björn Kuipers (6), Dutch.
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Cards: Gueye (d. 19).
Stadium: Camp Nou
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.