Friday, 21 October 2016


yesterday man city played barcelona at nou camp and it is always test as to how gaurdiola's current team tries to match up against his former team who have set level of excellence in the world of football . now i am very much confused with the articles that are there in the media and the comments made by some of the former players about man city . one comment was particularly very stupid by roy keane who said that city were brave and stupid . we know the kind of game that gaurdiola coaches and his footballing philosophy . seconldy did you ever hear a grandmaster leave his pet opening against another grandmaster in a candidates match and try uncharted water i dont think so . gaurdiola play's football and it is very admiring if you beat your opponent at his own game . yes city came short but then it is not the final and gaurdiola will now have the time to assess as to where his team were short and why do he needs to do and did he lacked and i am certain that in the return leg we will see a better performance from city .
city and barcelona both started with 4-3-3 formation . both started to play deep with barca more deeper than city . for the first 20 min the game was evenly poised with gundogan dropping on iniesta and silva trying to man mark busquestus so that they cannot play through him . man city tried to press barca to test them and tried to win ball high up the pitch but barca stretched man city vertically . first they started very deep so that city players would had to cover more ground to press and in that time barcelona could move the ball . for the first 20 sterling was giving a very hard time to alaba and he was able to have some joy against alaba but he was let down by the other players . first off city didnt had a proper no.9 who is a goal poacher and one who would play on the shoulder of the last defender or one would be poacher on the crosses made in the box . if gaurdiola does play's de bruyne as the man up front then he should just ask him to try to get beyond the centre backs to keep them occupied so that there is space in front of these defenders . what barcelona do when they loose the ball is that they congest that space in the middle . once alaba went injured enrique asked busquestus and iniesta to give protection to digne . the trouble with man city was that at times they were not able to work out tight spaces and were getting caught out particularly on the flanks with sterling particularly losing the ball in those exchanges . the trouble was that gundogan who was suppose the support to sterling wasnt there . i thought that at times man city tried to over work the ball on the flank and get behind . instead they needed to spread from flank to flank as barca were doing . they just wanted to stretch city and they knew that the more the stretch city the harder it will be city to close them down and barcelona will be able to move ball more freely . the trouble with city was that there players were not that mobile as compared to barca's and at times i thought that the attack stalled or created a chance for barca where on they could force city into making desperate passes . nolito and sterling stayed wide to stretch barca's defense but then they stayed in their position and waited for the ball instead they could had moved with ball . just as suarez and messi do which doesnt allows the defense to settle down and get a grip of the situation . they keep on changing zones and tracking them becomes difficult but sterling and nolito kept rooted to the position so when the ball got to them barca just could read as to what was going to happen next and could adjust themselves .i mean to say that city just need to add a bit more pace to the attack and creativity and dropping silva wont be a bad idea .
the trouble playing barcelona with messi is that you are virtually playing against 12 players . you cannot contain messi . he is so good on the ball and most importantly just as he is good on the ball he is very good passer as well and has a very good vision plus he has good reading of the game . barcelona's plan was simple when city started pressing that get the ball to either of the front three and then start from there . while city tried to contain neymar with zabaleta and fernandiniho trying to contain him but instead they fouled . while they went tight on neymar . against messi they just didnt went that hard . instead they dropped back a little giving him time and space on the ball . the trouble for city was that when gundogan went upfront to close down either iniesta or busquestus fernandiniho was left with a very space to guard down in front of the back four . another thing is that the front three of barcelona have a very good understanding in respect to the opposition as to what they needs to do and how they are going to open up the opposition defense . i think pep will look at this match and will try to figure out a way to stop messi or atleast contain him . i think clichy deserves next chance against him and if possible put a right footed player against him .
the one thing that i felt awkward is that bravo is good goal keeper and he made a mistake but when the ball fell to neymar on his miss pass why didnt he let him score and just be on the pitch and keep the game 11 vs 11 . atleast the contest would had been there and dont know what would had happened . i think pep will look into his .
messi scored a hattrick in this game but there was one player who i was impressed in this game and his ability over the ball that was samuel umiti and stones should take a look at his performance . he was the one who passing 30 yards ball from the back to the front players feet with ease . he was equally good on defense as well never putting a foot wrong.
last but not the least but i think gaurdiola will have make the balance between keeping shape and pressing and hope he figures out that .