Wednesday, 12 April 2017


on tueday juventus played barcelona in the first leg of the ucl tie with juventus . i think barcelona had developed the habit of conceding goals in the first leg and the tie is far from over . we all know that barcelona start very slow and they are prone to mistakes in the first few minutes and this had been the case under gaurdiola too . every other team that play they try to press at the start of the match because the energy levels are high and as the match progresses team sends to sit back and soak the pressure . the one thing that i would write is that messi being criticized about his performance i think its foolish to criticize him . if there is one player because of whom the tie is still alive it is messi and even in this match he was the best player on the pitch and he was the one who had created the most number of chances . juventus were lucky that the chances that barca created were not able to put it beyond the line . but then barcelona cannot espace the criticism since they were not able to finish what they created or were not able to create enough to put a threat in juve's mind . but the one thing that they forget is that unlike PSG here juventus can be  man enough to can stop barca at nou camp . the one player that i want to really applaud is sami khadeira who had been a rock not only on defense but also on 
barcelona started the game with 4-3-3 formation with mascherano starting in place of busquestus . juventus started with their new 4-6-0 formation with manzukic starting to play as a winger . as i said that barca are vulnereable at the start and teams try to test them up . when you play a player in a certain position then he starts to develop mentality regarding that position and thats what had happened with maschrano with that first goal and it was bad game reading on the part of barcelona which contributed to that goal . first off there are only three juventus players in an around the box so various factors had to be taken into consideration as to whom he can pass where he can pass . barcelona's problem had been that even in the PSG match was that the defensive midfielder has to cover a lot of space in front of the back four and he gets no support from the others . secondly when the ball was passed to dybala mascherano should had gone and just on and closed him down . instead he was ball watching and that led to the goal . juventus we know were going to play on the counter and here i want to applaud the performances of two juve midfielders who had been very good on both ends and they are the real man of the match for me . they covered a lot of distance and supported their front line very well and complemented very well with each other . in the first half they were the one who were driving juve forward and it was their energy which was very necesarry for juve .
barcelona's attack start with either messi or neymar and juve had studied that so either of the full backs were not ready to give messi and neymar time and space on the ball and they were ready to come out of the defense to close them down . no team in this world likes messi to have time on the ball and give him a head start and just like all other teams they closed him with two or three players just because it is not easy to close down messi with one player and chilleni found it the hard way and they were not fortunate not to be made paid by suarez .  after the early exchanges just as the game settled down juve had all the players behind the ball especially they were defending with two ranks of four with ready to concede space in the wide areas and remaining very tight since they know that barcelona and messi are able to explore little amount of space behind and between . i would really term this match as men versus boys because juve drew barca in the physical battle and won that . messi might not had played a better fullback than sandro who was very good against messi and  for the first time he got toe to toe with messi which is very hard since he can turn both ways and is just superb on the ball . neymar didnt had a great joy but at times you need help from the coach where on your A game just doesnt work and you have to switch to game B and sadly enrique hasnt figuered this out .
in the second half enrique went to his plan B where on he subbed mathieu and bought gomes in his place and switched the system to 3-4-3 with rakitic and neymar in the fullback postion . juventus already had the two goal lead from the first half and werer going to sit back and just try to play on the counter . juventus scored the third goal on the corner and mascherano will be blamed but it should be on the team coach who put maschrano against chilleni when had given him warning in the very first minutes . juve just congested the centre of the park  and just were decent in the one on one exchanges to deny barcelona and that is one of the facet that led to the first leg victory .
now it is very easy to criticize anybody and after the game messi and neymar were criticized for their performances . now first off whoever understands football wont do that . to criticize messi is a stupidity because whatever chances barcelona created they were by messi . first off to hold the ball under pressure and then pass it threading the defense pinpointly requires a great quality and messi did that . now both neymar and messi drop deep so that the defense stretches and they can have time and space on the ball but at the same time when they drop deep their positions which are empty needs to be filled and the coach should try to explore that options and should ask other players to do that and combine to form move . either neymar or messi should start high up the pitch and stay high but then the other players are not able to work the ball to them to put them in a situation where on they can work their magic . if they drop deep their positions should be filled by other players . you cannot blame on these two players the others needs to do the job well and as i had said that the coach needs to switch plan B or plan C . if he is not getting successful against a certain player change his position or try something different  . we had seen both the fullbacks were coming out of the defense to close down messi and neymar so why not try to exploit that space which was left by them and try to pull opposition's defense out of shape and try different .  yes both neymar and messi are good players but to blame them solely for the defeat is stupidity beyond any doubt .