Saturday, 24 February 2018


before i write about the game let me say doesnt matters as to how many time you have the ball and how much you have the possession but if you cannot stick in the back of the net . gaurdiola can moun that wigan had only one chance but what matters is the score and when after some years people will not remember that man city dominated the possession but the way we remember brazil dominating argentina in the 1990 world cup but ended up losing the match . in the game between chelsea vs barcelona i had read news about how barca dominated and messi being unstoppable but to be honest i would say that if i was conte i would just be happy at the way barca were playing because he should had figuered them out . i had never seen an offense being so concentrated around one player . i have heard that certain section of the press were critical of pauliniho starting but to be honest doenst matters whoever you start will he get the freedom to do his thing because eventually after two or three passess the ball ends at messi's feet and as if so he is everything creator and finisher . all the team has to play around him and adjust accordingly if i had to critical of neymar and PSG's tactics then what should i say about barca because they too look like a single man team . i think valverde had to look after his tactics and should change because if the barca board sane people and if the opposition starts figuering them out then i think clearly they will struggle . 
the game started with barca with 4-4-2 formation while chelsea started with 3-5-2 formation  with willian in the no.9 role while hazard in the no.10 role  but they kept on interchanging the role . it was very much written that chelsea were going to sit back and barca were going to be in the ascendancy and going to dominate the possession . before the game it was hyped as the battle between ngolo kante and messi but that was not the case atleast in the first half . in the first half messi was finding the space between lines and he was causing good trouble to chelsea and the interplay was good between him iniesta and  busquestus but again as i had said everything is messi . barca know that the opponent are going to be very compact because little amount of space can be exploited by barca . to honest i was a little surprised that valverde was not able to spot that chelsea were a little thin in their midfield . chelsea only had two midfielders in the middle with kante and fabregas . while pedro and willian were shifting besides them to make numbers . but at times willian was staying just high up the pitch at that time i thought that the chelsea  midfield was way too thin and there was space ( will show in figure ) that could had been exploited but then we come back to square one because it had to be done by messi . in the first half there was considerable space between back five and the middle three . most importantly messi's was staying in between the lines and was causing problems for chelsea . the reason why barcelona play pauliniho is his ability to make the runs and has a very good positional sense . the only thing that let him down is his touch . the other player that had benifitted from barca's formation had been jordi alaba . both pauliniho come inside and the fullbacks get the space to go up the pitch and when messi drifts on the right alaba had made some darting runs evading his opposite number and had been very successful in providing assists . 
in the second half chelsea made the adjustmest . in the first half the distance between chelsea back five and middle three was about 15 yards but in the second half it was less that 10 yards . conte made the adjustmests to make them more compact . secondly messi started coming more deeper which put him against kante and fabregas who now know on how to defend messi . they dont try to snatch ball from him instead try to be patient and they get the chance or they double on him . barca's equaliser because chelsea were trying to play out from the back . conte wanted barca to press them so that they can play around them and there are players like hazard and willian who can show their quality in the final third and in one on one situations . chelsea's formation had been based around good defending and most importantly the understanding between the front two . in this match i think both willian and hazard were not on the same wavelength . most importantly in this match chelsea's most unsung hero pedro was not that used or else he can cause trouble to the oppostion with his runs behind the back four and had got good postional sense.
barca may had the advantage with away goal but the tie is certainly not over and most importantly if conte had watched the game and if he is able to make some adjustments then definitely the tie is very much open . there are already talks of barca slowing down or getting tired but that is not true but after certain time the opposition starts fiuering you out and i think this may be the time when valverde needs to freshen up his tactics and should give more freedom to other players like iniesta who looks to be tied up to messi . they had been asking as to why dembele is not playing but to be honest in this style nobody cant shine except messi .