It was all Barcelona. From start to finish. Their work rate was incredible. They succeeded in making Bayern look like babies. They were dominant. Their opponents, opposed to the norm, had to hang in there. They were holding on to the slim chances of a draw but they couldn’t keep up with the Catalans’ pace.
Neuer was the first-half’s Man of the Match after making save after save that kept Neymar and co. at bay. Barca did not let Bayern play ball. I’d like to use the word DOMINANT again. They forced the Bavarians to pass back to Neuer more times than they’d usually do in games. Suarez was everywhere up front, oppressing tacitly; Neymar too with a step-over here and a flick there. Messi?
He wasn’t exactly quiet in the first half but he left his mark on the game in the second: on Neuer, on Boateng and on Guardiola too! The MSN gang tore Bayern apart from the 77th minute till the old lady sang. Messi’s double and Neymar’s late goal gave Barcelona a 3 – 0 lead going into the second leg (a deficit which, going by today’s game, the Bavarians can’t come back from in my opinion).
Let’s dedicate this paragraph to one man: Pep Guardiola. It was the #NightmareReunion. He sneaked into the stadium from the dugout before the game began, like he knew what was coming. I think he wanted a draw and after Neymar’s icing on the cake, a sorry look and a grimmacing face from Pep said it all: Things did not go as planned.
But can you blame him? His team got outplayed on all levels by the beast of a team he created (which is now a refined beast). His team did not play like a Guardiola-led side. They played like a Mourinho army except that they played a high defense line, conceded 3 goals and there were no red cards. Enough said.
Well done Barcelona. Time to surprise me Professor Pep.
Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.