analysis | 2015-04-23
Busquets and space vs PSG
The blaugrana only needed 55min to decide the tie
FC Barcelona won 2-0 against Paris Saint-Germain on the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals Tuesday, winning the tie 5-1 on aggregate.
Both teams’ use of space and Sergio Busquets’ position during the 55 minutes he played made for an enjoyable watch.
Laurent Blanc’s team used a diamond 4-4-2. Sirigu minded the sticks behind the central pairing of Marquinhos and David Luiz, with Van der Wiel and Maxwell as fullbacks.
The midfield was occupied by Verrati-Cabaye-Matuidi with Pastore as head of the diamond. Ibrahimovic and Pastore played up front.
Luis Enrique stuck to his usual team. He played 4-3-3, with Piqué and Mascherano in front of Ter Stegen, Alba and Alves on the sides. Busquets with Iniesta and Rakitic in midfield, and Neymar, Suárez and Messi as forwards.
In their own half, PSG tried to be compact to block the center.
When PSG was not defending in its own half, their block lacked compactness.
That freed up plenty of space that could be exploited by free Barcelona players. The stunning slalom by Iniesta, running 50 meters to assist Neymar, was a good example.
Paris Saint-Germain tried to press Barcelona building up. To do that they used several players to crowd the same part of the pitch. But then the blaugranas, with a take-on or a quick combination of precise passes, were able to find a teammate with plenty of space to run to.
Busquets, on the other hand, pressed very high for Barça. Several times he was very far in front of Rakitic and Iniesta.
PSG tried to play in the space between Barcelona’s defense and midfield.
Ibrahimovic, Cavani and Matuidi went there to receive passes from Pastore, Verratti or David Luiz
Barcelona wanted to recover the ball immediately after losing it during attack. They sent numerous players to the flanks when PSG wanted to initiate from there. It was risky since they left plenty of spaces unoccupied
When the ball was in the center, Dani Alves helped Busquets to stifle all counterattacks from Paris Saint-Germain
The blaugranas led 2-0 at halftime thanks to Neymar’s brace. The second half lost intensity, PSG knowing that they would not make it, and Barcelona qualified for the semifinals.
Anything wrong? Send your correction.
You can follow Busi on twitter at @busi1325