opinions | 2016-11-06
Tiki Taka - Sevilla 1-2 Barcelona
Barça overcomes difficulties with Messi's help and wins at one of La Liga's toughest stadiums
Rafael Hernández: What a match of extreme highs and lows! The first disastrous half saved by Messi, and a second half comeback worthy of legend by the Argentinian together with an important improvement from the midfield and Suárez, both in need of stepping up after weeks of frustrations.
Sevilla completely crushed Barça on the first part, and we were lucky to be only a goal down until Messi did what he always does, elevate Barça to win the hardest matches in the most demanding circumstances. Denis Suárez, Mascherano and Umtiti were outstanding in the latter half, with incredible interceptions and key passes going forward. André‘s introduction made the team better defensively, Sergi got over his mistake and three points were won in a contest I treated as an inevitable loss before the kick-off.
Messi’s the greatest ever to play the game, and he’s shown us far too many times to forget. Enjoy it while we have him, our leader and savior.
Heimo: The most important thing tonight was that the team did show a reaction after the terrible second half of what happened in Manchester and also the first half at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. Could have easily conceived three goals before the break. And the team would have fallen apart like they did on Tuesday. And again it was an individual mistake by Sergi Roberto that led to the first goal. Luckily we have Messi, who casually slotted that equalizer home after a magnificent Neymar pass that kept us alive. Thanks for that.
I was expecting this though. It was pretty similar to the City game. Just with reversed halves. Messi again in top form. But overall bad build up play. Bad positioning, lots of passing mistakes due to gun and run play, missing triangles and passing lanes.
And it’s funny to see people arguing otherwise. Also this win won’t cover the shortcomings of this team missing out on both Piqué and Iniesta. What you can do is crediting this coaching staff and the team that they are able to motivate themselves again and again. And it was an absolutely necessary tweak to make MSN track back more. The adjustments paid off. But I still miss the orchestrated build up play that we enjoyed for a long time.
But now back to the game. The second half must have been a fun game to watch as a neutral football fan. High intensity from both teams. I enjoyed it too, and was really happy that everybody focused again with more energy. Awesome stuff.
Overall a pretty fair game from both teams as well. Both teams wanted to attack. But Barça did shift into a higher gear. Lucho must have given his men a proper pep talk during the break. MSN tracking back and helping the team to defend and press. This immediately gave Sevilla less margin for error. The Suárez goal is just exactly a summary of what happened. He won back the ball and added another goal to the scoresheet. But I also think that Sevilla lacked a bit of air in the second half. They must have spent a lot of energy with their amazing display in the first half.
We have to talk Messi though. I know you can’t demand from him to play like this every game - or even for 90 full minutes week in week out. But when he is on fire and when there is need he almost never fails to deliver. And it’s not just the attitude. He makes it look so casual and easy. Wonder in what universe some pundits live that don’t see him as the undisputed best to tie a pair of football cleats. That brings me to another funny situation. He was getting a pretty ridiculous yellow card for what was a torn cleat after a tackle. Only in Spain. Overall there are problems in Spain with players hounding the refs and whining and arguing. But what is worse is the different standards referees seem to apply week in week out. But it’s nothing that we didn’t already know.
Now I am just happy that we got the important three points won in a difficult stadium - against a team that not only this season put a real test on our eleven. It wasn’t the first time they gave us a good run for our money. But I was really impressed by how good Sampaoli’s men already function. Good scouting and a coach that obviously found a way to utilize his players already this early in the season. This is not something that is common when you consider that 15 players left the club, with 15 new ones settling in. Overall a great team with great fans. The atmosphere at the Sánchez Pizjuán is simply amazing. Definitely need to attend a game there rather sooner than later.
Sulaiman: Crazy match. A game of two halves. That first half was disastrous, much like our second half against Manchester City. Messi got us out from the dead just before the end of the first half with a well taken goal and possibly the only good decision in the final third Neymar made all match.
Massive props must go to Lucho for changing at half time which he has been reluctant to do throughout his tenure. Better connections in the midfield, better spacing, less burden on Busquets and finally less verticality. Messi was allowed to play play higher up unlike the first half where he was picking the ball up from behind the half way line.
Denis Suarez got into the game and was filling part of the void Iniesta's injury has left. Denis brought the ball out of the midfield really well and worked very hard off the ball. Mascherano and Umtiti seems to be working really well. Masche played his best game of the season, vital stops from him to keep us in the game on more than 1 occasion. Umtiti filled the void of Pique and held us together in the game in the first half.
What more can you say on Messi. The guy is a freak!
Really happy for the 3 points and that Lucho made much needed changes to the middle to bring stability to our buildup. We need to put in much more complete performances, 45 mins of high quality is not enough but it is good that Lucho has figured how to balance the midfield again which has been a problem this season.
Gerry Johnston: There's an old saying that football is a game of two halves and this game was a prime example of that. Sevilla were superb in the first half and could have been out of sight. A blind man could see what their tactics would be in this game. Their manager loves high tempo, high pressing and after the success Pep Guardiola's Manchester City had in midweek doing that it was blatantly obvious what would happen tonight. The only person with an interest in the game who seemed not to be prepared for it was Luis Enrique and Barça played right into Sevilla's hands. Fortunately for Barça some individual brilliance from Neymar created an opportunity for Messi and the little Argentine finished superbly.
After half time the game changed completely when the best player in the world arrived. Messi went to that place where only he can and he completely dominated the match. Messi starts on the right for Barcelona but he rarely stays there and mostly comes inside. When he's not fit or coming back from injury he goes right up top ahead of Suárez and let's the Uruguayan do his running for him. When he's at his best he comes into the space in front of Sergio Busquets which means he sees a lot more of the ball and when you have the best player ever to play the game you want him on the ball. In the end he created the goal for Luis Suárez that turned out to be the winner but if Barca and Messi himself took all the chances he created in the second half it could have been a more comfortable night.
This was a massive result for Barcelona as anything less than a win would have saw the club go into the international break on a downer as well as being more than one win off the pace at the top of La Liga. As it is they are two points off the pace and with first and third due to play each other after the break they will know that they can take advantage of whoever drops points in that game. Question marks still remain about Luis Enrique's stubborness to change things but for now the best player in the world is wearing Blaugrana and as long as he's there Barca will always have a chance of winning any match and any competition.
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