What goes around comes around. I remember last year in the round of 16 the historic come back from Barcelona against PGS at home, 6-1 win for which Barcelona fans took pride for a year. Not anymore, now we became a joke and victim of our own legendary come back. AS Roma needed 3 goals to win the 2-leg ties after scoring one away goal in the 4-1 defeat in Camp-Nou and they did it. Did it with a passion and determination that not even a single player from FC Barcelona team or the couch Ernesto Valverde had any replay to it. The strength of this year Barcelona is they have scored goals in every second half of game in which they analyze and change the game style in a pragmatic way and Mr. Ernesto Valverde will come with a solution to fix any issue or to win the game the best example, el-Classico just before Christmas last year. Barcelona played not particularly good in the first half but in the second half we scored 3 goals and won the game. One more game was the game against Sevilla last month, when Barcelona was 2 goals down. But this game, this was the utter disaster for Barcelona. Mr. Valverde couldn’t come with any solution and if he did also Roma was so good that Barca’s plan B didn’t workout. The irony was when Barcelona went 2 goal down, still, there was no substitution made by Valverde. In my opinion, Dembélé should have stared the game in place of Sergi Roberto. The understanding between Dembélé and Semedo was amazing in Leganés game and when the first substitution was made it was André Gomes, i don’t agree with that. We needed an attacking mentality with speed to hit AS Roam on a counterattack.
Passion vs. Class
With all respect to AS Roam they are not a world class team, just last week itself they lost to Fiorentina at home 0-2 on the very same ground. The pressing and the 1 on 1 marking done by AS Roam was world class. The 3 defenders specially Manolas, the Greek giant. He was at his best and his redemption goal, a classical near post heading, after scoring an own goal in first leg game was amazing. All Roam players were at their best they way passed beach Barcelona players and high pitch defending at its best. It was a classic Italian Defence with the mix of total football Cruyff’s style. Barcelona couldn’t find any way out from this defence and pressing, their passes was not working, Messi’s runs from deep lines was not working, Suarez was busy beating the offside trap and Marc Stegen had no idea where and to whom to play the long balls. He and Umtiti was busy playing “give me not” ball. Barcelona midfield, i have never seen them so helpless this season and nervous, clueless not because they are not good with the ball or they lack talent but the sheer will power of each AS Roam player.
The name is Edin Džeko, last time i notice the name was when Manchester City beat QPR to win the league title, he scored that crucial header and then it was this game. What a game he had. The away goal scored by him and the early lead goal in 2nd leg game. Umtiti and Pique both had no idea what to do and not able to mark his run and intercept his movements. He had 100% shots at the target. His goal and the foul on him which led to penalty and second goal for AS Roam.
Now this the third season in a row in which FC Barcelona going out in the quarter final of champions league after winning in back in 2014-15 historic second treble season. Mr. Ernesto Valverde and FC Barcelona have to move now and focus on league tittle and Copa del Rey. Lot more football need to played before the tittle win with few very big games and the final of Copa del Rey again Sevilla. The lesson learned from this game must be 1. Rest important players 2. Trust in young talent for rotation and game time. The game against CD Leganés was a tricky game but Messi, Suarez, Pique and Ivan must have rested. Valverde must give chance to Paco Alcacer, Denis and Yerry Mina. Next game is against Valencia at home after that 6 more games to go for the league. It’s very tough time for FC Barcelona fans just because the way team is playing in a pragmatic way playing with their strength and still unbeaten in the league and with only 2 defeat till now from the start of 2017-18 season. But most of the games are result oriented not quality. Last game with had real quality was the el-Classico in December 2017. Now, will Mr. Ernesto Valverde leave in the end of the season ? my answer will be No. This is way too early to judge him and let him go. Yes, I agree that this game was a disaster and will give nightmare to many supports and players. When the third goal went in for AS Roam by Manolas, i was like don’t panic don’t panic we will score one goal for sure and time just flew and the game was over. I witness a great game of football yes of course my team was out of the champions league for the third time in a row but still what a game, passion and believe from AS Roam players mesmerised me.