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BARCELONA SUFFERS NIGHTMARE 3-1 DEFEAT AT ETIHAD- THE VERDICT




A woeful Barcelona were beaten 3-1 at Etihad stadium on Tuesday evening. Here’s how social media reacted to the disappointing defeat and it certainly wasn’t positive… 


Rafael Hernández: A match that needs to become a wake up to the team, losing to Alavés at home was worrying, but in an entirely different manner. Today, Barça was outclassed in the second half in every aspect, and tactically City mopped the floor with us, losing only by 3-1 wasn’t as bad as we performed in the final 45 minutes.
The defense was overwhelmed by their pressing, Busquets unsettled because the midfield doesn’teven work and it’s been months since it had a reliable performance, Suárez looks off form and
lacking confident while Messi barely received the ball, couldn’t affect the outcome simply because he couldn’t, worrying.
Overall, this defeat might lead to urgent changes by Luis Enrique, who was outclassed by his friend Guardiola today, and unless we change the away matches vs Real Sociedad and Sevilla leading to El
Clásico might prove nightmarish.
 Rather than giving City a penalty, referee Viktor Kassai opted to book Sterling for diving

Heimo: Not everything was bad. I don’t want to be too harsh. But it’s games like the last ones, and not todays, that made me realize how vulnerable we are if an opponent is pressing intelligently. We
cannot deny it that we have trouble building up and get out of our third of the pitch. Pressure applied leads to way more individual mistakes that have an immediate effect.
Now you can argue, that we are missing both Piqué and Iniesta. And that is correct. Every team is playing worse if those two are out. But we also ran into similar problems with them on the pitch.
It is also true that Busquets is not having the best time of his life. And as the only remaining guy being able to build up and control the game, it is a simple issue for an opponent’s coach to figure out whom to apply the most pressure on.
If you manage to apply pressure on Sergio, we are basically only able to build up with our fullbacks and/or long passes to overcome the first pressing line. And those are more risky.
And a lot of times we fail to do so - individual mistakes and/or too little cohesion make it easier for an opponen to get the ball back.
To come back to today’s game: I wasn’t so optimistic as a lot of others were. Usually I am not really pessimistic. But I did especially focus on our defense lately, the build up play and how we were doing
when the opponent caught us in transition. And what I saw was not really nice. Sure we dominated the first half. We had more possession. But we played quite risky again. The goal was awesome. Brilliant and clinical from both Messi and Neymar. Roberto’s mistake was due to how we played recently. That a mistake like that can lead to way worse things than it did before. Maybe I am wrong.  But it happend not only tonight. And it was only a matter time until City was succeeding with pressure. And they did. Second half they came out with a plan. And Busquets was pressured like hell. It was pretty obvious that we are going to concede. I didn’t expect it to be from a free kick though. Then they got more optimistic, their self esteem lead to them applying pressure more easily. The often talked momentum. And they didn’t commit their stupid mistakes in finishing.
It was a well deserved win for City. Pity that we rely so heavily on Iniesta and maybe on more controlling midfielder, to give Busquets back his peace of mind. I don’t see it happening soon.
I do love the clinical precision of our counter attacks but generally speaking I don’t see the beautiful and great build up play anymore. Let’s hope I am wrong. The result today is not the most important. We have way too important games ahead in La Liga. And most of them are away.
Those games are the ones I am being scared the most. Cause if we don’t finish the opponent off early, we are going to suffer long 90 minutes on those away pitches.
That Suarez is not scoring like he used too, definitely is a key issue, especially in the way we try to win games recently. This lottery only pays off if you take your chances. And that means MSN scoring. All of them. And Suarez is clearly the weakest of the three at the moment despite his intelligent runs.
 After missing out on a penalty, City were hit on the break as Lionel Messi gave Barca the lead

Gerry Johnston: Nothing summarises just how important Andres Iniesta is to Barcelona than performances like the last two games. Much of Barcelona's success in the last decade has come from the clubs strength in midfield and right now neither I nor Luis Enrique has the slightest notion what the best midfield is. Busquets is badly out of form, Rakitic has been fairly poor this season and with Iniesta out who even is the other midfielder? D. Suarez, Arda, Rafinha and Gomes have all had a crack in the last two games and for me the only one with pass marks has been Rafinha. Unfortunately for the Brazilian Luis Enrique has twice dropped him in the Champions League after a goal scoring performance at the weekend. I'm not sure what he has to do but it seems clear to me that Rafinha should be in the starting eleven at the minute.
Tactically, Luis Enrique wasn't on top of his game tonight. City pressed the Barcelona back line as expected and Barca just played into their hands. I appreciate that it's not the Barcelona way but you can always guarantee that a Guardiola team will pack the centre of the pitch and Barca tried to go through it which was an almost impossible task.
With the City forwards pressing and the ncentre of the pitch packed Barca really needed to be playing the ball wide where there was space but the team didn't do it and ultimately it was their downfall.
Tonight was a poor result but it's important to keep the bigger picture in mind. Barca are still top of the group and should be able to get the required points from Celtic and Borussia Monchengladbach to stay there. Also this season Barca have generally recovered well from a bad result and with Sevilla up next at the weekend the training will be intense and the eleven that take the field in Andalusia will come firing out of the blocks and hopefully earn an important win. José Manuel Garcia : It looked like it would be another good night in Europe for Barça, but to be honest, Pep’s City played entirely different during second half and made our players look like a mediocre team, especially in defense,
where multiple mistakes were made time and again.
It’s always said that in sports there are good and bad spells; i’d like to think that’s just what’s happening to MSN (and it would sound just about time, after so many months performing near top form). But speaking about our defense, that’s another issue. Since start of the season our defense has lacked order and discipline, except for the games against weak teams. Unfortunately, the many injuries our squad has suffered, have done nothing to help solve this problem.
However, this is one of those few games in a season where our team could really afford to lose, so no big deal. But that defense issue makes me nervous about the upcoming games (Sevilla, for instance).


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