Bayern Munich finally punished Barcelona for their one dimensional state of play, squashing the team dubbed, “the greatest the world has ever seen” by four goals to diddly squat.
Barcelona have one dimension to their play and although that dimension is exquisite to watch, opposition are growing increasingly knowledgeable in how to deal with Barcelona. If Barcelona can’t make things happen, then what do they do to change things? Bring on like for like players in Cesc Fabregas, David Villa and Thiago Alacantara? They’re all great, but not “different” in a big way.
PSG were unbeaten in their matches against Barcelona, AC Milan should have stayed stronger to knock them out and Real Madrid dished out a beating to their Catalan rivals not so long ago.
A thrashing has been coming for a while and Bayern Munich duly handed it to them last night.
Barcelona dominated possession with about 65% and pressed well for the first 70 minutes, but were then physically overpowered by Bayern, who scored two in the last twenty minutes to put the tie beyond Barcelona’s reach.
Maths will tell you that Barcelona dominated and were unlucky. Bayern barely had the ball and that lack of control was surprising, though the absence of Toni Kroos did not help. On the one hand, despite Bayern’s lack of control, they looked like scoring every single time they broke forward. On the other hand, Barcelona rarely looked like breaking Bayern down. Possession counts for nothing if you cannot inject a change of pace or a different idea.
Lionel Messi, is Barcelona’s different idea. Ignoring what he said after the match, it’s clear he isn’t fit and having seen Barcelona thumped, the question is, “Did Messi play to the detriment of the team?” The answer is yes. No team can carry a passenger on the pitch and Messi was exactly that. Vilanova would have been better advised to start David Villa over a player operating at 70%.
Barcelona have a beautiful philosophy, but it promotes narrow-mindedness. They don’t need to overhaul their ideals, but they do need to innovate and accept a plan “B” when “A” doesn’t work.
Bayern Munich are a totally different animal to Barcelona. They’re strong, fast, highly skilful, overwhelming and deadly. I likened them to a volcano when they met Arsenal in the second round; overpowering and destroying anything that stood in their path without the hint if a second question needing to be asked.
They’ve put the tie beyond Barcelona now and will further humiliate Barcelona, even at the Nou Camp.
To couple that victory, Borussia Dortmund announced that a fee had been agreed between for the sale of super talent, Mario Götze, after Bayern Munich had triggered the €37 million release clause in Götze’s contract.
Götze and his agent, Volker Struth, approached Borussia Dortmund with the request that his release clause should be activated if an offer was received.
In his pre-match press conference yesterday, Jurgen Klopp said that he had allowed himself “a day of happiness” after beating Malaga to qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League. The day after, he was informed of the Götze sale and at 10PM on Monday evening, he was informed that the deal would be made public in the morning, just a day before playing Real Madrid in the Champions League.
It’s a really harsh moment for Dortmund, who have to prepare for a huge game with the weight of this news on their shoulders.
Although the timing of the news has to be questioned, the dealt itself cannot be. All parties acted to the confines of the contract and everything was carried out professionally. Of course Dortmund aren’t happy, but nor were Borussia Monchengladbach when Dortmund activated the release clause for Marco Reus.
In turn, Dortmund will probably raid a club beneath them and thus the food chain continues to function.
Pep Guardiola made Götze (as is apparent now) his primary target and Götze is his favourite player (according to Klopp). It’s a huge signing for Bayern Munich.
S’all from me today. See you tomorrow!