Keylor and Messi with a one-all draw
Although they only managed a goal (a superb shot from Messi that would have knocked the Eiffel Tower over) the first half from Barcelona in their Champions League game against PSG was one worthy of being framed and put on the wall. They were also better in the second half, except for the first 10 minutes, the only period in which PSG managed to move the ball about with some sense. Then, without reaching the heights of the first half, Barcelona got their rhythm back and pressed harder as time went on. For the final 20 minutes PSG sat back in the box with no shame, with a mean defensive set-up straight out of an Italian team half a century ago: lots of players and fouls far out to stop the ball from coming back quickly. And Keylor Navas, a great keeper.
Barcelona superior to frightened PSG
It’s curious how football changes. PSG took Barcelona apart just recently on a night in which it felt like Spanish football was in dire trouble, that LaLiga, far from being trailblazing was carrying the wooden spoon. However, last night we saw a Barcelona side who were far superior to a frightened PSG team. States of mind, no doubt. At Barcelona I think the election of Laporta has given them a lift, as has the growing credibility of Koeman, along with the feeling they had nothing to lose. As for PSG, they get scared at the big moments in the Champions League. They got through, but they can’t feel good about. The prestige they earned at the Camp Nou was firmly punctured.
Barça out because of the first leg
Oh, if Messi had scored that penalty… That would have put Barcelona up at the break and had PSG even more terrified. But Keylor Navas is an outstanding keeper, as we all know round here, and he was having none of it - just as he stopped Barça on several other occasions during the match when it seemed certain they would score. The problem for Barcelona was the terrible result in the first leg, that’s why they’re out, but Koeman’s side have their pride back. The same as Sevilla the night before. Knocked out, but not knocked down. Maybe it’s scant consolation, but it helps to value our league properly. And in LaLiga we’ve finally played the games in hand, meaning we can work out the real state of play. Atlético reaped the rewards from their game in the bank, but LaLiga is still very much alive.
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