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Bravo Barcelona

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 10:17 am
by Charlie
It must have been very galling for Chelsea fans to watch Barcelona run rings around Man United last night. The gap was so much bigger between the teams than had been the case in the two Chelsea games.

Part of the fascination was to find my eye caught by a different player in each game. In the first game against Chelsea, Inieasta was the revelation, after all the build-up had been about Messi. What is so startling about both players is the way they seem to have magnets in their boots, so that the ball seems to stick to them whenever it comes near. For everybody else, it bounces off just like you'd expect.

In the second Chelsea game, when Henry did not play, Iniesta had to take a different position and did not shine so brightly while Messi began to make his mark.

Last night, they were both magical but it was Xavi who seemed to be the vital heart of every significant move. I was surprised how often Puyol caught my eye, having never particularly rated him before. He not only kept first Rooney and then (when they switched places) Ronaldo in check, but made his own foraging runs down the wing. Pique was much better in the Barcelona defence than the widely admired Man U defender Vidic, who always seems like a typical dirty centre back to me.

As for the ploy of bringing on the substitute Scholes as a pit bull dog to deal with the feathery feet of the Barcelona midfielders, how cynical was that? Maybe I was watching with rose-tinted glasses, but I never saw a dirty or petulant action from a Barcelona player all evening.

From what I gathered, Barcelona is a real football team in the classic sense, with many of the players having come up through the ranks of junior teams and their 38-year-old manager Guardiola having played for them when they last won this cup.