BarcaMolt be, al final, but we passed through some really rough moments in that game. This was a really important game for the confidence of the Barca players. Having just lost the league, and I am certain that they have just lost the league, the only competition of any great importance is the Champions League. Bueno, this is not to slight the great tradition of the Copa del Rey, but frankly, it's just not as important. Teams are judged by direct competition with their contemporaries in other leagues.
To reinstate player confidence, the ideal opponent would have to be credible, but not too strong. Bayern Leverkusen fit the bill perfectly. They have a solid reputation as a European club. Though not in the top tier, they regularly make it into European competition. It is a good thing that we face them now.
Barca showed some frailty in this first leg. Sergio Busquets gave the ball away with far too great frequency; Abidal again was strangely out of character. Against Osasuna, Abidal had a crapper. Granted, so did the entire barca defense. Messi payed a poor first half, but made up for it in spades in the second. Credit should go to Adriano, playing left in the attacking three for the first time I have seen him the, ever. He played reasonably well. Alexis was stupendous.
And l thought the Barca performance was sub-par. Wow. Arsenal played a real stinker tonight against Milan. I am and have been a skeptic for some time of Arsene Wenger, but this performance was truly awful. Risicky should be sold, Arteta just isn't good enough. Henry? Past his prime and out of shape.
I understand that it is difficult to play so far away from home, and that everything is complicated by the opposition. Milan were much better prepared for this game. It looked like the payers had done their homework, and they stymied almost every single Arsenal attack. Good for them. It will be nearly impossible for Arsenal to turn this tie around. See you in the next round, Milan.
**In the near future, I will be heading to games at the Nou Camp. Pictures to be included.