Not good enough
by Alexandre Patanian
Barcelona had to make Madrid pay for their slip-up to Cádiz with a win at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez. However, the Catalan giants had perhaps the toughest opponent to face to make Madrid envy them. Against Getafe, a hungry team that always plays with a few men behind the ball, Barcelona were lost at sea, and Ronald Koeman did not know how to change his tactics to break Getafe’s unbeatable defence.
Antoine Griezmann’s miss was the talking point of the game, and the Frenchman can’t complain now about his positioning or his treatment as Koeman sacrificed the team’s shape for him. Ousmane Dembélé looked helpless in the beginning as he lost a countless amount of balls but tried to pick it up a bit later. Along with Frenkie de Jong, Dembélé attempted to show a bit of spirit by dribbling, but Getafe were just too good. Aso, chucking a load of attackers on the pitch to try and salvage a point wasn’t good enough as a tactic and perhaps changing the midfield (we finally saw Puig!!!!) should happen earlier than when Koeman did.
Overall, this was the Culés’ worst performance under the Dutch manager, but they’ll surely all pick it up against Ferencvaros on Wednesday and Real Madrid next Saturday.
Standout performer: Marc Cucurella
Marc Cucurella’s outstanding performance on the left for Bordalas’ tenacious side has probably made many Culés ask themselves why did they sell the Spanish midfielder for so cheap, or why did Barcelona not keep him at least.
The wide midfielder was everywhere, causing havoc in his former team’s defence while absolutely obliterating every opposition on the right. Making Sergi Roberto’s role redundant made Getafe’s job way more comfortable, and Cucu’s work rate could’ve resulted in a 2-0 win for the locals. As he saw Neto save his shot in the dying minutes of the game, Cucurella undoubtedly did not overthink it as he was one of the best players on the pitch yesterday.
More organization required
by Prajas Naik
Playing away against Getafe was never going to be easy. And in the end, the team just couldn’t put the pieces together. While Pedri gave an incredible performance, Ousmane Dembélé was wastefull in possession. The blaugranas looked good in the second half, but when Getafe upped their game physically, Barça failed to muster up anything. Antoine Griezmann was unimpressive again, and his miss could have altered the result. A few calls from the referee were questionable as well.
Koeman tried switching things around, but even with so many attacking players, it seemed that we were clueless as to what to do in order to score. It might be Koeman’s fourth game in charge, but they have provided a mixed bag of positives and negatives. As seen before, the players seem to lower their performance in the second half, which costs us the game. A lot needs to improve for the azulgranas to win trophies.
Standout performer: Pedri
Another young talent proves to be extremely valuable. He is only 17, but is already outshining established or big money players like Ousmane Dembélé and Antoine Griezmann. His awareness and skill on the ball is impeccable, and he isn’t afraid to try the unexpected. He left the Getafe defense with questions to ask, and he almost created a goal after Messi struck the post.
It is unfortunate that he missed out on an assist due to Griezmann’s miss. He is surely one positive for Koeman from this game. An honorable mention goes to Sergino Dest, who was exceptional as a left-back despite it not being his preferred position. He too almost got an assist after Messi hit the woodwork.
Messi looks far from his best but continues to break records
Lionel Messi continues to break records despite coming close to the twilight of his career, making fans jump in the match against Ferencvaros. Every football fan knows that for the Argentine, team performance is more pivotal than personal acclamation. However, lately, Barcelona’s talisman was struggling a lot in the new system. Just when the fans were about to believe that the alien magic might never happen as part of Ronald Koeman’s Barca – it happened.
The abysmal start of this season showed a lack of thrill in Barcelona’s captain under Barcelona’s new boss. The speculations had already begun that the relatively cold Messi-Koeman relationship will affect both the captain and the overall team’s performance. These conjectures got more hype when Messi magic failed in La Liga’s four matches so far.
Slow start of the season
While struggling in a new role, Lionel Messi was able to score only one goal, which too was from a penalty. It is needless to say that the key caveat behind this was Argentine staying at Camp Nou against his will.
His performance in the league raised questions over his passion, and his keenness to be a part of the team anymore. Fans predicted that Messi would not be able to blossom under the new coach’s tactics. It was not about physical and technical challenges the talisman was mentally struggling too.
Messi looked to struggle initially. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)
During this chaos, things got worse when the forward failed to save Barcelona from Getafe as they fell 1-0 to the Madrid outfit in La Liga on Saturday. This defeat was the final nail in the coffin full of opinions that the best ever is not dedicated enough to save the Catalans anymore.
When the Blaugrana’s savior is constantly struggling in new positions and the overall team’s atmosphere is woeful, it is natural to lose hope. However, whenever the world doubted the king, he has proven it wrong. Thus, the talisman’s loyalists kept praying for the miracle.
Tuesday night came with that long-awaited miracle. Barcelona’s superstar continues to break records, stealing the headlines. He once again managed to prove the world wrong in a 5-1 victory game against Ferencvaros in the Champions League.
3 Records in 90 minutes
Lionel Messi had the fans and the opposition both left in eye-gazing awe, as he broke three records in a single game against Ferencvaros.
Barcelona’s captain opened the scoring from a penalty while leading the team on the four other occasions. Back in 2005, at the age of 18, Messi scored his first goal in the Champions League, and as now equalled Ryan Giggs’ record for scoringi in 16 seasons straight.
Messi also further pushed his own record of scoring the most goals in the Champions League group stages by scoring his 69th goal yesterday, pushing him six ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who is second in this list.
Additionally, with his goal, Ferencvaros became Messi’s 36th victim team in Champions League. He was previously the record holder at 35 games, which makes it even more bizarre.
Three records down in one game – just Leo Messi things. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)
Barca boss admitted before the game that their superstar is struggling and could do better. However, Koeman’s prediction came true when he was full of praise for the Argentine after the game.
All these records add to the impressive Champions League collection of Lionel Messi. Putting the records aside, his performance during this match was pleasing to see. This game came as a signal that the curse has been broken and good things are on their way. Now, this can be further strengthened against Real Madrid this weekend.