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FC Barcelona in the Champions League: Nice goals, dirty game


Barcelona's veterans save after their defeat against Inter Milan but still their impressive home series. In the background, however, a small-scale war rages with the club leadership.

After the decisive scene, the fans did not know what to sing. "Uruguayo", some started: the anthem on Luis Suárez, the furious scorer. "Meeeeessi," others paid homage, for the submission of the local deity was not to be despised either. A 50/50 situation solomously resolved by the curve - with a general declaration of love to FC Barcelona.

To celebrate was the late 2-1 victory in a gripping Champions League match against Inter Milan. In front of home crowd this troubled team is still able to play into a frenzy while still bringing clarity into their moves, which can stagger any still-savvy opponent and ultimately overthrow - even if he, like Inter am Wednesday, the first half dominated almost at will.

Coach Cortés Antonio Conte's team managed a 1: 0 lead through Lautaro Martínez's goal in the third minute, as Marc-André ter Stegen's miraculous reflex against a young Argentinean header prevented them from even more.

The 33rd home game without defeat in series

But as reliable as the parades of the Germans is the certainty: 90 minutes at Camp Nou are very long. Half an hour can seem as endless to the defending team as the grandstands of the 99,000-person bowl. Barcelona's Playstation goal to equalize - flank assist Arturo Vidal from the right corner of the penalty area, Suárez from the left corner of the penalty area - shocked Inter so persistently that it was not a dangerous move forward from the 58th minute. Barça scored its Champions League record series at 33 unbeaten home games (30 wins, three draws).

How long mysticism and moments of the Messi generation last? Over the years she has risen above all debates with ever new titles and has weakened only abroad in the Champions League. But against Inter, it was now at home as close as long, and although there were mitigating circumstances - Messi played after several injuries for the first time this season over 90 minutes, new signing Antoine Griezmann is still looking for his place, both left back missing injured - it seems the Time for radical solutions.

Sergio Perez REUTERS

Match winner Luis Suárez

At least that was the opinion of the once cautious coach Ernesto Valverde. At 0: 1 he took Sergio Busquets off the pitch and brought Vidal. It was the victorious revirement. Instead of Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Arthur shared the role before the defense and sharply increased the pace, while before them Vidal brought the previously lukewarm pressing on temperature.

Busquets as pawn victims?

Busquets is not anyone in the game of FC Barcelona. From Pep Guardiola lifted in 2008 from nothing to the first team, the defensive midfielder became an indispensable metronome, as systemically relevant as otherwise only Messi. Now he was already replaced at 0-0 in Dortmund and - unthinkable before - in two league games not even mustered. The fact that Barça just lost these two games shows that Busquets can hardly be blamed for all the evils of a weak start to the season. But it also shows, as does the complete demotion of Ivan Rakitic, that not all certainties are valid anymore at Camp Nou.

Things are in flux, and that causes cracks. After the first away win of the season on Saturday in Getafe, defense boss and team speaker Gerard Piqué raised a monstrous charge. The club leadership, so the life-long Barça member (even his grandfather was a club official), let the press deliberately blacken the team: "We know the newspapers that are close to the club, we know of the articles that are published, and often whoever she writes - even if another author's name is above it. "

Joan Monfort DPA

His reflexes secured the victory: Marc-André ter Stegen

Piqué referred to a column in the "Mundo Deportivo" entitled "So the cabin has taken full power". In it are collected episodes that were mostly known, but have never been so polemic on a list, not least by a medium from Barcelona, ​​where the "Mundo Deportivo" in fact maintains the closest proximity to the current club leadership.

However, the columnist is a successful writer and not the type of commissioned work. While the Catalan Association of Journalists protested Piqué's understanding of the press, there was applause from ex-President Joan Laporta, an intimate enemy of the current leadership: "My full support to Gerard Piqué in his efforts to defend the team from the dirty game of the club management."

Allegations to the established

Specifically, one of the allegations of the article, including the Suárez to have timed an operation in the preseason so that he missed the cup final, but in time for the Copa América was operational again. Or to the incumbents, to have urged the club to the humiliating negotiations over a return of their old buddy Neymar, but to cut the newly engaged Griezmann. Griezmann himself did not really refute that on the day before the inter-match when he said Messi had been difficult so far: "He's not one who talks a lot, and neither am I."

After the inter-match Griezmann's arguments were bad, Suárez talked pretty well, and Messi, at least with the press. The captain tried to smooth the waves. "Of course" there is no problem with Griezmann. Not with the club management either. That you have had practically no season preparation for summer trips to Japan and the US - another reproach Piqués - was "reality", but: "This is not a criticism, the club must do it".

You just have to keep winning, then there's no stress, concluded Messi. That's probably true. And yet it seems as if the blame for a failure that has not yet materialized is already being distributed.

Source: spiegel

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