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Jordi

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Reply with quote  #21 
And what about the first leg? It was the same. 11v 11, but one team wanted to win and the other didn't want to lose. So, maybe it's possible that today they didn't have any other option, but, in London last week...

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txsnowman

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordi
And what about the first leg? It was the same. 11v 11, but one team wanted to win and the other didn't want to lose. So, maybe it's possible that today they didn't have any other option, but, in London last week...

Didn't Chelsea win that game? 

Playing to pack and counter doesn't mean you aren't trying to win. Might not be everyone's way but if you come out and try to outplay Barca in an attacking game you are going to lose far more than you win or draw. The strategy was, by definition, used in order to win. They won. Makes sense to me because honestly I would have done the same thing, I honestly believe.

edit: typo
Goal150

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Reply with quote  #23 
There was just something unsavory about a team with actual talent packing it in like they're Birmingham.
paulee

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordi
Bad day for football. The team that only wants to destroy will be in the final.

Naw.  It's a bad day for Barcelona fans, but not the game.
As time goes on, history is going to remember this Barcelona team, not so much for the fact that they won, but for how they won, their style of play.
Two of the most fondly remembered teams are the Hungarians of the 50's, and the Dutch of the 70's, yet neither team actually won anything.  No-one waxes lyrical about the German sides who beat them.

Same thing will happen here.

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Goal150

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Reply with quote  #25 
I can only imagine the credence this gives to youth coaches who've always thought bunkering was a great idea. 
paulee

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goal150
I can only imagine the credence this gives to youth coaches who've always thought bunkering was a great idea. 

It worked, didn't it?  If coaches already think that bunkering is a great idea, this just validates what they already believe.

Enough bellyaching, we're coaches, not fanboys.  Let's look at the game.

Very disciplined defending by Chelsea.  They switched off for the first goal, but weren't that lax again the rest of the game.  Eric pointed out that they wouldn't really have to defend the man, just the space.  What surprised me was that Barcelona never really tried to stretch them out more on the flanks in the final third to create any space.
Now it could be that they didn't feel they could win any crosses served into the area, but I don't really recall any situations when they attacked deep into the corners, then ran at the backs along the endline.

They also seemed unwilling to shoot from distance to try and pull Chelsea out of the box.  Now maybe it's because they didn't think that they could beat Chec from that range, but it seemed that they weren't willing to shoot unless they were well inside the 18.

Was it just me, or did Chelsea actually defend about 5 yards higher this game?  While still occupied, their box didn't seem so tightly packed as it did the first leg.

MrSoccer has often pointed out that a team should have a well practiced counter.  Chelsea seemed to the first goal, while Torres goal seemed pure dumb luck more than anything else, and pretty similar to what I see our teams around here playing.

Once again, Petr Chec was the difference, despite being beaten twice.  Some great saves, to further underline the need for a top class keeper.

Regardless of who wins the other semi, Chelsea is going to be vulnerable in th back with the suspensions. 
And how stupid was that by John Terry?

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mslater

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Reply with quote  #27 
I thought Barca did attempt to attack Chelsea on the flanks, but Drogba and Ramirez handled the Barca wide players pretty comfortably (except the Iniesta goal which beat Ramirez...looked offside to me). Barca accomplished nothing on the flanks until Drogba tired out and went off.  Within 2 minutes of Torres coming on Alves recognized he had space and started to attack from wide positions, but it was too little to late.

Chec had a massive game, but so did Ivanovic, Cole, Ramires and Drogba.

Di Matteo clearly orchestrated the counters because the Ramires outlet was there in Drogba's goal from the first leg as well.

Kudos to Di Matteo whose tactics overcame Barca's talent and the typical referee bias for Barca. Chelsea will be severely handicapped for the final due to a host of questionable decisions given by the center (who seemed absolutely over his head).

If Pep's only response was to bring in Keita for Fabs to get a more physical presence, maybe there is a chink in barca amour and you really can't indefinitely dominate world football with a bunch of very small, very skilled players who play the same style no matter the situation or opponent.

edfordham

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Reply with quote  #28 

I think so many of the comments are far to centred on the result.

 

FACT, Barca, will and can lose occasionally. However, the odds are that if they keep creating as many chances as they did in the two legs then it will not happen often.

 

Chelsea got away with it. Yes, they did have good tactics but I am not sure Di Matteo would have put his house on his tactics guiding Chelsea through.

 

If a couple of the chances had gone in what would people be saying then?

 

There is no chink in the Barca armour and Chelsea have not massively turned a corner. Goals win games and wins write history. On this occasion it implies that organisation, directness, heart and spirit can win over talent and class. Thank goodness that this is true, but I still know how I want my teams playing and if we roll the dice a few more times the true odds will reveal themselves!

 

In saying that, as a nervous Arsenal fan now (we could come 4th and miss out on a champs place now), well done to all the Chelsea pensioners- hell of a perfomance! 

messifan10

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulee
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goal150
I can only imagine the credence this gives to youth coaches who've always thought bunkering was a great idea. 

It worked, didn't it?  If coaches already think that bunkering is a great idea, this just validates what they already believe.

Enough bellyaching, we're coaches, not fanboys.  Let's look at the game.

Very disciplined defending by Chelsea.  They switched off for the first goal, but weren't that lax again the rest of the game.  Eric pointed out that they wouldn't really have to defend the man, just the space.  What surprised me was that Barcelona never really tried to stretch them out more on the flanks in the final third to create any space.
Now it could be that they didn't feel they could win any crosses served into the area, but I don't really recall any situations when they attacked deep into the corners, then ran at the backs along the endline.

They also seemed unwilling to shoot from distance to try and pull Chelsea out of the box.  Now maybe it's because they didn't think that they could beat Chec from that range, but it seemed that they weren't willing to shoot unless they were well inside the 18.

Was it just me, or did Chelsea actually defend about 5 yards higher this game?  While still occupied, their box didn't seem so tightly packed as it did the first leg.

MrSoccer has often pointed out that a team should have a well practiced counter.  Chelsea seemed to the first goal, while Torres goal seemed pure dumb luck more than anything else, and pretty similar to what I see our teams around here playing.

Once again, Petr Chec was the difference, despite being beaten twice.  Some great saves, to further underline the need for a top class keeper.

Regardless of who wins the other semi, Chelsea is going to be vulnerable in th back with the suspensions. 
And how stupid was that by John Terry?

I would say that this is pretty good analysis.

On my part I would say that in no way I blame Chelsea for the way they played in both games. They did what they had to and could do in order to get to the final. Kuddos to them and Roberto Di Mateo - let's not forget he is an Italian after all. 

As for Barca, I'm disappointed with a few things:

1) Messi - although he was the only one trying to do something, he missed two great chances in the first half (3th minute and 19th minute) and the penalty. That penalty miss turn out to be crucial, because it was the only real chance Barca had in the second half, as Chelsea looked very well organized despite playing with 10 men and their caprain/leader sent off (deservedly and stupidly).

2) The defense - how stupidly they allowed Ramires to sneak through just before half-time and score. What was Mascherano (our centerback at that point of the match) doing so high up the field unsuccessfully pressing Lampard and leaving a glaring hole in our defense? Where was the cover? I guess this is the disadvantage of using midfielders as defenders.......note: Pique was subbed off by the time Ramires scored. And btw, how badly was he taken out by Valdes? 

3) No penetration through dribbling - Barca moved the ball side to side, but no one was willing or on the rare occasions they were, was not successful at going around players with dribbling.

4) Lack of inventive passes from Iniesta, Xavi and Fabregas.

5) Not enough shots from outside

Overall, Barca have no one to blame but themselves. I mean, they were up 2-0 and playing 11v10 with Terry being sent off. And they fall asleep and allow Ramires to score just before half-time. STUPID, absolutely STUPID loss of concentration!!!!!

But credit to Chelsea for not giving up even as everything was going against them in the first half - Cahill's injury, allow the first goal, Terry deservedly sent off for his stupidity, a second goal. Not only Chelsea didn't give up, but they reacted immediately and exposed Barca's weakness in defense to score at the most unexpected moment which turned everything back in their favor and gave them a chance to re-group for the second half.


SoundSoccer

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Reply with quote  #30 
I'm with Ed on this one ... no indictment to Chelsea, congratulations.

Over the two legs, Barcelona dominated play and missed alot.  IMO they don't need to change much. 

One part that does bother me a bit.  John Terry made a mistake but does his mistake excuse the acting of the player fouled? 


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santa

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundSoccer

One part that does bother me a bit.  John Terry made a mistake but does his mistake excuse the acting of the player fouled? 



It could be argued that he did the right thing to highlight what Terry did
paulee

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Reply with quote  #32 
I'm wondering how much the weekend loss to Real Madrid affected the Barcelona mentality?

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irnmadn88

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Reply with quote  #33 
From this article:

http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/championsleague/story/pep-guardiola-contemplates-barcelona-future-chelsea-defeat-042512

This quote from Guardiola:

''I don't even know what I feel right now. I try to figure out what to say when looking at the team, about what we did wrong to not reach the final and I can't think of anything,'' Guardiola said. ''From opening day I've transmitted this crazy theme of 'you have to go out and attack, attack, attack' and there are moments when we don't know when to pause. Maybe it's a lesson to learn for the future. We have to find the way to attack better.''

Since Chelsea's bunkering tactic was the correct one to counter Barca, was Barca's failure to change tactics their undoing?

Score the PK or a different chance, does it moot this question?


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gregm

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Reply with quote  #34 
As a fan I felt a little robbed when the match finished. It was so lopsided that I became bored.

As a coach I applaud Chelsea and their tactics, and congratulate them.

Barca clearly need another center defender or two. Masch is not and Puyol is past his prime. It was just so weird that every time Chelsea go the ball near the box you felt Barca would make a defensive mistake.

I still think Pep should have put Messi on the left wing with instructions to get to the byline and cross the ball. Every time Barca did this and the clearance wasn't very good, Barca had a chance because the defense was just a little unbalanced for a few seconds. The problem is they rarely got that deep for a cross because that is not part of their style. Iniesta looks more to go inside and Alves and Cuenco weren't good enough to beat their man to the line.

Going to be a strange final with all the suspensions.
mbiyenm

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Reply with quote  #35 
What I like about the top spanish teams is that they force the opponents to defend correctly.   That's without fouling.  Otherwise, they'll get you on free-kicks.  I don't think Chelsea could have used other tactics as they are technically inferior to Barcelona.  

From what I saw, Barcelona needs a better center-forward, central defenders and goal keeper.  Hitting the goal post or crossbar is not bad luck.  It's bad skill.
Goal150

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Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnmadn88
From this article:

http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/championsleague/story/pep-guardiola-contemplates-barcelona-future-chelsea-defeat-042512

This quote from Guardiola:

''I don't even know what I feel right now. I try to figure out what to say when looking at the team, about what we did wrong to not reach the final and I can't think of anything,'' Guardiola said. ''From opening day I've transmitted this crazy theme of 'you have to go out and attack, attack, attack' and there are moments when we don't know when to pause. Maybe it's a lesson to learn for the future. We have to find the way to attack better.''

Since Chelsea's bunkering tactic was the correct one to counter Barca, was Barca's failure to change tactics their undoing?

Score the PK or a different chance, does it moot this question?



Hard to say, because this is not the first time they've played a bunkered team. They probably play against it EVERY week. Yes, missed chances, missed PK over the two legs and this question is moot. A lesser keeper or Cech on an off day and this question is moot.

Not new either since Mourinho used it successfully with Inter in the CL a few years back.

Everyone has criticized Barca (and Spain) for lack of having a plan B.


SoundSoccer

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Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by santa
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundSoccer

One part that does bother me a bit.  John Terry made a mistake but does his mistake excuse the acting of the player fouled? 



It could be argued that he did the right thing to highlight what Terry did


It is hard for me to get my mind around that faking an injury is the "right thing".

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SoundSoccer

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Reply with quote  #38 
Years ago we played at an opponent who had not had a win against us in both our teams history. 

We outshot them 50-4 (yes 50 and the stats were kept at their field) and lost 1-0.  We obviously didn't finish well on the day and we also missed a PK in overtime that would have been a golden goal.

They scored off a loose ball on a corner kick.

Their coach (a friend of mine) was congratulated for the "historic" win and for the teams effort and tactics on the day.

We played a second time at home that season in which we won 5-0.  The stat line was 18 shots to 5.

Their coach was criticized for the teams tactics (which were actually the same) and we didn't change anything either.

The criticism came likely because winning was now possible, they had an expectation to win.



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ErikB

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Reply with quote  #39 
I just caught part of the second half but it looked to me that there were only 4 or so Barca players truly moving in the attack.  There was an arc of 5 or so players that were completely static whenever the camera panned out. 
The wings looked to be tethered, moving up, back, side to side about 10 yds but never more than that.  No turning the corner on the end line, no running across, cycling in/out even as far as the goalie box.  As soon as they hit the penalty box line they stopped, backed up to the sideline again. 
The second half goal that was called back for off-side, that could have been tried again (but wasn't) as Drogba was slowing down.  Couple of times the wings got to the end lines and waited for the defender, doing some footwork before dropping the ball out again.  At least three times they could have made a hard cut to goal and forced a tougher decision by the defense if they didn't slow down.  I would have liked to have seen Puyol or Mascherano complete a run through the box when the ball went to the corner.
Do the other players not make 3rd man runs until the last few minutes?  It looked like everyone else was only there to support the central/front 3/4.  Is that normal for them?
Chelsea played their game perfectly but it didn't seem like Barca had any new ideas of how to challenge them.  It was the same attack over and over.

ErikB
messifan10

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Reply with quote  #40 
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulee
I'm wondering how much the weekend loss to Real Madrid affected the Barcelona mentality?

A lot IMO. I also think that the 1st leg vs Chelsea affected the team for the game against Real M. It was just a bad chain of events for Barca starting from the 1st leg at SB. Those 3 games were make or break games for the season. 

It could be argued that those things shouldn't affect the players so much, but sadly they do. After all, those players are human and negative outcomes can bother anyone.

Another factor to consider is the fact that Barca played these 3 games in a cycle of Wed - Sat - Tue. They had only 2 days between each game to recover and prepare physically and mentally.
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