Messi is awesome, game was not

27 Apr

Lionel Messi scored twice in the final 15 minutes to give Barcelona a 2-0 win over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.  He has now scored 11 goals in his last 11 Champions League games and as is typical, his goals were quite nice.  What wasn’t so nice?  The vast majority of the rest of the game. Thoughts and observations below:

  • Pepe’s red card was on the harsh side.  I probably would’ve given yellow if I was the ref. (But let’s be honest, I’d be a terrible ref because I’d never call anything unless you were bleeding and/or a bone was sticking out of your body.)  More deserving of a red card?  Emmanuel Adebayor’s blatant face shove of Sergio Busquets.  I realize you’re frustrated, but still, that was unnecessary and you were lucky to only see yellow.
  • Whether it was completely legit or not, the red card completely changed the game.  Pepe was the key cog in the clogging of the midfield and a vital piece of Real’s success against Barca in their last two encounters.   Barcelona was finally able to break through because they were finally able to string together passes through the midfield.
  • For the love of all that is holy, enough with the diving.  If you get knocked over, fine, but grow a pair and get back up.  There is no need to act like you just got shot from the stands.  It’s embarrassing.  Players should be able to be carded and/or fined after a game ends for playacting.  Games should be won and lost because of the product on the field, not because someone (cough*Dani Alves*cough) is a good actor.
  • Also, there’s no need for 15 people to get in the ref’s face after every single foul call (and there were a lot of them tonight).  He made a decision, now let’s move on.
  • This game never got into any sort of rhythm.  There were too many whistles and too much bitching.  (Not saying they weren’t legitimate fouls, but hot damn, there were a lot of them.)
  • Yeah, Messi is kind of amazing.  His first goal required an excellent touch off a great cross and his second goal was pure brilliance.  Talk about a difference maker.  I love how he doesn’t always go for pure power on his shots.  It’s all about the placement.
  • Jose Mourinho is an excellent coach and a brilliant tactician.  However, me thinks he runs his mouth a bit too much.  After the game, he said, “Barcelona has qualified for the final. Sometimes I feel disgusted about this football world of ours…No one has any chance against Barca. Where does all this power come from? To win like this is very nasty.”  Huh.  If I recall correctly, your team beat them in the Copa del Rey final last week.  Also, you beat them as manager of Inter last year.  So you got a player (and yourself) sent off, get over it.  If it had been the other way around, would you be bitching?  Doubt it.  I realize that being rational isn’t necessarily Mourinho’s strong point, but please, you just sound way too bitter.
  • Halftime fight in the tunnel.  Seriously, people?  I realize tensions are high, but that’s just stupid.  What if Victor Valdes had gotten hurt?  Barcelona would’ve been screwed since Jose Pinto was sent off during the fracas.
  • Real has an uphill battle going into the second leg at the Camp Nou.  They won’t be able to sit back and let Barca control the ball 80% of the game if they want a chance at the final. (Which it sounds like Mourinho has already given up on…or are these just more Special One mind tricks?)

What’d you think?

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