As I was fast asleep for the 4.00am kick off, I’ve had to tap into the wealth of knowledge available to us on this ‘ere bloeug for analysis of the opening 45 mins. I am very reliably informed that we were utterly abject in the First Half, allowing Barça far too much space to run the game.
Our own Ron opined:
“Watch the first, I thought that it was the worst performance I’ve seen in living memory”
…and we’re all aware quite how many first halves that must actually mean.
Sniper put it concisely when he said:
“We look sluggish in transition from defending to attacking. No link from back to front. They shift from back to front in an instant with simple passing and movement.”
The consensus seems to have been that we just weren’t at the races/gave them too much time on the ball/didn’t press them in their half enough.
Cue the Second Half.
Bear in mind I was watching this on my phone in bed, so I couldn’t tell Skipp from Son from N’Koudou BUT my point is that there was a fluidity to our play which was lovely to watch.
We moved the ball quickly forward. We moved the ball quickly sideways, in order to go quickly forwards. We moved the ball quickly backwards and quickly sideways, in order to go forwards…quickly.
We pressed them and harried them to the point the couldn’t get out of their own half…and when they did, we took the ball back off them again….and on the VERY few occasions that they got into our final third, we defended properly and in numbers. They never looked like scoring, even on the break, even when we had 7-8 players in their final third.
We totally overran them. This is what proper fitness levels look like and a few tweaks to personnel/formation/tactics.
Night and Day.
Here’s a little more detail: