People say it repeatedly that Barcelona supporters, aka Cules, are very spoiled. If you didn’t agree with this remark, you might be tempted to after watching a game like this one. I watched the entire game without worrying about the possibility of not qualifying. I just sat there and enjoyed it, celebrating each goal as if it were the winning goal in a nerve wrecking penalty shootout. I didn’t know much about Bayer prior to this season’s competition, but I know some great teams who couldn’t get a spot into the last 16, so I’m not going to pay any attention to anyone claiming that they are a weak team, not by a long shot.
I like what our beloved team has just done; they sent a loud message to the rest of the potential quarter finalists, that "we are here to win this, and if you want it, it’s gonna have to be through us". We are an underdog to no one in the quarter final and this win, coupled with the fact that we are the defending champions, makes certain of that. It’s like they say, Barcelona does have off games too, but rarely do they have off games over 180 minutes.
The ratings are after the jump:
Major highlights: 12 out of 13 passes completed – Conceded a goal
Major highlights: Lost too much possession – Brilliant cross to set-up Tello
Adriano Correia 6.5 Out 63’
He had a good game by his standards the Brazilian. He linked-up play well on the left, mostly with Iniesta and Fabregas. He was not really tested defensively and he was dangerous in attack, just like his fellow country man in Alves. He unleashed a powerful shot on the 22nd min which was unfortunately blocked, meaning that we can never know if the keeper could have saved it. He was applauded as he left the pitch on the 63rd min to be replaced by Marc Muniesa.
Major Highlight: Well I couldn’t spot any spectacular moment, did you?
Major Highlight: N/A
Major Highlight: His pass for Messi’s first goal, but it’s expected from him I guess.
Major Highlight: Well his dribble and assist to set Messi up for number two.
Major Highlight: The shot he didn’t take maybe? Please don’t lose confidence in your shooting boots. His two Assists make his headline of course.
Lionel Messi 10.0 MOTM
I need to celebrate this moment because I might never be lucky enough to live it again. It’s the first time I get an opportunity to give a player a 10 rating and I can defend this number in all the highest courts of the world. He scored five goals the little man; he’s the first to do so in this competition on its current form. He scored his 100th goal in his last 97 official games and equalled his personal record of 12 goals per CL season shared with Van Nilsteroy and there are still at least 2 and at most 5 matches to play, not to mention that he’ll be catching up with Rodriguez’s all time record for goals scored for Barca soon and his season best tally of 53 goals might change to somewhere around the sixties at this rate. Now coming back to the game:
Major Highlight: Unusually desperate to score; observe his facial reaction after each miss.
Cristian Tello 8.0 In 53'
Take Messi out of the equation and this man would easily walk away with the MOTM award. His first touch ended in a goal on the 55th min and got the second less than 10 min later (62nd min). He could have completed his hattrick on the 89th min when his shot was saved after being one on one with the keeper. Two goals on his debut! That’s an impact sub for you, the future looks bright for FC Barcelona.
Major Highlight: He showed great composure especially for his first goal; too much confidence for a man of his age.
Major Highlight: N/A
Ah! Ah! I’m not giving the team a 10, it was far from it. Bayer did not pose much of a threat and with the two opportunities they got, they almost scored on the first and they scored on the second. We are more likely to meet a serious opponent in the next round (I hope it’s Madrid) and we’ll need our defence intact. Even if our attackers score fifteen in a match, we’ll still blame the defence for conceding one goal because that’s what their job is; to deny the opposition the opportunity to score. Our keeper made some errors and the defence did too, they need to pull it together and fast. We need this trophy, now more than ever.
We have a great team and we honestly don’t deserve to be nervous and scared whenever the opposition team crosses the halfway line.
Barca! Barca! Baaaaaaaaaaarca!