They came, they saw, they did what they had to do.
What’s more, Juventus were able to do it with consummate ease and, if truth be told, they could’ve had at least one or two more.
A Juventus team that have already struggled to beat the likes of Crotone and Benevento away from home this season. A Juventus team ‘in transition’ and coached by a manager in Andrea Pirlo that is still feeling his way around so to speak.
His tactics were spot on, and whether they were pretty or not is irrelevant. They were effective. Something that Ronald Koeman hasn’t been for the most part so far this season.
Witness how much sharper we looked when Riqui Puig came on just after the hour. How much quicker the ball was moved, how Puig’s direct running had the Bianconeri backing off and running scared at one point. Why isn’t he starting games?!
Take a look again at why Antoine Griezmann was being asked to mark Cristiano Ronaldo at a corner or how predictable we looked again, moving the ball aimlessly from side to side just as we did against Cadiz.
Their manager even had the temerity to suggest he knew it would be easy to play against us because, in so many words, we don’t really offer too much else.
THAT is the fault of the coach. Not the players.
Yes, the players can absolutely do better, but the team shape and dynamic will be set in training and worked on.
No zip from the midfielders, no urgency to get back to help the defence or busting a gut to get forward to help the attack. No ‘coaching’ from the sidelines to get the team going?
Even Marc-Andre ter Stegen admitted after the game that ‘teams can score against us in any moment.’
In Quique Setien, we had a manager thrust into a club that was far too big for him. He was out of his depth from the get-go and it soon showed.
Koeman knows this club inside and out, what it means to play for them and how Barca as a team should play. He has a worse record than Setien already and has no excuse to be serving up such dire, unwatchable, fare.
It’s abundantly clear that we’ll not win the Champions League and no team in La Liga has ever come back to win the title after being 12 points behind the leaders at any stage.
That means we have to win the Copa del Rey or face a second season without silverware in the Messi era... and you think he’ll stay after that?!
At least he gave it his all on a night where most of his team-mates and the manager in particular have to take a long, hard look at themselves.