At the stroke of midnight hour, I had a decision to make - to watch or not to watch. I switched on my phone to see the starting lineup and while punching the password in, I decided I'm not gonna watch it if Roberto starts. Well, Roberto being one of the club captain chosen by his fellow comrades was starting as sure as our financial mess. I talked myself out of my decision by saying," Its Benfica not Bayern."
As soon as the match started and Darwin completely obliterated Eric Garcia and shot past MATS, I felt like someone has punched me in the gut. But it's one goal, happens even with the best of teams. We'll surely bounce back. "After all", I said to myself, "Its Benfica not Bayern."
The game restarted and FDJ looked like a real spark, made a clear cut chance for Luuk who I'm not gonna talk about. Some chances here and there and then we saw a bold substitution, Gavi for Pique. I welcomed this bravery as this would mean we're going for a back four which this team is more comfortable with. But then FDJ our best attacking threat in midfield slotted in the defense. This must be some kind of trickery we're doing, to throw the opponent off. Maybe they'll be unsettled by this move because let's be honest, "Its Benfica not Bayern."
First half ended, other one started and MATS decided to go for a stroll and when that shot hit the post, I felt maybe just maybe we could still turn this around with some fresh legs. And the moment came, we made triple substitutions in which I wasn't so sure about Coutinho as we all already have seen against Levante that Riqui did more in 30 min than Phil in 60. But this is a decision made by a key member of Cruyff's dream team so I must be wrong. It shouldn't be a big problem even if we get one sub wrong as, "Its Benfica not Bayern."
Then came the stretch when our opponents decided to show that they are not top of the Primeira league for nothing. Inside 10 min, a one-two punch came and deflated all hope that barca was holding onto. We saw the slumped shoulders and defeated faces and then Eric decided to cap off an abysmal performance with a red card which is his second in as many months with us. Sometimes it seems that there was a reason Pep kept him away from the field. Maybe I'm wrong but both his red cards have come for silly mistake and finishing games with 10 men is not something I'm fond of. Roberto was then substituted for Mingueza after putting in a display which let's just say wasn't worthy of someone wearing the barca shirt much less the captain's armband which he unironically wore.
Some of you are worried that we'll have to play in UEL if Koeman persists but not me. You see we couldn't put up a fight against German league leaders, we didn't put a fight against Portuguese league leaders, what makes you think we can win against Ukrainian league leaders.
PS : If Laporta can't get Xavi before the end of next International break, he should just resign and start a full time YoutTube channel if he pleases. He has let this situation escalate to a point that no one other than Xavi can sustain the hope which maybe the only thing keeping barca alive. Let's hope Laporta does that and let's hope for barca's sake that Xavi is up for the task.