FC Barcelona’s run of clean sheets was ended last night in Paris by French outfit Paris Saint-Germain. Luis Enrique went into the game with optimism after the run of success his team has enjoyed so far but PSG under Laurent Blanc, hadn’t enjoyed the same fortune – drawing the six games they have so far played in the French League.
PSG were without their famous talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic and on paper the scales looked to be tipped in Luis Enrique’s favour as his team hadn’t even seen a ball hit the back of their net so far this campaign. The game proved to be a classic Champions League match and the crowd certainly got their money’s worth with both teams pushing forward from the get go.
However, we’ve cited 5 things FC Barcelona need to take back to Spain and dwell on before PSG come to Barcelona to face the Catalans at the Nou Camp.
5 things Barcelona has to learn from the clash
Barcelona has to do some work regarding set pieces. By half time Barça had given away two goals that could have been prevented. The first came from ex Chelsea star David Luiz when Barça failed to defend a free kick. The second was down to zonal marking with Ivan Rakiti? caught out ball watching at the far post allowing Marco Verratti to make his move and head the ball into the back of the net.
Messi and Neymar understanding
Little by little these two superstars are understanding one another. Both scored last night in Paris and you could see throughout the match that they were actively seeking one another out. Neymar scored a delicious goal with pinpoint accuracy which had the PSG keeper at full stretch only to see the ball glide in off the post into the net – great goal. These two can only get better and it was a sign of things to come.
Barça – suspect to teams with pace
Barça played high up the pitch as was expected but were left wanting when PSG went on the counter attack.Darting runs by Javier Pastore and Lucas Moura left the Catalans exposed and Luis Enrique will have to address this before the next match.In fact, PSG’s third goal was a result of a blisteringly fast counter attack after winning possession and using the width of the pitch before crossing in for Blaise Matuidi to net the ball past ter Stegen.
Tactical battle was won by Paris Saint-Germain
Although PSG didn’t exactly sit on their laurels and wait for Barcelona to come at them, the Parisians did forego a lot of possession to play counter attacking football. With Barcelona playing high up in the PSG half, it was as if the Catalans were daring the French to counter – and they did! FC Barcelona were a bit too predictable throughout parts of the match although the last 15 minutes of the game were epic with substitute Xavi also unable to find the key to PSG’s stubborn defense mechanism.
Marquinhos – solid as a rock for PSG
It comes as no surprise that PSG wanted to keep hold of defender Marquinhos this summer. His 82nd minute block in the box to deny Jordi Alba a goal was epic and showed why he is a sought after defender. The Brazilian was very solid at the back for the French outfit and after his amazing block, he pouched the air as if he had scored the winning goal at the World Cup final! And it was the Brazilian’s late block that denied FC Barcelona a share of the spoils at Parc des Princes on Tuesday night.