All posts by Adii Noble

Born to be Successful 🔥🔥🔥 ...It's all about sport... Football lover Adii 10

Historical: How Koeman’s freekick changed football for ever

Advertisements

In the Wembley changing room before the 1992 European Cup final, the Barcelona players, including a young Pep Guardiola, were riddled with nerves. The Catalans needed to shake their runners-up tag, and feared what it would mean to lose again; to lose with this team and with this manager.

Dealing with that kind of moment is what defines great teams, but it’s also what defines great managers. Blaugrana boss Johan Cruyff, usually so aloof and tactically minded, left his players with one final message: “Go and enjoy it.”

Before Cruyff became Barca coach in 1988, the club had won 10 league titles and zero European Cups in its 89-year history. In the 32 years since, they have claimed 16 league titles and five European Cups.

Advertisements

His eight years as manager in Catalonia set a template for beautiful attacking football that has defined the club ever since, reshaping FC Barcelona – and revolutionising European football as a whole. The project, the ‘Dream Team’, was first vindicated by a 1-0 victory over Sampdoria.

“Liberation” was the word used by Cruyff’s assistant Carles Rexach to describe the historic Wembley win. “There were a lot of people waiting for us to screw it up again. And the feeling was that another life starts. We were released.”

Eusebio went further. He described the game as “confirmation that the idea was good. We needed that to be confirmed by results because results lay down the judgement.”Advertisements

That might sound like an overstatement given Cruyff had already ended Barcelona’s six-year wait for the league title, finishing above Real Madrid in 1991, but the European Cup had become the Holy Grail in Catalonia. In five previous attempts, Barca had reached the semi-finals three times and the final twice, losing on penalties to underdogs Steaua Bucharest in their previous appearance in the tournament decider, in 1986.

Advertisements

Terry Venables’ side were humiliated, and after the crisis-laden years that followed, Cruyff’s revival would not feel complete until Barca finally laid that ghost to rest. With just two league titles in 30 years and 10 runner-up medals in that time, Barcelona had to show they had a winning mentality.

It would prove a stroke of genius, then, for Cruyff to give such an out-of-character instruction to his players before kick-off. It worked to an extent, with Barcelona dominating the game, but Sampdoria’s packed defence held firm. It wasn’t until the 22nd minute of extra time that a Ronald Koeman free kick made the difference.Advertisements

“It was the beginning of big changes,” Koeman later said. As for Cruyff, he was typically blunt when assessing the moment in his autobiography: “After four years, my mission had been accomplished.”

Cruyff had already changed Barcelona’s culture before that first European Cup win, his tactical philosophy having been the perfect fit for the unique socio-political climate of Catalonia, but the earthquake would not have been so seismic without the crowning glory at Wembley.

Advertisements

The summer of 1992 also brought the Olympics to Barcelona, and coinciding with the European Cup triumph helped establish the city as the cultural hub it is known as today.Advertisements

Putting politics to one side, though, it is plausible that FC Barcelona would not have returned to Cruyff’s template under Pep Guardiola without overcoming that mental barrier in 1992; would not have been ready for their 21st-century success without Cruyff establishing the club on the European stage.

So much of Guardiola’s methodology is borrowed from his mentor.

Cruyff introduced Barcelona to possession football, to high-pressing, to compression and expansion of shape, to a revolving short passing aesthetic, and to prioritising technique over physicality. He also overhauled La Masia to create players capable of following his possession-centric demands, instructing every age group to play with the same tactics as the senior team.Advertisements

The Cruyffian philosophy crumbled in 1994 when Fabio Capello’s AC Milan beat them 4-0 in the Champions League final, but it was to be revived and perfected by Guardiola 13 years later at Barcelona. Since his rise in 2007, European football has been defined by the aesthetic first laid down by Cruyff in 1988-1990 but vindicated – and showcased to the world – in the final against Sampdoria.

Advertisements

It is difficult to overstate the influence of Cruyff on modern football, or indeed how much of the sport would be missing without his presence at Barca between 1988 and 1996.

Without Cruyff, there is not even Guardiola the player, never mind the manager. He was deemed too slight to play in such a robust and physical position before Cruyff stepped in.Advertisements

A world without Guardiola’s influence is one without possession football re-emerging; perhaps the Benitez-Mourinho axis of defensive tactics – still going strong in the 2000s until Guardiola’s Barca – might have been reinforced over the last decade.

Without Cruyff, there is no modern La Masia, meaning no Xavi or Andres Iniesta, no Lionel Messi in Spain – or perhaps no Messi at all. Barca were the only club willing to pay thousands of pounds for Messi’s growth hormone treatment as a teenager. If not for belief in their world-class production line, started by Cruyff, would Barcelona have taken that risk?

Without Cruyff, there is no first European Cup win. And without the relief of that victory, both exorcising demons and sweeping away their runner-up tag, Barcelona surely could not have become the super-club they are today.

Advertisements

“They were the generation who paved the way for us,” says Xavi. “They gave Barcelona a winning mentality.”

There is a beautiful moment just after Koeman’s free kick when, amid wild celebrations, the defender pulls away from his team-mates, stops dead, and puts his head in his hands, overcome with emotion.

The significance of the goal crystallised for Koeman in that moment. But not even he could have known the impact it would still be having on European football some 30 years later.

Must Read

‘My relationship with Xavi is intact but setien is the players coach’ – Bartomeu


#NobleSports

Bartomeu schedules ‘General compulsory meeting’ on Monday

Advertisements

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has called an extraordinary emergency meeting for Monday, August 17, after the catastrophe produced on Friday night at the Estadio da Luz, where the Blaugrana were humiliated in an 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich.

In this meeting, the club’s current situation at all levels will be analysed, the names of possible replacements for Quique Setien will be put on the table, and there’s even the option of calling early elections, a possibility that is up for debate but seems unlikely.

This information comes from NobleSports, who note that there will also be some changes amongst those upstairs at the Camp Nou, as Bartomeu alluded to after the loss to Bayern by stating that decisions had already been taken before this match and that they will start to come into effect from Monday.

Just Click

Juventus bids farewell as Matuidi joins Inter Miami


#NobleSports

Klopp named EPL best Manager of the Year

Advertisements

Jurgen Klopp has been named Premier League Manager of the Season for 2019-20.

Liverpool boss led his side to an historic first league title for 30 years as the Reds amassed a club-record 99 points to triumph by an 18-point margin.

Advertisements

Klopp’s men won 32 of their 38 fixtures in the top flight, having navigated the opening 27 rounds of games without a defeat and with just two points dropped.

The championship was clinched with seven matches remaining – an all-time record – and became the fourth major honour the club has collected during his tenure.

Klopp saw off competition from Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Brendan Rodgers (Leicester City) and Chris Wilder (Sheffield United) to take the annual accolade.

He had previously been presented with the League Managers Association’s Manager of the Year honour last month.

Must Read

‘Liverpool can continue dominating Premier League like this’ – Salah


#NobleSports

‘Change Coach, Change President’ – Pique leads solidarity

Advertisements

Gerard Piqué’s senior colleagues agree with his call for “structural” change after Friday’s Champions League thrashing by Bayern Munich.

Barcelona’s dressing room is in no doubt: the Catalan club need to call presidential elections. One of the team’s vice-captains, Gerard Piqué, indicated as much after Friday’s 8-2 Champions League thrashing by Bayern Munich, when he told his post-match interview that an overhaul is in order at the Camp Nou.

Piqué: “Structural” change need at Barcelona
“I hope something can from this humiliation,” Piqué said. “We need to take stock – and changes are needed at the club. I’m not talking about the players or the coaching staff, but something more structural. We have to change the direction we’ve been headed in for a number of years now. We’ve hit rock bottom.”

Advertisements

Piqué was not alone in his take on Barça’s predicament. The Blaugrana’s major dressing-room figures are fully on board with his comments, including his suggestion that some of the team’s old guard may need to be sacrificed and fresh blood brought in (“I will be the first one to leave if that is what it is best for the team”).

Players accept their portion of the blame – but also look to Bartomeu
The players were swift to assume their own culpability for their mauling by Bayern, acknowledging that they were outperformed and outfought, but they also believe that years of erratic off-the-field decision-making led them to their Lisbon humiliation. They feel they weren’t well prepared enough tactically, and were undermined by what is an unbalanced squad.

Like Piqué, other senior players are prepared to fall on their sword if that helps to get the club back on course. However, they also expect the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, to be brave enough to do what’s best for Barcelona and call elections – which are due to take place in summer 2021 – ahead of schedule. “The atmosphere is too strained,” one senior dressing-room figure said. “Things won’t be put right by making the odd signing, by bringing in a fresh face or two; we need a reset.”

Advertisements

COPE: Messi demands elections be called at Camp Nou
Indeed, Spanish radio station Cadena COPE has reported that Lionel Messi’s camp has demanded that elections be called; otherwise, he won’t be planning on renewing his contract in 2021, they say. “Right now, we need new ideas, new faces and a new plans,” is the word from within a devastated dressing room.

Xavi the players’ choice to turn Barcelona around
Among the senior players, the feeling is that a leader needs to be brought in who knows Barça, who can rally the troops and has enough personality to revitalise a club at a low ebb. And there’s only one name on their lips: Xavi Hernández.

Must Read

Leipzig defeats Atletico 2-1 in Knockout stage


#NobleSports

Former Barcelona President Blasts Bartomeu

Advertisements

Joan Laporta accused Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu of ‘cowardice and ineptitude’ in the wake of their 8-2 Champions League humiliation by Bayern Munich.

Bartomeu apologised to the club’s supporters after Barcelona’s heaviest defeat since 1940 and pledged to make ‘decisions’ to get the club back on track.

This is likely to include the sacking of manager Quique Setien, who was only appointed back in January.

But that didn’t spare him criticism from former Barcelona president Laporta, who said Bartomeu isn’t fit to make such decisions.

Advertisements

Laporta tweeted: ‘After this very painful defeat, the statements of President Bartomeu are, once again, a sign of cowardice and ineptitude.

‘The incompetence of him and his board disqualifies them from making more decision that condition Barca’s future.’

Laporta was Barcelona’s president between 2003 and 2010 during which time they won four LaLiga titles, the Spanish Cup and the Champions League twice.

He was succeeded by Sandro Rosell, who served for four years before Bartomeu took the role in January 2014, initially as interim president.

Bartomeu’s tenure has seen the club win three league titles, four Spanish Cups and one Champions League. He defeated Laporta in the 2015 presidential election.

But they have failed to win any silverware this season for the first time since 2007-08, losing out to Real Madrid in the LaLiga title race and losing to Athletic Bilbao in the Cup quarter-finals.

Their eight-goal humiliation at the hands of Bayern in the Champions League quarter-finals represents a fresh low.

Speaking after the Bundesliga champions’ demolition of his side, Bartomeu insisted some of the tough decisions have already been made.

‘It’s a really heavy defeat,’ Bartomeu said. ‘I want to congratulate Bayern, who played a great game. They deserve to go through to the semi finals. We weren’t at our best, nor near it.

‘Today was a disaster and now we have to make decisions. We’ve already thought about some of them.

Advertisements

‘Today isn’t a day for decisions. We want to apologise to the fans, members and Barcelonistas.’

However, when pushed on who and what those decisions would involve, Bartomeu – who will now be under severe pressure from rival candidate Victor Font ahead of elections next year – did not reveal the club’s intentions.

‘I’m not going to say what [decisions] they are because some of them have already been made and others will be made,’ he added.

‘Today is a day to reflect. From tomorrow, we’ll try to lift the spirits of all the Barcelona fans and we’ll make decisions from next week.’

Must Read

Old story: How a Koeman free kick changed football forever in 1992


#NobleSports

Farewell Setien: But not only him will have to leave

Advertisements

Barcelona were humbled in the Champions League as they went down 8-2 to Bayern Munich in the quarter finals.

It’s a defeat that is surely worse than the humiliations at the Stadio Olimpico and Anfield of recent years and one that will certainly have major implications for those involved.

Quique Setien’s time is almost certainly up at the Camp Nou, while much of the responsibility lies at the feet of the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and his board.

For the fourth season in a row, Barcelona were on the wrong end of a thrashing in the Champions League.

After Juventus, Roma, Liverpool and now Bayern, the futures of those involved are up in the air.

More experienced players like Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal were there for all four, while the likes of Sergi Roberto, Nelson Semedo and Clement Lenglet will see their reputations hurt by this latest loss.

Advertisements

Lionel Messi said that Barcelona weren’t good enough to win the Champions League.

He was right in that sense but, playing like that, the Blaugrana weren’t even contenders.

Barcelona can no longer rely on just Messi to beat teams like Bayern, while his form this season hasn’t been up to his high, high standards.

Hansi Flick’s men are now the favourites to win this season’s Champions League.

The ease with which they dispatched Chelsea was bettered with their battering of Barcelona.

After league and cup success in Germany, the treble awaits.

Advertisements

Serge Gnabry was a constant menace for the Barcelona defence.

His dribbling, passing and shoot caused all sorts of problems for the Catalans, not to mention his pace and directness.

A manic first half an hour saw a total of five goals scored and Bayern race into a 4-1 lead.

Thomas Muller, Ivan Perisic, Gnabry and Muller again put the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen, while David Alaba found his own net.

Must Read

PSg wants to seriously sign Odion Ighalo


#NobleSports

‘This is the greatest shame I’ve ever faced, changes needs to start’ – Pique

Advertisements

After Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter finals, Gerard Pique said the club needs “changes at all levels.”

“Shame” was the first word that came to the mind of Barcelona defender Gerard Pique after after his side suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League on Friday in Portugal.

The veteran defender played the entire game but there was little he could do to stop the Bayern onlsaught, which was made even worse when Barcelona loanee Philippe Countinho netted a brace at the end of the game to add insult to what was already a horrific injury.

Advertisements

“Shameful is the word, nobody is untouchable. If new blood has to come and change this dynamic, I will be the first to pack up and leave. Now we have hit rock bottom. This is not the first, second, or third time that this has happened to us. I am in pain, we all are. We can’t compete like that, the club needs changes, not just players, I don’t want to point out anyone,” he said after the game.

Pique: Time for reflection at Barcelona
“We all need to reflect deeply. If new blood needs to come for the club to change course then I will be the first one to leave if that is what it is best for the team. We need to reflect on what is the best thing for the club and for Barca,” Pique added.

Must Read

Real Madrid offers £90M plus Isco or Kroos for Dybala


#NobleSports

Barca already identify Pochettino as Setien’s replacement

Advertisements

Mauricio Pochettino is now the main candidate to replace Quique Setien at Barcelona, according to reports.

Setien could only watch on as his Barca side suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final and the club look ready to sack him.

And according to Catalan Radio station RAC1, former Tottenham manager Pochettino is top of the list to takeover after having dinner with club president Josep Bartomeu earlier this week.

Must Read

Müller corrects Hansi flick: ‘You can’t stop Messi with just one player’


#NobleSports

Mancity VS Lyon match Preview

Advertisements

All the latest news and information ahead of the Champions League quarter-final clash between Manchester City and Lyon.

Manchester City Predicted XI vs Lyon
Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling

Lyon Predicted XI vs Manchester City
Lopes; Denayer, Marcelo, Marcal; Dubois, Caqueret, Guimaraes, Aouar, Cornet; Depay Dembele,

Advertisements

Manchester City vs Lyon Preview
Manchester City

The Champions League remains the Holy Grail for Manchester City after a decade of success and many supporters now believe that this is the year that Pep Guardiola will deliver the trophy that has eluded them. City have performed well in this year’s competition, topping their group without losing a game and beating the impressive Atalanta 5-1 back in October. Most importantly, when they came up against an experienced Real Madrid side in the last-16 they looked comfortable and beat the 13-time European champions home and away.

Crucial to those wins was Gabriel Jesus who has rarely been a first-choice under Guardiola but who has been one of City’s best performers in this year’s Champions League. The Brazilian has scored six and assisted three so far and his tireless pressing of Raphael Varane caused both goals in City’s 2-1 second leg win.

Manchester City are the only side in this year’s quarter-finals who have not yet scored from outside the penalty box. However in the 2019/20 Premier League season they recorded a league-high 18 goals from that distance, suggesting that they might be due something spectacular in Lisbon. If anyone is to get that honour it would be fitting if it was the departing David Silva, who ended his Premier League career by scoring two direct free-kicks in his final four games. The game against Lyon marks ten years and a day since the Spaniard made his first appearance for City and he will be desperate to ensure that it is not his last.

Advertisements

Lyon
Standing in their way is a Lyon side who have become a familiar foe for City in the Champions League. In two group stage matches in the 2018/19 competition the French side had the better of Guardiola’s men, drawing 2-2 in France and beating them 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Lyon do have quality in their ranks but inconsistency, along with some trigger-happy French officials, saw them finish outside of Ligue 1’s European qualifying spots for the upcoming season. They were down in seventh when the French football season was ended in April and they will miss out on continental competition for the first time since 1997, unless they can upset the odds and lift this year’s Champions League. They certainly seem motivated for the task in the last round as they knocked out Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus on away goals. It was the first time the Portuguese forward had been eliminated at that stage since Real Madrid’s 2009/10 campaign, where they were also eliminated by Lyon.

Their chances of springing a surprise are very dependent on the performance of Memphis Depay who has been in fine form for them this season. The Dutchman has been involved in 17 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions, and has scored six from six in the Champions League. Lyon are not a high-scoring team and his tally accounts for two-thirds of their total goals in Europe this year, making him the one-to-watch for the City defence.

Advertisements

Manchester City vs Lyon: Injuries and Suspensions
Guardiola confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Friday evening that Sergio Agüero is still in Barcelona, recovering from the knee injury that he suffered in June. Jesus seems certain to keep his place in the side with Agüero looking increasingly unlikely to feature again this season.

The midfield trio of Rodrigo, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne who started against Real Madrid should keep their places ahead of Bernado Silva and David Silva. However Benjamin Mendy, suspended for their last fixture, could well return at left-back in place of João Cancelo.

Lyon boss Rudi Garcia has a full squad to select from as the club look to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for just the second time in their history. Former Celtic striker Moussa Dembele is yet to score in this season’s Champions League but has been in good form in Ligue 1 and may return to the side having been benched against Juventus.

Advertisements

Manchester City vs Lyon: What the managers said
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
“We saw [Lyon’s] games against Juventus, some other games in the French league. They are organised, aggressive, so fast. People up front, wing backs, the quality in the team is something else. This is a quarter-final. It won’t be easy.

Rudi Garcia (Lyon)
“Of course we do have greater desire, greater appetite but Man City are naturally favourites for this tie. The start of the Champions League quarter-finals has shown the odds can be overturned. We hope tomorrow night based on what we’ve seen on the first two matches the two outsiders might be able to overturn the odds.”

Man City vs Lyon prediction
As Garcia rightly points out, the first two quarter-finals have shown that the underdogs have nothing to fear with only 90 minutes standing between them and a place in the Champions League semi-finals. Lyon have caused City problems in the recent past but with so many attacking options at Guardiola’s disposal and the confidence from their victory over Real Madrid, City will expect to make it through to the final four. 3-1.

Must Read

Messi out of UCL amid Bayern 2-8 win to Barca.

Bayern devoures Barcelona


#NobleSports

No decision yet on who the best is by performance? ‘Messi or Lewandowski’

Advertisements

No formal comparison yet between Messi and Lewandoski.

On Thursday night, the two hitmen played perfectly just team differencies and seniority shown.

More to follow…

Must Read

Leipzig defeats Atletico 2-1 in Knockout stage


#NobleSports

Bayern devoures Barcelona

Advertisements

The Spanish press have called Barcelona’s 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich a ‘historic humiliation’ as they ended their 2019-2020 season in despairing fashion.

The Catalans lost both halves 4-1 as the relentless Germans showed no mercy. To compound the misery, Philippe Coutinho, on-loan from Barca, scored twice for Bayern in the final stages.

Advertisements

And the newspapers in the club’s homeland have not been kind on Quique Setien’s side.

Sport and NobleSports splashed the words ‘Humillacion Historica’ across their front pages – translating as ‘historic humiliation’.

NobleSports top of page also read: ‘The disaster against Bayern opens a crisis of unforeseeable consequences that reaches all levels of the club.’

Marca went with the headline: ‘Verguenza’ – the Spanish word for ‘shame’ and described the game as a ‘massacre that will never be forgotten’.

The outlet also commented on how there will be no Spanish semi-finalists for the first time in 13 years and how several players will be questioning their futures following the result.

Journalist Hugo Cerezo wrote: ‘For the fourth season in a row, Barcelona were on the wrong end of a thrashing in the Champions League. After Juventus, Roma, Liverpool and now Bayern, the futures of those involved are up in the air.’

Advertisements

NS,pointed towards Lionel Messi, the man Barca have so often relied upon in the past, as one of the players who had a disappointing night.

He claimed: ‘He would do well to watch his friend Neymar’s game against Atalanta. His throne is beginning to wobble.’

Barca may have already decided to sack Setien after Friday’s disastrous result with former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino lined up as the No1 candidate to replace him.

The club and its players are likely to be in store for more criticism upon their return to Spain.

Must Read

PSg wants to seriously sign Odion Ighalo


#NobleSports

‘Changes will occur, things will change’ – Bartomeu vows to Barcelona

Advertisements

Barcelona’s beleaguered club president Josep Bartomeu has insisted changes will be made at the Camp Nou after their humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The Catalan side suffered their heaviest defeat since 1940 as they crashed out at the quarter-final stage of the competition in Lisbon, and reports in Italy suggest boss Quique Setien has already been sacked.

Setien only joined the club in January as a replacement for Ernesto Valverde, and reports have also suggested that he could be followed out the exit door by Eric Abidal, Barcelona’s director of football, in a complete restructure of the club.

And speaking after the Bundesliga champions’ demolition of his side, Bartomeu insisted some of the tough decisions have already been made.

Advertisements

‘It’s a really heavy defeat,’ Bartomeu said.

‘I want to congratulate Bayern, who played a great game. They deserve to go through to the semi finals. We weren’t at our best, nor near it.

‘Today was a disaster and now we have to make decisions. We’ve already thought about some of them.

‘Today isn’t a day for decisions. We want to apologise to the fans, members and Barcelonistas.’

However, when pushed on who and what those decisions would involve, Bartomeu – who will now be under severe pressure from rival candidate Victor Font ahead of club elections next year – did not reveal the club’s intentions.

‘I’m not going to say what [decisions] they are because some of them have already been made and others will be made,’ he added.

Advertisements

‘Today is a day to reflect. From tomorrow, we’ll try to lift the spirits of all the Barcelona fans and we’ll make decisions from next week.’

However, Bartomeu himself came in for severe criticism from Joan Laporta, who served as Barcelona president 2003-10.

Posting after Barcelona’s humiliation in Portugal, Laporta tweeted: ‘After this very painful defeat, the statements of President Bartomeu are, once again, a sign of cowardice and ineptitude.

‘The incompetence of him and his board disqualifies them from making more decisions that condition Barça’s future.’

Must Read

Tis one of Neymar’s best performance…. Labelled the best in the world?


#NobleSports

Coutinho adds salt to Barca’s wound

Advertisements

As if it couldn’t get any worse for Barcelona...

Quique Setien’s side were already 5-2 down when Bayern Munich brought loanee Philippe Coutinho off the bench in the 75th minute.

The Brazilian, against the club he’d disappointed so much for, had a hand in three more goals, including two of his own, to humiliate his employers.

The former Liverpool forward set up Robert Lewandowski for Bayern’s sixth before grabbing two himself following slack defending in the box.

Must Read

Bojan – Barca should Chase Firminho and Forget Lautaro


#NobleSports

How much longer will Barca wait Messi’s anger?

Advertisements

This is the defeat that Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona, Ronaldinho and Pep Guardiola didn’t have. This defeat is now on Lionel Messi’s record. That’s football – cruel and disrespectful towards memory. Lothar Matthaus left it short.

Bayern Munich played like the old Barcelona and destroyed them like it was a game of futsal. A machine sent a club to the slaughter house. Only Messi will stay at this Barcelona. That is if he doesn’t run out of patience. The board and the coaching staff will move on.

In 20 years’ time, if someone interested in the history of football doesn’t understand why Messi’s Barcelona only won one Champions League in nine years, they can follow the map of Rome, Liverpool and Lisbon.

Must Read

Messi and Ronaldo won’t be in UCL semifinals for the first time since 2005


#NobleSports

Are they saying goodbyes already?

Advertisements

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are really getting older, since 2005 they have featured all UCL Semifinals one at a time but its a different case in 2020.

Could this be the end of the dominating Leo an Cristiano power oppression due to age?

Must Read

‘Neymar and Mbappe will never leave PSG’ – Al-khelaifi


#NobleSports

Messi and Ronaldo won’t be in UCL semifinals for the first time since 2005

Advertisements

The Champions League semi-finals will be devoid of the presence of both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time since 2005.

The startling statistic was confirmed after Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals.

Ronaldo’s Juventus, meanwhile, were knocked out by Lyon at the last-16 stage.

Must Read

All is fair in UCL defeat but Hazard gets injury yet again


#NobleSports

Final Decision: Sack Setien!

Advertisements

Barcelona boss Quique Setien has been sacked after his side suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.

The 61-year-old has lasted just seven months in the job is expected to be relieved of his duties on Friday evening, according to Sky Sport Italia.

At full time Setien told reporters: ‘Right now we feel enormous frustration and all we can do is make conclusions and think about the future.

‘Barca is a club that is so great that this will cause us a lot of damage and obviously some things will have to change.

‘The truth is this is a tremendously painful defeat.’

Must Read

Off Barca! Suarez receives an offer from Qatar


#NobleSports

Final score: Barcelona 2-8 Bayern Munich

Advertisements

Game is over and the final score is Barcelona 2-8 Bayern. Here is the match report.

2019/2020 UEFA Champions League
2-8
Alaba (7′ OG)
Suarez (57′)
Muller (4′)
Perisic (21′)
Gnabry (27′)
Muller (31′)
Kimmich (63′)
Lewandowski (82′)
Coutinho (85′)
Coutinho (89′)

Advertisements


Match Events


0′ Messi is warming up before the game

0′ The match is about to start!

3′ Neuer makes a timely block

4′ GOAL! Barcelona 0-1 Bayern (Muller)

7′ OWN GOAL! Barcelona 1-1 Bayern (Alaba)

10′ Messi’s cross hits the post

18′ Goreztka’s header over the bar

20′ Messi’s shot too straight

21′ GOAL! Barcelona 1-2 Bayern (Perisic)

27′ GOAL! Barcelona 1-3 Bayern (Gnabry)

31′ GOAL! Barcelona 1-4 Bayern (Muller)

39′ Lewandowski’s header stopped by Ter Stegen

42′ Yellow Card! Boateng booked

45′ Suarez’s powerful shot stopped

45′ Half substitution, Griezmann replaces Sergi Roberto

49′ CHANCE! Perisic’s shot stopped by Ter Stegen

Advertisements

53′ OFFSIDE! Lewandowski’s goal disallowed

54′ Yellow Card! Suarez booked

57′ GOAL! Barcelona 2-4 Bayern (Suarez)

62′ Salihamidzic books a Yellow card

63′ GOAL! Barcelona 2-5 Bayern (Kimmich)

67′ Subs! Coman in, Perisic out

70′ Ansu Fati replaces Busquets

75′ Subs! Coutinho replaces Gnabry

77′ Messi shot too weakly

82′ GOAL! Barcelona 2-6 Bayern (Lewandowski)

85′ GOAL! Barcelona 2-7 Bayern (Coutinho)

89′ GOAL! Barcelona 2-8 Bayern (Coutinho)

Line-ups

Advertisements


Barcelona XI: Messi, Suarez, Pique, Vidal, Alba, Busquets, Ter Stegen, Roberto, Lenglet, Semedo, De Jong

Subs: Rakitic, Neto, Griezmann, Dembele, Firpo, Pena, R. Araújo, L. Reis, Monchu, Riqui Puig, Óscar Mingueza, Fati

Bayern XI: Neuer, Boateng, Perisic, Alaba, Muller, Lewandowski, Thiago, Goretzka, Gnabry, Kimmich, Alphonso Davies

Subs: Martinez, Ulreich, Coutinho, Sule, Tolisso, Coman, Odriozola, Lucas, Cuisance, Hoffmann, J. Zirkzee, J. Musiala.

Must Read

Willian says goodbye to Chelsea; reveal his misson at Arsenal


#NobleSports

Messi could ‘Quit Barca’s after facing Bayern’s humiliation

Advertisements

Rio Ferdinand believes Lionel Messi could quit Barcelona after their Champions League humiliation by Bayern Munich.

Despite his best efforts, the Ballon d’Or winner was powerless to stop a relentless German side as the Catalans crashed out of the quarter-finals in Lisbon.

Advertisements

Speaking on BT Sport after the game, Ferdinand questioned whether the Argentine will be tempted to leave the Nou Camp with the club in disarray and without a major trophy.

‘What is Messi thinking going home tonight?’ the pundit asked.

‘Does he want to spend his time left in that shirt given the performances and the way the squad is looking at the moment in comparison to other teams around Europe.

Has he got the time to sit there and wait?

‘Football is a game that comes and goes very quickly in your life so these next 2 years where he’s still going to have the power to influence games the way he does, is he going to want to be doing that but not competing for the big titles?’

Must Read

Ronaldo to see out his rest of contract despite Barca links


#NobleSports

Setien delivers shocking answer on who the best is; ‘Messi or Lewandowski’

Advertisements

Quique Setien believes Robert Lewandowski is among the best players in the world but refuted claims that the Polish striker is as good as Leo Messi.

Barcelona are set to face Bayern Munich in the quarter finals of the Champions League on Friday, and much of the pre-match talk surrounds each side’s top goalscorers.

“[Lewandowski] is a great player, but I think he is not at Leo’s level,” he said during his press conference.

“I think that is clear. It is true that he is in great form and that he is very well assisted by many teammates around him.

“He is in great shape, but Leo is as well, as we already saw against Napoli.

“It’s good that these players will be on the field and we can enjoy them.”

Advertisements

Beyond Lewandowski, Bayern are currently in flying form and Setien appears to be well aware of it.

“We know the potential of the opponents,” he stated.

“We will try to minimise their strengths. They are potentially extraordinary, but so are we.

“I think it will be an even game, with alternatives for both. We have a lot to say in this game.”

It has been suggested that Barcelona could line up with an unfamiliar 4-4-2 formation but Setien wasn’t keen on giving too much away.

“We have considered many things, but we will not be able to see them until tomorrow,” he said.

“Perhaps the formation is not so important. We are clear about the talent and speed that this team [Bayern] has, especially in attack.

Advertisements

“When they have the ball, we will have no choice but to defend. However, I think it will always be better to try to keep the ball and hurt them as much as possible.”

“We are concerned about many aspects because they are capable of retreating and defending.

“It remains to be seen if we can get out of that press. I think it will be a game with alternatives. There will not be a clear dominator.

“The team that takes their chances will be the one who goes through. I expect a fairly close tie.”

Asked if Messi will be the one to carry Barcelona through.

“He can help, but I believe in the strength of the team,” he said.

Advertisements

“Leo must also be assisted. He can create goals, but without the strength of the team, Leo would be less effective, like any other player.”

Ousmane Dembele has been training with his teammates over the course of the past week, giving hope that he could feature.

“It is satisfying to have Dembele already in the squad,” Setien stated.

“He will be able to participate if we consider it appropriate.

“He has gone almost a year without playing, but we hold hope that he can participate and do so in a good way.”

Must Read

Lewandoski is better than Messi – Lothar Matthaus


#NobleSports

Müller corrects Hansi flick: ‘You can’t stop Messi with just one player’

Advertisements

Thomas Muller has admitted that Bayern Munich will have to be thorough in their job of stopping Lionel Messi on Friday.

The Barcelona captain was instrumental as Barcelona progressed past Napoli in the last 16 of the Champions League.

“The main thing I want to say is that Messi is in form and he’s not a player that you can defend with just one player,” Muller said in his pre-match press conference on Thursday.

“From my experience, you can only defend against him as a team.

“If he goes past the first [player], the second one can stop him.

“If not, the third one can and, in the meantime, the first and second players recover their position and go back after him.

“You can’t defend against him with just one person.

“We have to be aggressive in duels.

“It will be exciting and interesting.

“We’ll see how it works and how everything goes.

“If you watch our recent games, you can see that we’ve always defended well.

“It’s not just Messi, it’s the whole Barcelona team we have to stop.”

Advertisements

Muller has competed for a place in the team with Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho this season.

“Philippe is key,” the German added.

“He’s very important for us.

“He’s part of our team.

“Everyone knows the quality he has.

“The [starting] 11 is important, but so are the player who come off the bench, who can decide the game.

“You have the example of PSG last night.”

Must Read

PSg wants to seriously sign Odion Ighalo


#NobleSports