Thursday, February 21, 2013

Looks familiar?



There was a moment during the first half of the Milan v Barcelona match last night when the away side were moving the ball from right to left, to give Jordi Alba a run on Abate, when the whole of the home midfield and defence shuffled across to their right as one - well as nine really- and it reminded me of a game of table football. The move was straight out of a coaching manual and illustrated how disciplined and determined the home side were to not give any advantage at all to their opponents.

As usual Barcelona dominated the pass and possession statistics but with the exception of one shot from Iniesta, when they were already 0-2 down, they really didn't look like scoring. Lionel Messi was double marked for most of the game and Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta struggled to make their domination of possession count. Milan's two goals were well taken and both were against the general run of play but you felt that over the ninety minutes they probably deserved it for playing the old rope a dope trick.

The return leg should be one of this seasons highlights, Milan will undoubtedly have learned from Chelsea last night and their big rivals Inter in 2011 that the best form of attack in the Nou Camp is defence. They will sit back and wait for the counter attack, of course they could find out like Arsenal did (twice) that by the time you have broken out of your defensive shell the team bus is already waiting with its engine running to take you to the airport.

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