Trauma is an event – in this case the Champions League – that profoundly threatens the well-being or life of an individual – Barcelona – as well as the consequence of that event on the individual’s physical body, mental structure or emotional integrity.
There is no better way to define what happens to Xavi Hernandez‘s team when they go out to play with the big boys in Europe.
Bayern left them exposed and kicked them where it hurts too soon and too easily. So much so that the old ghosts and inferiority complexes appeared in a team that said goodbye to Europe in the worst possible way.
As Xavi has so often said about winning a game, it’s not just the what, but also the how. And their image, which was the only thing at stake for Barcelona against Bayern, was badly damaged.
So much so that, as Laporta said at the time, losing should have consequences.
Xavi got his approach wrong again
Barcelona‘s set-up for the match was dreadful. Call it Xavi‘s approach, physical shortcomings or weakness in the duels, but the truth is that Bayern found a huge gaps with every attack and in every way out of Barcelona‘s imbalanced pressing.
It was all too easy. First for Mane and later on Mazraoui. The game, thrown away in the first half hour.
Balde is like a jet plane
On a disastrous day for Barcelona, Alejandro Balde came out of it stronger thanks to an outstanding game with an imposing physical display.
Fast, forceful in the duels and with speed beyond the rest of the team. The left back position should be his without question. Neither Marcos Alonso nor Alba can offer, at this stage, the pace of play that the academy player provides.
Kimmich should be spoken about more
In few debates about the best in the world does Joshua Kimmich come up and the German is a wonderful player. At the Camp Nou he gave an exhibition of leadership. One of many.
His ability to be influential and reliable in his passing is second to none. Only he could understand Bayern‘s clean start and the speed in transition needed to find holes in the opposition’s defence.
Lewandowski and the big games
It seems a bold move to put the spotlight on a striker who has scored 12 league goals in 11 games and five goals in the Champions League in the same number of games.
But there is also nothing wrong with saying that in the two games against Bayern, the Clasico and against Inter in Milan, he wasn’t at the races.
Only those two late goals against Inter at the Camp Nou were enough to make up for the Pole’s performance in the most demanding matches. And that is also the reason for Barcelona‘s failure in Europe.
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