Parisian vision of glory
The start of Uefa Champions league round of 16 on Tuesday night has emphatically transpired an incredible narrative of legendary longevity that would consider as an aspirational passage in reeling from the traditional cornerstone of competition’s historic reputation and instead promising new vision of proud history and pedigree to be emerged in future of this tournament. PSG sealed a brilliant 4-0 win against Barcelona in the first leg at home and they had ultimately established their credibility and benchmark among Europe’s best football clubs. very few Parisian’s supporter could have realistically imagined their side’s fairly chance of beating Barcelona due to many reasons; firstly for Barcelona’s superior history against French side, then for consideration of extraordinary quality of MSN as their winning factor and lastly for the psychological advantage the Spaniards had shown when formalizing a repetition factor in eliminating their fierce rivals in crucial stage of tournament’s playoffs, which had seen Parisian to be one of those victims in the recent years; but none of these challenges seemed as negative pressure to be existed for the host side; they simply produced an amazing brand of attacking enthusiasm and winning collectivism at the heart of their game to entirely destroy their opponent on the night. playing with confident and flexible three box-to-box deep passers in adapted dual role of static holding opener and shifted wingers in shape of Adrien Rabiot , Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi their midfield had amplified sensational tasks of dictating the pace of transition from defense to attack, sustaining intelligent off the ball mobility to win spaces and sharply interacting wide positions to press, that offered them consistency and relentless energy all over the pitch and the aspect apparently identified decisive to dismantle Barcelona’s midfielders to most shocking extent. from very early spell the rising gaps and lack of awareness to define pressing element in the holding areas behind Iniesta, Busquets and Andre Gomez grew significantly and it soon denied the interactive deep rotation of holding plays that often consider as back line’s main contribution to initiate quick pressing-opening play that tends to free up options and linking a vital engine of short build up that aimed to be ignited by deep passers as the vital instrument to their possession approach; Gomez and Busquets in this case had that responsibility, but the mission further has been demolished by Parisian’s energetic and high tempo performance. once the heart of Barcelona’s midfield was broken apart, the presence of MSN as their main inspiration of creativity, explosiveness and pace had completely lost its art and flash of genius touch and by far it was summarized as the poorest performance we have ever seen by three front men. Messi almost never managed to drive inside the box, Suarez hasn’t touched ball over their half until hour mark and Neymar repeatedly failed to beat his markers in direct duels, and the evidence became distinctive even sharper towards the end of this game. Angle Di Mari was the best player on the night, with his dazzling left foot in flyinv over the flanks, producing pure dribbling skills, blistering pace and igniting crafty combinations with Cavani when drifting centrally and once changing the dynamic of penetration runs as one of the wide creators along with brilliant Drexler, had forced way too much cause for Spaniards to keep up with. their first chance came when Di Maria’s speedy link up with Matuidi allowed Cavani to run into space between center backs, opening Drexler to burst forward ambitiously before German attacker sending his shot that was saved by Ter Stegen in two successive occasions when attempted by Cavani and Matuidi’s efforts on the rebounds. the first goal; Di Maria has bend his beautiful inswing pint point free kick into the lower near post and given them lead, they pushed high with more eagerness and second goal came, the match was described as Messi’s arguably worst career game and the evidence might would have been called right in this scene; his run thorough half line was easily exposed under Veratti’s pressure and it quickly was turned into a short exchange between Italian and Rabiot as both ignited a fine run into open space with no press going at them and while looking up Veratti switched a wide pass to Drexler on the right before German youngster smashing his right footed shot into the lower far post nearly before the interval. two more braces from Parisians in the second half rewarded as their fantastic technical capabilities and particularly the third goal that came inside the first ten minutes was the indication of brilliant change of dynamic and ample passing accuracy in transition that surely had produced end spectrum of both sheer individual creativity and superb tactical vision, simply sustained balance and precision defined off pressing resiliency and timely penetration in cracking opponent. Rabiot confidently initiated a very deep play from their box to beat Messi and Suarez’s high pressure before delightfully switching a pass to the left wing as Veratti’s neat back heel was exchanged with Matuidi’s short turn of run and quick touch that was perfectly combined to Drexler’s blistering forward run ase bursting into an entirely free space before picking Di Maria deep in Barca’s line, the Argentinian excellently paused on to the first touch before delicately switching the gear to split Iniesta and Alba’s attempted press and comfortably curled an absolutely brilliant and inch perfect inswing left footed shot that smashed into the underside of top corner and assured his team of dominating the result, leaving Barca’s men in further disappointment; it essentially boosted extra motivation for the host side to fuel intensity to their momentum before entirely destroying Spaniards with their last brace. once again out wide a simple ball was played to Thomas Menuir on the right and he easily dribbled past Neymar and with further exposed gap of spaces offered to French side, the wing back burst forward all the way into Barca’s back line with plenty of options to link up before slicing a fine through pass for Cavani as Uruguayan knocked out both Pique’s attempted blocked tackle and Ter Stegen with his beautiful smacked shot into the near post to wrapped up PSG arguably most famous champions league victory.
verdict: Parisians essentially boosted their capability to ignite their aspiration of winning the title with this amazing performance and whipped out all the concerns and dark previous records they had against the Spanish side. they produced a masterful tactical strategy that defined and coordinated the focal engine of winning mentality equal to offered string of spontaneous and speed superiority to kill their opponent all around. they intended to control off the ball mobility that envisioned their brilliant pressing-opening and entirely dictated the pace of transition in attack with series of spontaneous and efficient movements executed gracefully to exploit vital spaces behind Spanish clumsy holding defensive areas and punished them. Emery side have surely went through a challenging transition since the departure of their super star Ibrahimovich last season and the much heated debates this season revolved around finding a serious effort to fulfill his position, but the arrival of new youngsters and vital integration of successful formation into the heart of team that seemed perfectly carrying out by ranks of talented and creative attackers in Di Maria and Drexler evidently inspired extra dimension of technical capability and efficiency that put them well on the track to navigate their way to the glory with a unique opportunity. the outcome on the other side would have seriously viewed the end of an era for Barcelona’s glittering generation of footballers and the symbolic storyline of legendary accomplishments, extraordinary trophy-laden history and incredible vision of entertaining philosophy, manifested and produced by these individuals in more than a decade. Catalons had been painfully demolished by their opponents both tactically and strategically and were painfully limited to offer clinical response in changing the scenario that was arguably considered the worst performance ever seen from them in European competitions. the evidences of weak and vulnerable defensive features had been permanently confirmed in many occasion during recent season; Girard Pique has significantly lost his speed and awareness gear, while his central partnership with veteran Mascherano and young Umtiti both looked very exposed all along. their midfield were completely destroyed by PSG intelligent and energetic tactical vision, a vital factor that practically outlined the decline of former brilliant deep central partnership of Iniesta and Busquets, whom once had inspired the sheer art of passing maestro during club’s incredible chapter, but lately have experienced a deep hit of deficiency and eventual losing the gear of spontaneity, vital speed and creative sparks to rescue Barcelona in this struggling days. The pair ultimately were outclassed and exposed by likes of Rabiot, verratti and Matuidi in dictating the midfield play that was proved by sharpness, agility and enthusiasm of Parisian’s midfielsers in applying a perfectly defined change of tempo in switching from defensive pressing to transition of attack and providing a timely balance between their off the ball anticipation in winning spaces and mobility at possession for igniting neat and crafty combinations in reliance of Matuidi pushing into central attacking area to interact with their two creative wide creators Di Maria and Drexler to open space and exchanging runs, while offering fluid and dynamic interchanges between two playmakers and Cavani in the most brilliant fashion and the front trio executed their effort perfectly and incredibly that really punished Barcelona. Perhaps the most glorious storyline of Barca under Luise Enrique has ultimately dedicated to dominance of MSN and their pure magic, the front three that are highly considered by many as the purest ever attacking line in the history of this game; but nonetheless neither of them had rarely shown any sign of flair, skills, vision and eagerness to threat the host side and shockingly were pressed by PSG back line all night. Messi had been pressed and denied inch of possession, Suarez was entirely disappeared from making free runs, lost interaction with both Messi and midfield to track space and exchanging neat play and being locked by deep pressing line of brandon_luiz as center back pair and Rabiot as a holding role within short distance in front of them, at last Neymar was very ineffective and toothless to go around his markers on the right either against Mounier or other defenders and it caused Barcelona’s attacking rhythm to be split, clumsy and broken all around, from monitoring play in the midfield to open and engineer passing in attack, conceding so much possession and being exposed to huge gaps across the flanks and centrally they looked miserable in every aspect of the battle. It will be an intensifying atmosphere for Barca towards the end of season, but the reality has deeply underlined and confirmed one major argument beyond other challenges; the era of iconic generation has came to end as of now and the the evidence is appealing, they no longer offer the vital appearance of effective strategy, dynamic, mental strength and superior vision to inspire success in major tournaments. Once Guardiola has established a pure pedigree and symbolic narrative of glorification during dominant years of “Tiki Taka” , his post era has critically signaled some tactical challenges, but the heritage was carried and re_inspired shortly by Luis Enrique Martinez, a native predecessor and yet another advocator of beautiful football philosophy , whom eagerly has integrated more deft and vision of collectivism into heart of the team during a productive transition and the reward was the reclaimed of La liga and copy del Ray titles and sealing 2015 UEFA Champions league trophy in space of three seasons. A serious consideration to adapt talented young sensations such as Andre Gomez and Sergi Robert breaking into starting and with future is looking to be promising for a realistically new generation, equally is witnessing some struggling patterns. New mentality, desirability and intended of adapting to more diverse vision of game offering by wave of new barcelona’s generations is seemingly fueling some essential conflicts with club’s fundamental ideology of style and philosophy which is seeing for the fact of previous golden core lacking transparency and ate on the verge of teaching the end point.