Barcelona! What a come back!

Submitted by BubbaT33 on March 8th, 2017 at 4:50 PM

Down 4-0 after the away match. 2-0 at half (4-2 down on aggregate there was hope). Until PSG scored a goal! That meant that Barca would have to score two goals . . . and score two they did! WOW! Just WOW! League of Champions Baby!


snarling wolverine

March 8th, 2017 at 5:05 PM ^

I am snarling a bit right now - the Ligue 1 clubs never rise to the occasion in the Champions League.  Same deal with the great Lyon teams a decade ago.  They snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.  

(I was trying to do the mods a favor though.)



March 8th, 2017 at 5:15 PM ^

Someone in the other thread suggested that rooting for Barca was rooting for the Yankees.

Which is obviously false. If any team in Europe is the Yankees, is is Barcelona's arch rival Real Madrid, who not only have ridiculous levels of money and success but also had the backing of a fascistic dictator influencing personnel moves for decades. 

One could argue that Barca has become the Red Sox, and in Messi they certainly have one of the greatest players in the history of the sport (the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry really is something we should tell our grandkids about), but they are not the Yankees.

I'll be rewatching this game later.


March 8th, 2017 at 5:34 PM ^

True, but, over the past 10-15 years or so, Barca have become the team to be a fan of.  Where Real have the greater acheivements in their entirety (And recently, too, in UEFA), Barca have had a greater imprint of current success and bringing new fans to the game. If someone has entered soccer fanhood at any time in the last decade or so and chosen Barca (without a historic / travel-based / familial reason to do so)  it's almost more "Yankee"ish than choosing Real in my opinion.


March 8th, 2017 at 5:35 PM ^

They have some things going for them:

1. Their style of play, which is attractive and aggressive. Think of Oregon's offense in football, Golden State in basketball. We're not talking about a team that plays a bunch of 1-0 games.

2. Their story, including the dissent from Franco, the "more than a club" slogan, their spectacular stadium. They're popular but with cool anti-establishment cred, since Real has always been the team of The Man.

3. They win a lot.

I like Barca and prefer them to Real, but I find the exercise of picking a favorite European team kind of hollow. I tried when I was in a deep soccer kick for several years before/as it got really cool (I was fully on board the Man U treble wagon in 1999, for example) but the fact is that I can't pretend to be nearly the fan of either a big club or a small club the same way that someone who has grown up in those communities and attended those games can. I haven't lived and died with Arsenal like Nick Hornby, and I haven't endured being second banana for so long as lifelong Man city fans have, and I haven't been gutted by Real and grown up in the Catalan culture as Barca fans have, and I haven't been immersed in the cultural position that would push me into the Inter or AC Milan camp like someone in Milan has.

There's just no way I can live and die with a team in the same way that I live and die with Michigan or, to some extend, the Detroit teams. I was crushed by the Twins in 87 and North Carolina in 93 and Colorado in 94 and the Avs in 96 and the Bucs in 97. I was in Buffalo when Minnesota ripped our hearts on in the Frozen Four in 03 and I watched every last minute of that debacle in Fort Wayne. I can tell you about the phantom touchdown and Spartan Bob and the missing inch against OSU this year from memory.

I just can't do that with any team in Europe. Doesn't mean someone who can is wrong, just that I can't.


March 8th, 2017 at 7:54 PM ^

From a global standpoint, both Real and Barça are the Yankees.  They are at the top of an enormous food chain.  PSG has run roughshod over the French league the last four years, and yet today they looked like they didn't belong on the same field.  Then when you think of all the other leagues out there - pretty much every country in the world has its own league - those few clubs that can contend for the Champions League are in some rarified territory.  



March 8th, 2017 at 5:18 PM ^

The fact that I hate Suarez so much (and the penalty he drew was kind of suspect), has me conflicted, but this comeback was just too crazy.  Watch them ride this wave to the Final.


March 8th, 2017 at 6:44 PM ^

This Barca team is beatable.  I'm a longtime fan, but I don't have a lot of confidence in Barca's defense, it can be broken down, as Pique and Mascherano have lost a step and Barca's defense is simply not as physical as other teams that are advancing.  But it's still a thrill to watch Messi, Suarez, and Neymar on the attack!  And how about that final goal by Roberto...freaking ridiculous!


March 8th, 2017 at 5:26 PM ^

Too lazy to google and I rarely watch soccer outside of the world cup... but is there a simple explanation for why so many soccer playoffs are generally 2 game series using aggregate score to break the tie rather than just playing a 3rd game?


March 8th, 2017 at 5:46 PM ^

That's exactly correct. They enter the CL as a result of their performance in their domestic league in the previous season. For perspective, consider Michigan football playing in a tournament in 2016 based on how they performed in conference in 2015. 

There's no sense in sorting out which leagues are statistically better. The teams do play in group stages, so one could theoretically infer seeding from that, but there's no control for who was in a better group stage. This situation works a lot better. Plus, it avoids "if necessary" games that are scheduling poison.


March 8th, 2017 at 5:47 PM ^

The UEFA Champions League is made of the top 4 or so teams from the different UEFA leagues of the previous year.  It wouldn't make sense to use regular-season records because you are playing teams from all of the different national leagues and not just your own league.


March 8th, 2017 at 5:38 PM ^

The home-and-home is the way to go, but I say get rid of the away-goal tiebreaker.  Too often teams play completely different styles based on if they are home or away simply because of the away-goal rule.  I don't think it's that much more difficult to score / win when away -- it's just the fact that they play that way when away because of the away-goal rule.


March 8th, 2017 at 5:50 PM ^

It's also one less situation where extra time and penalties can be invoked. Without away goals, Barca sits back after they drew level and we're probably talking about a penalty shootout in the regular soccer thread right now, instead of Barca needing an all-or-nothing goal in the dying moments to win.

Since the criteria is known beforehand, and since it discourages draws, I'm fine with it. 


March 8th, 2017 at 5:43 PM ^

It's imbalanced to the home team, and there isn't a fair criteria to determine who is a better seed given that teams enter the CL based on performance in domestic leagues. It's also a lot harder to schedule properly, given how many games these teams are playing between Europe and domestic leagues and, often, domestic cups as well. Also, making it simply a "best of" game situation would result in more extra time periods and more penalty shootouts, scenarios that ought to be avoided at all costs in this sport.

After some early iffiness when I first got into European Soccer, I have come to embrace the two game aggregate (away goals rule) series as a brilliant and appropriate way to allow teams to compete on equal footing. Both teams get a home game. Every goal matters. Scoring on the road is encouraged by the away goals rule (discouraging negative tactics) while aggregate ties are considerably less likely. 

It works in a way that aggregate scoring would not work in fooball or baseball or basketball. Those are games where being in a losing position changes tactics, where things can get away from a team in one game and not affect them in another, where end-game scenarios are important in ways that they are not in soccer. Soccer, with its scarce scoring, luscious home environments, universal rules, and difficult overtime situation, is perfectly suited for the aggregate arrangement.