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Apr 10, 2014

Barca's hope for another Champions League Semi-Final appearance were thrashed by an excellent Atletico side who were as good as in defense as in offense. The 1-0 score line did not portray what happened in the game. Had Atletico had a bit more luck, they would have been 4-5 goals up by half time. After all, they struck the crossbar four times by the time the interval came. FC Barcelona were poor throughout. For the initial the term Barca defense only appeared on paper as it was nowhere to be seen on the pitch. To be honest the offensive side was also in a similar situation with Messi and Iniesta having one of their worst nights in recent memory. Questions will be asked about Martino's selection choice, especially the false-9 experiment with Cesc Fabregas simply was wasted as I have mentioned in the match preview. There wasn't much surprise in Barcelona line-up for this must win game. Alba,Mascherano, Bartra and Alves made the defense. Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta formed the midfield. cesc Fabregas was deployed in a false-9 role with Messi on the righ and Neymar on the left. Atletico meanwhile, had to leave out Diego Costa from the squad. Their line-up had Courtois, Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Fillipe, Tiago, Gabi, Koke, Raul Garcia, Adrian and Villa.

Barca had the worst start possible when Atletico Madrid took an early lead in the 6th minute. The goal came from Koke, but it was quite a series of movement with Adriano hitting the bar but the rebound was kept alive by Koke who was the beneficiary in the end. In the following minute Pinto made a mess with his unnecessary dribbling in the box and that almost resulted in a goal after Villa out smarted him. In the 10th minute ex-Barca striker was played on goal from left by Koke but luckily for us hhis shot hit the post. In the 13th minute Barca showed a glimpse of getting back into the game with Messi heading wide from a Alves cross. In the 19th minute Villa hit the cross bar for the second time on the night after he escaped from Bartra. FC Barcelona were not able to muster up any sign of danger in the Atletico box in the rest of the half. Going into the break it was clear that we had to thank our luckys stars to have stayed alive in the tie. Atletic were simply unstoppable and should have been ahead by atleast three goal any other day.

Looking at how pathetic we were in attack and defense in first half, it was clear that Martino need sto change something to take the initiative back. But Martino remained true to himself, made no changes at half time. In the 48th minute Barca had a great chance to equalise but Courtois did really well to take the nick the ball from Neymar and Messi couldn't put the rebound in to goal. From the start of the second half it was more or less one way traffic with Barca controlling all the possession. In the 60th minute Xavi failed to make proper contact with a Alves cross, that was a semi-decent chance to equalise. Martino immediately brought in Alexis Sachez for Cesc Fabregas to add some pace in to the attack. In the 65th minute Pinto made a good save to deny Diego. In the 72nd minute Mascherano was pretty lucky not to have conceded a penalty after a foul on Villa in the box, Atletico still had a great chance to score the goal but wasted it. Martino brought in Pedro fro Iniesta soon after and with that we had four attackers on the field. In the 78th minute Neymar put his header wide of the near post after doing well in the box to meet an Alves cross. In the 90th minute Pinto made another brilliant save to deny a second goal to Atletico. Anyways it didn't matter much as one goal was enough for them to get the job done.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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