All the comments after Barcelona‘s game in Milan have focused on the referee’s work. It is a clear fact that on Tuesday Barcelona were denied a clear penalty and no one is able to explain what the referee saw, or did not see.
In the end, what remains is that the Blaugrana lost and their qualification for the Champions League round of 16 is now in doubt.
They were a team that arrived in Milan as LaLiga leaders for the first time in two years.
If Barcelona are performing at an excellent level in domestic competition, the same is not true in Europe. The team has not been able to pass the tests of Munich and Milan, losing the matches against Bayern Munich and Inter, and it is well known that in Europe you cannot afford to lose because you pay dearly for it.
The reality is that since Xavi came to the bench, Barcelona have not been performing well in Europe. The data says so. In the year he has been on the bench, Los Cules have played 11 games either in the Champions League or Europa League. Of those 33 possible points, only 13 have been obtained, a record that is far from what Barcelona should have for the potential of its squad. The team does not feel confident in Europe.
Do they have the team to compete in the Champions League? That is the question that the fans are asking themselves looking at the results. However, there have been moments in which Barcelona have been superior to their opponents, at least in this edition of the Champions League. The first half in Munich was brilliant. The only thing the team lacked was the finishing touch. Robert Lewandowski and Pedri missed clear chances.
Outplaying their opponents
Against Inter there were also many minutes in which they outplayed the Italians, especially in the second half. But between the referee and the mistakes, they were unable to turn the score around. The two matches leave a feeling that the opponent hasn’t done an awful lot to win the game. It happened against Bayern Munich and Inter. Barcelona controlled the game, had possession of the ball, but did not do any damage. On the other hand, the opponent came forward on two occasions and scored a goal. In that aspect, the team is still not solid and needs to grow.
Mistakes that have put Barcelona on the brink of the abyss. They can no longer afford the slightest mistake. We must hope that in the games to come Lewandowski returns to be the ‘killer’ that he has not been in Europe.