Confirmed: Miracles are the exception, not the rule. Barcelona fell with dignity, supported by an enormous Camp Nou, who ended the game in high spirits despite the defeat, a new moment in the history of the club and undoubtedly the best news of the night. But the team fell hard, because they didn’t have the remotest possibility of progressing. The first half in Turin was a millstone they found impossible to shift, because Barcelona showed yesterday they played with more heart than football and they gave the sensation that their plan for the game was repeat what they did against PSG and hope the Italians fell in the same way. But Juve are not PSG and nor were Barça Barça. Because in the same way the team showed an irreproachable attitude, they also left it evident that they depend on inspiration from the trident and nothing else.
Barcelona have lost the footballing argument and only arrived at this stage because of an exceptional capacity of survival. Nobody can accuse them of laying down their arms. But in football faith is not enough and it’s necessary to have a consistent plan and go for the 90 minutes. No player summed this all up better than Neymar, who tried everything but ended up stuck in individual dribbles and disconnected from the collective play, as if he could solve the game by himself. The miracle needed Messico hero too, bur he was isolated and trapped. Barcelona could not turn things around, had few clear chances and just one shot on goal in 90 minutes.
Another game in which Luis Enrique didn’t even use his three subs and sat watching as the team arrives at the end of the season ‘naked’, he doesn’t have a bench and cannot turn games that are going badly for Barcelona. Without that, changing a match becomes a Herculean task. The elimination is painful because it leaves the sensation that of this, the best generation in Barcelona’s history, despite their amazing success they have still let too many Champions Leagues and Ballon d’Ors go.
Last night Camp Nou was huge, but the football was little.