Wednesday, 31 May 2017

THE FA CUP FINAL ARSENAL VS CHELSEA 2-1

on saturday arsenal played chelsea in the FA cup final . in this season chelsea had been asked tactical question by two teams one was man utd who starangled chelsea at old trafford and conte was unable to find the solution to the tactical question that was posed to his team . the second one was posed by arsenal and here i wouldnt say he didnt found the answer but was a bit unlucky . although the tactics employed by arsenal and man utd were completely opposite to each other . man utd stopped chelsea in the tracks while arsenal took their chances and they out played chelsea on the offensive front  . i think wenger doesnt like to copy anybody's tactics and wants his team to outplay the opposition and beat them in the purer form of football rather . i think wenger only has the offensive mindset and he takes his chances on the defense . i dont what contemplated him to change his age old formation of 4-3-3 to 3-4-3but perhaps conte's success with that would had changed wenger's mindset to adopt it .
chensea started with their 3-4-3 formation which had won them the EPL while arsenal had started to play 3 at the back for the last month or so . i dont  think arsene wenger thinks much about tactics . instead he want to play beautiful football playing one touch football and believe in players abilities . unlike utd who strangled chelsea with a proper plan arsenal just wanted to play good offense and score more than chelsea . the commentator rightly commented that arseanl's back three would be tested today with their cohesiveness ,shape and discipline on defense . in the very first minute luiz played a ball behind arsenal's back three and pedro who made a diagonal run from right recovered it and i thought that  arsenal were going to have this trouble all match long . but arsenal recovered better to have foothold in the match . 
now chelsea like to play through costa . here costa was marked by mertesacker when he was playing on the shoulders of the last defender while he was followed out by holding when he was coming deep . arsenal atleast had recognised this and were not ready to give his time on  the ball . the interesting thing was that when mertesacker was guarding costa at that time holding was dropping deep to give mertesacker the cover so that if costa was to get the better of mertasacker he would be there . now this is where i find that conte should had spotted this and should had duly passed the note to his players that hazard was free ( how he was free i will show in the diagram ) . first off bellerin was high on the pitch trying to press alonso . secondly when the ball was passed to costa who was trying to stand against mertesacker at that time holding was dropping a little back . so at that time there was no natural opponent against hazard and that thing had to be exploited by conte . now i know that hazard was playing  on the left and the right footed player with the way they stand find it difficult to pass  to the player on the left but then costa is a good enough player and he can adjust to that and had done so rightly this season . hazard for me didnt show that willingness to get on the ball and get involved . he didnt had the touch for the first 10 min . i think costa should had been informed by conte that hazard wasnt having a natural defender against him and that he should try to pick him and hazard being told to use that space and start the offense from there . i wouldnt say that chelsea were poor they just played their game but when you come second best in any  one on one challenge then the opposition tries to exploit it and thats what arsenal tried to do with chamberlain who got the better out of moses and kept pushing chelsea back . 
any tactics are dependent on the players that the coach uses and how they perform . for arsenal danny wellback was leading the line and i am glad to say that for the first time any english player was found reliable enough by alexis sanchez just because let me tell you about good players mentality they dont pass the ball to average players because they are afraid that he wont be able to use that properly and sanchez who was playing behind welback was ready to pass the ball to him shows that sanchez was trusting welback and welback played very well . he made the diagonal runs the back three to stretch the chelsea defense and take the ball deeper and most importantly he kept the ball in tight situations and showed that he is good on ball .
the real chelsea problems were that the back line is not that mobile and especially cahill who doesnt likes to come out of the defense . at the same time credit must be given to wellback whose diagonal runs wasnt allowing the chelsea back three to come out of there positions and because of this time and again players like ramsey and ozil were able to find space between the lines and that was causing chelsea problems . secondly arsenal had three in the middle with ozil dropping back to make it three in the middle while ramsey was given the freedom to bomb forward . but the best player for the match for me was kante even though he didnt had the impact but that one moment in the match summed up his brain . although he is know for his athletic powress but the quality that he showed was second to none . chelsea were on offense and the ball ended in kante's feet . he showed that he was going to take the shot but realised that he would be better scopping the ball to costa and he did that and caught arsenal offguard who were going to get ready for the shot . i think it summed the player he is and the brain that he has got and i was impressed by that .

Saturday, 27 May 2017

UEFA CUP FINAL TAKE . AJAX VS MAN UTD .

man utd won the uefa cup but the media doesnt seems to be happy . although nowadays the media is all biased and i cannot help that but i am not writing this to comment on that . mouriniho was scolded for the type of football that he coaches and the way that man utd won the game. had pep gaurdiola won this competetion then i think the media would have had a different reaction . the reason behind this is that because the kind of football that both football coach . gaurdiola likes to play an aggressive game while mouriniho likes to play passive counter attacking play . everybody likes to see aggresive forward football and defensive one . had these two been in world of chess then i think both would had been very much respected because some may think that defense is very easy and it doesnt requires much effort then i think he doesnt knows football .  somebody whoever knows football then i think he will know that  its much harder to play on the back rather than upfront . on defense you cannot a lapse of concentration or your entire team pays for that . on defense all the footballing attributes are required your concentration ,discipline , shape and cohesion are all tested on defense. not every team can play aggressive football and there is no need to because the coach has to look at all the attributes while putting the team on the grass . he has to look at the players on hand and how he can use them to maximum and get his team a win. it is said that "defense starts from the front" and "offense starts from the back " . if you had looked at the recent barcelona vs juventus games then i think there defenders were the mvp's in those two legs .
now even though i had tried to justify mouriniho's approach in my first para but a big club like man utd cannot be  just a counter attacking and defensive minded team . its is very important that whenever you have the ball you should show that you are good on the ball and should pose the threat that everytime you have the ball you can score . even though man utd won but there are a lot of quetions about this team . man utd started the game with their 4-3-3 formation and i think utd had adopted this formation because pogba was used to play this formation and that way he could get the best out of pogba . ajax played the 4-3-3 formation but the trouble with me is that i know only one or two players in that team or can just track them since i was watching them the first time . man utd like to sit back and hit back on the counter at the start of the game at least they wanted to press ajax and hit the counter . mouriniho is a master at stopping the teams and he identifies the players and the zones where on the opposition can hurt him and he makes necessary changes and stops the opposition . ajax likes to play off dolberg but again its mouriniho who had told his centre back to be tight on him and deny him the time and space on the ball and as i had said all along daley blind is one of the most underrated player that man utd have . he is basically a midfielder who was drafted in the back four because of injuries and because of his performances he made that postion his . for the first 15 min utd were active and pressing but after that they quickly retorted to sit back and hold their shape . only after 15 min could ajax were able to move the ball and could find some space and time on the ball . the trouble as one of the newspapers had rightfully said is that it was boys against men . utd were better physically and were coming up trump in one on one situations and had better defense because of which they won . 
the questions are not about utd's defensive ability but rather about their goal scoring ability and because of this nature that they drew so many matches in the premier league . utd were sitting back and trying to hit back on the counter . the most worrying stat if you had seen the match was the number of times utd tried to release rashford behind ajax's back four . i dont object to utd sitting back and hitting on the counter but the way they try to use the ball when they get is worrying they just try to play it out to the forward whoever is there very quickly which is not needed . second is the time spend on the ball by the utd players which in turn helps the oppostion to press them . if utd are to play the ball to the forward quickly then they need to play it in a way where on the ball can be kept and moved quickly . utd wanted to feed to rashford but i think on the offensive front utd were just one dimensional . rashford was continously trying to take the defenders on instead he should had been taught to read the situation and make better decisions which inturn would had kept the ball and utd would have had better possession and made something out of it . this is the one end that mouriniho has to work if he wants to recognised as a total coach . one who can coach both sides of the game . 

Saturday, 13 May 2017

MY TAKE ON THE GAME BETWEEN MONACO VS JUVENTUS BOTH TIE'S

now on tuesday monaco played juventus in the second leg of the ucl . monaco were outplayed in the first leg so it was upto the monaco coach to find some way to counter against juventus . so what do you do when you cannot think of anything well you just copy your opponent and try to play the same way as they play but then there is the difference in the application and the way you execute it . i had said that it time and time that a good coach takes into consideration the players at his disposal and base their tactics around it . monaco tried to match fire with fire but got their hands burned . second thing was that in this game many of the players were playing in the audition and their individual performances were going to evaluated and some just made themselves shine while some need polishing and need to upgrade their game as per the situation and polish themselves more .
 juvnetus had started with their usual 3-5-2 formation and compared to conte's 3-5-2 this one looks very good and  most importantly they seem to know their roles and are able to control the tempo of the game better than the juventus under conte . monaco were outplayed in the first leg when they played 4-4-2 and jardin wasnt able to find the answer so he just copied the system . the reason why he copied he system was that in the first leg the juvnetus fullbacks were getting too much amount of space and they were the reason why jardin wanted somebody to stop them having time and space on the ball . the reason why juvnetus fullbacks were having space and time on the ball is because both lamar and silva has this tendency to move inside the park . there is a reason for that because when you congest the play you can press better but the trouble was that one of the juvnetus fullback didnt had a opposite number to mark and juventus could pass the ball to him and he would had too much of space to dart forward  . the trouble with monaco is that both not both lamar and silva want to track the fullbacks . the most important thing is the application . 
the most notable thing is that while juvnetus centrebacks came out of the defense to press the monaco centre forwards .monaco's centrebacks were not ready to come out of their postions and close down juventus forwards . now the principle of pressing is that you press the first pass and carry on till the danger is averted or you recover possession while reverse of that is when you are pressed is that you try to find a player who has time and space on the ball . the other thing good about juventus is their ability to play out from the back when their midfielders are pressed just look their back three's ability to pick out player from the front line with a pin point pass and it when you can do that you can just turn the defense into attack in an instant . juventus had many weapons first off they were playing on counter at which they are very good . secondly against barca manzukic who was playing as a wide player started as a proper centre forward and this was because compare juventus centre forwards manzukic and higuain's aerial ability and that to monaco's centre backs abilities . allegri must had thought that he definitely had a chance there . the trouble with monaco in the first leg was that their midfield wasnt able to support them properly as they had been against man city . the midfield i think was cautioned by the jardin to not move up the field very quickly and leave the space between them and the back four .
juventus when they loose the ball they just get numbers behind the ball very quickly . plus i had said that previously that they are drilled very nicely to when to step up or hold the shape but their man facet is that their defenders are coming trumps in one on one battles . in the second leg jardin decided to play juventus formation but the trouble is that monaco are not drilled to play beautiful football but instead they are dependent on individual abilities to get better in one on one battle and create things for others . first off when monaco had the ball they just didnt transferred the ball from back to front very quicly and both silva and lamar spend time on the ball and does allow juventus to get players behind the ball and when they do that they will just stop you . if you had seen both the tie's  monaco had the chances when they were able to get mbappe on the ball very quickly and he was able to run on the defense . in the first half he terrorised bonucci . jardin had sensed that and in the second leg even though he played both mbappe and falcao. he positioned mbappe wide so that he would come up against brazagli who is not that good compared to bonucci or chilleni . he wanted mbappe to run on brazagli and try to beat him and create chances for falcao but the trouble with monaco was that silva who was placed behind these two didnt had any joy on the ball . first off juventus didnt allowed him time on the ball and most of all the juventus just got the better of him . most importantly i think silva was poor and he should had understood that juventus players were under instructions to close him down quickly  so he should had played quick one two's and released the ball  early and should had kept the tempo of  the game fast. same can be said about moutiniho . i think this is where jardin didnt prepared very well . just as you have a tailored defense you should try to have a tailed offense and that why you have the training sessions . jardin should had just trained them well which allegri did .

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

REAL MADRID VS BARCELONA 2-3

now since the el classico had happened everybody is sold to this one pic of messi celebrating winning goal and showing that barcelona t-shirt to the crowd and showing his allegiance to the world . but i have one question is classico about one moment or is it about the quality of football for over 90 min of pure football . to be honest if the former classico's have helped shaped the order of world football then i would say that this classico had been a disappoint for me in terms of the football played . there are several questions that need to answered and one of them is whether zidane is fit enough to continue his carrier as real madrid coach . as i had said that you prove yourself when you play against the best . barcelona even though they had lost against juventus but still are one of the best . for me zidane even though he is in the ucl semi's but his team had never looked convincing . barcelona's tiki taka football and its high pressing and the type of the football that they played which changed the world football landscape was because they could implement against teams like real madrid and other big teams . 
coming to the game now . real madrid started the game with their usual 4-3-3 formation with bale starting the tie . while barcelona started the game with their 4-3-3 formation but to be honest it was 4-4-2 formation with rakitic being the right sided midfielder with messi being the natural number 10 . there some individual battle with modric trying to mark iniesta ,kross on busquestus and casmeiro on messi . i dont know about zidan but didnt he try to watch the juventus game and how they tried to deal with messi and how they kept barca at bay and how they worked with each other to stop barca . football is played by individual's but its a team game and it's take a team effort to score or defend . the other thing had been how prajnic and khedira defended against messi they never tried to disposses and try to double or triple on him . you cannot mark messi singularly . he is too good . as i had said that while doing defense you had to be patient . you are to be like a tiger  waiting to pounce on prey but you for that you have to create the situation and be patient . i think a better one on one practise with casmeiro were needed and better team support .
the game started with real madrid sitting back and trying to hit barca on the counter while barca tried to congest real's play by playing a very high line but kept dropping as the ball was bought forward . in the past barcelona were known for their very intense pressing but as the time has passed the opposition had got better and barcelona players had got old and are not able to play that intense pressing game so even though barca were playing a very high line the pressing was just minimal . even though barca were playing a very high line real were not able to take advantage of that and were not able to release either of the front three behind the back four . the real reason as to why i didnt liked it as a elclassico is because there was no amount of discipline in the game . first off carvajal had the acres of space to move forward just because alcacer who was playing on that side wasnt following him and trying to mark him so carvajal was having a good amount of time and space on the ball .the trouble had been that real didnt a number 10 who would pull the strings . real were able to work the ball quite high near barca's box but were confined to shot from distance and secondly crosses from wide areas but didnt worked enough to bring the ball inside . real's front three were not on the same page bale was clearly off color . when bale went injured assesio was played . to be honest assensio for me is still young and developing he too wasnt that disciplined on the defense and was letting alaba scott free and that created a problem for real madrid . real's front three were never in sync with each other and ronaldo is clearly a selfish player who at times can pass the ball but keeps on shooting the ball rather than passing the ball . secondly when you are playing in the front line people expect you to handle the ball better and have some threat when you are ronaldo instead ronaldo keeps passing the ball back and tries at the end of chances created by others . he is good header and good finisher but at time you are supposed to create and involved in the offense.
even though messi was hero of the game was he the deciding the factor because in the last game against juventus he was trying to pick up players in forward position and here he was trying to take on the whole real defense and that was the only change that was made by enrique. did the game moved around messi i dont think so . for me he saw very less of the ball from which he should see and that the play should revolve around him  .
the trouble with real had been that all the players were playing like individuals and doing their individual jobs instead of playing like a team helping each other that is why there was spaces between the middle line and the back line and the back line and they were never ever in tandem with each other . look at juventus there back line worked in tandem with the middle line stepping up dropping back and helping each other to defend . was the game great no i dont think because of the way the team defended and the lack of concentration and decision making and the lack of manager's changes in the game the didnt provide a great entertainment .

Friday, 21 April 2017

MY TAKE ON THE GAME BETWEEN BARCELONA VS JUVENTUS .

yesterday barcelona played juventus at the nou camp and hoped that they could do the same as they did against PSG . the trouble was that they came against a very good defensive and very organised and disciplined who executed the plan very correctly but more worriedly luis enrique tactics were just ordinary . for me barca's attack were just one dimensional and lacked any incision . most importantly i felt that barca this year has moved from the barca that had been playing till recently and the trouble had been that barca hadnt been able to mix things . the most important facet had been that most of the teams everywhere had learned to cope with the intense pressing and had prepared themselves well in one on one situations as well as passing the ball crisply to get out of the press and get themselves time on the ball . 
barca started the game with their all capturing 4-3-3 formation but the change from this formation had been that messi who was playing right had moved into right  central position and rakitic who is central moves to the right or even you can say that rakitic was on the right while messi was on the left would be central . while juventus started with the same formation and the same players with 4-2-3-1 formation with dybala trying to drop on busquestus .
the thing is that on which ever side messi is on the opposition likes to have that many players on that side trying to stop messi because stopping messi by a single player is nearly impossible he is that good . when barcaleno won the ucl at that time barca were playing totally different first off . messi was playing wide on the right and that was creating space for others because the opposition was getting stretched over and the opposition was in two minds whether messi was coming inside or staying wide . the biggest benefator with that move was neymar who had a very good year and who was at the end of several messi's balls . the trouble this season had been that messi may not had wanted to stay wide or that enrique wanted to do things different . the second thing about which barcelona had been known for had been their tiki taka ( one touch passing ) but this season it had been very different . we can say that it had been different from 2 seasons before but then when you are winning nobody questions you but when you loose at that time everybody starts to question you .
juventus had a 3-0 lead from the first leg .so they were going to just sit back and hit on the counter . juventus played the same formation that they had used in the first leg and were confident of playing the same football . busquestus returned into the side in place of mascherano and alaba in place of mathieu so they provide better movement of the ball and mobility . juventus tried to mark busquestus with dybala but busquestus is good a player and can deal with that . now barcelona's attack play is concentrated around two players and the system had been changed and these two players sharing  the ball and starting the offense and one of these two players drop deep to help move the ball upfield in a bid to stretch the defense and create the space between the lines so that it can be exploited . juve were not going to buy this .they were ready from the first leg itself  where they were sitting deep and compact and deal with the pressure . barca plan was so poor and more so that they didnt just had a plan b . even though luis enrique changes the personal but still he kept the same shape for the last 15 minutes he sent pique but untill that the game had gone out of hands and most importantly barcelona were  happy shooting beyond the box rather than trying to work it inside the box or trying some low crosses to suarez who could be at the end of it . 
there were two important things in the match that were notable first off whenever barca could put together more that three passess together they were able to create problem for juve and had a shot at goal . at the same time when one of their star players just wanted to driblle the ball and take on the defense themselves they were stopped in the tracks .  barca's offense as i had said is based around two players messi and neymar . messi had dropped deep and his role was a little bit restricted with players like iniesta and rakitic told to run beyond him and that messi should try to find them with the pass . juventus were going to play compact and the job by their two lines defense was very excellent . whenever the first lines goes to press the second lines comes up compress him and help the first line and stop the attack . the trouble with barca was that they were not able to bring suarez that much into the game . first off they were not able to feed him with balls and secondly they were not able to play through him . messi playing central was boon in disguise for juventus rather than for barcelona  . neymar who wrecked munier of PSG in the second leg just couldnt had the same joy against dani alves . the thing was not that he couldnt beat alves but that alves was perfectly helped by the players around him so that even if he beats alves they were ready to close down neymar so that he cannot cause problems . barcelona were just on dimensional in their offense . they had all the width but the trouble is that they were not able to bring the ball inside but then credit does has to go to juventus who prevented . 
as i had applauded juventus midfielders for the great hard work they had done in the earlier post i think in this post both bonucci and chilleni deserve the applause as they had been rock solid and supported their midfield very nicely by stepping at the right time and closing down players . their timing sense and their positional sense was just superb . even though juve sat back and played on the counter they were team who were more threatning and passed the ball better and had better chances than barcelona . this game too showed that luis enrique wasnt tactically that fluid as he should had been and should had asked more of the team .

Monday, 17 April 2017

MAN UTD VS CHELSEA .1-0

yesterday man united played chelsea at old trafford and defeated them . although many are saying that this is one of the finest man utd perfromance this season under jose mouriniho but to be honest the tactics were the same as it was in the FA cup tie but  just look at the change what a player makes to the situation . we had already read that gaurdiola had talked about tactics with the chess grandmasters and i think compared to gaurdiola mouriniho doesnt gets the kind of admaration that gaurdiola gets . your are lauded for your tactics when you are successful not when you are not . but when you try something different and ask questions to the opposition at that time you can really see what the opposition is made of and how does it react . man utd asked questions in the FA cup tie and they had the answer . the only thing was that there they were  successful because of some help from some stupid official . coming to tactics and talk about grandmaster jose stopped chelsea in the tracks and i cannot help compare him although it may be bit farsical but with the great TIGRAN "THE TIGER " PETROSIAN " . pertrosian was known for his great prophylactic game where on he would stop the opponent in his tracks and then pounce upon his mistake . i had already said in my earlier posts  where on i had that chelsea play through three players and if you stop them then  you can contain them . well teams had already tried this .spurs had tried this first but in the first attempt they fail but in the second attempt they did stopped them and stopped chelsea's juggernaught .
whenever coaches select the team they have  a plan b in mind and selecting zouma was a part of the plan B where on conte must had known that ibramovic will be coming on for utd doesnt matters what . although gary neville had said that alonso was missed by chelsea but i dont think so . if you looked in the earlier games then most of the opposition's offense against chelsea was from left side where on alonso and cahill are there . conte too had known about this problem so in this fixture he played moses there who is much more mobile compared to alonso and can cover more grass and is better on the counter than him .
mouriniho's work was seen in the last game only in the FA cup where on he used phil jones but change that to ander herrera and you get a very different result because not only is herrera is better mobile but also makes better decisions . the game had two phases to it  . first off till lingard on the field because till that utd played a very good forward game and pressed chelsea and caused them to make mistakes and had better possession off the ball and controlled tempo of the game . after lindgaard went off utd sat back and soaked up chelsea's attack and saw off the match .
utd had rightly judged that if you stop chelsea trio then you stop chelsea . i think mouriniho too special sessions for this first off  united were very alert whenever they lost the ball . atleast herrera and darmian and one of two centre backs in whoever's zone costa was . just as utd loose the ball these playes would marking these three players on the goal side and tracking their runs . first off utd didnt gave costa any time and space on the ball and one of the centre backs came out of the defense to mark him . secondly in the FA cup tie there was a considerable space between the jones and smalling for hazard to twist and turn and wiggle jones off his back . in this fixture utd just closed the spaces and till lindgarrd was on the field they pressed chelsea heavily and came away with the ball most of the times . mouriniho played with two striker's and he prefferred to have pace rather than a big striker and work rate of both these players was very excellent .  
conte had taken away the responsibility for this defeat and he is correct about that . chelsea are playing through plan A but what about plan B . when the plan A was failing at the same time he should have had something up in te sleeve to surprise utd but he had nothing . he had tied matic and he doesnt lets him get off inside the box . there are no midfield runners from chelsea who would get beyond costa or that he would control tempo of the game when they have the ball . for the first half he was just thinking and should had just prepared for it and he was more dependent on hazard's quality rather than planning tactics accordingly .
the only player i was disappointed in the united lineup was pogba . big players come in big games and here he had the chance to show his quality accordingly and he should had controlled the game better and should had shown his worth . i was especially disappointed with him when lindgard was substituted and he was given the chance to go and join ibra on the offense . even though man united won but still they are far from concincing to be a good team and a lot of there is to be desired .

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

MY TAKE ON THE GAME BETWEEN JUVENTUS VS BARCELONA .

on tueday juventus played barcelona in the first leg of the ucl tie with juventus . i think barcelona had developed the habit of conceding goals in the first leg and the tie is far from over . we all know that barcelona start very slow and they are prone to mistakes in the first few minutes and this had been the case under gaurdiola too . every other team that play they try to press at the start of the match because the energy levels are high and as the match progresses team sends to sit back and soak the pressure . the one thing that i would write is that messi being criticized about his performance i think its foolish to criticize him . if there is one player because of whom the tie is still alive it is messi and even in this match he was the best player on the pitch and he was the one who had created the most number of chances . juventus were lucky that the chances that barca created were not able to put it beyond the line . but then barcelona cannot espace the criticism since they were not able to finish what they created or were not able to create enough to put a threat in juve's mind . but the one thing that they forget is that unlike PSG here juventus can be  man enough to can stop barca at nou camp . the one player that i want to really applaud is sami khadeira who had been a rock not only on defense but also on 
barcelona started the game with 4-3-3 formation with mascherano starting in place of busquestus . juventus started with their new 4-6-0 formation with manzukic starting to play as a winger . as i said that barca are vulnereable at the start and teams try to test them up . when you play a player in a certain position then he starts to develop mentality regarding that position and thats what had happened with maschrano with that first goal and it was bad game reading on the part of barcelona which contributed to that goal . first off there are only three juventus players in an around the box so various factors had to be taken into consideration as to whom he can pass where he can pass . barcelona's problem had been that even in the PSG match was that the defensive midfielder has to cover a lot of space in front of the back four and he gets no support from the others . secondly when the ball was passed to dybala mascherano should had gone and just on and closed him down . instead he was ball watching and that led to the goal . juventus we know were going to play on the counter and here i want to applaud the performances of two juve midfielders who had been very good on both ends and they are the real man of the match for me . they covered a lot of distance and supported their front line very well and complemented very well with each other . in the first half they were the one who were driving juve forward and it was their energy which was very necesarry for juve .
barcelona's attack start with either messi or neymar and juve had studied that so either of the full backs were not ready to give messi and neymar time and space on the ball and they were ready to come out of the defense to close them down . no team in this world likes messi to have time on the ball and give him a head start and just like all other teams they closed him with two or three players just because it is not easy to close down messi with one player and chilleni found it the hard way and they were not fortunate not to be made paid by suarez .  after the early exchanges just as the game settled down juve had all the players behind the ball especially they were defending with two ranks of four with ready to concede space in the wide areas and remaining very tight since they know that barcelona and messi are able to explore little amount of space behind and between . i would really term this match as men versus boys because juve drew barca in the physical battle and won that . messi might not had played a better fullback than sandro who was very good against messi and  for the first time he got toe to toe with messi which is very hard since he can turn both ways and is just superb on the ball . neymar didnt had a great joy but at times you need help from the coach where on your A game just doesnt work and you have to switch to game B and sadly enrique hasnt figuered this out .
in the second half enrique went to his plan B where on he subbed mathieu and bought gomes in his place and switched the system to 3-4-3 with rakitic and neymar in the fullback postion . juventus already had the two goal lead from the first half and werer going to sit back and just try to play on the counter . juventus scored the third goal on the corner and mascherano will be blamed but it should be on the team coach who put maschrano against chilleni when had given him warning in the very first minutes . juve just congested the centre of the park  and just were decent in the one on one exchanges to deny barcelona and that is one of the facet that led to the first leg victory .
now it is very easy to criticize anybody and after the game messi and neymar were criticized for their performances . now first off whoever understands football wont do that . to criticize messi is a stupidity because whatever chances barcelona created they were by messi . first off to hold the ball under pressure and then pass it threading the defense pinpointly requires a great quality and messi did that . now both neymar and messi drop deep so that the defense stretches and they can have time and space on the ball but at the same time when they drop deep their positions which are empty needs to be filled and the coach should try to explore that options and should ask other players to do that and combine to form move . either neymar or messi should start high up the pitch and stay high but then the other players are not able to work the ball to them to put them in a situation where on they can work their magic . if they drop deep their positions should be filled by other players . you cannot blame on these two players the others needs to do the job well and as i had said that the coach needs to switch plan B or plan C . if he is not getting successful against a certain player change his position or try something different  . we had seen both the fullbacks were coming out of the defense to close down messi and neymar so why not try to exploit that space which was left by them and try to pull opposition's defense out of shape and try different .  yes both neymar and messi are good players but to blame them solely for the defeat is stupidity beyond any doubt .