Friday, September 18, 2009

Inter's Bus Holds Barca to a 0-0 Draw - My Thoughts

The parked bus has struck again. Barcelona were once again, undone by the strong organisation and commitment of an opposition defense (though some poor finishing also helped in getting Inter off the hook).

Dominating the game for the course of the entire 90 minutes with a possession ratio of 67:33 in their favour, one might have expected Barcelona to take the game. And they probably would, against a coach less wily than Mourinho.

Jose, knowing that Barcelona was far superior to his own side, did what a certain Mr. Hiddink did with Chelsea last season - he parked the bus. At any point of time, I counted seven-eight Inter players in the penalty area, just waiting for Barca's concentrated attack to break.

What I saw was, that despite this, Barcelona had their chances. Messi broke through very quickly in the 1st minute itself to test Cesar with a shot that would have beaten most keepers. In the 7th minute, Ibra had a half chance, but made a real meal of it. However, the guiltiest party in the lineup was Seydou Keita, who squandered the best chance of the match (it was a chance I could have finished off).

The game progressed with Barcelona attacking at every gap they could possibly find, and Inter blocking them off. The result was a disappointing one indeed, but not the worst result in the world.

What worries me is the reaction of Barcelona players after the game. A lot of them were whining about Inter's "negativity". Yes, Inter played negative. As would any other team if facing opponents of Barcelona's stature. As did Chelsea, and almost came away with a win. As did Man City, and actually won. As did Shakhtar and almost took Barca to penalties. Barcelona need to understand that the parked bus, though not yet a feature of Spanish football, will always be employed by foreign opponents to stop them from weaving their magic.

Pep Guardiola needs to work out a plan B to use in these situations. It is easier said than done, agreed, but otherwise there is a high likelihood that Barcelona will get embarrassed sooner or later by opponents who restrict them, cut them off and then finally score a fluky goal on the counter.

I would like to end by saying - this was not a bad result. It was an away draw against a good team. However, the parked bus is something that, if not countered now, will certainly cause Barcelona's downfall in the not-so-distant future.


Messi108 said...

Plan B is certainly a necessity.

Inter did what every other club will do against us this season.
But therz a catch !
Any club can do that "parking the Bus thingi" only as long as they ve not conceded.
Once they do, then they have to come out and play, and we can destroy them.
Ibra and Kieta miss was the game changer :(

Anurag said...

keita's miss was a howler. a real real howler.