FC Barcelona continued their collapse in the Champions League’s knockout stages for the fourth consecutive season.
The fallout this time was different, as it fell 1-4 at Camp Nou in front of Paris Saint-Germain, in a confrontation that almost ended with a historic victory for the Champions League runners-up, last season.
This time, Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman wrote a new death certificate for the Catalan team with disastrous technical errors, starting with choosing the starting lineup, passing through the meeting scenario over the course of its half.
On the other hand, PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino succeeded with distinction, took advantage of all weaknesses, and dealt ably with the crisis of absence in the team.
Kora website reviewed the reasons for the overwhelming superiority of the Parisian guest, as follows:
Koeman started the meeting with a wrong formation, as he resorted to a defensive combination lacking in fitness, with Pique being present after an absence of more than two months for his knee injury, as well as Dest, who was not essential in recent matches, unlike Lenglet, who sat as a substitute for Umtiti, while Jordi Alba was the only element In the backline he is better physically and technically prepared.
The very slowness of the midfield trio, Busquets, Pedro and De Jong, was a defect in the team, as they were largely isolated from the attacking trio Messi, Griezmann and Dembele.
This Catalan disintegration, thanks to Pochettino’s excellence in organizing his ranks, and his mental stability after being late with the goal of Messi scoring from a penalty kick, as the Parisian midfielder Paredes, Verrati, Gaye and his substitute in the second half, Ander Herrera, were more ferocious and powerful in extracting the ball, so Messi’s influence gradually disappeared.
Pochettino also succeeded in paralyzing the fronts of Barca, taking advantage of Mbappe’s speed to the left and Moise Keane to the right, which deprived the backs of Dest and Alba from advancing and forming offensive fronts with Griezmann and Dembele.
Koeman also did not succeed in distributing the physical effort of his players, but rather risked a lot of front pressure, leaving wide areas for a missile with speed Kylian Mbappe, who exploited it with distinction, and Mbappe scored the fourth goal, while he and his teammates missed several other opportunities thanks to the brilliance of the German goalkeeper, Ter Stegen.
The Catalan team also faulted the poor positioning of its players in the cross balls, whether in the rear or on the sides, and the Catalan defense did not pay attention to its seriousness in the first half, and it caused two goals in the second half.
Koeman remained the road 78 minutes, until he began thinking about revitalizing his ranks by engaging Puig and Pjanic in place of Pedro and Busquets, and when he thought of pumping new blood into the attack by involving Braithwaite, he decided to replace Griezmann instead of Osman Dembele, who fondly dealt with all the attempts.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 16, 2021