Federico FAZIO, Diego PEROTTI in Champions League semi’s

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Federico FAZIO and Diego PEROTTI have made the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

It was a night to remember for the Italian club as they pulled out a shock 3-0 victory against Barcelona to knock them out of Europe’s premier club competition. And while Diego PEROTTI took no part in the match, FAZIO was a rock in the three man back line.

Having recently been selected by Argentina National Team coach Jorge SAMPAOLI for the the team’s last two friendly matches, there must not be any doubts based off of performances this season (and more specifically Tuesday’s performance) that the former Sevilla man must be on the plane to Russia.

For Lionel MESSI it means no Champions League trophy as this is where the road ends for him but a potential domestic double is still on the cards for them.

It wasn’t a great night for Nicolas OTAMENDI and Sergio AGUERO either as they were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the hands of Liverpool. OTAMENDI started the match for Manchester City ahead of captain Vincent KOMPANY and while he had a solid individual performance it wasn’t enough to overturn a 3-0 first leg deficit to make it to the semi-finals.

Sergio AGUERO came on as a substitute for David SILVA but it was too little too late as Liverpool had already scored and the Brazilian FIRMINO added a second to win 2-1 and eliminate Pep GUARDIOLA’s men.

30 COMMENTS

  1. All the comments here are spot on!!

    Somewhere along the line I too feel for Argentina more than Barca.
    After 4 final lose, 3 bak to bak year finals, my strong feeling is that ARGENTINA will lift WORLD CUP under Sampaoli

    Lets be postive now and our players are more fresh.
    I will repeat again, I dont care abt Barca anymore untill Messi plays. They play schit without him.
    Messi deserve WC. Barca achieved alot now its pay back time for Messi to shine jn WC after lossing 4 finals

    • Definitely a solid line up but unfortunately Faz, gar and ota aren’t suitable for a 3 man backline especially the former 2 because they r sorely lacking in pace. This line up may become necessary if Arg needs a goal or are a goal down but generally speaking I would stick to a 4 man backline

  2. The Barcelona GOLDEN era was over a long time ago, it’s that simple. Messi is and was the only player keeping this current Barcelona team a float Post Pep Guardiola era. We have seen Abidal, Puyol, Xavi, Valdes, Alves and most recently Mascherano departed from the club with no like for like replacement. The Barcelona board was sitting on their hands thinking La Masia was going to somehow produce players like Xavi and Iniesta when these guys were once in a generation type player especially coming out of the La Masia academy and into the Barcelona first team. Barcelona board didn’t know when and how to rebuild their successful winning team, instead every coach who comes in act as if Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and Dani Alves were always going to be at the club indefinitely.

    Barcelona over the years was content on buying below standard players so that they could at least keep veteran players like Xavi happy at the club despite his obvious slowing down. Alex Song is a perfect example of the mistakes Barcelona have made over the years. Fast forward to today and we have players like Gomes, Vidal, Alcacer, Digne, Paulinho etc. playing for Barcelona. None of these players would be a part of a Pep Guardiola Barcelona team.

    People are acting as if Barcelona was some dominant European team prior to Guardiola taking over at FCB. Barcelona had only won two UCL title in the season of 1991–92 and 2005–06 before the Pep Guardiola Golden age at Barcelona where they end up winning two UCL title by defeating Manchester United in both of those finals. Neymar coming in at Barcelona was just a short term fix, the MSN work for just one season and that was it. Enrique tactics at Barcelona was, play the MSN in every single game (while putting less emphasis on the midfield) and hope the individualism of Messi, Neymar and Suarez would carry the day.

    Thiago Alcantara was supposed to be the future of the Barcelona midfield but the coach and the Barcelona board at the time relegated him to the bench and slowly pushed him out of the club on the arrival of Neymar Jr. Pep Guardiola then lobbied Thiago Alcantara to join him at Bayern Munich with the promise of first team football. Barcelona immediately gave Thiago Alcantara number 11 shirt to Neymar. Thiago Alcantara will never move back to Barcelona after the way how they treated him especially on the arrival of Neymar Jr. Barcelona traded their future midfielder (Thiago Alcantara) for a player like Neymar who was only after fame, money and the BDOR.

    Let’s recap some history here, Barcelona have always struggled in Italy as far as I can remember. Jose Mourinho Inter Milan team defeated Barcelona in Italy and went on to win the UCL that same season. Barcelona lost to AC Milan in Italy by 3 goals to zero during the UCL quarterfinal and it took a heroic Messi in the return leg at the Camp Nou to push Barcelona over the top. Barcelona lost to Juventus in Italy last season 3-0. So it was no surprise Barcelona went out to Roma yesterday given their track record on Italian soil. Roma deserves plenty of credit because they played great over both legs minus the two own goals at the Camp Nou. Why is it that because Barcelona lost to Roma that means Messi and Barcelona played bad? Isn’t it the case that Roma was just better over both legs? This is the same Roma team that finished top of their group ahead of Chelsea and Atletico Madrid. Not because you have a player like Messi means he will show up in every single game and in every single difficult moment. Football is a team sport and Roma for me was the better team over both legs. The only downside for me is that I wanted Messi to score against Alisson before the world cup. Look at Barcelona performance against Sevilla before Messi came on? It was all Sevilla! The truth is, without Messi this Barcelona team is not that great. Messi right now is used as a band aid to hide Barcelona overall flaws on the pitch. Outside of Messi, Barcelona is not even attractive to watch anymore.

    Coutinho and Dembele purchases was just another example of poor football management by the Barcelona board. Real Madrid invested in their midfield over the last decade and it paid off for them.

  3. Completely agree with @Kitty:

    “Will it resolve the problems of Argentina team? In what way this will help in fixing our issues at the back?

    Barca’s exit clearly shows that we can’t depend solely on Messi for winning the World Cup;

    Messi at his best alone won’t be able to win the World Cup for ARG (Utmost he can drag upto QF’s); This is the truth and ARG NT coach need to get this to his mind and plan accordingly”

    Messi being out of CL at this level nothing change for us. He may drag us alone to 1/8 but nothing more. Portugal can win Europ final without Ronaldo or Germany WC without Reuss. At the highest level only team may win.

  4. If iniesta and Messi leave today, this barca team would never recover. Shame their board want to destroy Messi and his legacy by signing paulinho, gomes and digne. My only hope is RM not winning another UCL.

  5. People are reading too much into this Barca loss. This Barca team is no where near the quality of RM except probably Messi and Busquets. Ronaldo winning another ballon dor would be with help of team and regardless of anything, Messi is still better player than him. Barca made serious mistake by signing players like Paulinho and Gomes. Valverde also seems to have no idea of playing attacking football or rotating players. If RM win CL, then only Barca season would look failure. I am starting to believe that Messi is trying to say FUC K barca as i am getting more money than any one. Other than, how could barca sign paulinho and gomez and have valverde as manager. Also for WC, messi should be rested if Argentina are winning by 2-3 goals early on. That way we can keep messi fresh.

  6. please take off your rose tinted glasses
    every tournament where barca go out, people on here say the same thing…”now messi can be fresh”

    it made no difference in the past and will not now.

    ronaldo has proven recently he will win another ballon d’or and overtake messi (sadly) in the GOAT

    • People are reading too much into this Barca loss. This Barca team is no where near the quality of RM except probably Messi and Busquets. Ronaldo winning another ballon dor would be with help of team and regardless of anything, Messi is still better player than him. Barca made serious mistake by signing players like Paulinho and Gomes. Valverde also seems to have no idea of playing attacking football or rotating players. If RM win CL, then only Barca season would look failure. I am starting to believe that Messi is trying to say FUC K barca as i am getting more money than any one. Other than, how could barca sign paulinho and gomez and have valverde as manager. Also for WC, messi should be rested if Argentina are winning by 2-3 goals early on. That way we can keep messi fresh.

    • Sadly I kinda agree with you. I don’t see the same desire and instinct in Messi, it is also due to the lack of supporting cast around him, he has to create chances and score all by himself…Ronaldo on the other hand only has to score. RM is clear favorite to win CL now but even if Barca won yesterday, I dont think they would have beaten RM, Barca has limited rotation and Valvarde has been lucky as Messi was carrying everything for him. Iniesta is done, may be one good pass in the games that he plays…Anyway Barca aside, for Argentina Messi will be rested by not playing 3 potential UCL games, I dont think thats a good enough argument, I am sure he would have loved to enter the WC as a La Liga and UCL winner, it would have boosted his confidence..now there are too many pieces to pick, the national team is not ready yet, no ones knows the final 11…they havent had enough time to play together and for his advantage no one expects Portugal to do well…so no pressure on Ronaldo, he can win UCL and win the Ballon as well…its pathetic that Barca and Messi would win 2 domestic titles and it would account for nothing…if Liverpool wins UCL Salah will get the best player award….Messi’s only realistic chance of glory is only WC…I hope Sampaoli puts a good team together quickly and Messi starts practicing with them as soon as Barca wins the league, he doesnt need to play in insignificant Classico etc.

  7. @imtiaz
    That is a very true observation by you that Messi is slowing down. He does not have that lightening speed anymore and hasn’t since last year.
    That is why players like Lo Celso, Lanzini, and Dybala are important to bring the ball up and for pace.
    Also, I hope Sampa keeps an eye on otamendi because he is in the worst form I have seen him in nearly.5 years and at this point should not be guaranteed a starting spot.

    • We most definitely need them.
      Regarding Otamendi, He has performed incredibly well this season until last couple of months. Interestingly, his performance tends to depend on his partner too. For example, when he plays with Kompany, he tends to make more mistakes than usual. We saw the same when he played with Rojo. But he was rock solid when paired with Fazio albeit Italy were a worse opponent. Some of his costly mistakes can be easily avoided as well. He makes those mistakes more when his team is having a real bad day or, out of the game due to the scoreline. These are psychological issues. For example, his giveaway against Spain and Liverpool last night. If we play as a unit and don’t allow opponents to single out our CBs, I think we will be fine with Ota-Fazio pairing. We need consistency at CB and Ota has been world class this season.

  8. somedays ago people were praising valvarde.they wanted that sampaoli must follow valverde’s tactics.now what they say????in fcb’s fb page fans are so furious on valverde cause not allow dembelle early;why messi not rested against legenes;why not poulinho in midfield and bla bla…
    i want to say that sampoali is sampaoli he knows football better than us thousands times.

    • I agree with you. Sampaoli won’t just copy-paste Barca’s system just because Messi is successful in Barca. We made that same in the past trying to play like Barca. It always backfired. Other than Sampaoli’s love for Biglia and Higuain, I trust him.

  9. The spotlight is being taken away from Messi and that’s a good thing. There’s a feeling that Messi cant compete with Ronaldo anymore for BDOR because Ronaldo is scoring ucl knock out goals and stealing the limelight. Messi looks slower than ever, he can’t run past players like he used to in the past and scoring less as a result. Messi has always arrived at the WC as the best player in the world but how has that helped us? It was all about Messi for the media and fans and that brought extra pressure. Now that everyone knows we are a bad team after conceding 6 and Messi is aging, the media bandwagon will be with Neymar or Ronaldo or somebody else. It hurts to see Ronaldo getting all the credit though. But remember this – Messi is a born winner. When everyone thinks they have seen all his tricks, he just pulls another rabit out of his hat.

    • Messi always will be in spotlight.what make you believe spotlight will be at Ronaldo?? Everybody knows Portugal hv 0 chances of winning.he is more in spotlight for club games not for national team.so this change nothing.

      • Portugal isn’t as weak as people assume. And for Ronaldo & Portugal, a semi final appearance and some shirt stripping celebration would be enough to be considered as success. Then comes Neymar & Brazil with strong squad. Considering Argentina’s recents form and Messi’s lack of recent BDOR, it’s fair to say the spotlight will be more on Neymar or, Ronaldo. I didn’t say Messi will avoid all attention. It’s a comparison to what he faced earlier when he won BDOR regularly.

  10. Good news for all lamela fans(including me)as currently he’s in the watch list of sampaoli. He will most probably be named in the 35 men shortlist for the wc squad before being assessed for the 23 men final list.
    Let’s hope he can build a good partnership with messi since that would be the only way he would be able to squeeze into the wc squad.

  11. I’m Barça all day but Argentina is more important, especially this year. Therefore fuck the UCL. This is good news for us. I think a lot of things are aligning perfectly for the WC. Most of our key players are going to be well rested for Russia. I just hope the plays stay healthy and fit.

  12. Roma deserved the win as Barca looks tired and over estimate / un motivated. However it will be a blessing as Messi has more relax times and can be fit in WC. Fazio is outstanding and can be our china wall.

  13. Seems to me people around here want messi to win La Liga, Copa Del rey. UEFA and the freaking world cup…..give me a break.

    Nothing will make Messi lose confidence, especially not winning the UEFA this particular year I’ll tell you what will. Not winning the world cup and I know that scares the hell out of him and wants that more than anything.

    It must have been at least 5 or 6 years when he said he would give back all the individual awards and trophies won with Barcelona if that could win him a WC, Imagine how he feels now. ..enough said.

  14. Barcelona are even weaker than Argentina.. their midfield is aging and even worse than ours… their defense is overrated… Umiti is an average defender and Pique is past his prime and their attacking totally depends on Messi creating and Suarez finishing…Suarez is also not the sane player he was couple of seasons ago..So if Messi has an off game then Barca are finished… Barca will struggle to even finish in top4 without Messi with their mediocre team.

    I am sad Messi’s team got knocked out today but this could be blessing in disguise for Argentina. Remember during out last qualifier against Ecuador when they scored the first goal and our hope of qualifying for the world cup was fading real fast… Messi went into beast mode and scored a hatrick in no time..

    I also feel like Messi is burned out and he is not fully fit.. so now he can take it easy as they have already won the league.. and concentrate on the World Cup !!!

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