Date: 30th November 2010 at 3:40pm
Written by:

As I sat and watched El Clasico last night, I like everyone was impressed with what I saw as Pep Guardiola’s side made a mockery of Jose Mourinho and his men.

Iker Casillas, one of the best keepers in the world, shipped 5 goals whilst Mesut Ozil who I personally advocated we sign was a ghost, totally anonymous until his name was called to be replaced by Lassana Diarra at half time and most disappointing for me was Ronaldo who tried in vain against a Barcelona team who appeared determined to put to bed any question over who is the better player Ronaldo or Messi.

Whilst Barcelona were awesome I had an overriding thought in my head the whole time whilst I was watching, Barcelona wouldn’t be able to embarrass United like that. It may be the bias in me being a United fan but even looking at it logically I think it is nigh impossible.

People will instantly point to the Champions League final and no I’m not suffering from selective amnesia but Sir Alex has always insisted that night he made a mistake and that he wouldn’t make it again and I agree. Just a year earlier we faced Barcelona and beat them over two legs. For all the talk of Sir Alex being ‘tactically inept’ we emerged victorious having missed a penalty in the first leg and created chances in both games as well as defending astutely (rather than defending for our lives as some people will make out).

People will point to Barca having improved and us weakening with the loss of Ronaldo and Tevez but more over this is about how we set up in the game. Last season Jose Mourinho managed to beat Guardiola’s Barcelona over two legs with arguably a weaker team. His team saw less of the ball but defended solidly, took their chances in the final third and most importantly they pressed high up the field, pressuring Pique and Puyol but Madrid did none of this.

Benzema, Ronaldo and Di Maria needed to be their first line of defence but they allowed Barca to get to their midfield unchallenged and it was over from there, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Messi vs Ozil, Khedira and Xabi was a miss match. Whilst Khedira is known for his engine getting up and down the pitch he was happless whilst Alonso’s lack of mobility was again highlighted despite his good ball retention and distribution. Things only got marginally better when Diarra came on and attempted to chase the ball down.

Last night Mourinho perhaps under pressure from the fans and management at a club who turn their nose up at the kind of football that has lead Jose to success to success against Barca with both Inter and Chelsea, abandoned a tried and tested formula and the result was a humbling 5-0 defeat.

I think it is pretty obvious trying to match Barcelona will be your undoing, whilst Madrid didn’t see enough of the ball to attempt it last night, Arsenal saw it last season. It’s a mistake I wouldn’t expect Sir Alex to make, people often complain that when we play a big team we often aim to contain them and catch them on the break rather than out play them but it has been shown to be a fruitful tactic.

Again there will be people that say it is impossible to stop them, their team is too good blah blah blah but it has been done before and I’m pretty sure if you go out to face them with the right set up (as well as a talented set of players such as ours despite people’s claims of it being the worst team we’ve had!) it can be done.

Not saying that Barcelona aren’t the best team in the world, anyone who tries to refute this seriously needs their eyes testing neither am I saying that beating Barca is as easy as it may appear that I am suggesting what I am say is that beating Barcelona isn’t impossible, it has been done before and whilst there is no blueprint it is clear certain tactics work well against them.

That being said I hope we don’t face them later this season and I’m made to look a mug!


25 responses to “Could Barcelona have done that to United? I doubt it…”

  1. Trev says:

    We played them in the Champions League final and they tore us appart completely!

  2. Eleven says:

    All i want say Barca were awesome! Real wasn’t even able to see the shadows! never mind chase them.
    Personally i think NO ONE can beat Barca at there own game, the only way you can beat em is if you contain them or muscle them out, let them do ter pretty triangle in there own third.

    regarding United Vs Barca? its hard to say, if we have our full squad playing at there best, then definitely but everyone knows its unlikely to get fully fit squad on form in the real world,
    One thing i know for sure is it that it would be one hell of a game to watch!

  3. me me says:

    barca did not do to us what they did to real last night. no way. we struggled to keep the ball, we struggled to get it off them but they were at their best that night and scored two of three real chances they had. im with the blogger here, they just wouldnt have beat us like that. no way!

  4. baggies otunuga says:

    Not being a mug and I agree wt ur analysis. Though, barca plays the best futball in d world today, wt right tactics and right frame of mind, dey can be beaten, a la, rubin karza, hercules, etc.
    In a nutshell, the players need to ensure they have a strategy 4 disrupting their passes and resolute mind to ‘die’ a little foe dr team

  5. Footy Fan says:

    I would half agree with you – I don’t know if United has the defence to consistently cope with Barca but I’m sure they would play their cards better than Mourinho did.

    Barca are at their most vulnerable when they bombard the area against a good defence. If they don’t get the first goal, it is game on.

    That said, Messi and co are at the peak of their powers right now – the way they dismantled Madrid was effortless to say the least.

    BTW – it is ‘nigh impossible’ not ‘neigh’. #correction

    • Chudi Onwuazor says:

      Thanks for pointing that out.

      I don’t think our defence is that much worse than when we faced them in 08. Ferdinand has shown he is still capable as has Vidic and Evra. The only difference is Brown but I think Rafael is a worth deputy.

      Rooney is just the striker to pressure their defence whilst we have the mobility and ball retention in midifield via Scholes, Fletcher and Anderson.

  6. Aaron Prophet says:

    Spanish football is too easy. la liga don’t tackle until the 18 yard box, well as epl tackle way before the hafeway line.
    Also the amount of time the ref blows his whistle, fouls are too easy.
    So man u vs barca with a easy going ref man u would stroll it comfortable in my opinon.

  7. pjch says:

    Men against boys Haven’t seen a display in ages by any side let alone Barca – they were magnificent and could have won by many many more than just the 5. Real couldn’t live with them.
    The question is could United have. Our defence may be capable but would need extra protection from our midfield with coping with the speed and movement shown last night. At present don’t think our midfield would be up to it and remember they outplayed us in midfield a couple of years ago in the Champions League final (Fletcher in midfield would not have made any difference that night)

  8. GAZZARO says:

    WAKE UP MATE!!!….

    NOT BARCA, But it’s the bottom team Westham that demolish up completely 4-0…

    It’s not our first team, of course, but Westham is very much behind Barca in terms of quality.

    What we’ve learnt from tinight is WHAT A WASTE OF SIGNING BEBE!!!… How can we paid 7.6 million for this kind of players??? Some may argue that we should give him more time, but if we paid this amont of money, we should get much better quality.

    Chicharito is hopeless. He maybe a good finisher, but he has no skill to control and unlock the defence. Additionally as he’s a light weight player (very short), he may not suit to play in EPL.

    O’Shea, Fabio, and Evan should all get 3 for their match facts.

  9. deaz says:

    forget barc, westham done this to us.

  10. Chudi Onwuazor says:

    I had expected these sorts of comments here the one thing I will say is that the team that played West Ham wouldn’t be anywhere near Barca