Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

David Healy: Fair play to Mourinho, but Barcelona blew their chance

I had been looking forward to Barcelona’s match against Inter Milan at the Nou Camp.

But it turned into a big let down. I was really disappointed with the game and in Barcelona in particular.

Inter Milan were there to do a job and they did it efficiently, but in my opinion Barcelona were poor. I thought they lacked urgency right from the start of the match.

That was strange because after losing 3-1 in the San Siro last week they needed to score at least twice to go through to the final, so you would have thought they would have gone for it from minute one.

Intsead of their usual, crisp passing Barca were a bit laboured and in Zlatan Ibrahimovic they had a front man who just didn’t perform — again.

Until the last few minutes Barcelona lacked a cutting edge which is unusual for them.

Yes, we should give credit to Inter and of course, Jose Mourinho (pictured) is being hailed as a tactical genius — we already knew that — but had Barcelona been at their best I still reckon they would have done it.

Don’t forget they were playing 10 men for over an hour.

The whole game became defence versus attack.

It reminded me of many a training session that I have had.

When defences are as well organised as Inter’s they are desperately hard to break down and in Lucio, Walter Samuel and Javier Zanetti, Inter had players on top of their game. I can’t stand Lucio’s play-acting and time-wasting, but you cannot fault his ability to defend.

Few would have thought that the final would be between Inter and Bayern Munich.

Certainly no-one in Barcelona would have seen it coming. but the boys from the Nou Camp only have themselves to blame.

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