Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Review of Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid. Barcelona hosted Atletico Madrid on our home soil, the Camp Nou. It was a highly anticipated game and all fans were hopeful that Barca is somehow going to get a win here. However, it did not happen. We played another game and drew again. These draws are becoming a habit, isn’t it? We drew against Sevilla. We drew against Celta, and now we drew against Atletico Madrid as well. Now, where are we in the La Liga race? This is the big question.
This is a really funny question because we are nowhere in the race now. I think that La Liga race is over for us now. Forget that fortune favors the brave thing I was blabbering about in my previous article. We not only played poorly, but we are also robbed. Yes, this 2-2 draw is a pretty controversial result. You all want to talk about the VAR thing and the penalty thing. I am going to get to that, don’t worry. However, my major concern is still some of our player performances and Quique Setien’s poor choices.
Yes, Setien’s future was also on the line when Barcelona stepped out to face Atleti. His future pretty much looks finished in Barcelona now. I strongly think that Setien is on his way to get sacked, and I am not going to say that this is going to be an unfair decision. There is a little bit to talk about Setien which I am going to. He did bring some positivity to the club. However, a lot of his decisions are questionable. He turned out to be worse than Valverde. Setien introduced new tortures and new kinds of headaches for the fans.
BARCELONA VS ATLETICO MADRID MATCH REVIEW
There were three penalties in this game. The remaining goal came off as an own goal from Diego Costa. This shows that our offense pretty much failed, and I am going to blame this draw on the VAR. However, this does not mean that all of our players were flawless, and we cannot blame them. No player was good enough other than Puig. Not Suarez, not Vidal, nobody. However, Messi, Busquests, Raki, and Stegen still gave their all. This game is all about VAR. Correct VAR decisions would have given Barcelona the deserving win.
CONTROVERSIAL PENALTY DECISIONS
Barcelona got the lead due to the own goal by Diego Costa. That was a huge advantage for us, and I feel like we should have capitalized that. However, a few minutes later Vidal gave Atletico a penalty. Diego Costa stepped up to take the penalty. Ter Stegen was superbly alert, and he managed to save it. However, it did not please our “highly qualified and expert” referee panel, and that penalty was reviewed under VAR. It was then decided that Stegen was off his line to save the kick. Now there is one thing to point out here.
How many times have we seen this happening? I cannot simply count it on my fingers when I saw a penalty scored this season, and the keeper was not blamed to be ahead of his line. It is sometimes really obvious and easily proven. However, I have not seen any penalty retaken due to this issue. I have seen this countless times with Real Madrid. I have seen this with other clubs. This does not only happen in La Liga but the Premier League as well. Do we not see this happening often in Ligue 1 or Serie-A?
There are unlimited clips of the same thing happening from time to time in football. However, it is usually ignored and the penalties are not retaken. What problem do the referees have with Barcelona? This was not only the first time that the wrong decision was given against us. It happened again when Carrasco DIVED for a penalty kick. The decision was reviewed under VAR and still the wrong decision was given. However, the rival fans blame that Barcelona did not deserve the penalty as well. It was a clear contact with Semedo. These haters are brainless.
BARCELONA VS ATLETICO MADRID STARTING LINEUP
Ter Stegen played in goal. I think Stegen could have gone home with a clean sheet. However, two wrong decisions were given against us. Stegen even nearly saved the second penalty kick. He got a solid hand on the kick from Saul. However, he was unlucky that he was not able to stop it from drifting to the back of the net. I think Stegen played courageously. He is our hero, and he always proves that. Ter Stegen is a lifesaver. He is our leader. I hope he stays like this for long.
Gerrard Pique, Lenglet, Alba, and Semedo started in defense. I think that there was nothing significant from our defenders. There was no work. However, our full-backs and Center Backs did work a lot. The main problem is that the players are putting in the effort, but nothing is coming out of it. Semedo cannot be blamed for giving away the penalty because it was simply not his fault. I think Semedo is clicking gradually into the Barcelona system. He is young as well just like Fati and Puig. We cannot expect him to carry us.
Alba often looks tired to me, and so does Pique. However, the fact is that not only do they look tired but they are tired in real as well. Both lads are above their 30s. It is hard for any player or person to keep performing as he used to years ago. This is the reason I am focused on defensive signings in the summer. I hope things get better for us eventually. Lenglet is a fighter but the age issue applies to him as well. We need fresh legs to join the attack and drop down as well.
Rakitic, Busquests, Puig, and Vidal started in the midfield. Vidal was a complete flop in this game. He did not click at all. It was just one of those bad days for Vidal as well as his team. Busquests played calmly like he normally does. Rakitic was again pretty good. He was seen putting in efforts for the team. He wanted to help his team. However, it was just not our day in both ways. Neither did we play impressively nor was luck on our side as well. We are robbed. I am going to keep this repeatedly. WE ARE ROBBED.
Puig was superbly good. He was the only player who delivered positive vibes to the fans. Furthermore, he is the only one who looked to be working efficiently. I used to get excited every time Puig had the ball. He is really good. I think he is a blessing to us. I mentioned above about some positivity about Setien. That positivity is that Setien believed in Puig, and he made him start these big games. This is going to help the young lad a lot. He is going to learn a lot from this, and this is going to benefit Barca.
Setien started with only 2 attackers upfront. This is because he played 4-4-2 which means that 4 midfielders were used instead of normal 3. You can read about the midfielders in the above section. Messi and Suarez started as the attackers. I have one word, to sum up, Luis Suarez’s performance in this game. Failure. Nothing more, nothing less. Luis Suarez completely failed. He was sluggish, and I think he had no idea of what was happening around him. He never deserved the starting spot according to my opinion. Furthermore, he never looked going or in the mood.
The substitution choices from Setien are also a huge controversy to discuss. Lionel got his 700th goal courtesy of a very cheeky panenka penalty. Other than that I am not impressed with Messi as well. However, he played responsibly. We expect so much from him, and it is not easy to deliver world-class performances in every game. That is why I usually ignore whenever he does not have a pretty great game. His presence is still very dominating and every defender in the world is aware of the fact that Lionel can change the game anytime.
SETIEN’S SUBSTITUTION CHOICES AND CONCLUSION
Let’s just conclude this Match Review by discussing Setien’s poor, and stupid substitution choices. Griezmann hardly had any seconds of playing time. Fati did not start. He could have at least used Braithwaite. We needed offense in this game. I do not think that Setien had any idea or any plan behind this lineup. If he does then he owes an explanation to the fans. I want him to speak up. Clear your name before you are sacked, Mr. Setien!
Anyway, guys, this is it from our side. I hope you liked this content.
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