Barça lick wounds and hope for schadenfreude as Madrid face Dortmund
Barcelona's battering by Bayern could only have been predicted by the King Egg-Head of experts, the most perspicacious of pundits, the elite of analysts. Like La Liga LocaÃ¢ÂÂs local fishmonger.
When asked yesterday by the blog, the hake-hawker boldly went for a 4-0 home win Ã¢ÂÂ a prognosis that duly went into the semi-final preview and duly it came to pass. Ã¢ÂÂA logical conclusion,Ã¢ÂÂ said the Salmon-Master coolly, when asked the following morning about his inspiration.
The manner of the defeat was devastating for Barcelona. It wasnÃ¢ÂÂt a fluky loss against a side playing to its strengths, such as last yearÃ¢ÂÂs semi-final set-back against Chelsea. BarÃÂ§a werenÃ¢ÂÂt under par against clinical opponents who took their chances, as in as this seasonÃ¢ÂÂs struggle against Milan.
Bayern give BarÃÂ§a a haddock. Sorry
No, this was a thrashing of the highest order. It was the moment from 2001: A Space Odyssey when apes evolve to such an extent that they learn how much fun there is to be had in whacking their more innocent comrades with bones.
Ã¢ÂÂThey were faster, stronger and played better,Ã¢ÂÂ admitted Gerard PiquÃÂ© about a Bayern Munich team who have apparently taken the next evolutionary step. Ã¢ÂÂPractically impossible, but we are going to try,Ã¢ÂÂ said a downbeat Xavi HernÃÂ¡ndez on the chances of a turnaround next week in the Camp Nou.
NEWS, Wed 24 Apr: Barcelona offer little hope of a reaction
The mood in the Catalan capital newspapers is equally sombre, with Sport calling the 4-0 defeat Ã¢ÂÂthe saddest night.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂNo excuses, they were superior,Ã¢ÂÂ wrote Josep Maria Casanovas. Ã¢ÂÂPhysically, there was an enormous difference: they are stronger, faster and have more depth. We are not used to these types of defeats and itÃ¢ÂÂs left us wounded.Ã¢ÂÂ
Mundo Deportivo's cover screams Ã¢ÂÂNightmare!Ã¢ÂÂ with the paperÃ¢ÂÂs director Santi Nolla rolling with his Spanish football instincts and hinting at a conspiracy. Ã¢ÂÂYesterday BarÃÂ§a suffered against a superior Bayern and also a referee who was wrong for three of the four goals for the Germans. UEFA are tired of the power of BarÃÂ§a and want a change, but on Tuesday Bayern won, not UEFA.Ã¢ÂÂ
With pretty much all hope lost, thereÃ¢ÂÂs only one thing that can give BarÃÂ§a a tiny sliver of comfort: the hope of a similar fate befalling Real Madrid in their test at Borussia Dortmund. The omens lean in that direction, with the Spanish side having only won once in Germany in 23 matches. WhatÃ¢ÂÂs more, in both group games Real Madrid were quite outplayed by Dortmund, picking up just one point from six. And it was a lucky point at that.
NEWS, Wed 24 Oct: Dortmund outclass Real Madrid to top group
Jose Mourinho tried putting the pressure on JÃÂ¼rgen Klopp as early as Friday, noting that the Dortmund coach had been talking about the game every day since the draw was made. After a typically cheerful and self-effacing response from the German manager, Mourinho may have realised that the usual niggling and nagging towards the opposition camp wasnÃ¢ÂÂt going to work this time.
"Bring it, bi-atch"
Instead, the Portuguese gave all four sides an equal chance of winning the Champions League this season Ã¢ÂÂ but felt that his footballers deserve the prize the most. Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂd really like football to do justice with these players. Two years ago we were knocked out in an unfair way and last season it was penalties. This team deserves to win a Champions League.Ã¢ÂÂ
The fantastic news for Real Madrid fans is that LLL's local fishmonger says they will take a big step towards that goal with a 2-1 win in Dortmund.
In Cod We Trust.