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Home / Sport / Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: Messi, how did Barca finish in the Champions League – and how they can win

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich: Messi, how did Barca finish in the Champions League – and how they can win



It is a match that matches a European final between two of the giants of world football. It’s a game that has global franchises, sports superstars, and as much history as any recent Champions League match. But Friday’s Champions League quarter-final – which you can stream exclusively on CBS All Access – between Barcelona and Bayern Munich feels a lot different than most of the meetings they’ve had in two decades by. We think about these two at the beginning of their matches almost always, but it’s clear that Barca is not involved.

Barcelona stumbled late, losing to Real Madrid in La Liga after winning only 5 of the last 9 matches. Meanwhile, Bayern Munich have won 1

9 consecutive games, won the Bundesliga and the German Cup and made it into the most popular squad.

So what exactly is Barca against and what do they have to do to continue? Here’s what to know:

Why is Barcelona the underdog?

It’s quite simple, really. Barca have been unstable since coming back in June while Bayern are the strongest team in the world, which clearly makes them loved. According to William Hill Sportsbook, Bayern Munich are the favorites -106, while Barca have +255 odds to win.

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Forget that Bayern won 19 games in a row – they were truly unbeaten in their last 24 games and conceded 0.54 goals per game while scoring 65 in those matches. They have prevailed, blown their opponents out of the water and are arguably the strongest team left. While Bayern played perfectly, Barca lost to Osasuna and held a narrow draw Celta Vigo to give the championship to bitter opponents.

What is Bayern doing so well?

Bayern dominate at both ends, but a closer look you can see what makes them so effective. They like to hold the ball, and when you do, it becomes clear that the opposing team will be harder to score. They often hold the ball more than other teams, but what the attack does to create new opportunities is the key.

This is the highlight of Bayern’s 4-1 victory over Chelsea in the second leg of the round of 16 last week. Watch quick passes and how star striker Robert Lewandowski sees gaps in the defense, make a perfect spot run and is found after some quick passes that show how in sync they are :

Here’s another clip from the same match as Corentin Tolisso scored for Bayern. Once again, the Chelsea defense left room, and he made a run in the middle of the box.

So what does this have to do with Barca? Well, Barca has a defense that sometimes shows lack of concentration and retention, allowing the players to find space and create opportunities. If they are not sharp throughout, this can get ugly.

Watch:

Bayern can put you down if you play defensively, but if you give them space, they will hurt you brutally. Barca must be careful.

What must Barca do to beat them?

Defensively, Barca must be very careful because Bayern can beat you in many different ways. Staying in shape, defending neatly and keeping track of the runner will be very important.

Just look at Jordi Alba’s position here in last week’s 3-1 win over Napoli in the round of 16 on the return leg. Do it with Bayern, and they will exploit it. He is in the red circle, and the blue circle is where he should be.

CBS Sports

But of course, you can’t win if you don’t score. Barca should feel confident seeing a good ball, but it will not be easy. While Lionel Messi has the magic to turn the tables at any moment, there’s a good chance something else will have to come up. Maybe a sudden, strong performance from Antoine Griezmann or Luis Suarez playing as in 2016, who will be with Messi? For that to be important, the defense must be on the pitch.

It’s hard to imagine a Barca team having to focus on defense first, but Bayern possesses more threats than any team facing Quique Setien this season. Barca will have a chance, and they will continue to impose their will, but Bayern will likely have more opportunities, and Barca’s defense must be perfect. Barca must limit mistakes and play cautiously to have the opportunity to continue.




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