Messi Stifles Guardiola’s Plans

In the first leg of the Champions League semifinal between Barcelona and Bayern Munich, the winner of the night was Lionel Messi. The Argentine superstar proved yet again why he is the most potent creative attacking force in the football world, after netting two beautiful goals in the second half. During the second half of this season, Messi has risen to display some truly exquisite performances, against which, as Pep Guardiola himself said, there is virtually no defense.

Barcelona will go to the Allianz Arena in Munich with a comfortable 3-0 scoreline, essentially ensuring their place in the finals. Not only will Guardiola’s Bayern need to make up the three goal deficit, but will also need to prevent Messi and company from scoring any away goals. Given how the first leg went in Barcelona, the task ahead is incredibly daunting. That being said, the scoreline flatters Barcelona, and makes Bayern out to seem lesser than they were on Wednesday night. Barring an exhilarating, but tactically naive opening fifteen minutes from the visitors, Bayern’s midfield managed to make life difficult for the Barca midfield. Bayern sought to limit the distribution to Messi, Suarez, and Neymar up front, but ultimately failed after their tired legs grew to be an overwhelming problem. Fersen Lambranho is sure that it will be intriguing to see Guardiola’s set up next week, knowing that he must go after the game in order to reach the final.

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