Can Barcelona Crack Under Pressure

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Brendon Ayanbadejo

Football (soccer) News
  • Can Barcelona Crack Under Pressure

Can Barcelona Crack Under Pressure

Apart from a couple of occasions, Barcelona has shown no signs of weakness this season. They have had an easy sail through most of their matches, scoring a lot of goals against their opponents. However, many have started to believe that the Catalan giants are not invincible and they will fail if a fair amount of pressure is applied.

The Blaugranes have already reached the Copa del Ray final, where they will face their archrivals Real Madrid. During the course of this whole tournament, Barcelona only faced tough resistance from Atlhetic Bilbao. The resilient Bilbao side still could not do enough to hold off the mighty Catalans, who sailed through on the rule of away goals. Nevertheless, Bilbao once again proved a strong opposition when they faced Catalans in Primera Division.

In the match played at Camp Nou, Barcelona had to fight for a victory, with Lionel Messi scoring the winner late in the second half. Against Valencia, Barcelona faced some problems on the road and once again Messi had to come up with the winning goal late in the match. Apart from these tough outings, Barcelona had a relatively tight match against Mallorca as well. Although, it ended with a victory for the Catalans and they did score three goals, but there were a couple of scary moments for the Champions.

Among all these teams, the best performance came from Sporting Gijon. The Spanish outfit drew against the mighty Catalans and gave them a lot to think about. It was actually the beginning of tougher fixtures for Barcelona, who saw their opponents organising their defences. That is probably the only way possible to play against Barcelona, i.e. defending with ten men and trying to hit them on break of play.

Despite all these efforts, Barcelona has managed to drop only two points in the league. That drop also came when the Blaugranes had created a new record with 16 games winning streak. It was only natural for a team to drop a point at this stage, when tiredness and fatigue was overcoming most of the players from the squad. There is no doubt that the oppositions did manage to contain the Barcelona attack, but somehow they still managed to find goals and all three points from these encounters.

In the recent weeks, the only poor outcome for the Catalans has been the Champions League loss against Arsenal. Despite dominating the proceedings for more than an hour of the match, there were minor hiccups and Arsenal managed to score two goals through Robin Van Persie and Andrei Arshavin. In the end, Barcelona lost the match by 2-1, but it had nothing to do with the pressure as suggested by Samir Nasri, the Arsenal midfielder.

That result will not be repeated in the second leg for a couple of reasons. Arsenal is not a defensive side and if they try to organize defensively they will falter because they had never been good at defending. Also, they adopt a similar style of attack as Barcelona, but the Catalans have more perfection in their game plan. Apart from this, last season Barcelona really made an example out of Arsenal and this time same things could be repeated because Arsenal will be missing a couple of key players from their squad, including their top scorer Robin Van Persie.

So, Arsenal is not capable of creating that kind of pressure required to make things difficult for Barcelona. Even if that kind of situation is creating, a victory will not be ensured because the Catalans will find a way through, as they did against other oppositions. Therefore, the one goal advantage that Arsenal has from the first leg looks more like an away goal advantage to Barcelona, who remain the favourites to win the tie on next Wednesday.


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