An alternative angle on Barcelona's Champions League comeback

by Andy Dillon / 09 March 2017, 18:29

Andy Dillon (@andydillon70) has his say on that night at the Nou Camp...

A MIRACLE at The Nou Camp, football’s greatest ever comeback, an historic night in the Champions League.

That’s if you didn’t actually watch Barcelona turn around a 4-0 deficit to beat Paris St.Germain 6-1 and claim their traditional place in the quarter finals.

If you had, it should be painfully clear there is very little to celebrate from what was largely a feast of cheating.

There are claims as wild as the scoreline itself which suggest this match cut through the cynicism and the commercialism which has drained the romance out of the modern game.

Poppycock. The only victory from a memorable match in Spain was for Neymar and Luis Suarez and the ever growing cult of diving and deceit which goes hand in hand with the ever increasing cash flows between the world’s biggest clubs.

Suarez we know of old of course. The biting, play acting Uruguayan striker who chooses every opportune moment to undermine his sublime talent by breaking the rules or an opponent’s skin with his ravenous fangs when things aren’t going his way.

Don’t feel sorry for Paris St.Gemain, the Arab petro-dollar backed corporation from France which has become a force in the game virtually overnight thanks to the flow of the black stuff into our cars.

But watching Suarez getting up to his old tricks hitting the deck from the softest of brushes on Wednesday to con the ref out of a penalty makes you weep for football.

A minimal touch from PSG defender Marquinhos on the side of the head and Suarez took his cue to roll over gripping his throat as if he’d just been bitten by a snake - just like Branislav Ivanovic and Giorgio Chiellini once were.

Neymar has form too. Even getting involved in a row with a fan who saw through him a couple of years ago as Barcelona knocked Manchester City out of Europe in contentious circumstances.

So when PSG’S Thomas Meunier fell over in the box, Neymar was not going to miss this chance to nick a goal that was dodgier than the Brazilian’s tax return.

As the minutes ticked by and the goals racked up, the evening certainly became more intense and admittedly, captivating as an event.

But only in so much as to see cheats prospering. Yes, you can all say we’d want someone from our team to do the same given the circumstances but owning up that everyone’s bent is no excuse.

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique celebrated wildly at the final whistle. Even though he is leaving his job at the end of the season he wants to go out on a high.

The mucky actions of some of his players on Wednesday night are already being forgotten in the giddy aftermath of a numerically stunning scoreline. Brushed aside amid the hype.

No doubt, in years to come this match will be recounted through ever increasing misty eyes until it will read like a fairytale. In reality it should serve as the reference for the night football woke up to its problems and the accepted belief particularly in the ‘latin’ world that cheating is the same as professionalism.

Rubbish. Remove those two dubious penalties from the result and it’s PSG through to the last eight. Not that the Arab petro-dollar corporation really deserves any sympathy having mushroomed into a major force in football almost overnight thanks to the flow of the oily, black stuff into our cars.

Feel sorry for sport. Yes, it was a memorable night, it was a remarkable piece of theatre but let’s get one thing straight.

It was the biggest comeback in the history of the Champions League but not the greatest.

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