After Manchester City came back to so convincingly beat Barcelona in the Champions League this week, the reaction continues in the Catalan media. Usually there’s a referee to blame, or an obvious individual mistake, or the team that beat Barcelona is derided for their approach to football, but none of that is possible this time.
That couldn’t happen with Manchester City. Managed by Pep Guardiola, the Premier league club played Barcelona at their own game and did so better than the Catalan heroes. That’s led to a lot of soul searching, it’s introspective stuff.
Sport come to a conclusion on their Friday back page that there was an attitude issue. It’s explained that in the Camp Nou match, Luis Enrique was determined to show that his Barcelona team is better than Guardiola’s old Barcelona team, and Lionel Messi wanted to show how important he was.
The Catalan newspaper say that when Barcelona play like that, with a motivation to give everything, they are simply unbeatable. Instead, this time Barcelona lacked their 100% approach, and it was Manchester City with the extra motivation.
One day, after Messi, the Catalan press will have to get used to a time that Barcelona aren’t the world’s best team, and that others are simply better. That time isn’t yet, and so there’s still excuses to be found.