Barcelona needed the individual skills of their star-studded forward line to beat Paris St Germain on Wednesday after another disjointed performance and questions continue to be asked over the tactics of coach Luis Enrique.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was delighted to have ended PSG`s unbeaten run in all competitions this season despite being forced to adopt a new system in a landmark Champions League triumph for the Catalans. Former Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the French side ahead after 15 minutes on Wednesday before the home side turned the Group F decider around with goals from Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez. The victory ensured that Barca topped the standings on 15 points, two ahead of PSG, and set a new record of 13 group wins in the competition, one more than arch rivals Real Madrid. It was still scrappy at times from Barca, though, who began with an unfamiliar three-man defence and PSG had a number of chances to add more goals, especially in the second half before Suarez struck on 77 minutes to seal victory for the hosts. "Was the new system a risk? Well it depends on the result, whatever happens whether it is good or bad depends on the result," Luis Enrique told reporters. "We were without a key player in (suspended fullback) Dani Alves and we went out with a game plan to cause problems for an opponent that defended deeply and looked to counter-attack.
Spain`s professional league (LFP) has moved to show it is serious about tackling violence and abuse by vowing to report Real Madrid fans who sang insulting chants about Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and the Catalan club.
Once again, it's that time of year when football fans argue who deserves to win the prestigious Ballon d'Or award – the greatest award an individual player can win in the sport. Like in the recent past, both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have already started as the favourites to win the award. But their duopoly could see an abrupt ending this January, as the Germany's World Cup winning goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has found himself as one of the three finalists.
Barcelona`s appeal against Lionel Messi`s yellow card for time wasting after he was hit on the head by a plastic bottle in Sunday`s La Liga game at Valencia has been rejected by the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF).