Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bravo goalkeeper!

Guiardiola again returned to Barcelona with another team: in 2015 he went there with Bayern Munich for the CL semifinal, just to be destroyed 3-0 on two goals by Lionel Messi and one by Neymar. Last night Messi and Neymar were as welcoming to their old manager, who now returned with Manchester City: Messi scored three and Neymar one goal to give Barcelona a comfortable 4-0 win over the English side.
If anything, it shows Guardiola's near naivite to playing his old side, which arguably made him a great coach because he had no other than Lionel Messi. Since then he has managed strong teams, but is still to show that he can do great things in teams without the great little Argentine.
One of Guardiola's weakest decisions was again exposed last night: Claudio Bravo. More than anyone he cost Machester City when, at the score 1-0, he mishandled the ball and had no other option than to make an illegal save outside the area, costing him a red card, and putting Willy Caballero on goal. Caballero did not have chances on Barcelona's subsequent three goals (even though he saved a penalty from Neymar, confirming his excellent qualities as a penalty-stopper) with Manchester City three men down.
Guardiola preferred Claudio Bravo instead Joe Hart because he apparently had more technique, but again he costs goals exactly on his lack of technique, again proving that Hart is a far better goalkeeper! On top of it, FC Barcelona must have been smiling to themselves: they sold Bravo to Manchester City, knowing that the young Marc Ter Stegen is a far better goalkeeper, something he also proved last night with some excellent saves on Manchester City's attempts.
Some credit must go to Manchester City: they did play a good match, and even down 1-0 one felt that they could have come back into the match.
But with a goalkeeper like Bravo it is not easy to win against the best....

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