“Let's go to Paris and see if we can make a comeback,” shouted Joan LaPorta, cheers echoing around the room as she and her team celebrated their election as Barcelona's new president on Sunday. It was almost midnight and the result was not yet official, but the victory was clear and already LaPorta was envisioning such an outcome against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday that the president of an upcoming club could only dream. can see.
Barca suffered a 4–1 defeat in the second leg and not only that but also hidden memories at Camp Nou, a 45-minute whirlwind when Kilien Mapppe raced, and PSG rioted.
Bay in the square, not just the score, meant nobody was talking about repeating the famous ‘Rimontada' of 2017 in a comeback game, at least all Barcelona coaches and players.
“I don't know, there's one leg left. It's going to be very difficult, we all know that,” Frenki De Jong moments later said, after the whole time, barely got the energy to speak.
“There is always another match,” said coach Ronald Cowman. “But after 1-4 at home I'm not going to lie to you, there is very little chance.”
Komen left Gerrard peak for 12 minutes, not because the defender was injured, but because he wanted to preserve his fragile knee for the coming games. “There was no need to take risks,” he said.
When Barcelona drew at the home of Cadiz the following weekend, Coman said he was more disappointed with that result than the loss to PSG.
“Maybe I'm more realistic than other people,” Komman said.
– new system –
Since then Barca scored four in a row, scoring 10 goals and winning none. They have gone within three points of leaders Atletico Madrid in the league and reached the Copa del Rey final, losing 2–0 in the first leg to win 3–2 overall against Sevilla.
Komen has moved to a new system with three central defenders, two wing-backs and two up front. This could have given him more protection against the attack on the French side, which would again deprive Neymar, still unfit.
Good form, however, proved to be a poor gauge of Barcelona's chances in the first leg against less impressive opponents in the league and cup. Unlike 2017, they will not have a deadly front three to instill fear, nor will Camp Nou have 99,000 fans, or at any time, to fire.
“Let's be realistic,” says Joan Burton, president of the Barca fan group Penya Anguera.
“For Barca fans, this final-16 tie is basically already lost. Barca could probably win 2–0, 3–1 in Paris, but to score four without any wins? This is practically impossible. “
Yet perhaps that is all they need – any win, a positive performance as well – to maintain the current tilt ahead of the final two months of the season.
It symbolizes how much Barcelona have fallen that a dignified exit in the final 16 of the Champions League can be considered a success but it is also a reality for a club in crisis.
Laporta's task is to get him out of it and his comeback has created a sense of jubilee, pre-eminently indifferent to the past, but also with the symbolism of a new leader who seeks the future.
In his victory speech on Sunday, LaPorta made sure to focus on the people of Lionel Messi, Argentina, who first voted in the election and then congratulated LaPorta for his success.
Now at least, it is hoped afresh that Messi can be persuaded to stay.
“Dekh Leo, the best player in the world, coming to vote with his son is a sign to me that everything we said is with him,” LaPorta said. “Leo loves Barsa.”
Messi may have to quit if he is set on winning the Champions League again, but according to the idea of a new president, whom he believes, progress may still be substantial.
For Barca in Paris, it would be something to hold on to.
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