Flicked over to this on completion of the Torino game, and figuring it was the whole of the second half, Barcelona might do something noteworthy – hadn’t actually seen any of Barcelona this season, but their results had been good.
So, what happened? Well, they didn’t do anything noteworthy. Whereas I’d hoped to see something of the partnership between Messi and Neymar in its first flourishes; Brazil and Argentina in beautiful synchronicity before the arrival of Uruguay to add further impetus, there was none of that display. There didn’t seem to be any of the invention you associate with Barcelona, any of the relentless drive forwards and any of the goal threat. That’s not to say they never looked like scoring, but it felt less inevitable than I thought.
Malaga, meanwhile, performed heroically, not just in repelling Barcelona but in managing to counter-attack enough that they bought their defence a few moments respite before they faced the next wave. Again, they carried little threat, though they did advance into Barcelona’s half a fair bit, and there’s always something that makes me think they’ll do something silly. And that was that. Barcelona looked half-potent, but presumably were either resting Dani Alves or just not using him, and the added width he offers (even if I don’t think he’s that productive when he gets the ball) meant that their replacement right-back was regularly involved, but not to great effect – I assume he’s an academy product.
Entertainment factor? 4/1