FC Barcelona ended the group stage of the Champions League with a draw in their visit to Bayer Leverkusen in an inconsequential match for the Catalans, classified in advance to second round as group leaders. Messi Barca the lead, but tied Chicharito and stops Ter Stegen prevented the Germans qualify for the next round.
No more incentive than the 1.5 million euros that UEFA pays for every victory which is not little-, the club faced the duel with an eleven full of alternates. Luis Enrique reserved most of its heavyweights to avoid taking risks in the absence of one week for the World Cup in Clubs.No wonder, because on the eve Neymar was injured, and most of its ‘sacred cows’ accumulate already too many minutes in his legs.
In the absence of Luis Suarez, Busquets, Mascherano, Alves, Pique and Iniesta, among others, it was a good day to see in action as usual reservations Adriano, Vermaelen, Bartra, Munir and Sandro. And above all, promising young subsidiary and Samper and Kaptoum, which premiered at the continental showpiece. His performance, as is logical for its lack of continuity, was far from that of the ‘older’. And they suffered a great time against an opponent who, unlike Barca played unsuccessfully sorting toss.
Spurred by necessity, Bayer went very ‘connected’, complicating the life of a club who accused his lack of conjunction. So, after 10 minutes, Ter Stegen took his business card avoiding the 1-0 clearing a shot by lack of Çalanhoglu, a specialist in free kicks.
But the first to break the deck was the best player in the world. Leo Messi was reunited with the goal in an appointment which he used to go picking up the pace of competition is still missing after having spent two months out with a hamstring injury. Argentina does not have the spark or the top speed I used to, something disturbing absence of one week for the World Cup. But kept intact its quality and lethal instinct in the final meters, as could be seen in the play of 0-1. Rakitic left him alone serving a great assistance from the average depth in the purest Iniesta style ‘. And Messi used his gift to mark, after dribbling the German goal Leno in the hand to hand (19 ‘).
But the joy was short-lived to Luis Enrique, as just three minutes later, Chicharito Hernandez equalized. The former Real Madrid, all alone on the edge of the small area, beat Ter Stegen pleasure leveraging an untimely slip Vermaelen after a bad clearance of Bartra (1-1, 23 ‘).
So thick was the club that, after the draw, all the attention it garnered goalkeeper. Despite this goal, Ter Stegen was the best of the Catalans, avoiding interventions local triumph.More than half a dozen. Most of them, after shooting Çalanhoglu (38 ‘and 52’ and 57 ‘) and, above all, Bellarabi, that surely will dream of him (50’, 60 ‘and 75’).
The second half was a true ‘monologue’ of Bayer, which crashed again and again against Barca frame. The domain of the Germans in this period was overwhelming, which makes sense if you consider the win they needed-and that did not win the BATTERY Roma to move to the next phase.
Something had to hand if Chicharito, at close range in the 89th minute, fails to encounter Ter Stegen. The German was a prophet in his own land, the club did not force the machine and its reserves again missed a good opportunity to redeem themselves.