Barcelona vs. Bayer Leverkusen: Three things we learned

Published Add your comment

Football News

Barcelona certainly did things the hard way against a hard-working and tactically superior Bayer Leverkusen in Tuesday's Champions League group match.

For long periods you would've thought that the visitors were actually the home side, such was their domination of all areas of the Camp Nou pitch.

Two goals in two minutes towards the end of the match gave the Catalans an unlikely victory and with Roma losing, incredibly, at Bate Borisov, Barca top the group after two games played.


Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article:

Let's take a look at three things that we learned from the game...

Roberto comes of age

Could we finally be seeing another La Masia product making a genuine and legitimate claim for a regular first-team starting berth.

Clearly, Sergi Roberto now retains the confidence of manager Luis Enrique and that has had a profound effect on the youngster's general play.

Found to be a better right wing-back than midfielder by default, the extended run in the side has allowed Roberto to finally bed down and start to let his football do the talking.

A late introduction into this game, the balance swung firmly in Barca's favour when the player was introduced, albeit in his former midfield role.

Thanks to the injury to Andres Iniesta, who could be out for up to six weeks, the likelihood is that Roberto will slot in there. Just a few weeks ago he would've been overlooked but his form has given Luis Enrique some food for thought.

Mathieu out of his depth

As good as Sergi Roberto was, Jeremy Mathieu was at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Caught in possession on more than half a dozen occasions, the Frenchman was pushed too far forward and as a result was unable to get back quickly enough to snuff out any Leverkusen attacks which all stemmed from his side of the pitch.

He was at fault for the goal allowing Kyriakos Papadopoulos a free header, and his passing throughout was awful.

The sight of a returning Jordi Alba later in the match will have at least been some consolation, and almost immediately Leverkusen's success down that left side was stemmed thanks to a much more industrious contribution for the Spaniard.

Little Pea, big miss

Louis Van Gaal was keen to allow Javier Hernandez to leave Manchester United and after his miss at Barcelona, it's easy to understand why.

In the big moments you need your strikers to stand up tall and take their chances.

Had Chicharito done so when the goal was gaping, there is little doubt that the hosts wouldn't have come back to win the match.

At 2-0, Leverkusen could've afforded to shut up shop against a side that were beginning to exert a little more pressure as the half wore on.

As it was, the miss was Hernandez's last contribution of note before being hauled off. He'll look back on that moment wondering what might've been, knowing that Roger Schmidt's dreams of topping the group after two games had evaporated in that moment.

Will Barcelona go unbeaten in their Champions League group? Have your say in the comments section below!

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

UEFA Champions League
La Liga

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again