Match Review: FC Barcelona vs Eibar

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 21: A general view inside the stadium as a banner is held up for Luis Enrique, Manager of Barcelona prior to the La Liga match between Barcelona and Eibar at Camp Nou on 21 May, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

The concept of Luis Enrique’s Barcelona winning the league on the final day seemed a far-fetched idea since the loss to Málaga in April. The miracles can seem doable when they are in your hands but when you have to count on a team who have nothing to play for, it’s very difficult to be hopeful. So let’s discuss the final game of the league season and the Luis Enrique era, instead of getting caught up on the loss of the title. 

Today’s game seemed to totally sum up the era of Luis Enrique. Barcelona go two goals down, after two brilliant Takashi Inui strikes, to a side that they should breeze past with some ease, missing countless clear cut chances and struggling to control the game. Does this sound familiar at all?

So here we are, two goals down, Barça fans feeling sorry for themselves but many continuing to support the team to ignite a ‘remuntada‘ (it feels like I’ve written that word a thousand times this season). A comeback with a missed penalty, a lack of attractive play and the failure to really dominate the game against ten men, and to top it off, a 35 million euro attacking midfielder playing at right back. It’s madness.

In the stadium, fans are going crazy, flags are being waved. For what? An ‘incredible’ comeback against Eibar, after self inflicting a two goal deficit? Does this sound familiar?

Let’s go back to a couple of key moments this season. The PSG tie. A truly unbelievable achievement to comeback, but the initial damage done was inexcusable. The Juventus loss. Once again, the initial damage done was inexcusable, and this time relying on the comeback miracle wasn’t enough.

The comeback against PSG at the Camp Nou was incredible, but, for me, the fact that a club like FC Barcelona found itself in that position is completely unacceptable, and that’s what it felt like after Eibar went up by two. It feels that we all get so caught up in the nature of a comeback win that we forget to question, why did we even need to comeback in the first place?

But back to the game itself. The team seemed disenchanted, they knew they couldn’t rely on Málaga winning against Real Madrid and seemed to take the match with a pinch of salt, without really caring too much about precision, finishing chances or putting the game to bed. They showed short glimpses of magic, it’s hard not to when you’re a footballer at this club, but never seemed too interested. With the team probably thinking of salvaging the season and giving Luis Enrique a send off with a cup to lift next week, two goals for Lionel Messi and one for Luis Suárez sealed the win but with nothing to celebrate.

It would be harsh and a tad morbid to review Luis Enrique’s last match at the Camp Nou as manager without praising the man. His Barça have always been about the unexpected; killing games in minutes, short bursts of high quality play by the best players on the planet, and, more often than not, euphoria in the end. To lift Barça from their short bad spell, bringing eight trophies and fresh ideas can only be commended, and although I haven’t always been supportive of his decision making and his attitude, I can only thank him for the success that he has brought back to the club.

Thank you Luis Enrique, this game was the perfect send off.

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  • Wilzy

    That shit of a guy coached Barca a club that had all the world best everything. That loser had the most important job in Barcelona when we had the team that could win everything in Europe back to back. And did what… nothing! The players had to play to lift the team up! The coach nothing done

    • Pius Kamau

      Exactly, I am waiting for Lucho-fanatics like Kneowell to turn up!!

      • Kneowell Anyanwu

        Hey Pius, miss me? Am here. But before you say trash, erase 8 trophies from the books, then start talking. And before you start talking, also remind me of those coaches you recommended, where they finished with their respective teams or what they won. I’m listening

        • Pius Kamau

          I am glad (but not super exited) that we are getting Ernesto Vervede because based on the clowns we were being linked to he is by far better, I know he is an upgrade to Lucho, sorry mate I know you like Lucho but to some of us he was an average tactician who was many a times bailed out by individual brilliance even when it was clear he has no tactical plan to win matches or neutralize threats by integrating each and every player into a clear and distinct tactical plan.
          Ernesto Vervede has done a pretty decent job considering that Bilbao mainly buys players from the Basque region only plus a limited budget so I expect him to do much better, he at least plays a better passing and positional play and has a clear philosophy unlike Lucho.

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Lol, funny thing is, my admiration of lucho is neither here nor there, but I just can’t stand some hypocritical statements made by some of you fans against the man and how you hold him to double standards like when we win it’s the boys and when we lose it only has to be lucho’s fault, that shi* I can’t stand really. Call him average coach and who is gonna fuss over that? But like it or not, that same average coach has got unerasable achievements to his mediocre name and has won coach of the year voted not only by sports journalists but by his fellow coaches, yes indeed, voted by those who you consider world class, this makes your argument about what kind of coach he is very irrelevant. From your praise of valverde is actually hilarious, what? You think lucho fell from the sky? Just a quick reminder, lucho has coached 2 mid table club in Roma and celta, while he didn’t do well in the former, he took celta from bottom position to 9th place finish, where he bought his players from? Your guess is as good as mine, mind you Bilbao is a club with a much bigger pocket size than celta till date. I need not mention to you that before he decided to try top flight football at Roma he was also very successful with barca b for 3seasons after he took over from pep.
            Like every other good coach that is handed a big club, I tip valverde to succeed. Lucho’s result in barca is second only to pep in terms of trophies and, there are some other parameters where his results were better especially against rivals like the teams in Madrid. Argue with his style all you want, argue away and yououkd be right. But no one argues with results except a mad man

          • Kneowell Anyanwu

            Lol, funny thing is, my admiration of lucho is neither here nor there, but I just can’t stand some hypocritical statements made by some of you fans against the man and how you hold him to double standards like when we win it’s the boys and when we lose it only has to be lucho’s fault, that shi* I can’t stand really. Call him average coach and who is gonna fuss over that? But like it or not, that same average coach has got unerasable achievements to his mediocre name and has won coach of the year voted not only by sports journalists but by his fellow coaches, yes indeed, voted by those who you consider world class, this makes your argument about what kind of coach he is very irrelevant. From your praise of valverde is actually hilarious, what? You think lucho fell from the sky? Just a quick reminder, lucho has coached 2 mid table club in Roma and celta, while he didn’t do well in the former, he took celta from bottom position to 9th place finish, where he bought his players from? Your guess is as good as mine, mind you Bilbao is a club with a much bigger pocket size than celta till date. I need not mention to you that before he decided to try top flight football at Roma he was also very successful with barca b for 3seasons after he took over from pep.
            Like every other good coach that is handed a big club, I tip valverde to succeed. Lucho’s result in barca is second only to pep in terms of trophies and, there are some other parameters where his results were better especially against rivals like the teams in Madrid. Argue with his style all you want, argue away and yououkd be right. But no one argues with results except a mad man

    • Kneowell Anyanwu

      Back to that same point I make all seasons long, all your players needed do was damn the coach and win the game against Malaga or every other single game they played, and they wont have to be under no ones mercy to win all trophies back to back. And a quick reminder, you only had the world best forward trio, every other position behind them is highly contestable with players from other clubs. So in effect we had the forward that could win it all, not a team that could win it all. Partly the fault of the coach tho I agree, as he can’t be absolved of wrong doings, his was a case of uncommon decisions that we may not agree with, sometimes they worked, sometimes they back fired. But then again, I have seen these things happen in football times and times again, even in this club. I have seen us trying to play catch up after we fell against inter in the UCL, why did we fall against inter in the first place?
      This question is a never ending one in football . I have seen the team that is widely considered as the best in the history of the game go home with nothing but a copa back in 2010 even with all the tantalizing play we possessed. I have seen us qualify with a last minute goal against Chelsea in ucl when even our then coach had conceded defeat in a match which we ought to have finished with 10 men, you name it. It’s frustrating not to win trophies especially for fans like me, though Pius kamau and serkan savas cares more about identity and style of play than the whole essence of play in the first place. Come next season when the new coach comes, it would still be the players lifting the team up, I will be here laughing at people who will praise the style of play when eventually and essentially it would still be Messi magic saving the day or the man doing what they do best. Only time will tell, and I really can’t wait for the new season to start already

  • Kneowell Anyanwu

    ” It feels that we all get so caught up in the nature of a comeback win that we forget to question, why did we even need to comeback in the first place?” cos msn missed at least 6 sitters against eibar. If we converted half that chance it would be eibar playing catch up.