All the hype heading into the semi-final was about red hot Lionel Messi and the Barca attack. Playing a man down in the second half, Inter proved to be capable of stopping the former treble winners. How did they do it? They smothered Lionel Messi with multiple guys and they didn’t allow the Argentine forward to beat them. A game plan that is easier said then done, but Lucio and Company proved why the Italian League is praised for its defense.
2) Finish Him
Barca did put their fair share of pressure on the ten man squad and they did control the match, but football isn’t about time of possession and shots on target. It’s about putting the ball into the net. Messi set up a goal late, but it wasn’t finished. The same can be said for the entire first half of action. The only stat that matters it 3-2 Inter in aggregate.
3) Silly Refs
How many times was a player body slammed in the box without a whistle. And how about the red card in the first half. Are these refs blind, excessive gamblers, or just completely incompetent? It would be nice to see a big match with excellent officiating, but that seems to be a pipe dream in modern day football.
4) The Special One is Special
Jose Mourino is proving to be more valuable then any player and the guy bust cold streaks for franchises. First it was Porto’s Champions League victory, then he gave Chelsea a winning attitude. Now Inter has busted a 35 year Champions League final drought. Say what you want about the guy. Coaches do decide these things and Mourinho was the better coach.
5) Tough Times for the Big 3
Messi was contained with a swarming defense, Ibs was subbed off twice after being unable to score against his old team, and Henry wasn’t even used in the second match. Barca’s three headed monster was decapitated and Lionel Messi couldn’t find the right guy to connect with late in the match. But despite losing the match the guy will bounce back from this. Can you say World Cup 2010?