Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-2 Barcelona, 2016 Champions League: 3 Things We Learned

A few takeaways from a hard-fought victory in Germany

Barcelona are still yet to drop points in the Champions League group stage after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany. The Blaugrana didn’t have a great game, but never stopped believing and scored two second half goals to earn a vital victory.

Here’s a few takeaways from what we saw at Borussia-Park:


1 – Barça CAN win playing badly

For the longest time, Barça would have poor performances and just couldn’t dig deep and find a way to win. Wednesday showed that the team actually CAN pull off tough victories, and that’s a huge thing. It shows character, will to win and a desire to keep chasing a result even though the usual methods that lead to victories aren’t working. This fighting spirit and determination was one of Luis Enrique’s best qualities as a player, and he translated that into his coaching style. Barça play such beautiful football most of the time that we forget how gritty this team is. But when push comes to shove, they’ll fight hard and win.

2 – Paco Alcácer needs time, maybe lots of it

The summer signing started for the first time in the Champions League, and he had a tough time, playing poorly for 50 minutes until he was replaced by Rafinha. Paco struggled to fully understand Lucho’s instructions and looked lost sometimes. He worked hard and moved a lot without the ball, but that isn’t enough. He has to improve, and he will, but that might take quite a while to happen. Of all the signings, he’ll take the longest to adapt because a forward in Barça’s system is different than in any other team. Plus, he has to deal with the pressure of replacing one of the ‘MSN’ members every time he steps on the pitch, and he might struggle with that. But as the Arda Turan Saga clearly shows, a talented player who works eventually finds his spot on the team. Lucho never gave up on Arda, and he won’t give up on Paco either. Let’s just give him time.

3 – Gerard Piqué is incredible

Every time we try to forget Geri in the “best defender in the world” conversation, he puts himself back in the talk. Forget the game-winning goal that rescued the team on Wednesday and Piqué still had a masterful performance on defense. His awareness and sense of anticipation are amazing, and he’s as good as any center-back on Earth to stop players in one-on-one situations. He isn’t fast by any means, but he’s really freaking smart. And really freaking good. The best in the world.

FC Barcelona News: 29 September 2016; Barça win Champions League game in Germany, scout players in Atlético-Bayern match

A round-up of the latest Barça news

Second-half heroics lift FC Barcelona to a 2–1 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach – FC Barcelona
The late heroics snapped Borussia’s 11-game home winning streak and gave goalkeeper Mark-André ter Stegen — who was facing the club where he spent his entire life, from age four until he joined Barça in the summer of 2014 — a homecoming to remember.

FC Barcelona outright leaders after Celtic and Man City draw – FC Barcelona
While FC Barcelona were busy making it six points out of six from their first two Champions League outings, the other two teams in the group were involved in an absolute corker of a game In Glasgow. Celtic went ahead three times, and although Man City found a response to each of those goals, they were unable to maintain Pep Guardiola’s 100 per cent winning record since taking charge.

Barcelona deserved their win – Luis Enrique | FourFourTwo
Luis Enrique believes Barcelona fully merited their victory after narrowly seeing off Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 to make it two wins from two in Champions League Group C.

Pique: It has much merit to come here and to produce this performance | Diario Sport
Gerard Pique spoke to beIN Sports after Barcelona’s comeback win against Borussia Monchengladbach, displaying his satisfaction at scoring the winning goal in the Champions League clash.

Who’s Barça sporting director Robert Fernández watching in Atlético | Diario Sport
Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez was not with the first team for their game in Germany against Borussia Monchengladbach. Instead, he stayed in Spain, heading to another Champions League group stage game.

Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-2 Barcelona, 2016 Champions League: Player Ratings

LEONIDAS OF THE MATCH!

Barcelona escaped Germany with a very important 2-1 victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach, which puts the Blaugrana in the top spot of Group C in the Champions League after two matches. It wasn’t a vintage performance by any means, but the Catalans fought hard and earned three huge points.

These are our ratings for the thirteen players that took part on Wednesday’s win:


Starters

Ter Stegen (7) – Couldn’t do anything in Thorgan Hazard’s goal, and was solid in buildup play when requested to pass in the second half. Solid game from MATS.

Sergi Roberto (6) – Not his best game, but nothing bad either. Couldn’t run forward as much as he wanted too, but did his job defensively and held his own.

Piqué (8) – Geri is incredible, and was again on Wednesday. Couldn’t do anything on the goal, scored the game-winner and did a great job defensively.

Mascherano (7) – Masche’s anticipation skills are great, but sometimes he does it too much and opens up space for the opponent, which happened a couple of times. He was good, though, and his yellow card was ironically the highlight of his performance, because it stopped a very dangerous attack and settled the defense.

Alba (6) – Same as Roberto, had to defend a lot more than he wanted to but did it nicely. His best game is going forward, but he couldn’t so he didn’t have too much of an impact.

Busquets (5.5) – Surprisingly poor game from Busi, thanks in part to an insane pressure from the Gladbach attackers. Pressing Sergio to try and force him into a mistake was the clear plan from Andre Schubert, and it was exactly what led to Gladbach’s goal. Busi’s passing wasn’t as sharp and he wasn’t great defensively.

Rakitic (5) – Rakitic was very bad, in almost all aspects. His passing was poor, his transition left a lot to be desired, and his involvement in attack came down to poor long distance shots. The team improved without him, which is a worrying sign.

Iniesta (6) – Not bad, not good, not amazing, not horrible. Just a discrete performance from the captain, something he won’t remember but nothing garbage either. Iniesta was just kind of there.

Paco Alcácer (5) – He’s learning the style, he’s trying really hard, but it’s too early for Paco to have any kind of impact. He needs time more than any of the new signings because the job of a Barça forward is very different from any other team’s forward. He’ll get better, but he was bad on Wednesday.

Suárez (7) – Was directly involved in the second goal, and did the thing that the stats don’t count: effort. Luisito didn’t score but worked his butt off, which was important to the win.

Neymar (7) – Fantastic assist to Arda Turan, great cross into Suárez that led to the second goal. Quiet for the rest of the game, but involved in both goals to win the game. That’s a decisive player, people.

Substitutes

Rafinha (6.5) – Much better than Paco, worked hard, but did nothing really special. But the team was better with him, so it counts.

Arda Turan (8) – Is this really Arda Turan? The guy who couldn’t be a midfielder three months ago is now perhaps the most in-form player in that position, and he continues to score goals and affect games in various ways. Arda has arrived, which is fantastic news.

Luis Enrique (8) – It’s easy to blame him for playing Paco, but he couldn’t anticipate such a bad game from Alcácer. His two substitutions were important and one of them scored to bring the team back into the game, and the locker room talk clearly led to a better performance in the second half. That’s the coach’s impact, definitely.

The Team (6.5) – Very, very, very subpar performance, but it was a win against a team that was literally undefeated in their home for the last several months. It was a win of heart more than brain, but it was a win anyway.

Man of the Match: Arda Turan (2nd: Gerard Piqué)


Do you agree with our ratings? What are yours? Comment away!

Luis Enrique, Barcelona players react to Champions League victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach

Happy Barça players on social media!

Barcelona pulled off a comeback victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach in their Champions League clash a Borussia-Park, with the Blaugrana scoring two late goals to pick a very important win on the road to stay at the top of Group C.

Barça players took to social media after the game to spread their joy to the followers. Here’s some of their reactions:


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“Always believe until the end! With my favorite Turk! How great are you, Arda!”

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“Very valuable victory in Germany. Great job!! Let’s keep getting better!”

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“Very important victory away from home! Good reaction from the whole team!”

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“Three important points.”


Coach Luis Enrique also spoke after the game, and he was very proud of his players for their efforts and the comeback. Here’s a few of Lucho’s quotes:

“We thought they would put deep pressure on us, but they didn’t. They just stuck eleven men behind the ball in the first half. We still had three or four great chances, but they got their transitions spot on to score against us.”

“They started with a five-man defence and two defensive wingers – they certainly kept it tight at the back. But they weren’t used to doing that, while we are more than used to playing against ultra-defensive teams. Most teams change their way of playing when they face us.”

“We switched our positions in the second half and the subs did a great job. We were fair winners. Strategy was the key to a win that has done us a lot of good.”

“Rafinha and Arda were clear examples of why we need all of the players, regardless of whether they start the game or come on in the second half.”

“We deserved the win because of the hard work that the players put in against a team that has not lost at home for a very long time.”

“Piqué played well, but so did all the team. He always plays well, he’s a vital player, a key element of the team. He is great at getting the ball forward and defends brilliantly.”

“You always learn from every game, whatever the final result. And there are always things to improve.”

“All of my players are very, very confident. I’m happy with all of their performances.”

“The aim is to finish top of the group, not to speculate. We want to win every game, but we also know how hard this group is going to be.”

Source: FCBarcelona.com

Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-2 Barcelona, 2016 Champions League: Match Review

A detailed recap of Barcelona’s comeback victory in Germany

Barcelona remain perfect in the Champions League group stage after two games following a 2-1 comeback victory in Germany against Borussia Mönchengladbach. The Blaugrana needed two second half goals from Arda Turan and Gerard Piqué to win after struggling throughout the match, but facing such a good team in a very tough atmosphere, the Catalan giants will celebrate the three points regardless of the quality of performance.


Statistics

Possession: Gladbach 29.6% – Barcelona 60.4%

Shots (on target): Gladbach 8 (1) – Barcelona 11 (8)

Offsides: Gladbach 1 – Barcelona 2

Fouls: Gladbach 8 – Barcelona 10

Corners: Gladbach 2 – Barcelona 5

Yellow Cards: Gladbach 0 – Barcelona 3 (Neymar, Piqué, Mascherano)


Luis Enrique made a surprising selection in his starting lineup, choosing to play Paco Alcácer in place of Lionel Messi, with Arda Turan and Rafinha Alcântara, who were most likely to start, on the bench. Enrique wanted presence in the box and set up his team on a diamond formation, with Neymar playing in front of the midfield three as a creator for Alcácer and Luis Suárez.

Barça had possession for most of the half, but struggled to find any spaces due to a combination of very good marking from Gladbach and poor passing in the final third from the Blaugrana, who had only one true chance in the first half-hour when Neymar found himself free in the box and took a weak shot right into the hands of Yan Sommer.

Gladbach were happy to concede possession and hit Barça on the counter, and being the best counter-attacking team in German football, Borussia were naturally very dangerous whenever they countered with their three main attackers (Raffael, Stindl and Hazard). Mahmoud Dahoud was immense in the first half, and he created the first goal of the match almost all by himself, first stealing the ball from Sergio Busquets, running alongside Raffael on the counter, and then playing a perfect pass to Thorgan Hazard, who scored a tap-in to put the hosts in front.

Luis Suárez had a very good chance almost immediately after Gladbach’s goal with a great volley from a Ivan Rakitic cross, but Sommer was prepared and saved the shot to keep Gladbach in front going into the first half.

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Luis Enrique came back from halftime with the same team from the first half, but after watching his team struggle again, he made a quick change when Rafinha replaced Paco Alcácer, and the Brazilian looked much better and made a good impact on the Blaugrana, who began to dominate the game and looked closer to an equalizer as the minutes went on.

Arda Turan came on in place of Rakitic to add more flair and attacking intent to the side, and the Turkish made a great impact, making a smart run to the box, receiving a very good lobbed pass from Neymar, and firing a rocket past Sommer to the top corner to tie the game for Barça. Arda looked confident and the goal helped calm the rest of the team down, and the Catalans were really in control, playing some good football at times. It wasn’t great, but it was enough to force Gladbach into defending very deep, and Borussia didn’t have any real chances on the counter for the rest of the game.

But Barça still needed a game-winner, and it came. A corner-kick from Neymar found Suárez alone in the box but the Uruguayan shot the ball right at Sommer. The Gladbach keeper failed to control the ball, however, and it fell to the right foot of Gerard Piqué, who put himself in front of his defender, took one touch to control the ball and then scored the second to put the Blaugranes in front.

After taking the lead, the Blaugranes went into control mode, keeping possession for the majority of the final minutes and patiently waiting for the clock to run out. In the end, a poor overall performance, but an acceptable one given the atmosphere and the quality of Gladbach’s team in the game. The most impressive thing about Barça wasn’t the football, but the character. The Catalans never stopped fighting, kept chasing the result and got with true determination and grit. This “never say die” attitude was missing from the side before Lucho came in, and had Barça played this badly a few years go, they would’ve lost without putting too much of a fight. In this one, they fought hard.

Beautiful Barça didn’t win, Warrior Barça did. And a victory is a victory after all.


Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Barcelona, 2016 Champions League: Final score 1-2, Second half comeback seals points for Barça

A hard fought victory

Barcelona needed two second half goals to over come a one-goal deficit to defeat Borussia Mönchengladbach, 2-1, on Wednesday in the Champions League. With the win, Barça stay atop Group C with a full six out of six possible points. It wasn’t easy by any means, but a gritty and hard fought performance in front of a raucous Borussia-Park away crowd was enough to earn an impressive win against a good team.

FIRST HALF

Barça began the match on the front foot, putting the pressure on the hosts early. They mustered two clear-cut scoring chances in the first 10 minutes with Neymar having a shot from close range saved by Sommer and Suarez blazing a good chance over the bar.

The missed opportunities would come back to cost the Blaugrana as the hosts took the lead just after the half-hour mark thanks to Thorgan Hazard, who finished off a very nice team move with a simple tap-in off a layoff pass, leaving Marc-Andre ter Stegen helpless.

The pressure continued after the goal with Suarez again causing havoc inside the BMG box, but unable to push the ball over the line to equalize.

SECOND HALF

It took only eight minutes into the second half for Luis Enrique to make a change to his team as he brought on Rafinha for Paco Alcacer, however it didn’t seem to provide the spark he was hoping for and neither side created much in the opening 15 minutes.

Finally, near the hour mark, Barcelona broke through and leveled the match. A chipped ball into the box found Arda Turan in stride. His strike from the right side of the box lashed over Sommer’s head and into the net to tie the match at 1.

Just eight minutes later, Gerard Pique poked in a rebound off a Luis Suarez shot attempt to give Barça the 2-1 lead and a dramatic comeback.

It was a very tough match, but they got the job done in a tough away environment. Well done.


Barcelona: ter Stegen; Alba, Mascherano, Pique, Roberto; Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic (Turan); Neymar, Alcacer (Rafinha), Suarez

Goals: Turan (63’), Pique (72’)

BMG: Sommer, Christensen, Korb, Elvedi, Traore, Kramer, Dahoud, Wendt, Hazard (Herrmann), Stindl (Hahn), Raffael (Johnson)

Goals: Hazard (32’)

Watch Gerard Pique give Barcelona dramatic lead over BMG

The comeback!

Barcelona have stormed back from a goal down to take a 2-1 lead thanks to two goals in a matter of minutes. After Ardan Turan equalized with a nice finish, Gerard Pique gave the Blaugrana the lead in the 73rd minute.

via r/Soccer

A corner kick routine saw Luis Suarez get a shot from the top of the box. Sommer could only palm it aside right into the path of the big Barca defender, who poked it into the net to give his side the lead.

Watch Arda Turan equalize against BMG with a spectacular finish

Wow!

It’s taken 65 minutes for Barcelona, but they’ve finally found the back of the net and equalize against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League group stage. After falling behind in the first half thanks to a Thorgan Hazard goal, Barcelona scraped and clawed their way back into the match and drew level thanks to this great finish by Arda Turan:

via r/Soccer

The play started with Neymar chipping a ball over the top for Turan to run onto into the box. He calmly took it in stride and roofed it over the head of Sommer and into the top net for a lovely finish.

It’s been a gritty game, but Barca have found their way back into it thanks to perseverance and hard work. Can they find another goal to take the lead and the three points?

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Barcelona, 2016 Champions League: Confirmed Lineups, Live Game Thread

Live thread with confirmed lineups for Barcelona’s Champions League match against Gladbach

It’s matchday! Barcelona are in Germany for a very difficult UEFA Champions League match at Borussia-Park, facing a Borussia Mönchengladbach team that won their last 11 home games and promise to create a hostile environment for the Catalan giants.

The Blaugrana are the leaders in Group C, and need a victory to stay at the top before two straight matches against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. A win today is vital, but the game won’t be easy at all.

Should fun, though.


LINEUPS

Borussia M’Gladbach starting lineup (4-2-3-1, r-l)

Sommer | Korb, Elvedi, Christensen, Wendt | Kramer, Dahoud | Traoré, Stindl, Hazard | Raffael

Substitutes: Sippel, Vestegaard, Herrmann, Johnson, Hofmann, Jantschke, Hahn

Manager: Andre Schubert

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Barcelona starting lineup (4-3-3, r-l)

Ter Stegen | Roberto, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba | Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta | Alcácer, Suárez, Neymar

Substitutes: Cillessen, Mathieu, Digne, Gomes, Denis, Rafinha, Arda

Manager: Luis Enrique


Match Info, How to Watch

Date/Time: Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 8:45pm local time (CET), 7:45pm BST (UK), 2:45pm ET, 11:45am PT (US), 12:15am IST (India, next day)

Venue: Borussia-Park, Mönchengladbach, Germany

Referee: Damir Skomina (SLV)

TV listings: Fox Sports 1 (US), ESPN Deportes (US – Spanish), beIN SPORTS (Canada), BT Sport Extra (UK), TEN 1 SD (India), elsewhere

Online streaming: Fox Sports GO, FoxSoccer2Go, WatchESPN (US), beIN SPORTS CONNECT, FuboTV (Canada), elsewhere


Please keep the live thread fun and respectful. We all love football and Barça, and there’s no need to offend each other. So let’s be nice and hope for a Blaugrana win!

VISCA EL BARÇA!

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Barcelona, 2016 live stream: Game time, TV schedule and how to watch UEFA Champions League online

The Blaugranes look for a big European victory

Barcelona continue their UEFA Champions League group stage campaign with a trip to Germany for the second match in Group C against Borussia Mönchengladbach, in what promises to be a very difficult game for the Catalan giants.

The Blaugrana will play in one of the toughest environments in Europe. The Gladbach fans are known to be incredibly passionate and create a spectacular atmosphere at Borussia-Park, and combined with a very talented team on the pitch, Wednesday’s trip will be one of the most difficult games of the season for Barcelona.

This is one of those must-watch games that you just have to watch. For United States users, you can watch it online with one of the two Fox Sports streaming services (Fox Sports GO, FoxSoccer2Go) or WatchESPN. Canada fans can see it with beIN SPORTS CONNECT or FuboTV. The full TV listings are below, and you have no reason to miss it. Go watch it!


Date/Time: Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 8:45pm local time (CET), 7:45pm BST (UK), 2:45pm ET, 11:45am PT (US), 12:15am IST (India, next day)

Venue: Borussia-Park, Mönchengladbach, Germany

Referee: Damir Skomina (SLV)

TV listings: Fox Sports 1 (US), ESPN Deportes (US – Spanish), beIN SPORTS (Canada), BT Sport Extra (UK), TEN 1 SD (India), elsewhere

Online streaming: Fox Sports GO, FoxSoccer2Go, WatchESPN (US), beIN SPORTS CONNECT, FuboTV (Canada), elsewhere

(Listings via LiveSoccerTV)