Reviewing the best games of Barcelona’s 2016/17 season.
The 2016/17 season is in the books for FC Barcelona, and while it may not have been the most successful year in the Catalans’ history, Luis Enrique’s men again played some dazzling football at numerous points of the season.
In this first installment of the Season in Review, we will look at three of the best games Barcelona played this season, in the end, you will decide which one of the three contestants will be crowned Game of the Season. Even though many consider this Barcelona season a disappointment, picking just three games was a very difficult task, and a list of honorable mentions could’ve been twice as long as this list will be.
But without further ado, here are the three nominees for Game of the Season (in chronological order)
1. Barcelona 3-0 Sevilla (Supercopa de España 2nd Leg, 17 August 2016)
Barcelona came into the game in a commanding position, leading 2-0 after the first leg played at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, but Sevilla under Jorge Sampaoli often showed a never-say-die attitude. But Barcelona showed their winning mentality and quickly added to their lead through the in-form Arda Turan. Around the half-hour mark it became interesting as Sevilla were awarded a penalty kick, but Claudio Bravo excellently saved Vicente Iborra’s strike. Sevilla remained dangerous, but Barcelona would not buckle under pressure, adding two goals in the second half, including a stunning Arda long-range strike, to secure the first trophy of the new season.
2. Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain (Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg, 8 March 2017)
Much has been said about this match – the biggest comeback in European football history – and rightfully so. Barcelona were absolutely hammered in the first leg in Paris, earning a 4-0 loss, seemingly making the return leg a mere formality, but the Catalans, led by Neymar, had different plans.
Slowly but surely, Barcelona started to chip away at PSG’s lead, halving PSG’s advantage by half-time through goals from Luis Suarez and an Layvin Kurzawa own goal. Then Lionel Messi made it a one goal game from a penalty, but disaster struck when Edinson Cavani scored the all-important away goal. Barcelona suddenly needed three more, and with time running out the tie was all but decided. Then Neymar took center stage, first curling a free kick in the 88th minute to provide a spark. Three minutes later he converted a penalty to draw the two teams level, but with PSG in front due to the away goal. Five minutes of added time were running out, and with everybody forward Neymar provided one last hopeful ball in front where Sergi Roberto poked the ball into the back of the net to complete the most unlikeliest of comebacks.
3. Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona (La Liga Round 33, 23 April 2017)
Barcelona’s title hopes were fading fast and to have any hope of a late season turnaround the Catalans had to win at the Santiago Bernabeu. And win they did – in dramatic fashion, and while it may not have been a vintage Barcelona display, under the circumstances, it was massive. Barcelona found themselves in a hole after Casemiro opened the scoring, setting up another Barcelona comeback. Messi leveled the score shortly thereafter, before Ivan Rakitić rocketed Barcelona in the lead midway through the second half. Playing with a man advantage, Barcelona were unable to protect the lead, but in the final seconds of the game Messi scored in brilliant fashion to set up a neck and neck race for the remainder of the season, but Barcelona didn’t get any help they desperately needed.
These are your three nominees, please use the poll below to decide the winner. Use the comments section to voice your opinion on the nominations, your vote, omissions from the top three, etc.