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The Deeply Compromised ‘Epic’ Barcelona Comeback

March 9th, 2017 · No Comments · Barcelona, Champions League, Football, soccer

Isn’t it grand when someone writes a piece taking a position you wholeheartedly endorse?

Especially when you begin to wonder if you are the only one who feels that way?

That is what happened today when a staffer at The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, published a commentary pointing out the “dark arts” (that is, cheating) involved in Barcelona’s “best in history” (choose your own superlatives; none are too you extreme) Champions League victory over Paris Saint Germain last night.

Barcelona was down 4-0 before the match, the second leg of the last-16 stage of the tournament.

It ended 6-5 on aggregate, in Barcelona’s favor, thanks to three goals in the final seven minutes of action, sending the blissful masses of Barca’s global fans into paroxysms of ecstasy almost beyond human comprehension.

The reality of how that comeback was made possible was instantly overlooked by the Barca Front-Runner’s Society.

To wit: The two penalties Barcelona received and converted were made possible only by its players’ endless attempts to deceive the referee.

Wrote Ewan Murray: “If the awarding of Barcelona’s first penalty of the night was dubious, Thomas Meunier committing the apparently fatal sin of falling over with Neymar in close proximity, the hosts’ second penalty, which fueled the fairy tale, represented a blatant act of cheating. …”

He added: “[Luis] Suarez dived, just as he did earlier in the game when such antics cost him a booking.

“If you watch back through the dying stages, Barca’s players are throwing themselves to the floor with such desperation it is comical.

“The not-so- subtle message, as witnessed by millions including impressionable young footballers? When in doubt, when things get seriously tough, keep the conning of officials at the forefront of your mind. The ruse is even more effective when a team are at home, in such an intense atmosphere as the Camp Nou. Referees wouldn’t be human if they didn’t feel pressure to bow to the demands of the bawling masses.”

Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan forward suspended three times for biting opponents, is a known flopper. One of the worst in soccer.

Unless he is about to shoot, Suarez enters the box looking to create any sort of contact with a defender, real or phantom, and then throws himself to the ground and begins gesticulating as he demands a penalty decision from a bamboozled (Suarez hopes) referee.

As noted, Suarez had been given a yellow card for “diving” in the same match when he went untouched by a PSG defender yet contrived a spectacular crash to the turf.

In that replay, he can be seen lifting his lower leg (which ensured he would hit the ground) under the defender, waiting/hoping for any sort of contact.

As the game neared its end, Suarez tried the same thing again, and was rewarded. The referee gave a penalty for a non-foul.

Neymar took the penalty a minute into added time and converted it

The decisive goal came in the fifth minute of added time. It was, as far as we can tell, a fair goal, as opposed to the one before it.

As the Guardian author notes, Barcelona often seems to be judged on a different set of rules than its opponents. It is not enough for the club to already have many of the world’s best players, they also seem to demand preferential treatment from referees.

He also mocks British pundits for praising the comeback without making even a passing remark about the simulation that made it all possible.

Murray wrote: “The common response to such complaints is that some of us, particularly in Britain, need to wise up. British players, it is even stated, should become more streetwise when catching up with the ‘art’ of simulation.

“It is a ludicrous argument; that cheating, because it has become rife, must be embraced as part of football.”

He added: “Just as Barcelona are a brilliant team, who revolutionized football to an extent, and Suarez is a wonderful player, this should not provide an excuse for selective blindness. Unfortunately it does, amid the race to proclaim Wednesday evening as worthy of a public holiday.

“There is almost the sense that the Champions League needs Barça’s involvement, regardless of the means by which that transpires.”


I was annoyed but not surprised that Barcelona somehow contrived a way to stay in the tournament.

Turns out, I was not the only one.


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