The Spanish pass masters held on to the ball for 65 of the 90 minutes against Chelsea creating 24 chances during the first leg.
Pep Guardiola and his boys must have been scratching their heads the whole flight home wondering how they lost to Chelsea’s solitary strike on goal.
Even more galling must be the fact that Didier Drogba was the match winner.
Many feared the Ivorian was “too old” at 34 to play two full games in four days.
I don’t know what people think professional athletes train for all week, but Drogba did seem to be exhibiting some signs of old age.
At times he looked in need of a walking frame following a series of dramatic collapses any time Barcelona looked like breaking.
Drogba is certainly a great striker, but he’s a hard man to like outside of west London with his histrionics.
Barca are still favourites to go through and I fear it could be a long night for Chelsea in the wide-open spaces of the Nou Camp next Tuesday.
On the domestic front West Ham have finally put me out of my misery and managed to mess-up their automatic promotion chances.
A glimmer of hope with the 6-0 drubbing of Brighton was quickly extinguished with another leaden performance away at Bristol City.
Big Sam Allardyce needed a win so at 1-1 turned to his bench and brought on………John Carew.
Now I’m sure Carew was a footballer once. But he needs to find another day job because what he’s doing now has no place in professional sport.
It was bad enough to bring Carew to east London in the first place, but to continue playing him shows that Allardyce’s stubborn streak is now flying in the face of all reason.
West Ham have still got enough about them to go up.
We just need the manager to admit his system is not working and pick a team to play our way through the play offs rather than attempt to bulldoze through.
It was a bit of a shocker at Betting Spy towers last week with our Grand National tip coming unstuck at the tenth, Man City roaring back into form away from home and Everton letting a lead slip at Wembley.
The bankroll needs replenishing so let’s go with a team in form – Wigan.
The Latics are fighting for their lives and have beaten Man Utd and Arsenal in recent weeks so a trip to Fulham should hold no fears.
Fulham have already lost four times at Craven Cottage this season and could be in end-of-season cruise mode with not a lot to play for.
That makes Wigan overpriced at 10/3 with Paddy Power so let’s lump on.
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Running Total for all 2012 bets to a £10 stake: +£150.00