Finals football can be brutal. You can have the edge, create the heart-stopping moments and the hands to head chances, but still not come home with the biscuits. Barcelona created, created and did some more, but Wolfsburg’s experience is the winner. Pretty football turned to desperation. The Germans ability to finish the splitting hair difference to the contest. But the defensive work by Wolfsburg to deny Barcelona time and again as they mounted attacks in search of an equaliser was the true match winner.
Half time 0-0
It’s the football you write home about. The attacking nature and defensive prowess is the stuff of dreams. There’s nothing scrappy or underdone.
Silky skills on display, the vision oozes creativity, daring dribbling, clean passing and clever, clever defending. Sure you could say the finishing hasn’t been up to scratch. The reality is, forwards haven’t been given any breathing space to really tee up a shot. Instead they’ve been forced to shoot on site, knowing chances will be limited despite the open-nature of the affair.
Daring. Neither team are showing hesitation to attack. It’s the semi-final football you always hope for, but rarely, rarely see.
Cutting chances at either end. But then the breakthrough.
58” GOAL WOLFSBURG
Engen the engineer with space deep to pick out a switching ball to Huth. The wingers cross, low hard across the frame of goal and in the mixer causes problems. Pajor tries the outlandish with a bicycle kick but it’s Rolfo with the tap in.
The curse of the unfinished chances lingered around Barcelona. The Spanish side dug deep, patient in their opportunities but unable to capitalise. Wolfsburg adjusted to sit deeper and release fewer players on the counter, protecting their lead and handling tired legs.
Oshoala’s header was denied by a reaching fingertip save. Mariona skied a shot in the six yard box while in front of an open net. The dying minutes of extra time sees a looping, deflected cross and a goalkeeper collision with Graham. The referee blows for a foul on Abt. The replay shows it should’ve gone to the forwards favour. Perhaps the penalty that should’ve tied things up and forced extra time.
Destiny is a funny thing. Games like these where one team pushes and pushes but can’t find the goal. It’s with a sense of destiny Wolfsburg are through to the big dance, after none of the breaks fell Barcelona’s way.