Mamelodi Sundowns were thrashed 3-1 by Barcelona and our football analyst shares his thoughts on why the Brazilians were outclassed.
The Catalan giants enjoyed a comfortable victory over Sundowns in a match that was part of the late Nelson Mandela’s centenary commemoration events. I personally feel they could have done better had it not been for a few mistakes. The first half was too one-sided and it actually killed Pitso Mosimne’s side. These are the five things that swayed the game in Barca’s favour.
1. Sundowns players were star struck. They went there for autographs, selfies & swapping shirts.
You could tell from their social media posts that they were too excited to play Barcelona and meeting their idols. The groupie mentality resulted in stage fright which saw them commit unnecessary errors. The way they couldn’t wait for the end of the match to take pictures with Barcelona players bordered on embarrassing. They basically hero worshipped other humans who are professional footballers like themselves.
2. Defensive errors which gave Barcelona two goals
Two of Barca’s three goals were defensive errors with Soumahoro Bangaly and Motjeka Madisha being the main culprits. If you take those goals out of the equation, Barcelona only scored one goal as a result of a beautifully-constructed attack.
3. Conceding early in the game killed them psychologically.
Ousmane Dembele’s early goal disrupted Sundowns’ plan to absorb pressure in the first 15 minutes. They had to chase the game as they were already trailing. It also affected them mentally as it showed them that their visitors really mean business.
4. Missed opportunities. Especially Tau and Langermann’s chances.
Mamelodi Sundowns missed two clear-cut chances where they could have punished Barcelona. Percy Tau tried to chip Andre Ter Stegen when he was one on one with him while Tebogo Langerman tried to cross the ball instead of shooting with the goal at his mercy.
5. Starting Oupa Manyisa and Gaston Sirino on the bench.
You could see the stability and attacking impetus these two midfielders brought when they came on. Sirino is a Uruguayan midfielder who probably isn’t fazed by rubbing shoulders with world superstars while Manyisa is a Bafana Bafana midfielder who’s faced a bulk of those players before. Manyisa was part of the South African side that beat Spain 1-0 under the tutelage of Gordon Igesund.