Defeat to Mourinho's Inter remains a bitter pill for Barca to swallow
It's the ultimate in gloating -- the traditional song that really, really rubs it in and stings like hell. You've traveled miles and miles to watch your team but hope has turned to despair, all you've eaten is a ropey sandwich at a service station and all you've drunk is a bottle of warm Coke that's long since gone flat. Which might not be a bad thing, because there's no way you're trusting your backside to
Your team is getting hammered, the referee has robbed you blind, it's pouring with rain, and the only thing awaiting you now are the unwelcoming arms of a dark, dangerous highway. It has cost you a fortune. And then those antagonists start singing. "You came all this way ..." they laugh, like you didn't already know.
"... and you lost!"
Soaked in schadenfreude, English football fans have been singing it to each other for years. But rarely has there been a better opportunity to give it a European outing, to reach for the dictionary and render it pleasing to the Italian ear. Or displeasing to the Catalan one,
They didn't just lose. They
Worse, Barcelona lost 3-1 -- the first time it's been beaten by more than one goal since
But perhaps most fundamentally of all, for all that the press complained about the man in black and Barca's players were seething, the visitors deserved to lose. Deep down, they probably knew that -- the sense of impotence as well as injustice fueling their despair and anger.
Barcelona dominated possession -- every Barca player who played 90 minutes completed more passes than every Inter player -- but was vulnerable at the back, surprisingly sloppy in midfield, where
Ibrahimovic was not alone. Apart from
The question now is whether things will improve in the second leg; whether the fury, fueled by the "translator and his friend," that replaced the initial fatalism can propel Barcelona to a comeback. Will things be better, both in red-and-blue and in black?
"I hope we play better next time," Ibrahimovic said.
Said Pique: "I hope we get an impartial ref next time."
After the game,
"I understand Xavi," the Inter manager said, smiling. "After all, when you're not used to losing, it can be hard to lose."
And when you've gone all that way, it can be even harder yet.