Barcelona suffered during yesterday’s game, but so did Javier “Chicharito” Hernández and Bayer. It was a night of all-around suffering, actually: first for Barcelona, then for Chicharito, and lastly for Bayer Leverkusen.
The German team played an almost perfect away game. From the beginning, the squad put pressure on a Messi-less Barcelona, gave them little space to play, and almost scored before the second minute after Chicharito beat Javier Mascherano on a cross.
With little space, home team Barcelona suffocated and was unable to produce much of anything. Their fans, perhaps still irritated from the 1-1 tie against Roma in the first match of the group stage, began booing certain players, such as German goalie Marc-André ter Stegen (who has received a lot of goals lately), French defender Jérémy Mathieu (who many see as a bad signing) and even Catalan fan favorite Sergio Busquets. The booing continued until Barça scored two goals in the last 10 minutes of the game.
“It’s difficult when the fans are not on our side but we know they want more from us. We are trying to do what we can,” declared Neymar in a post-game interview.
Meanwhile, Chicharito was a starter in the game and would have scored right away if it weren’t for a great save by ter Stegen. Unfortunately for him though, he suffered a terrible miss that would have put his team ahead 2-0.
He was subbed six minutes after and the missed opportunity even led to an FC Barcelona tweet mocking the Mexican.
Chicharito’s mistake proved essential for Barcelona’s comeback and detrimental for Bayer Leverkusen. With the win, the German squad would have achieved a historic away game victory over the group favorites and also taken a comfortable group lead, especially after underdog Belarusian team Bate Borisov surprised Roma. But that’s all speculation and the group currently looks like this:
1. Barcelona – 4 points
2. Bayer Leverkusen – 3 points
3. Bate Borisov – 3 points
4. Roma – 1 point
Basically, it was a night of misery for all, one that simply proved a very wise proverb: el que ríe al último, ríe mejor.