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Barca brilliance, brutal Bayern and more Champions League talking points

Bayern down but not out and other thoughts from Tuesday and Wednesday’s games.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, challenges for the ball with PSG's players Gregory van der Wiel, center, and Marquinhos.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, challenges for the ball with PSG's players Gregory van der Wiel, center, and Marquinhos.

1. The night when Luis Suarez came of age for Barca

WITH 18 GOALS in 28 appearances, Luis Suarez’s Barcelona career thus far has hardly been a disappointment.

However, as Gareth Bale is finding out, even the merest hint of a loss of form can prompt angry responses from fans so accustomed to success.

Suarez therefore, brilliant as he is, is no longer the main man, as he was at Liverpool. There are, of course, times when he will inevitably fail to outshine the likes of Neymar and Lionel Messi, and consequently, he needs to maintain and even exceed the level of performance he regularly demonstrated at Anfield.

Last night against PSG however, there was no question as to the identity of the most impressive star on the field.

In arguably Barcelona’s most important match of the season so far, Suarez managed two brilliantly taken goals, making a fool of PSG’s David Luiz in the process.

His display in Paris, coupled with his recent winner against Real Madrid, should ensure a place in Barca fans’ hearts for the foreseeable future at least.

2. Carvajal a lucky boy

Source: G football/YouTube

As 0-0 draws go, Tuesday night’s Madrid Derby was a highly entertaining spectacle.

Both Atletico and Real played with tremendous aggression and intensity, with Diego Simeone’s side in particular showing the kind of tenacity that was so integral to their league title win last season.

However, while this level of aggression was channelled in a positive manner for much of the contest, occasionally, it boiled over in an unsavoury manner.

Dani Carvajal was a primary example of one individual who was prone to bad behaviour on the night. The player’s punch and alleged bite on Mario Mandzukic was ill-advised in the extreme, as the Spanish right-back lost control for one moment of madness, leading to apoplectic protests from the Croatian international.

Carvajal was fortunate not to be sent off as a result, and was perhaps even luckier to subsequently escape a UEFA charge for his actions, after staunchly denying accusations of malicious antics.

3. Bayern down but not out

Anyone content to write off Bayern Munich’s Champions League chances after their 3-1 loss to Porto on Wednesday night clearly has a short memory.

The last time they conspicuously underperformed away from home in Europe was their recent second-round Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Pep Guardiola’s side laboured to a 0-0 draw in Ukraine, only to thrash their opponents 7-0 in the return fixture at the Allianz Arena.

So as impressive as a Jackson Martinez and Ricardo Quaresma-inspired Porto looked on Wednesday night, they will need to be wary as they prepare to travel to Germany next week.

Moreover, the potential second-leg return of key players including Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry and Bastian Schweinsteiger should give Bayern further cause for optimism.

Blind warns Chelsea: Manchester United will challenge for the title next season>

‘There was no bite’ – Mario Mandzukic clears Dani Carvajal after Madrid derby row>

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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