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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Barcelona ready to dominate again


A 3-1 away win at PSG was the biggest indicator yet that Barcelona are once again ready to be Europe's elite team. Barca proved too strong for PSG and have all but guaranteed themselves a semi-final place and put themselves as favourites for the Champions League amongst bookies.

It was not so long ago Luis Enrique’s side lost at the Parc De Princes to PSG 3-2 in the group stages this season but a few months on and things have changed. Enrique looks to have gelled his side together very well and they are peaking just at the right time.

The PSG result was not the only sign that Barcelona were to be considered a real threat, their 2-1 win in El Clasico was of stark contrast to the performance that saw them lose 3-1 in the Santiago Bernabeu in October.

The way they brushed Manchester City aside in the round of 16 was yet another sign that this Barcelona team is ruthless and ready to challenge for top honours, keep in mind they made PSG, the side who knocked out Premier League runaway leaders Chelsea, look very poor.

While Guardiola continues to struggle to get his Bayern side to the remarkable level his former Barca side were at, the current Catalan side is beginning to believe they can once again reach that level. Of course at this moment in time they are nowhere near that level of dominance but indications are there that they can get there.

In Guardiola’s best seasons he played with a front three of Eto’o, Henry and Messi. This was the best strikeforce in Europe and Luis Enrique looks to have recreated a similarly prolific force. Neymar and Suarez who were both on the scoresheet against PSG now accompany Messi and are at this moment the most feared attack in Europe.

Naturally expectations were high for Enrique this season as they are every season with Barcelona but after taking over from Tato Martino who finished trophiless last season the fans want instant success and Enrique looks set to deliver it.

Barcelona currently lead La Liga which they last won under Tito Vilanova in the 2012/13 season and are strong favourites to win the Copa Del Rey with main rivals Real and Atletico out of the equation.

Champions League glory is top of most wish lists and on current form they look best placed to do it, 2010/11 was the last season Barcelona were crowned champions of Europe, far too long ago for a club of their stature and they will be looking to eradicate that this season.

photo credit: LFS_13335 via photopin (license)