It always surprises me how paid analysts so often overlook relatively obvious causes of goals and focus on over-simplifications*.
Yesterday, it was keeper Julio Cesar who was hung out to dry in the court of public opinion as Inter conceded a late goal to allow Bayern Munich to escape the San Siro with a 1-0 win in the first leg of their Champions League knockout round game.
Here’s the goal:
Yes, Cesar bumbles the rebound from Arjen Robben’s shot back across his body rather than parrying the ball away to a safer part of the field. No doubt he is due a fair share of the blame.
But I’ve yet to hear any criticism of Lucio (primarily) or Chivu (secondarily). If I expect my defenders, youth players, to track runners after a shot has been taken and box them out so they can’t get to rebounds first, I think it’s reasonable to expect Lucio, who of course played against Robben when Brazil played the Dutch in the World Cup as well as in last year’s Champions League final, to anticipate the shot and start tracking back towards Cesar while trying to block Gomez’s run to goal.
But he does neither and allows Gomez to make an unchallenged blind side run that allows him to get to Cesar’s misplaced rebound first. The ball’s in the goal before Lucio has even taken a step.
So what’s Chivu’s crime. Same really. He’s just lucky it wasn’t his mark that got to the ball. If he had, he’d have looked even worse than Lucio as his check starts a good ten yards off him and runs right past him, head on, and would have been the next to the ball had Gomez not got their first.
It’s not like no one saw what was coming. Guess what? Arjen Robben likes to cut inside from his off wing and shoot the ball. He’d done it several times already that game yet both Lucio and Chivu ball watch, don’t track their marks and allow them to get to the rebound ahead of them.
It may well prove to be what costs them their chance to repeat as the tie heads back to Munich with Bayern in the driver’s seat.