Lionel Messi, Barca must remain mentality strong



Barcelona's valuable 2-1 away against Manchester City was proof that they have what it takes to go all the way in this season's Champions League if fully focused on the task in hand. Reassuringly, the Blaugranas looked like a completely different team from the one that struggled to break Malaga's back-line and walked away with a deserved 1-0 home defeat in their last La Liga game.

While the return of Javier Mascherano and Ivan Rakitic to Luis Enrique's starting 11 brought back much-needed muscle, the team's visible defensive improvement was a direct result of a more focused collective effort. The Catalans managed to recover the degree of solidarity and aggressiveness which resulted in ...

Read the rest of my article for ESPN here.
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