“In the end you stop pressing him, because it’s just so frustrating – you can’t get near him.”
That’s Steven Gerrard’s expert eye, perfectly summarising last night just how it feels to play against Sergio Busquets.
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The Barcelona maestro produced another untouchable display against Chelsea to reinforce his position as the best defensive midfielder on the planet.
Busquets’ theatrics may divide opinion but his ability is unquestionable.
Ultimately the 29-year-old goes about his business how every footballer – at any level from amateur to professional – wants to play the game.
He waltzes around, seemingly without a care in the world picking and choosing when and where to have an influence.
But nothing about his game is careless.
Everything Busquets does, no matter how easy he makes it looks, is calculated and precise.
He snuffed out three counter attacks in the first half while regularly finding Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta in pockets of space to propel Barca forward.
Messi of course hogs most of the headlines, but without Busquets Barca would fall apart.
In the battling draw that gives the Catalans the upper hand heading into the second leg, he had the most touches, completed the most passes and won the most tackles of any player on the pitch.
N’Golo Kante, who snapped at his heels throughout the contest, in contrast managed just 25 passes and four tackles.
The polarity between Busquets and Kante’s holding midfield styles emphasises why football is so nuanced.
But it was the Barcelona man who reigned king at Stamford Bridge, reducing everyone else to bit-part roles as he dominated proceedings.
There’s no denying Busquets is a b******, but he’s a bloody brilliant one.
You can follow Adam on Twitter – @adamjonessj
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