How do you beat Barcelona?
In my opinion, you have to do one of the two extremes. You either have to play an extreme pressing game, or play an extreme containment game. If you try to play a balance of the two, Barcelona WILL open you up with ease.
Personally, I would go for the extreme pressing game. For the simple reason that when you give any team, especially Barcelona, time to play, they will hurt you. Barcelona are very strict on playing a short passing game. Even when pressure is put on the back 4 and Valdes, they still attempt to move and find an option. My tactic would be to force Valdes to kick long and as a result, give possession back to my team. The focus would be to disrupt their rhythm (which is nigh on impossible!), which is what Athletic Bilbao did (6/11/2011).
Once my team get the ball, it will be about quick and direct passing to exploit the space made by Barcelona trying to make themselves available for the pass. As Valencia showed in their league game this season once the ball is won back, there is a vast amount of space down the channels behind the full-backs, so the forwards should be comfortable in these areas and attacking from the wing.
Which formation would you play? What type of game plan would you set up? What kind of players would you need to be comfortable in your system? Share, Share, Share!