BarcelonaBalsamic triumph for Barça in the League against a very fighting Valencia. Robert Lewandowski, savior for another day, scored the final goal at the last gasp of a duel in which the Catalans once again showed their shortcomings. Next, some hot notes.
Epic without gameplay. How Barça needed a victory like the one they achieved in Mestalla… It was the first stroke of luck for Xavi’s men after the fateful stoppage of selections at the end of September and a sequence of matches where fortune always favored them had gone against it. Through the game alone, it is most likely that the Blaugrana would have drawn or lost in Valencia. The subject remains, as the collective picture wasn’t much better than the one on offer against Bayern on Wednesday. But it is much better to focus on the mandatory improvement with positive results in hand and the fight with Madrid in La Liga intact for at least one more week. glass half full
The most decisive absence. Thinking about the short term, the best signing that Barça made thanks to the levers was Robert Lewandowski. His sense of smell – half of Blaugrana’s goals this season are his – corroborates this. But if we look further, the best recent acquisition is that of Kounde. Whether on the side or in the middle, the French defender raises the level in an indisputable way. He is the best in any position. He is fast, has good handling of the ball, uses his body well and takes the urgency with great confidence. Plus, he’s young, hungry, and committed. Luckily Xavi dissuaded him from going to Chelsea. And what a shame that the double and decisive battle with Inter in the Champions League was lost. Would Barça have been eliminated if they had been able to play?
Raphinha returns. All of the flow that emanates from Kounde is what Raphinha had lost in recent weeks. The Brazilian started the season like a thunderbolt, but Xavi’s preference for Dembélé and his problems playing on the left side have relegated him to a secondary plan that has not gone well for him. At Mestalla he made the fourth substitution and, when he came on to play, he was not at all successful. 11 League games and a European elimination later, everything indicated that he would continue to stagnate with the goal and the assistance that appeared in his tallies. But in stoppage time, touched by a stick, he had the cool to center a wonderful ball and serve the winning goal. That it serves him to react.
A constructive debate. To play in Mestalla, Barça chartered a plane – half empty – to go and return to Valencia and sent a coach from Barcelona – completely empty – for the internal journeys of the expedition to the Túria capital. Is this waste of fuel necessary when there is the alternative of the train or the bus itself? OK, on Tuesday there is a European procedure in Plzen (Czech Republic). But did both journeys have to be done on the charter? That Barça wants to go to cities as close as Valencia or Villarreal must be reviewed. An entity that seeks to be at the forefront of sustainability must consider these debates. If not, we will think that sponsorships like Vegan Nation’s or appointments like Jordi Portabella’s are a bit fake.