BarcelonaHard-earned victory and for the minimum of Barça in Vila-real. The Catalans have prevailed in La Plana thanks to a goal from Pedri González. With this score, there are already eleven points that Real Madrid will have to gain in the standings if they want to revalidate the title. Next, some hot notes.
Champions level How eager to see Barça compete against Manchester United. Blaugranes and red devils they will face each other in the next two weeks in the round of 16 of the Europa League, but the level of football they will display will surely be more typical of the Champions League. They are two sets on an upward curve, two giants of the continent in the process of returning to what they were. In the case of Xavi’s team, the version they are showing lately is that of a group with room for improvement in terms of brilliance and forcefulness, albeit tremendously reliable. So much so that binarism has been subscribed to in order to distance the League. He scores little, but since he doesn’t fit in at all, he adds three at a time. Playing with four midfielders has cut the suffering a bit. Let’s see how the formula works against a Premier League opponent.
poor eyesight Matías Messi, the brother of the Argentinian star who carried a gun in the glove compartment of the car, caused a stir the other day with some explosive statements on his son’s Twitch. It is undeniable that he has privileged information about the traumatic departure of Leo in the summer of 2021 and the null relationship that the family has today with the managers of Barça (another thing is how he uses it). However, where he did lose is in football knowledge. “I don’t like either of them,” he had the nerve to say, when asked about Pedri and Gavi, before opting for the second because he is “half a rebel”. Perhaps he will change his mind if he knows that the Canarian, in addition to being Barça’s most influential midfielder, is already Barca’s third top scorer this season. The last target (already seven) was a true work of art at La Ceràmica.
There would be Champions. In the 0-1 play, Pedri combined in a scrum with Lewandowski before beating Pepe Reina, who is 20 years older than him. But if Tegueste and the Pole were able to ambush at the front of the area, it was because of the umpteenth example of what Xavi’s Barça knows how to do best: pressurize the opposite field to recover the ball. The one in charge of anticipating was Kounde, who accompanies an imposing physique with a privileged reading of the game. In a League with more and more minimums, the Frenchman is as redundant as Araujo, a specialist in embittering the attackers who, like the speedy Morales and Yeremi, try to challenge him. The FIFA virus erased them from the fateful October of a Barça that, if it had been able to count on them in the double match against Inter Milan, would still be playing in the Champions League.
A rock. With Busquets injured, it has become clear that Xavi prefers the muscle of Kessie to the orthodoxy of Sergi Roberto and the natural talent of Pablo Torre. In La Ceràmica, the Ivorian completed a more than correct performance. Possibly the best since he arrived at Barça. He joined De Jong on the pivot and took up a lot of ground for Gavi and Balde to fire down the left at Foyth’s back. With the ball he must progress to end up falling in love with the coaches, but without it he is a guarantee in the fists, the aerial game and the defensive swing. Of course, sometimes he goes so hard that he ends up attacking the rivals, as happened with Coquelin, who injured his knee after colliding with him.