Barcelona visited Alaves today in the final match of the 19/20 La Liga season. The match had no meaning today since Real Madrid were crowned as champions on Thursday. The only thing at stake today is the race for the Pichichi between Messi and Benzema. Setien sent out the following starting XI: Neto, Alba, Lenglet, Araujo, Roberto, Busquets, Puig, Vidal, Fati, Suarez and Messi.
The first half was a refreshing twist on the football the club has been playing. It is thanks to no other than the two young gems, Puig and Fati. With their youth and hunger, the squad is more dynamic with them in it. Early in the match, Puig fired a shot which was unlucky to find the back of the net. Otherwise, it hit the crossbar. In the 24th minute, Alaves left Messi wide open on the right. He was able to squeeze it between the lines and find Fati making a run in the box. The wonderkid then smashed home for the opening goal.
Ten minutes later, Puig held up play perfectly and found Messi making a run in the box. The Argentinean was able to finish, taking his goal tally to 24 for the season. Before the half ended, some nice one touch passes were strung together as Messi crossed the ball to Alba whom crossed it back to Suarez as the Uruguayan was able to head it in. Barcelona lead 3-0 at the half.
The second half was more of the same as the first. Puig continued to dominate the midfield and Alaves failed to create any chances. Early in the half, Puig once again held up play and was able to find Semedo making a run and the Portuguese international smashed it across goal to make it 4-0. In the 74th minute, Alba’s cross was able to find Messi in the center of the box as his strike was able to find the back of the net.
Messi now has 25 goals and 21 assists this season, which is also a record for most assists in a season. The match and the season ended with a 5-0 Barcelona win, but most importantly an impressive match from the Barcelona side that looked deflated for a majority of the season.
Key points from the match
- Messi is 4 goals clear of Madrid’s Benzema. He certainly looks set to take home his 7th Pichichi, which will be a new record. Benzema will play later today.
- The Barcelona backline was a bit shaky at times and if Alaves would have taken their opportunities, this match would have been much closer than the score line depicts. Lenglet was injured as well, which may be a crucial blow if the French defender is unable to recover in time for the Champions League.
- Fati and Puig completely transform the squad when they are in it. The La Masia graduates have shown there is still talent being produced at Barcelona and the future does look bright.