Last night in Barcelona, the team returned to the winning ways vs Valencia. It is the beginning of a vital week that started yesterday and will finish next Sunday in ‘El Clasico’. It was great to see the team look sharp and fast, and I was happy to see Ansu start and Aguero in his debut.
Naturally, because Barcelona beat Valencia, there are more good points than bad points. However, I will address some negative takes that the team will have to look at for the next two important matches. I expect both Dinamo Kyiv and Real Madrid to try to exploit the weak points of the team.
- Ladies and Gentelmen – Ansu Fati! The wonderkid started the match for the first time in almost a year. And man, how we missed this talent! In the 60 minutes he played, he scored a goal and won a penalty for the team. It’s fair to say that without him it would have been a lot harder to win the match. Just think about Luuk de Jong instead of him, and we get another Granada-like match after Valencia scored. Furthermore, the combination between Ansu and Memphis looks amazing. Keep it up!
- Dest as a winger was a very interesting move by Koeman. Having Dest and Ansu in both wings allowed Barcelona to have a much faster attacking line. Moreover, both of them played wide, and that opened more spaces in the Valencia defense, and Barcelona exploited that. And defensively, Dest joined as a fullback many times, and Roberto moved to become a 3rd center back. That’s interesting. However, knowing Koeman, when something works well, It becomes a habit, and that’s not a good idea. We don’t want to become too predictable again.
- I was very happy to see the debut of Kun Aguero. The man is far from his prime, but having him fit and ready would be great for Barcelona. He’s still a legend and a man who can score goals pretty easy. It reminds me a lot of Henrik Larson back in the Rijkaard era. And Larson came on as a sub in the UCL 2006 finals, and was vital in the win vs Arsenal. So Aguero can also be a very useful player.
- Coutinho should leave Barcelona. It didn’t work for the Brazilian and us for many reasons. However, as long as he’s here, he can contribute. And he sure did that last night. Moreover, if we want other teams to want him, it’s important for him to stay fit.
- The first team looked pretty well for Barcelona vs Valencia. However, the start of the second half wasn’t good at all, and not for the first time. We’ve seen the team many times come back to the second half worse than the 1st half. Why is that? I guess there’s something wrong with the half time instructions by Koeman. Valencia almost exploited that, and if they make it 2-2, we don’t know what would have happened.
- Sergi Roberto is a lot of things, but he’s not a center back. The idea of Dest as a winger who joins the defense turned Roberto into a 3rd center back while on defense. It’s not the first time that a coach tries that, as I can remember Setien doing the same thing. In my opinion, Mingueza fits that position a lot better, as he can play both as a fullback and a center back.
- Only 47,000 fans in the Camp Nou yesterday. I’m waiting to see a lot more vs Kyiv and Madrid.