With all the noise surrounding the club and Xavi’s future, lost in the storm was that Barca had games left to play.
It might’ve not felt that way with everything going on, but we’re still in January, plenty of season left for Barca and their rollercoaster campaign. First up after the shocking news this past Saturday, was an Osasuna team that was bound to be deadset on competing for a point, which meant something every Barca fan shivers at the thought of.
A low block.
Let’s see how Barca fared and if they were able to respond to Xavi’s call for action.
If I was a sicko, I’d sit here and waste your time by trying to summarize the bore of Barca’s first half against Osasuna.
But, since I’m not a sicko and can relate to readers not wanting to read something that’ll cause everyone to fall asleep, I’ll just quickly round up the action — or lack of — in the first half in an easy manner.
First off, it was boring. Boring, boring, boring.
Barca were too stagnant with their movement, too cautious with their passing, and the attacking structure looked all over the place, causing passing sequences to find optimism only to lose it quickly or start from square one far too many times.
In fact, Barca’s attack was so lifeless in the first half, that their only clear cut chances came from set pieces.
Yeah, we’re in a simulation, is what I told myself while forcing myself to watch that slop.
Of course, it didn’t help that Osasuna’s low block resembled something of the Ancient Wall of China, as it seemed like everyone and their mother sat behind the ball, trying to defend Barca’s attack. But goodness man, it was a pure showing of slop from Barca going forward.
In the end, there was no action that resembled anything of a threat in the opening 45 minutes, so we went into halftime witnessing a 0-0 draw. Barca had another half to find something, but based on their first half showing, there wasn’t much optimism there.
However, we got some semblance of attacking play in the second half.
But it didn’t arrive until later on in the half, until about the 63rd minute. That was when the game saw its only goal, as a certain Brazilian newcomer was finally able to etch his name into Barcelona’s history books.
You know the name by now, but if you don’t, let me remind you.
Roque opens his account for Barca
It was a period of pressure for Barca, with the players on the field finding ways to win the ball back quickly and regain their attacking standing. Frenkie De Jong found a ball at the top of the penalty area, before finding João Cancelo, who was all alone on the left flank with loads of space ahead of him.
Cancelo then took a few steps, lofted an outside the foot pass into a danger area, which eventually found the head of Vitor Roque. Roque flew across the the face of goal, lifting a pretty header into the back of the net.
It was a heartwarming for Roque, who has went through what you’d call an acclimation period at the club so far. He’s found game time to be a little sparse than he’d like, but it’s been on the basis of protecting him and allowing him to get used to his big change as smoothly as possible.
Hopefully this is the start of something special, but for now, let’s bask in the 18 year old’s first spotlight moment for the club of his life.
After this goal, there were some chances for Barca to find another goal, but instead they were forced to focus on defending their slim lead until the very end.
Which they did.
It was 1-0 win for Xavi’s men, just a few days after his revelation to the Barca faithful and the realization of another uncertain future related to the coaching sector of the first team.
Nothing much to say about this match.
I only have some words of excitement about Roque’s goal and the bright future that hopefully awaits him. Now it’s all about acclimation and strengthening his comfort level at the club.
Other than that though, there’s nothing much to say here.
Barca’s next match
Barca’s next match will be on Saturday against Deportivo Alaves.
See you all then!
I’ve been a big time Barca fan since I was 14 years old. I love the club, the history, and the tradition that the club has built over its prestigious history. Forca Barca!