Strange afternoon, valuable triumph. I miss seeing Barça without being Barça, unable to control the advantage as soon as the game starts. Valuable because it is being built, whose necessary cooking time is unknown. But Koeman was, cornered and on the ropes, with no game to support his idea, when he looked at the bench and took Dest out, Gavi, a 17-year-old boy, the third youth of the quarry to make his debut in three league games, Nico and Mingueza. In that contradictory team that a long time ago, even with Messi on the field, which stopped being what it was years ago, stands out the football rebellion of Memphis, an indomitable forward, as if he were Etoo.
Barça grabbed the lion to win, although their greatest treasure was the double appearance of Gavi and Nico, who transformed every second into a battle to stay weeks, months, years … He did not burn the ball and that it burned in a second half horrible of the azulgrana team. They asked for the ball and had the personality it takes to power Koeman’s heartbroken team. They returned the necessary faith guided, again, by Memphis, whose tons of personality make him walk around the Camp Nou as if it were his home.
Not two minutes into the game and Barça were already winning, a sign of the vitality they are trying to project. It is vital and, at the same time, it emits worrying, logical signals in any process of deep reconstruction such as the one you are experiencing. And he will live long times like this because hardships are not fixed “from one day to the next”, as Koeman remembers daily. But not two minutes and the two left-handers of Barça connected. The central (Lenglet) and the lateral (Jordi Alba). Although they needed, yes, the pause and calm that Memphis transmitted to the play. Clement divided with a precise pass, Memphis passed to Jordi and Sergi Roberto finished off, enjoying that position he longed for so much. Interior with arrival. He arrived and scored with energy to fill the noisy Camp Nou with joy.
Noisy and vindictive, especially attentive to players that the culé people consider that they are not up to what they should be. Or what they were. Or what they should be and more now that they have no one to eclipse them. Rather the complete opposite. Griezmann, whistled up to three times in the first 45 minutes, is still expected. Trust Antoine to get there before it’s too late. The third season begins now. Trust Koeman to return as soon as possible. Barça celebrated the goal with enthusiasm and felt the pain, already traditional, that every time a rival, in this case Getafe, appears in the area it ends in a goal. It does not even matter that the goalkeeper is Neto. Or Ter Stegen, who reappeared after being injured for months. With nothing, the marker moves against for Barça. And out of nowhere another goal was invented Memphis, already transformed into the new Barça idol.
In San Mamés, he defined with a violent, furious left foot, as if someone owed him money. At the Camp Nou he signed a dry, precise, flatly misleading right hand to punish the waist of David Soria, the Getafe goalkeeper. When he bent the spine, it was too late. Too late. And the public celebrated the appearance, one more week, of the player who causes a smile in a depressed team that belongs to a bankrupt club. Although that play, that of 2-1, has the intellectual authorship of Busquets, a guy who does not forget to play football. He ruled the ball. Rather, he hypnotized her to tame her before finding Frenkie de Jong, the prologue to his friend Memphis’s goal. Good news for Barça. They are sought and found.
The game was not round, dominated by imprecision, especially in the second half when Getafe modified their tactical drawing. Michel bet on Damien’s entrance to watch over Memphis, more heeled on the left flank leaving Braithwaite as center forward and Griezmann starting from the right flank. But Barcelona did not exist in attack, flatter, more boring, more insipid, mistreating the ball with such intensity that it took it off. He neither had it nor knew how to get it back.
The electric and dynamic game of the first part seemed already a relic of the past. All nervous. Without intervening Koeman either (he only removed a clueless Emerson to put Dest) to shake a party that was fading. The worst minutes of a strange and disconcerting Barça, where the coach had to appear with two injuries. Sergi Roberto and Braithwaite fell. Gavi entered, a 17-year-old boy, brave and daring in his first minutes at the Camp Nou, and Nico, a 19-year-old midfielder.
Two teenagers with the Camp Nou protesting everything they didn’t like. And they were too many things, like when he saw Umtiti warm up or he despaired because Griezmann has not yet arrived. And the stadium, realizing how hard these times full of hardships, miseries and pain will be, thanked the team for injecting courage into those minutes of anguish and suffering. Barça ended with Dest, Gavi, Nico, Mingueza, Nico, portrait of the beginning of something, although now it is not seen. Nor within a year. But someday it had to start.
MATCH SHEETBarcelona: Ter Stegen (5), Emerson (4), Araujo (5), Lenglet (5), Jordi Alba (5), Sergi Roberto (6), Busquets (6), De Jong (6), Griezmann (4), Memphis (7) and Braithwaite (5).
Coach: Ronald Koeman (5 years)
Changes: Dest (6) from Emerson (m. 63); Gavi (6) by Sergi Roberto (f. 74); Nico (6) by Braithwaite (d. 74); Mingueza (sc) by Griezmann (v. 84)
Getafe: David Soria (5), Iglesias (4), Djené (5), Mitrovic (5), Olivera (4), Arambarri (5), Maksimovic (6), Aleñá (6), Jantko (5), Sandro (6 )) and Enes Ünal (4).
Coach: Michel (5)
Changes: Damien (6) for Iglesias (d. 46); Mata (5) by Sandro (d. 61); Timor (5) by Aleñá (d. 61); Macias (4) by Enes Ünal (d. 76); Akurugu (sc) by Djené (m. 84)
Goals: 1-0, Sergi Roberto (m. 2); 1-1, Sandro (c. 19); 2-1, Memphis (c. 30)
Referee: González Fuertes, Castilian-La Mancha (5)
Yellow cards: Aleñá (c. 20); Araujo (m. 27); Memphis (m. 62); Lenglet (d. 86)
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.