Barça is serious. So seriously that he went through Anoeta drawing an offensive football festival that annihilated Real Sociedad, being a tremendously ambitious team, without even relaxing when he scored. It was as if he had no brakes in a collective exhibition that he acquired with the power of a huge shout to announce to Atlético that he is there. That if he wants to win the League that was already his, he will have to fight it until the last breath.
To that level of demand it will take you Koeman’s Barça, capable of walking around San Sebastián with a lesson in authority that actually contains a message. Here is a team that can aspire to the League, adding 45 points out of 54 possible. It is not that he has not lost since last December 5 but that his is up on a rocket dazzling with a game as beautiful as it is forceful.
The match was marked by courage. You put pressure on me, Barça said to Real Sociedad, well me too! And vice versa. The Alguacil team went to the living room of Ter Stegen’s house, transforming the game into a duel full of rich tactical nuances, where each movement seemed studied. Koeman kept the line of the three centrals, with De Jong in the axis, escorted by Mingueza (right) and Lenglet (left), placing Dembélé in that position that has been invented for him in recent games. Played pure nine Ousmane. Attacking the space that existed behind the back of the Basque back, with Griezmann sacrificed to an extreme degree, just as if he were a metalworker, recovering balls with tremendous solidarity wherever the party demanded. Only the blue jumpsuit was missing.
Barça started well. And it ended even better. Taking risks in a meeting that demanded the highest demand because the Real, faithful to the Bailiff’s daring idea, it put him under stress. Each pass was serious business because a mistake was an invitation to chaos. This is how Koeman’s team played it, committed at all times. Also committing a couple of serious defensive mistakes, the first by Frenkie de Jong; the second from Ter Stegen, who betrayed that walk along the ledge. But when he looked over the cliff, the huge figure of the German goalkeeper always emerged, capable of making Isak lose his nerve, a promising Swedish striker who did not know where to get his hand on Marc André.
After the first half, Barça looked at the scoreboard and were already winning 0-2, proof of their enormous reliability. In the bad minutes, which he had, he resisted thanks to the hands and body of the German, while in the good minutes, which he had many more, the huge influence of Messi. He did not score either of the first two goals. But it was decisive in both.
Busquets, favored by the system
Like Busquets, another of the huge ones favored by this tactical drawing, with the three centrals, which suit him so well. It seems a lie, but it is a suit that suits him wonderfully, he is able to find the necessary passing lanes to find Messi with an advantage. From there, a storm broke out. Leo rode with the ball at his feet, the Real began to shake so much that it disintegrated defensively, engulfed by the tsunami in front of him. And then, where there were no spaces, large estates appeared so that Alba, at 0-1, and Dest, at 0-2, could fly happily. Each one for his band. From left to right. From right to left. This is how Barça de Koeman was weaving football.
With tons of patience. And above all, letting the ball travel much faster than rivals. Busi passes, Messi sucks defenses, Jordi penetrates on the left and Griezmann, cunning, took advantage of Remiro’s rejection to give even more value to Ter Stegen’s decisive saves. Busi passes, Messi sucks defenses and Dest, who already crashed into the crossbar of the Parque de los Príncipes, retaliated with his first goal as a Barça player, certifying that the calm in the pass was later transformed into a particle accelerator incapable of being decoded. A gale.
Real did not understand anything in the second half. I was being run over by an electric football, fast and really effective. They were two dimensions because Alba and Dest organized their private party -the left-hander centered, finished the American-, before Busquets, respectful as he is, served a heavenly pass for Messi to sign the 0-4 and show that there are triumphs with a message. Goleados that shake the League.
Match sheetR. COMPANY: Remiro (4); Gorosabel (4), Zubeldia (4), Le Normand (4), Merquelanz (5), Guevara (5); Zubimendi (5), M. Merino (6), Portu (5), Isak (5); Oyárzabal (4). Technician: I. Sheriff (4). Changes: Barrenetxea (8) from Portu (m. 61); Januzaj (6) by Gorosabel (d. 61); Carlos Fernández (6) from Zubimendi (m. 72); Sagnan (sc) by Zubeldia (c. 83); Jon Bautista (sc) by Isaac (d. 83).
BARÇA: Ter Stegen (8); Mingueza (8), De Jong (7), Lenglet (7), Dest (9), Alba (9); Busquets (8), Pedri (6), Messi (9), Griezmann (7); Dembélé (8). Technician: R. Koeman (9). Changes: Ilaix (7) fear Pedri (d. 67); Araujo (6) by Busquets (m. 67); Braithwaite (5) fear Dembélé (d. 80); Tricas (sc) by Dest (m. 85); Riqui Puig (sc) for Griezmann (m. 85).
GOALS: 0-1 (m. 37), Griezmann; 0-2 (m. 43), Dest; 0-3 (m. 53), Dest; 0-4 (m. 56), Messi; 0-5 (m. 71), Dembélé; 1-5 (m. 77), Barrenetxea; 1-6 (m. 89), Messi.
REFEREE: M. Montero (7), Andalusian.
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Cards: Zubimendi (m. 9), Busquets (m. 27), Zubeldia (m. 79), Braithwaite (m. 88), Carlos Fernández (m. 94).
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.