Sunday, September 24

The Barça of the thousand and one options in attack

Ferran Torres finishes off the goal in the match against Elche. / biel dressing / efe


Against Elche it was Ferran Torres and Memphis Depay, both substitutes, who gave the Blaugrana the victory

The Barça every time puts more fear in attack. Xavi’s team did not have his best game against Elche, but he showed that he has more than enough gunpowder to change a game when things don’t go well at the start. Ferran Torres and Memphis Depay were the ones who appeared on this occasion to unbalance a balance that Aubameyang, Dembélé, Gavi or Adama Traoré could break before. The Catalans have plenty of resources at the decisive moment of the season and when one does not appear, another does from the bench.

“It’s hard for me to leave players on the bench, because they don’t deserve it. Martin Braithwaite has been left off the list today and he doesn’t deserve it. I have a big fan. Gavi is doing very well, Auba unloads, Adama… it’s wonderful to have these strikers”, said Xavi when asked about the number of players he currently has to choose from when forming a trident in attack. The Catalan coach has in his hands up to eight footballers for just three positions, a whole battery of troops that he did not have just two months ago and that is becoming a headache.

Against Elche, Xavi chose to place Gavi on the far left with the aim of gaining one more player when it came to winning the battle in midfield. The Los Palacios soccer player is, with his ownership in that location against the Elche, the eighth passenger to fight for just three positions. Aubameyang, Dembélé, Ferran Torres, Adama Traoré, Braithwaite, Luuk de Jong, Ansu Fati and Gavi himself battle to enter an eleven that recently included Ferran Jutglá and Abde, players who have returned to the subsidiary due to the recent overbooking that has taken place at the spearhead of the Blaugrana team.

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Barça also knows how to suffer, with controversy

The match against Elche is one more example of how expensive it is getting to enter Xavi’s trident. At the Martínez Valero, Barça started with Ousmane Dembélé, the starter after his express exhibition against Athletic at the Camp Nou, Gavi and Aubameyang, a fixture after the good run achieved in recent games. Outside the eleven were neither more nor less than Ferran Torres, Memphis Depay, Adama Traoré, Luuk de Jong and Martin Braithwaite, the attacker least used by Xavi. Several of these cards were the alternatives that the coach used in the second half to break up the match. Until recently he had no plan B and yet against Elche the two former Premier League players came in and dynamited the clash from the flanks to start a key comeback to continue climbing the table.

The goal is diversified

Another inevitable consequence of all this agglomeration of footballers is that the goal has diversified in Xavi’s team. In the last six games, a period in which Aubameyang scored an explosion with five goals, Barcelona has had up to nine scorers. In addition to the Gabonese, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Jordi Alba, Gerard Piqué, Luuk de Jong, Dembélé, Ferran Torres and Memphis Depay have also sent the ball into the net in this period, a guarantee when it comes to having alternatives facing goal. Ferran’s goal against Elche has allowed Barcelona to reach the figure of 21 different scorers this season in the League, the highest figure in all of Europe and the highest in the history of the culé team.

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