The future absence of Lionel messi when he retires he will be remembered in the big dates, but also in the minor ones, in the most mundane and vulgar. In games like this Saturday, uncomfortable procedures before an attractive European night despite the fact that it will be without an audience. Against rivals like Alavés, who must be liquidated to avoid a bad result unleashing a path of insecurity and frustration.
In the Barça of tomorrow, hopefully the very distant tomorrow, a guy so competitive, so efficient, so brilliant, unique, never known, will be missed, who unclogs the worst of the seals and turns a human team that without he, surely, would hit more than a hit.
Barça came out with impetus to resolve early and got the score back on track, but sentenced it late
Today, Messi is still at the Camp Nou and Barça continues to solve matches, one after another. With his limitations, with his age, but with that devastating left foot, unmatched, and that ability to channel the bad mood in competitiveness. They annulled a goal with all the earmarks of being legal and ten minutes later he released an unappealable whiplash to sentence Alavés in the first half. He missed a clear play in the second half and took a minute to retaliate to officiate a final win. As Koeman had devised, in the best of predictions, although the relief was late.
Author’s work, collective work
The goals of 10 were a work of authorship as totally collective it had been the first: a circulation of the ball that lasted more than a minute and a half and in which ten players (all except Ter Stegen) participated in a carousel of 37 passes. The last two speakers are the ones who will miss Messi the most at the Barça of the future: Ilaix and Trincâo. The Portuguese decided to win over Betis and sat at the star’s table, imitating her (also with two goals and another annulled) to have a feast in which even Junior intervened.
Koeman made an eleven thinking more about PSG, giving the title to Junior, Ilaix, Puig and Trincâo
They were three of the new features of the lineup. Even though Alavés was more important than PSG, Koeman did not act according to his words. The lineup sang. Ilaix Moriba had only started in the Cup against Cornellà, and Trincao had never appeared in the starting eleven of the League. Neither De Jong had started from the center from the first minute and Junior’s relevance is residual. Barça is so fair of forces that, with so many rotations, it had to keep the most valuable footballer on the field, the only one that it had to preserve for Tuesday.
The will to decide soon
The game plan tried to get the game back on track soon to manage the substitutions later, if it could be Messi’s. As it happened: the 2-0 income left Rioja’s goal unpunished. It coincided with what Alavés expected.
The eleven from Vitoria played very tightly at the back without excessively aculating, with advanced defense, something that Abelardo learned in his long stay as a Barça center-back, a season alongside Koeman (94-95). That allowed him to have the ball away from his own area and not be so far from Ter Stegen’s to braid his counterattacks. The Barça game is not characterized by looking for depth or verticality.
The accuracy of the VAR
Nor was it a resource used in the absence of Alba, Messi’s favorite partner, who hardly looked to the left, until the magical Pedri appeared. The canary noticed Busquets, once he had two seconds to look away, which he detected Griezmann, in the only escape he tried. The WHERE he overruled the play with metric precision that even drove Koeman crazy. It was a goal disallowed for Messi, who had picked up Pacheco’s rejection in the hand-to-hand with Griezmann. Hot as the captain was, offended, he kicked the first one that headed the vertical of the goal, settling Koeman’s initial claims.
Pedri contributed the passes and the ideas that were missing to give fluidity to the game
Before 2-0, the coach had already turned to the stands to advance substitutions, but he only bet on Umtiti’s for Busquets. He did not dare to do more. The scoreboard said one thing and football another: Alavés’s exits carried poison and behind, in one on one, the Catalans are very vulnerable today. Lenglet and Umtiti defended the center and neither of them is going through their best moment. The problem, however, was in the center of the field, and the solution did not come until it appeared Pedri, which, like a conjurer, gave the passes that were missing behind Alavés, finally devoured by Messi and Trincâo.
MATCH SHEETBarcelona: Ter Stegen (6); Mingueza (7), De Jong (6), Lenglet (6), Junior (5); Ilaix (6); Busquets (5), Riqui Puig (6); Trincas (8), Messi (9), Griezmann (5).
Technical: Ronald Koeman (7 years old).
Changes: Umtiti (5) by Busquets (m. 46); Pedri (8) afraid Ilaix (d. 64); Dest (5) fear Mingueza (m. 70); Pjanic (5) by De Jong (d. 70); Dembélé (sc) by Griezmann (m. 80).
Alaves: Pacheco (8); Martín (4), Tachi (4), Lejeune (6), Duarte (5); Edgar (5), Battaglia (6), Pina (5), Córdoba (4); Joselu (6), Lucas (6).
Technical: Abelardo Fernández (5).
Changes: Laguardia (5) by Martín (d. 46); Rioja (6) through Córdoba (m. 46); Pere Pons (5) for Pina (m. 70); Sainz (sc) by Joselu (m. 80); Deyverson (sc) by Lucas (m. 80).
Goals: 1-0 (m. 28), Trincâo splices a low shot that sneaks between the legs of a defender to the center of Ilaix. 2-0 (m. 45) Messi looses a low left-foot from outside the area. 2-1 (m. 57), Rioja intercepts a bad pass from Ilaix and goes only towards Ter Stegen. 3-1 (m. 73), Trincâo takes advantage of a rebound from Pacheco to score at an empty goal. 4-1 (m. 74), Messi unleashes a great long shot. 5-1 (m. 79), Junior, on the line, to empty goal.
Referee: Figueroa Vázquez (6), Andalusian.
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Cards: Martín (m. 16), Tachi (m. 51).
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.