Xavi insisted on maintaining his 4-3-3 pattern despite the fact that there were two strikers from the reserve team up front, Abde and Jutglà, whom the party passed over. Then it went backwards. The Barça was unconscious and only stood up thanks to a great blow from Ferran and above all, Pedri, which made a miracle that the team was not able to accompany in extra time. The failure of players like Ter Stegen, Alba or Frenkie de Jong was resounding. This was the one by one of Barça.
Ter Stegen. You can hide reality for a while, but not all the time. He is an invisible doorman. Almost always poorly placed, he was slow in Muniain’s great goal and was unable to impose himself from above in the 2-1 action, which requires much more control of the area. Not very powerful from above or in open space, he does not give his teammates any confidence. A frankly vulnerable goalkeeper who cries out for the bench without anyone having enough personality to make the decision.
Daniel Alves. Incomprehensible and dangerous losses, almost suicidal in the first part. The Chilean that gave rise to 2-2 is a good definition of her match. An almost impossible foreshortening of pride that could have ended in ridicule, but it ended at Pedri’s feet. He does what he can, but age does not forgive. In resistance, yes, outstanding.
Gerard Piqué. It stood tall, few can tell. Bravo and fighter, he supported the defense with his obvious physical deficiencies, but with skill and head within the tactical disorder. He endured a good attack in the first half after a corner.
Araújo. Somewhat chaotic, but essential in a butter defense, he brings the physique that no Barça defense has these days. He ended up as a striker, with the self-esteem that many footballers do not show. When you play with players who are at your level of physical fulfillment, you will also improve football. Barça has a problem if it doesn’t improve that 900,000-euro chip.
Jordi Alba. Nico Williams exposed his defensive shortcomings. It takes time that Barça needs someone much more physical on the left side, but it is redundant. Overcome, he came out in the 1-0 photo and committed an unappealable penalty because if a player launches like that to cut a ball, he can pass. Although it is hard to accept it, the time is coming for him to take over, but that has been going on for a long time in high-demand games. And no one does anything about it.
Busquets. He navigated with suffering in the game, but kept the type.
Pedri. Extraordinary. Without having played an entire match after the injury, he spent 105 minutes on the pitch. He carried the team on his back with pride, physicality and criteria. He equalized with his heart and took the match to extra time, where he left Dest a golden ball, which he did not take advantage of. He mounted a beautiful transition that did not end because he lacked gas. He was the only footballer with the hierarchy that Barça requires. The only good thing that happened to Barça during the game was when they played at Pedri’s pace.
Gavi. He was in the action of the first goal, but every day they put him in one place. And that weighs. He was replaced. He went through the game on tiptoe. He has lost some gas, but there is little to blame him for. Perhaps the concern should be not to burn a footballer with that projection.
Abde. It can be a resource as a troublemaker, not a plan. The party gobbled him up, but it’s not his fault. His site, today, is in the subsidiary.
Jutglà. A child’s game for Athletic’s central defenders, especially Íñigo, who was tremendous. He moved with no luck. Replaced.
Ferran. He had an impact on the game with 1-1. A great goal that shows that it is better the closer it is to the goal. Then another goal was disallowed in extra time. In the attacking game, he had little participation. He lasted the entire game and gave the feeling of being one of the least competitive of Barça. It seems that he is tiptoeing through the game, but he has intention and punch.
Frenkie de Jong. He played an unacceptable game, without the best attitude when he came out onto the field, with two dangerous losses that almost cost him two goals. The substitution seemed to bother him, perhaps ill-advised, but he did nothing to show Xavi that he should be indisputable. Another controversial melon open at Barça.
Ansu. Another relapse. Bad news and a dangerous horizon for the striker. Someone will have to explain at the club why he didn’t play for a minute in Granada, then he played against Madrid more than he should have and in Bilbao he backtracked again and didn’t even go out for halftime. Strange behavior that resulted in another relapse.
Nico. Stubborn and obsessed with the system, Xavi placed him as a right winger. The Galician complied because he is good, but it is not his position. The fanaticisms with the drawing do not benefit the players. Nico’s yesterday, who couldn’t leave in one on one, is an example.
Sergiño Dest. He played as a left winger due to Ansu’s injury. He put his will into it despite the fact that he knows that Xavi doesn’t want him. He shot on goal after a genius from Pedri. But focused.
Braithwaite. Silent comeback. He had no time to prove anything.