Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is Alaves vs Barcelona Match Review. The away match against Alaves marks the end of the season for us and what a way to finish it. This Match Review is going to be all about the good stuff simply because Barcelona performed really well. However, I am also going to discuss the flaws and any negative aspects if any. Barcelona went away to face Alaves which was the last game for this season’s La Liga. We had a few odds stacked against us. Gerrard was out and Setien traveled with fewer players.
It looked as if Barca would play a slow and dry game. However, it did not happen. I emphasized a lot in my Match Preview that Barca needs to win and win by a bigger margin. Surely, the Barca board or players did not read that article, but I guess that they felt the same as I did. Barcelona absolutely ended Alaves at their home soil. Barcelona won 0-5 in what was an amazing performance from many of our players. There are a lot of things to talk about and we are obviously going to discuss them right now.
However, I would specifically mention it first that Lionel Messi has won the Pichichi award after this away encounter. This performance has added another individual trophy after Lionel’s name and I guess that he truly deserved it. Lionel has been a savior for us and he has always been like that. However, it takes more effort to perform similarly because he is aging. Still, he manages to put in world-class performances for his team. I think this performance and appreciation can make him confident for the Champions League fixtures. We need him to shine in those matches as well.
ALAVES VS BARCELONA MATCH REVIEW
Let’s break down our discussion and discuss the first half and second half separately.
Barcelona had to win this game despite the fact that both teams had nothing significant to play this game for. However, Barcelona had to win in order to proceed to the Champions League with some momentum. The fans were also demanding positive from the team and therefore, Barca knew that they had to win here. The first half started with Barcelona having the majority of the possession. Alaves was also comfortable with Barca moving the ball around. Alaves looked fragile.
It is a fact that our team did actually put in efforts in this game. I cannot exactly comprehend if this performance came out due to frustrations or just to please the fans. However, Barcelona completely ripped Alaves apart in the first half. Barca scored three goals in the first half. All three of our front men scored a goal. It was Fati to score first as Messi laid out an amazing pass in front of him. Then it was Puig who recorded his first assist in La Liga as he passed the ball to Messi who finished it easily.
It was Luis Suarez to score the third goal courtesy of a beautiful visionary pass from Messi. Messi broke the La Liga assists record in this game, and Barcelona was a treat to watch in this half. However, these three converted chances were not the only ones created by Barca. Barca could have scored 7 goals just in this half. Yes, I really mean 7 goals! Three attempts from our players namely Puig, Vidal, and Messi hit the bar. Secondly, Luis Suarez missed a on one chance which could be a memorial goal for him.
Barcelona performed in a similar manner in the second half as well. They kept the ball and made sure that they make Alaves suffer to gain possession. Alaves was certainly troubled as their players looked physically tired and mentally unconfident. Barcelona did not score many goals or attempted to score as much as they did in the first half, but eventually did end up scoring two more goals. Unfortunately, Clement Lenglet got injured in the second half and it was Nelson Semedo who came on to replace him. Barca already had a shortage of subs and Setien had only 3 rotations.
Nelson Semedo moved to his preferred Right Back position whereas Sergio Roberto moved into the midfield. It was Arturo Vidal who accompanied Araujo as the Center Back. Nelson Semedo also got his name on the score sheet. Semedo was assisted by Puig who got his second La Liga assists in a similar game. This was a really proud moment for him and the fans as well. Puig has been a wonder ever since he started playing for us. He has not disappointed until now and I hope he excels similarly. He is a gem.
Semedo’s goal was also pure class. Semedo struck the ball with venom and finished it in the top corner leaving the keeper helpless about it. Furthermore, he also made the fans proud by achieving this milestone of scoring another goal for FC Barcelona. Frenkie De Jong got some playing time as well and it was a joy to see the midfielder. He played a pivotal role in the midfield and was a relief to see him play like that as we are advancing towards the Champions League. Messi ended the game with another goal which earned him another Pichichi award.
ALAVES VS BARCELONA STARTING LINEUP
Ter Stegen didnot start in goal. Neto ended the La Liga season with a clean sheet. I think this is going to boost his morale as well because he is aware that Ter is going to play the game coming up. Ter Stegen is such a mentally strong player that he is going to face Napoli with the a lot courage even if he conceded 5 goals in this game. However, these individual records are really meaningful to every football players and I think these achievements help the players to put in more effort.
Therefore, I am glad that Neto also got some playing time and did end up with a clean sheet.
Stegen is a hero for us and his elevated confidence is going to win us many games. One thing is common for every player, but especially for Stegen and Messi. I think these players are going to get a well-deserved rest as CL is coming closer. I am hopeful that this rest period helps them to recover well and come back stronger.
Araujo and Lenglet started as the Center Backs. Araujo played this game because Gerrard Pique was out on suspension. Otherwise, I do not see Araujo making it into the starting lineup just yet. However, Lenglet is also injured and if his injury prolongs the CL games, then it is Araujo to start for us. Roberto started as the Right Back and Jordi started as the Left Back. However, Roberto was later switched into the midfield as Semedo was subbed in.
I hope Lenglet comes back soon because he is a warrior for us. I also hope to see more good football from Semedo in the CL.
Vidal, Puig, and Busquests started in the midfield. I think this midfield worked really well for us. Busquests is like this the technical brains or simply, the brains in our midfield. On the other side, Vidal is a kind of player who likes to play more with muscle and Puig is a combination of critical thinking and a lot of paces. This makes our midfield versatile and it was evident in the way we kept the possession. However, Alaves is still a weaker team than the ones waiting for us in Europe.
Therefore, Setien needs to do his homework heading into the CL fixtures.
Ansu Fati, Suarez and Messi started as the front three men for FC Barcelona. I think this was a pretty decent attacking trio. Griezmann could not play because he is out in injury. Furthermore, Ansu Fati and Messi displayed an amazing performance. Suarez did score a goal. However, he did not look threatening to me and I think he is getting slower. However, we did not have many options to play as a CF in place of Suarez did us? Therefore, Suarez was chosen.
It was an overall good day for our attack. All three of our front men scored. Messi scored two and assisted two, therefore dropped a 10/10 rating. This performance can be a huge mental boost for our king. I hope he plays similarly against Napoli as well.
It was a great game for us. The critics might say that Alaves was probably going too easy on us. However, if you watched the game carefully, you are going to notice that Alaves did try to trouble us. Anyway, we do not care about the critics. This is a victory not to celebrate, but to enjoy. We needed this kind of entertainment and I am glad my team played like this.
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