Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Review of FC Barcelona vs Elche. The pre-season is gradually coming to an end as Barcelona is looking better heading into the La Liga season ahead. We still have our flaws. Our board is pathetic and my dislike for Bartomeu keeps increasing every day. There are a lot of weaknesses to fix if we want to win the La Liga and do better in the UEFA Champions League. However, one thing which has certainly changed from last season is that FC Barcelona is no longer trophy-less for this campaign.
Barcelona faced Elche for the Gamper trophy. This is also Barcelona’s last pre-season game and they have their first La Liga match next weekend against Villareal. I mentioned above, that Barcelona has shown some positive signs. However, a huge take away from this game was the absence of Puig. Puig was left out of the squad, and this came as a big surprise not only to the fans but to Riqui Puig himself. His future at the club is no longer certain and I am pretty sure that there is going to be a lot to talk about that soon.
BARCELONA VS ELCHE MATCH REVIEW
Neto started in goal as Ter Stegen is out on injury. Furthermore, Koemann started with the same 4 defenders as last season. Gerrard Pique and Clement Lenglet started as Center Backs. Nelson Semedo started as Right Back and Jordi Alba started as Left Back. Busquests, De Jong, and Coutinho started things in the midfield. Messi, Fati, and Griezmann started as forwards. However, Messi was positioned more centrally in order to provide more support to the midfield. Furthermore, Pjanic, Pedri, Dembele, and Trincao started on the bench. Alena and Braithwaite also started on the bench.
Barcelona started the game very well. They were dominant right from the first minute and their performance during the first 10 minutes made it clear that they are a better team from last season. Barcelona scored only 1 goal during the entire game and that was the only goal in the game. The goal came pretty early on during the game when Messi played a brilliant pass to Jordi Alba who passed it to Griezmann. Griezmann made a very timely run and finished the ball perfectly. It was a lovely sight to watch.
FC Barcelona certainly missed these types of runs from their forwards. However, Barcelona did lack a lot in front of the goal during the remaining half. They were very dominant with the ball and Elche seemed nowhere to be troubling the players. Our midfielders were very comfortable in rotating the ball around. Meanwhile, Messi was having a great game as well. He even dropped down a couple of times to provide defensive help as well as an extra passing option to his players. However, Barcelona struggled a lot in front of the goal. They created many chances, yet failed to convert.
This half clearly highlighted that Barcelona needs a clinical striker or someone with a great finishing ability to convert chances. Barcelona should have ended the game with at least 4 goals. However, lack of competence in front of the goal resulted in scoring only 1 against a rather weaker side. Barca midfield looks improved and much more competitive. They also look better in terms of being more effective in the final third. However, the flaws are evident too. Not only finishing, but Barcelona also needs solidarity at the back. The club made no defensive signings yet and it can cost them anytime.
Barcelona came out for the second half without any changes. They continued to dominate with the ball and made Elche players keep making efforts to win possession. However, the problem still remained. Barcelona always managed to take the ball in front of the goal but had no one to finish it properly. Koemann made a triple substitution after around half-hour in the second half. Dembele, Trincao, and Barcelona’s latest midfield signing, Pjanic came on. All 3 of them had a decent game especially Ousmane Dembele. He looked fit and agile. Dembele did show a few glimpses of his brilliance.
Dembele had a few attempts at the goal. However, did not succeed. A few moments later, Phillipe Coutinho set Trincao up with a very good chance, but Trincao’s finishing attempt was poor. Other than that, Trincao was pretty good and played well. Pedri also came on who had a good game as well. The only thing lacking from the Barcelona gameplay was yet again, finishing. It was a game in which Barcelona should have and could have easily scored 4 or more. Yet, no one was able to provide that final clinical touch in front of the goal.
There was a moment when Pjanic should have won the penalty. However, the ref did not show a lenient attitude. The main take from the second half was the last moment when Elche had a chance to equalize due to sloppy defending from the Catalans. However, Neto stood firm for his team and stopped that shot which could have easily dragged this game to extra time. This is where Barcelona can lack. I also mentioned it above that the same defensive players can be vulnerable and can cost us many games heading into the next season. Serious action must be taken.
Anyway, guys, this is it from this article. Barcelona managed to pull out a win in this game. However, the weaknesses are pretty evident. Barcelona needs someone to provide the final touch in front of the goal. Furthermore, Koemann cannot advance into the league with the same defensive lineup. Not every team we face is going to be Elche and Barcelona’s board must keep this in mind. We cannot have any hope f winning any major trophy in the next season if we continue with the same defenders as last season. Let’s hope for the best. La Liga is just a few days away.
VISCA EL BARCA!