Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Match Review of the game between Deportivo Alaves vs FC Barcelona. Barcelona went away to the Estadio De Mendizorroza to face Deportivo Alaves and drew 1-1.
Their manager, Machin said before the game that Getafe had guided them on how to play and restrict Barcelona. Looks like he was right as Barcelona drew 1-1 against the Spanish side after a lot of struggle. Alaves exposed Barcelona’s weaknesses as they once again failed to grab a win in La Liga competition.
The hype created by the Barcelona team was real after their thrilling win at Turin. Ronald Koemann and his boys looked ready to go away to Alaves and dominate the team. However, things did not turn out as they expected when the final whistle blew.
Following is the Match Review discussing the first half and second half individually.
DEPORTIVO ALAVES VS FC BARCELONA MATCH REVIEW
Barcelona started the game in a serious fashion. Ronald Koemann started with a 4-2-3-1 formation giving Sergio Busquests and Frenkie De Jong a lot of space to roam freely on the pitch. Barcelona dominated possession like they always do. They began to create chances very early on in the game. The first goal-scoring chance was created by Clement Lenglet after he set up Ansu Fati with a great pass making a one on one opportunity. However, the birthday boy was not able to finish the ball properly. A player of such caliber should have converted that chance and give his team a lead early on. However, once again the sloppy finishing from FC Barcelona was exposed.
The second chance to score by FC Barcelona came from a free-kick. It was Lionel Messi who struck a brilliant free-kick, hitting a power shot leaving the keeper helpless. However, there were 8 men defending that free kick in the box. One of Alaves’s defender cleared Messi’s free-kick attempt off the goal-line.
The third chance came when Antoine Griezmann and Fati made a great passing move. The Frenchman picked up the Spaniard who delivered a quick cut-back pass to Griezmann. However, Antoine was unable to connect his foot with the ball properly and the ball went way off target. Ansu could have attempted a finish from that spot himself as he had a lot of time and space. Instead, he decided to pass it back to the Frenchman who was perhaps not expecting that pass.
It is true that Barcelona should score 1-2 goals in this half at-least. However, Barca’s biggest fault was to concede the goal. Alaves had not scored against FC Barcelona in their previous 7 games. They broke this record with a very sloppy goal. Alaves’s counterattack was broken by Gerrard Pique who passed it back to the goalkeeper, Neto. Neto was unable to control the ball properly and he stuttered. Luis Rioja snatched the ball from him and scored one of the easiest goals of his career.
This is the kind of mistake you can never expect Ter Stegen to make. It is true that Neto was served the team exceptionally while Ter was gone, but it looks like that Neto’s time serving for the first team is about to come to an end since Ter Stegen is back in training.
Barcelona kept pushing for the goal and eventually, the first half ended.
FIRST HALF: Alaves 1-0 Barcelona
The second half started in a better way than the first half. Ronald Koemann made three changes at half time. He brought in Miralem Pjanic, Pedri, and Francisco Trincao. These substitutions completely changed the game. Pjanic was operating very responsibly in the middle. Frenkie De Jong played as a Center Back. He was one of the best players on the pitch, carrying the ball from defense to attack with ease.
Furthermore, Pedri’s brilliant vision and passing sense exposed the Alaves team on a number of occasions. The Alaves defenders had no idea how to get a hold of Pedri. Furthermore, Alaves defender, Jota picked up a red card after hitting Gerrard Pique on the chest. His booking gave more space to the FC Barcelona team who continued to dominate the possession chart.
However, Alaves also deserves credit for the way they defended. It looked as if they were very comfortable in winning the game 1-0. Jota’s booking blew life into the Barcelona team. They felt it as an opportunity to finally equalize. They did that a few minutes later after Antoine Griezmann found the ball and took it to the box, chipping Pachecho and equalizing for FC Barcelona. It looked as if Barcelona’s comeback was on. The team had 71% possession and created several chances. Messi did found the back of the net but was given as offside.
Barcelona kept on creating chances. Ronald Koemann made two more substitutions towards the end, namely Sergino Dest and Martin Braithwaite. The team continued to create chances but failed to convert. Gerrard Pique had two chances to score a goal as well, but he was also not able to become the hero of the game. Pjanic took a brilliant shot from out wide but was denied by the goalkeeper.
FC Barcelona kept pushing for the goal. Meanwhile, Alaves had completely parked the bus and were very comfortable in defending at all moments. This game also saw many corner kicks earned by FC Barcelona. They tried every way possible to score, but they were always denied by the Alaves defense.
The final whistle blew after 5 minutes of stoppage time and Barcelona ended without another win in the La Liga competition.
FULL TIME: Alaves 1-1 Barcelona
Ronald Koemann was infuriated with his side. His frustrations were very evident, and all his anger is justified. It was Neto’s fault to go behind this time, but this still does not cover their bad performances against Sevilla, Getafe, or Real Madrid.
The Catalonia boys need to step up their game before it’s too late.