FC Barcelona started their pre-season with a loss against Chelsea. Barca lost to Chelsea by 2 goals to 1. The result is exactly what I anticipated it to be. I already told you not to worry about the results in the match preview earlier today. It’s because we have a bigger objective than winning the game. So, without any delay, let’s start with the Match Review of FC Barcelona vs Chelsea.
FC Barcelona vs Chelsea Match Review:
I am sure that fans would have liked to win the first game of the pre-season. Unfortunately, we lost by one goal difference. However, I think, there are more positive aspects of the game as compared to the negatives. So, for the moment, let’s focus on the positives. I believe that the performance of our team was quite good in some areas.
As I mentioned in the preview, the Chelsea team is much advanced in its preparation. It was their 4th pre-season game this year as opposed to our 1st game. So, obviously, Chelsea players were much sharper and match-ready. For our first game, we squared up very well.
Certainly, we don’t want to lose a single game. However, this is the time to experiment with the squad, lineups, and formations. It’s time to prepare for the real challenge. Losing now is only going to motivate us to get better and raise our performance when it really matters. So, let’s just wave off the negative thoughts and get on with the positives. In this match review of FC Barcelona vs Chelsea, we will be discussing lineups as well as individual brilliance.
First Half Lineup:
Everything in this lineup was good except one thing. I don’t understand why Valverde played O. Busquests (A defensive Midfielder) on the Right Back. Similarly, he played S. Roberto in an attacking midfielder role. I understand that Roberto is a versatile player and can play comfortably in the midfield (in fact, he is a midfielder by trade). However, it should have been the other way around.
Goalkeeper & Defense:
First of all, let’s start with the performance of Ter Stegen. He did not have a lot of work to do. Maybe Tammy Abraham rounded him quite comfortably for the first goal. However, that’s only because he has been a little rusty by the summer holidays. He is still the wall of Barca and going to get back to his normal with a couple of games.
Now, let’s talk about our defense. Jordi Alba was like his usual self. He had a couple of good runs up and down the pitch. Moreover, it was really great to see Umtiti and Pique in the heart of the defense. Umtiti really seemed to be like himself once again, which is really great.
Some fans turned their cannons toward Busquets for his sloppy mistake that costed us the first goal. I agree that Busquets has not been the best Barca player lately. However, I would say that he is one of the greatest tacticians in the team. He is like the backbone of the team and does not make such mistakes regularly. He was a little sluggish only because of the holidays.
Riqui Puig was the most promising player in the Barcelona team. Without a doubt, he was the best Barca player in the first half. I am actually amazed by his calmness, quality, and maturity that he showed. During the game, I felt as if he was the only midfielder in the game. His flick to Dembele was just breath taking. The more I watch him play, the more proud I feel at our academy and style of player. He is the most perfect and pure Barca Style player that we have seen in a few years.
Let’s now move towards our front 3. Collado didn’t have a great impact as he would have liked. Certainly, he didn’t put on a great show as compared to C. Perez in the second half. I would simply say that he is a young prospect, and we can’t judge him over just one performance.
Moving towards Girezmann and Dembele, we saw the glimpses of the combination between both players. I am sure, we will get to see a great partnership between these players. I already see a connection between them and would love to see it to a greater extent.
Griezmann looked bright and sharp. We are obviously going to see him doing great things. There were times when he was interchanging the ball with players, playing 1-2. At one moment, he couldn’t reach the Alba’s ball in the box, which could have been a goal. However, today, we saw all the signs and omens that he can fit into FC Barcelona, which is amazing.
Talking about Dembele, he had a lot of ball and made some nice dribbles. You could see his sheer pace and raw talent. He gave away the ball a few times, but that’s only natural when you are playing after such a long time. It’s the first game of the pre-season. Let him have a few games to get the match sharpness he needs, and you will see him flying.
Second half Lineup:
As I predicted, we saw a totally different lineup in the second half. On paper, this lineup wasn’t stronger than the starting lineup. However, I think, the second half lineup put on a much better performance. I really liked the structure as it portrayed attacking football.
Goalkeeper and Defense:
I am going to start my review of the second half lineup with our new backup goalkeeper Neto. He had a really good save when the ball deflected from Todibo after a shot. He had to act really quickly, and he did save a certain goal. Nevertheless, he should have saved the shot that lead to the goal. Maybe he wasn’t expecting it, but it wasn’t a difficult shot to stop.
The defensive line in the second half was comprised of Guillem on the left-back, Lenglet and Todibo at center backs, and Semedo at the right-back. For me, Semedo played really well and showed us why he should be the starter ahead of Roberto. He had some great runs forward and linked up with Malcom very well.
The midfield in the second half was quite balanced with De Jong as the holding midfielder, Rakitic and Alena as central midfield. In his debut, De Jong convinced us that he is really suited for FC Barcelona and had a great game. He gave the opportunity to Rakitic and Alena to play in a little bit advanced role. I am really excited to watch him play on a regular basis.
We put down a good performance, and our stats clearly reflect it. We created several chances and deserved a goal. Kepa was undoubtedly a busy man and made several saves. At the end of the second half, Rakitic got a goal for us to reduce the deficient. It was a phenomenal strike, no way on earth Kepa could have saved that.
The front three really impressed me. I think Perez had a great match, he looked really sharp and Pacey. He had some great dribbles and his runs really troubled Chelsea at times. However, at some points, I felt like he was a bit hesitant and delayed the shot until the chance was gone. All in all, he displayed some really promising signs.
Rafinha played in the false-9 role, and I think he really excelled in that role. At times, he dropped in the midfield to link up and collect the ball. He showed really good dribbling and close control abilities. He created several chances and spaces effectively. I think he has great potential if he can stay fit. Right now, it seems like he will be heading out of the club but who knows what’s going to happen. He usually performs well in the pre-season. However, the real question is if he can transform this from into competitive games.
Malcom had a great impact when he came on in the second half. He showed promising signs and linked up with players very well. He was the player who opted to take the ball forward in most cases. His threat allowed Rafinha to create more chances. I am a big fan of Malcom, and I would really love to see him play more.
We didn’t have our best game and lost the match. However, we saw many positive signs. The players are a little rusty after the summer holidays. They simply need to find their rhythm, and I am sure they will find it with a few games. That’s what pre-season is for. The main objective is to prepare for the long season. It was an entertaining match and really enjoyed our new singings and B-team players, especially Riqui Puig. So, what do you think of this match review of FC Barcelona vs Chelsea? What do you guys think of our performance and which player impressed you the most? Let me know in the comments below. Visca el Barca!