Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is the Tactical Analysis of Valladolid vs Barcelona. I am thinking of starting this new thread or trend on my website. According to it, I am going to discuss every game in detail both tactically and technically. Therefore, I am starting with our previous performance against Real Valladolid. Let’s see if I am going to be able to keep up with this trend and if it works out well on this blog. I want feedback from you guys. Let me know your thoughts on this article after you are done reading.
REAL VALLADOLID VS BARCELONA TACTICAL ANALYSIS
Barcelona traveled away to face Real Valladolid. Barcelona won the game and got all 3 points from this game. However, the victory is certainly not pleasing. Valladolid exposed a lot of our flaws and there is a lot to discuss in this Tactical Analysis. Valladolid was fighting to escape relegation; meanwhile, Barcelona needed 3 points to keep the minor hopes of winning the La Liga intact. It was pretty obvious that Valladolid was going to go all out on us, and it did happen eventually. Valladolid troubled Barcelona in the dying minutes of the game.
However, I think that Barcelona deserves a little bit of appreciation. Barcelona had never won two away games in a row under Quique Setien and they achieved that in this game. Therefore, it is an achievement regardless of a small result of luck. I think our players such as Gerrard Pique and especially Ter Stegen deserve a lot of credit as well because they stood solid for us when Valladolid was attacking us from every corner of the pitch. Our full-backs, Semedo, and Alba also played vital roles both offensively and defensively. Lionel was on-point with this passing.
Quique Setien is experimenting with this new formation in which Jordi Alba and Semedo play as wing-backs and are part of the attack more often. I think this is a great improvement in our lineup and tactical choices. Sergi Roberto played both as a third Center Back as well as a Midfielder. This allowed Semedo and Alba to play in wider positions. They used their pace to the full advantage and stretched the Valladolid defense more times than we can count. I said this in Match Review as well that this game could have 2 more Barcelona goals.
Semedo and Alba were also unmarked during the most time of the game due to their positions in the lineup. This allowed other players to always pass the ball to them when Valladolid players pressed higher. Semedo and Alba were a main part of the attack. Furthermore, Puig and Vidal and Busquests proved to be a great trip in terms of rotating the ball around. The chemistry of these players combined with the availability of Semedo and Alba on the lines proved to be a great tactical advantage to Barcelona. I think that this formation can benefit us a lot.
Griezmann and Messi played as the two attackers upfront. However, Messi played more within the midfield area which he usually does and Griezmann had the job of staying up front for the majority of the time. Griezmann is a player who has a habit of moving a lot and pressing other players. Therefore, he dropped down as well on several occasions and someone from the midfield went ahead in hope of getting a pass. It was Vidal and Semedo who moved up more often when Griezmann and Messi dropped down. I think this was another trouble for Valladolid.
Messi is not as fast as before. However, his awareness of the game and passing ability is still gold. Therefore, he gets positional freedom from the manager. He makes sure that he fully utilizes this advantage. Therefore, he sometimes operates within the center of the park or sometimes he shifts towards the left side. I think the best part about this formation is that Barcelona gets a lot of advantages when attacking the opposition. Our midfielders, attackers, and even the wing-backs attack at the same time which outnumbers the opposition players marking our players. Genius from Setien!
Our midfield was mostly carried by Puig and Vidal. I think Vidal had a great game despite his previous poor performances. Puig is one of the few players in our squad who plays with a lot of energy and is often seen at every corner of the pitch. Busquests is more of a silent influencer in the game. Any person not watching the game carefully can comment can Busquests is nowhere within the game. However, if you are a Barca fan for long and understand the philosophy, you will know the vitality of Busquests. Our midfield was pretty good.
Puig and Vidal were useful to us in this game. They both have this common habit of pressing the opposition a lot. I think the combination of Vidal and Puig can make it hard for any opposition to calm their nerves and play easily. Furthermore, Puig possesses an incredible passing ability. He has a great vision and often spots his players at places mostly players do not know about. We do not see his name often on the assist lists, but it won’t take him long to get there. He is an incredible academy product and deserves praise.
He is a product of La Masia, and this also means that Riqui Puig has an incredible positioning awareness. This adds a lot to his attacking ability and makes him perfect to fit into the Barcelona system. Barca’s play is all about not having the ball to a single player all the time. Our philosophy is to rotate the ball as much as possible and always keep an eye for spaces between defenses for that killer final ball. This play also means that players have to keep changing positions and make spaces for themselves. Puig does that exactly.
MASTERCLASS OR LUCK? REAL VALLADOLID’S TACTICS
We have discussed the formation in detail and it is now time that we conclude if this victory was because of Setien’s amazing tactical choices or was it just luck? We already know the answer to it, right? Yes, it was luck, pure luck. However, we should discuss it in detail since we are covering a Tactical Analysis. I did not see any difference in the way Valladolid played the entire game. They have been playing similarly all season long. Their gameplay is about absorbing pressure and attacking all of a sudden.
Kike Perez proved to be their main player once again, and he has been doing it all season long. I think tactically Valladolid was on point as well. Their defenders would press the midfielders and the forwards would make sure that they leave little to no spaces for midfielders to back pass to their defenders. What did this ensure? It ensured if a player in midfield is pressured and loses composure, and decides to play the ball back to the defender. It would create a chance for the Valladolid’s frontmen to intercept the ball and initiate an attack.
Valladolid was eager to play counter-attacking football. Their wingers would wait for full-backs to join the attack just to increase their numbers when moving forward. I think it is similar to what Barcelona was doing with Nelson Semedo and Alba operating from the wider areas of the pitch. However, I still think that Valladolid was more focused to maintain its turgidity in the defense. They preferred not to lose their defensive shape as if their main priority was to stop Barca from scoring rather than scoring themselves. The way they played in the final minutes was threatening.
SETIEN’S SUBSTITUTION CHOICES
This is the last thing; I would like to talk about in this Analysis. I think the substitution of Puig and Busquests did not make sense. They both were playing beautifully and ensured that Barcelona kept dominating the opposition. However, after their departure, Valladolid played more freely and attacked often. This shows that Valladolid was always ready to exploit Barca’s flaw. This is why I am considering this win to be lucky for us because we were not able to play similarly like we were with Busqi and Puig. Was Setien not reading the game well?
Anyway, guys, this is it from our side. I hope you like this article. Let us know what you think about this Tactical Analysis of the game. Do you wish to see more of these in the future? Was this analysis understandable? Were you able to recall or relate to the game by reading this analysis? I would love to know your feedback either positive or negative. I appreciate any comment on my content and I am always looking to make my work better. Therefore, let me know.
For more Previews, Reviews, and yes Tactical Analysis, stay tuned.
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