Barcelona – Atlético Madrid: Alves and Traoré Star as Barcelona Regain Fourth Place (4-2)
In a six-goal thriller, Xavi’s Barcelona completed a comeback over fellow-Champions League seekers Atlético Madrid. Though Yannick Carrasco scored early for the away side, goals from Jordi Alba, Gavi, Ronald Araújo, and Dani Alves put the match away for Barcelona, moving them into fourth place in LaLiga.
Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley.
This match felt like the beginning of a new era for Barcleona, as it would serve as the introduction for multiple of their January signings. Though Ferran Torres and Dani Alves had already played multiple matches for the club since their signings, Adama Traoré and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would go on to make their debuts against Atlético Madrid. This would be Barcelona’s first big match since their losses in the Spanish Supercopa final to Real Madrid and in the Copa del Rey to Athletic Club, and they were looking to make a statement against Atlético Madrid.
Xavi had an extensive injury list to deal with for the match against Atlético Madrid, with Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay, Clément Lenglet, Eric García, Alejandro Balde, Sergi Roberto, and Sameul Umtiti all unavailable. Marc-Andre ter Stegen started the match between the posts, with Dani Alves, Ronald Araújo, Gerard Piqué, and Jordi Alba making up the back four ahead of him. The midfield three was made up of the usual suspects of Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, and Pedri, with the front line being made up of Adama Traoré, Ferran Torres, and Gavi.
January was an up-and-down month for Atlético Madrid, with the club taking seven points from a possible nine in LaLiga, but losing in the semifinals of the . . .