Barcelona – Valencia: Barcelona Bounce Back Through High-Flying Fati And Depay (3-1)
Though Valencia took the lead early through a Jose Gayá wonder-strike, it was Barcelona’s Ansu Fati and Memphis Depay who stole the show as the two each grabbed a goal as Barcelona completed the comeback over José Bordalás’ side.
Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley.
Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona came into the match against Valencia in a very poor run of form, having only won only one of their last six matches in all competitions. Before the international break they had been humiliated by Atlético Madrid, Benfica, and Bayern Munich, while also suffering draws against Cadíz and Granada in LaLiga. The only bright spot in that period had been a 3-0 win over Levante, which was marked by Ansu Fati’s long-awaited return after being sidelined for eleven months with a meniscus injury.
Koeman made four changes from the team that lost to Atlético Madrid. He fielded a back line of Jordi Alba, Eric García, Gerard Piqué, and Sergi Roberto, with the midfield trio of Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, and Gavi. The forward three was made up of Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay, and Sergiño Dest, who started as a right winger for the first time since signing for Barcelona.
Valencia also came into this match in dire need of a win; they had not picked up a win in their last four matches, and had recently drawn with both Athletic Club and Cadíz. Bordalás once again utilized his favored 4-4-2 formation, with multiple changes being made to the . . .