Barcelona – Villarreal: Villarreal Finish Strong And Secure Conference League Football (0-2)

Though Barcelona controlled much of the match, Unai Emery’s Villarreal were lethal on the counterattack, making Barcelona pay for throwing numbers forward in attack. Goals from Alfonso Pedraza and Moi Gómez were more than enough to get Villarreal across the line, though Barcelona’s lack of urgency (and motivation) late in the match played a heavy factor.

Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley

Barcelona approached the match having secured second place in LaLiga, with little else to play for for Xavi’s side. From a wide view, this season has not been a success for Barcelona, with the team failing to win any of the competitions that they played in, but some more investigation proves that the season was not poor by any means for the Catalan side. Though Barcelona’s form has dipped drastically over the past month, there has been a major revolution in play style and tactics since Xavi took over from Ronald Koeman, and there is much to be hopeful for going into next season. 

Barcelona fielded a weaker than normal lineup for the final matchday, as Xavi recognized that the result mattered less than giving some fringe players some minutes to finish off the season. Marc-Andre ter Stegen was once again the team’s goalkeeper, with Dani Alves, Ronald Araújo, Clément Lenglet, and Jordi Alba making up the four man defense. Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, and Gavi made up Barcelona’s midfield trio, with Adama Traoré, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Ferran Torres as the three forwards.

Villarreal came into the final matchday with everything to play for, as they needed three points to ensure that they finished in . . .

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Charlie Tuley is a junior studying sport management at the University of Michigan. He currently works as a data analyst for the San Jose Earthquakes, and does freelance football analytics on Twitter under the name @analyticslaliga. [ View all posts ]

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