CA Osasuna – FC Barcelona: Structural Problems Continue Under Valverde (2-2)
Barcelona continue to struggle without Lionel Messi, but can the dilemma be too much for even Messi to fix? Osasuna’s switch between intense pressing and a compact low block A low block refers to a team that retreats deep in their own half out of possession, generally only disrupting their opponents around their own box. caused Valverde’s Barca huge problems when trying to progress, as well as a structure which drifts more players out of the match than it brings in.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
Throughout the past few years, CA Osasuna have consistently bounced between the Segunda and Primera divisions. They returned to La Liga in style under Jagoba Arrasate, recording 87 points to finish top of the second division. In the first two games of the campaign, Arrasate has played both a 4-4-2 formation and his preferred 4-2-3-1 system. In their first two La Liga matches, Osasuna have conceded just two shots on target in total, though CD Leganés had golden opportunities to score.
In attack, Osasuna have not offered much either. Their only source of chances against SD Eibar came from sharp, low crosses into the penalty area from wide positions (and there were not too much of this either). With Barcelona in mind, both center midfielders were changed, with club captain Oier and former Arsenal player Fran Mérida coming in. Arrasate’s other changes would see Robert Ibáñez and Marc Cardona replaced by Rubén García and Brandon on the left wing and up front.
Barcelona’s start of the season has been somewhat deflating, even after scoring five at home against Real Betis. Antoine . . .