Eintracht Frankfurt – Barcelona: Xavi’s Changes Help Rescue Difficult Game (1-1)
Barcelona found things awkward against Eintracht Frankfurt thanks to the solid midfield pressing and transition game of the home side. Frankfurt created better chances and were rewarded early in the second half with a goal. Xavi responded with the introduction of Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembélé, who quickly repaid him with their involvement in the equalizing goal, giving Barcelona a 1-1 draw to take home for the second leg.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
Barcelona came into this tie as one of Europe’s in-form teams, with the highlight being their 4-0 demolition of Real Madrid at the Bernabéu. Xavi’s side lined up here in a 4-3-3 shape, with Ronald Araújo being deployed on the right side of the defense alongside Gerard Piqué, Eric García and Jordi Alba. Sergio Busquets played at number six, with youngsters Pedri and Gavi either side of him. Up front, Adama Traoré and Ferran Torres flanked Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Eintracht Frankfurt beat Real Betis in the previous round to reach this stage and were unbeaten in their last seven prior to this match, albeit four of those matches ended in draws. They started in a 3-4-3 shape with a back three of Tuta, Martin Hinteregger and Evan Ndicka. In central midfield there was Kristijan Jakić and Djibril Sow, while Ansgar Knauff and Filip Kostić played as wing-backs. The front trio was made up of Jesper Lindstrøm, Rafael Santos Borré and Daichi Kamada.
Barcelona uncomfortable with . . .