FC Barcelona – Celta de Vigo: The Messi – Alba duo bring lethargic Barcelona the win over an underdeveloped Celta (2-0)
Celta’s failure to properly defend the Leo Messi – Jordi Alba connection allowed Barcelona to score twice in the first half and achieve a straightforward victory. Barcelona’s inconsistent pressing, combined with the substitutions of Beltrán and Lobotka, allowed Celta to improve during the second half.
Tactical analysis and match report by José Perez.
Barcelona continued their stable run of results, now with four LaLiga victories in a row. Over the last month, this newest iteration of coach Valverde’s Barcelona is a version sacrifices control over the game to be better at high-energy end-to-end situations. This higher tempo game plan has improved Barcelona’s offensive game—as shown by the overwhelming victories against Levante and Espanyol—but it is not beneficial for Barcelona’s defensive transitions.
Against Celta, Valverde hardly made any changes compared to previous weeks. With Semedo fit and in the starting lineup, Barcelona could go back to their usual 4-3-3 formation. Once again, this lineup featured the midfield trio of Sergio Busquets, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitić, and a forward trio of Ousmane Dembelé, Luis Suárez, and Leo Messi.
This season, Celta has struggled to perform at the level expected of their talented squad. This led to the firing of coach Antonio Mohamed and the hiring of Miguel Cardoso last month. There is still much work to do before Celta can execute Cardoso’s game . . .