Real Betis – FC Barcelona: Superior Barcelona Leave It Late (1-2)
Barcelona’s tactical setup gave them advantages over Betis in this match, however it took them some time to finally make it count. Before that could happen, Xavi’s side also had to deal with a few dangerous Betis attacks, particularly in transition. In the end it was Jordi Alba who won the game for Barcelona late on, giving them a narrowly deserved win.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
Copa Del Rey winners Real Betis needed a result in this game as they continue to chase a Champions League place in LaLiga. Manuel Pellegrini’s side lined up in a 4-2-3-1 shape, as the back four consisted of Youssouf Sabaly, Germán Pezzella, Marc Bartra and Álex Moreno, with a central midfield pairing of Guido Rodríguez and Andrés Guardado in front. Sergio Caneles started from the right of midfield, with Nabil Fekir at number ten and Juanmi on the left, supporting Borja Iglesias in attack.
Barcelona were in a more comfortable position than Betis with regards to Champions League qualification prior to this match, although still with a bit of work to do to be mathematically sure of their place. Dani Alves, Ronald Araújo, Eric García and Jordi Alba made up the back four, while Sergio Busquets was the defensive midfielder in Xavi’s 4-3-3 system. Frenkie De Jong and Gavi were ahead of him as central midfielders, supporting a front three of Ousmane Dembélé, Ferran Torres and Memphis Depay.
Structural advantages for Barcelona
The tactical matchup of the two teams afforded Barcelona some advantages in their buildup, which they were able to partially take advantage of in the . . .