Real Valladolid – Barcelona: Barcelona Scrap Victory To Cling Onto Title Hopes (0-1)
Dominating the early stages of the game, Barcelona raced into an early lead with a once again successful 4-4-2 diamond shape. But while they controlled the first half, the visitors also struggled to turn possession into chance creation. And after fatigue hit them hard in the second half, Barcelona encouraged Valladolid forward, leading to a narrow and unconvincing victory by the game’s conclusion.
Tactical analysis and match report by Emmanuel Adeyemi-Abere.
Currently lying in fourteenth place, Real Valladolid came into this fixture seven points clear of the relegation zone. Conceding just 39 goals so far this season, Sergio González' team have founded their success on a solid defensive block. With survival virtually secured, the hosts now looked to push for their best league finish in eighteen years.
Barcelona meanwhile remain in second place, four points behind Real Madrid. In contrast to the flawless form of their archrivals, Quique Setién’s men have drawn three of their last six games. Anything but victory in this match would surely kill off their faint hopes of retaining the LaLiga title.
González changed tactics for this fixture, moving away from the usual 4-4-2 system to use a 4-4-2 diamond formation. In addition, he refreshed his side by making six changes to the starting eleven that lost against Valencia in midweek.