Valencia – Barcelona: Valencia Strike Twice Against Sterile Barcelona Possession Game (2-0)
In their second LaLiga game under new coach Quique Setién, Barcelona once again dominated the ball but struggled to penetrate due to an inability to stretch their opponents through width and depth when in possession. Barcelona improved in the second half with midfield runners getting more involved in attack, but a Jordi Alba deflected own goal and goal from Maxi Gómez on the counterattack brought the home side to victory.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
Quique Setién was able to claim a win against Granada in his first LaLiga game as Barcelona manager. It did not take Setién long to make his impression on the team stylistically, as Barcelona showed a new 3-5-2 system in attack, and a much greater emphasis on ball retention than under previous manager Ernesto Valverde. They had some pretty sequences in possession, but their attacking game was not fully effective yet, as it took Barcelona until the 76th minute to find the breakthrough at home.
Valencia came into the game seventh in LaLiga, but with only four points separating them from third placed Atlético Madrid. Albert Celades’ side returned from the winter break with a win over Eibar, before losing out to Real Madrid in semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup, followed by a disappointing 4-1 defeat away at . . .