Barça doesn’t play, they defend | Sports| The USA Print


Barça already defends the leadership of the League as well as the Cup semifinal. The Bernabéu match continued at the Camp Nou. The defense supported a team without a lead, lacking in the game and addicted to 1-0. The score has already been repeated ten times and there are 21 out of 36 games in which the Catalans leave their mark to zero after the crossing with a Valencia blinded by the abyss that would mean relegation to Second. Fear and impotence defined the Pipo Baraja squad. He did not know how to play against 10 after the string of calamities in which Barcelona became entangled. Araujo was sent off, Ferran missed a penalty and the team found an alibi for not talking about how and save the 1-0.


Ter Stegen, Alex Balde, A. Christensen, Koundé, Ronald Araújo, Busquets, Sergi Roberto (Eric Garcia, min. 81), Frenkie De Jong (Kessié Franck, min. 45), Ansu Fati (Marcos Alonso, min. 61) , Raphinha (Ángel Alarcón, min. 87) and Ferrán Torres



Mamardashvili, Foulquier, Cenk Özkacar, Eray Cömert (Mouctar Diakhaby, min. 54), Vazquez Alcalde, Thierry Correia (Samu Castillejo, min. 61), Andre Almeida (Yunus Musah, min. 78), Samuel Lino (Justin Kluivert, min. 78), Hugo Guillamón, Moriba Kourouma (Francisco Martínez, min. 61) and Hugo Duro

goals 1-0 min. 15: Raphine.

Referee javier alberola rojas

red cards Ronald Araujo (min. 58)

It was saved by a game that did not have from a footballing point of view, very badly played by two teams that are experiencing a nervous breakdown due to opposite situations, devoted to any play to save their performance: Valencia asked for a penalty from Kessié to Fran Pérez in the only play of merit in the second half and Barcelona resulted from Raphina’s goal in the only clean action of a convoluted game, impossible to analyze and that is only justified by the classification after the defeat in Almería.

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The focus of the match was initially placed on the forwards, three footballers already widely discussed separately and who came together in the same match due to the injuries and sanctions of four starters, the backbone of the team such as Lewandowski, Pedri, Gavi and even Dembele. The ball, however, took time to reach Ansu Fati, Raphinha and Ferran Torres, as well defended by Valencia as they were neglected by the three Barça midfielders after Xavi rested a fourth midfielder like Kessié. The match leaned towards Balde’s side, trimmed by Foulquier and Thierry Correia, and the Barça game rested on long kicks with the foot of Ter Stegen.

Until Raphinha was activated. The Brazilian persevered in one-on-one against the novel Vázquez, sometimes combined with Ferran and was skilful when he anticipated Mamardashvili with a sweetly tempered ball at the exit of a throw-in by Busquets. A delicate goal to temper a run over contest, without continuity, better arranged for Valencia. There was no passing line and the disorder surprisingly prevailed because a dialogue was expected between the Barça offensive and the containment system set up by Baraja. The 1-0 reassured and settled Xavi’s dispersed team for ten minutes.

The match remained open due to the lack of a shot and the lack of rhythm for Barça. The azulgranas decentered in a bad way and from the imprecision and lack of authority they led to the reply from Valencia. There was no way for Ansu to get it right and Christensen was even wrong. The forwards, foolish against Mamardashvili, went on to play in Ter Stegen’s area. Ansu lost the ball twice and Ferran risked so much in a loan to Ter Stegen that if it did not end in a goal it was because Lino’s shot went over the crossbar of the Les Corts goal. Half-time was reached with the ball in the Barcelona field after a failed occasion by Ilaix.

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The leader is a central

Barça does not have a player who sews the game or has a hierarchy over the game in the absence of Pedri. The only leader is Araujo. The Uruguayan tried to wake up the team with a clearance to the band as an alternative to the tachycardic football of his teammates in the face of the restlessness of the Camp Nou. The replacement of Frenkie de Jong, heavily loaded with minutes, did not exactly help to calm the spirits of the Barcelona fans. The ball burns so much at the feet of the azulgranas that they have stopped fighting for possession and indulge in an uncontrolled exchange of blows and discussions to see who takes a penalty like the one the referee called because Guillamón’s arm chased a Koundé shot.

Ferran and Ansu talked for a while to decide who would take the maximum penalty until the Valencian took the ball, kicked to the ground and his shot went past Mamardashvili’s right post. The chain of errors followed one another at Barça after the failure of Ferran’s penalty. The Catalans went from a possible 2-0 to a defender, 1-0 with ten due to the expulsion of Araujo. The Uruguayan tackled Guillamón in the open field after an error by Koundé. The carousel of mistakes used Ansu’s sacrifice. Xavi was harsh on the striker after his shot was deflected off the post before he was replaced by Marcos Alonso.

Barça appealed to an emergency center-back while Valencia did not stop adding strikers to play the charge against Ter Stegen. The Catalans, however, contained their rival better with 10 than with 11. They pressed better in the midfield and did not concede chances despite the fact that they gasped on the flank of Balde and Sergi Roberto. Nobody talked about the attackers anymore at game time but about their four defenders: Koundé complained, Christensen endured and Eric García helped in the emergency with Marcos Alonso.

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Ter Stegen was not even required after Valencia only forced a chance in a fall from Fran Pérez against Kessié. The referee did not see a sanction and the Camp Nou breathed a sigh of relief as they embraced their team, not because of their style or virtuosity, but because they survived as the leader in the League, without means or attackers —only eight goals conceded— and having an advantage also in the semifinals of the Cup.

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