Barcelona make it a Happy 121st Birthday
Barcelona celebrated the club’s 121st birthday on Sunday and fittingly went on to produce a fantastic attacking display that yielded 4 goals, a clean sheet, and all three factors.
It was a much-needed win for Ronald Koeman’s facet after a disappointing beginning to their La Liga campaign and follows on from one other four-goal victory in midweek against Dynamo Kyiv.
Ronald Koeman made changes to his team which worked well. Martin Braithwaite scored once more on his first La Liga start, Pedri surprisingly partnered Frenkie de Jong in midfield, and Oscar Mingueza did nicely on his La Liga debut.
All 4 attackers bought on the scoresheet which additionally allowed Koeman to rest a few of his players in the second half forward of a busy finish to the 12 months. The win strikes Barca again within the prime half and provides hope they will go on a profitable run and propel themselves up the desk.
Barca’s defensive injury crisis deepens
The one large negative from Sunday’s win was yet another defensive injury. Clement Lenglet hobbled off within the second half with an ankle problem and joins Ronald Araujo, Samuel Umtiti, and Gerard Pique on the injured list.
All of which means all of Barca’s senior center-backs are currently sidelined, although Koeman did play down Lenglet’s harm after the match. Hopefully, the issue is not too serious but it appears highly unlikely the Frenchman will be fit for Ferencvaros.
Mingueza should therefore enjoy more game time. The youngster was guilty of a few stray passes, which Koeman picked him up on after the match, however has otherwise had an excellent week since being called up for the first-team action.
Koeman might now be thinking about calling up some more Barca B defenders to bolster his backline if Lenglet is out for a while, such as Arnau Comas and Santiago Ramos Mingo, although De Jong can be an option at center-back.
Braithwaite gets Barca attack firing
Braithwaite’s two goals against Dynamo Kyiv in midweek saw Denmark international retain his place within the starting XI and the striker actually helped get the Barca attack firing in opposition to Osasuna
Antoine Griezmann seemed to thrive with a No. 9 on the pitch and notably linked up nicely with Braithwaite and Lionel Messi in what was simply the Frenchman’s greatest efficiency of the season.
Braithwaite additionally scored once more with an untidy effort that broke the deadlock. It actually wasn’t the prettiest purpose he’s ever scored however Braithwaite won’t care about netting his third goal in two games for the Catalan giants
Griezmann hitting form
Barcelona’s first might not have been a looker however the second got here from an absolute cracker from Griezmann. The Frenchman unleashed an excellent volley from outside their area that merely flew past goalkeeper Sergio Herrera.
Griezmann has now scored in back-to-back games for Barcelona for the first time and is clearly finding some type after a tricky start. It’s 4 goals and two assists for Griezmann now in his final six outings and the ahead drew reward from Koeman after the match
That is certainly the Griezmann that Barca will hope they see extra of now. He had earlier teed up a great probability for Coutinho after displaying nice ft to go round Herrera after which set up the Brazilian again for Barca’s third.
Messi’s perfect tribute
Barca’s fourth came, fittingly, from the theft of Lionel Messi with his seventh purpose of the season and simply his second from open play. It was one other beautiful purpose from the Barcelona captain who paid a pretty good tribute to Diego Maradona together with his celebration.
Messi was again within the group after being rested in midweek and looked to have benefited from his breather. The captain additionally seemed happier with Braithwaite in the line-up which allowed him better freedom.