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F.C Barcelona - Real Madrid: Winners of the Spanish Super Cup, Xavismo continued.


A primordial game, though insignificant on paper. The Spanish Super Cup used to be a final game between the league & Copa Del Rey winners, but the format recently has changed. After Valencia and Betis were booted out by the archrivals, here they were to meet again.
A Clásico.
This is mentioned not out of pride, but out of necessity. A Clásico will always be of epic proportions, no matter how one tries to minimize its impact, even when it is in Saudi Arabia following Rubiales' great aspirations.
It's a potential turning point in Xavismo, first trophy.
Read 21 tweets
Eintracht Frankfurt – F.C Barcelona:
When doubt arises from uncomfortable circumstances leading to regular, silly errors: Or how Frankfurt surprised Barcelona.



📸: @Barca__pictures
Barcelona's structure was composed of the usual elements, originally intending a 2atb (Slight alteration following Piqué's forced substitution), nonetheless including the usual positioning of the frontline + interiors. Araujo, as expected, remained reluctant to advance forwards.
Furthermore, Eintracht matched numbers: Adama's isolation was *too much*, as FFT always had the CB + FB on him, his threat was mostly nullified as the space he'd attack were covered. Pedri's man intercepted his lane & Araujo was also match in the 1v1.
Barcelona were stuck.
Read 27 tweets
F.C Barcelona – Real Madrid: Where Barcelona confirms its positive trend, and how Real Madrid saw a Xavi masterclass at the Bernabeu.



📸 @Barca__pictures
1/ Barcelona's structure was similar to what was seen v Galatsaray or other opponents. Where FdJ/Pedri did not interact much, they both progressed dynamically following ball receptions on either side of the pitch. Important to note García's connection with Pedri.
2/ Barcelona's structure saw Alba finding the midfield easily, given the double option the double-option he always could find (i.e wide to Ferran or centrally w/ Busquets & sometimes w/ Pedri). A result of simple overloads that allowed everyone to push up from the start.
Read 37 tweets
F.C Barcelona – Atlético Madrid:

Revival for a first 2022 Camp Nou, Dani Alves, Adama Traoré, or how Xavi outclassed Diego Simeone to Barcelona's first major win in a while.


1/ Xavi's usual build-up

With now Traoré sitting wide as the lone right-winger, Xavi seeked to implement his quadruple in the center to overload the center, with now Dani Alves inverting.
Barcelona achieved absolute numerical superiority in the first phase against Atlético 2-men pressing scheme. Instead of relying on a regular 3v2, Dani Alves & Frenkie De Jong overloaded from both sides to create a 5v2 situation – ensuring numerical advantage from the beginning.
Read 24 tweets
Athletic Club – F.C Barcelona:
How Marcelino dominated Barcelona and why possession is defending ~


Barcelona intended to build-up as accustomed but unlike previous encounters, access was blocked as early as the first phase of build-up. Neither of Piqué/Araujo pushed back Athletic Club's first line. In turn, that meant no Busquets in build-up & relying on full-backs.
In other words, Barcelona relied on what they could not rely. Full-backs were free to receive but had a natural, physical disadvantage upon ball reception in the 1v1 that the opponent dominated. They did not have the angle nor the time to continue build-up. A mental barrier.
Read 23 tweets
Real Betis – F.C Barcelona: First defeat under Xavi: What went wrong, how to use Barcelona's weaknesses & interesting substitutions.


1/ Real Betis cut off access to Busquets by playing two forwards between Araujo/Lenglet & Sergio. Full-backs were also man-marked, leaving Barcelona w/ the following question:
"How do we advance from there?"

They found the answer after a while: Patience to move Betis.
2/Barcelona exploited the principle of "Pass in front->receive->pass back-> advance", which resulted in a good occupation of space Real Betis left open, but the efficiency in the last few actions still lacks, unfortunately.

Time is given, and space is created.
Read 30 tweets
Manchester United – Arsenal: About a lack of organization, mentality, game tilt & why the score doesn't reflect the performance by either team.


[THREAD] Image
Arsenal started the first minutes well off, unafraid to press United high. Carrick's men found it difficult to find passing outlets to evade the press. Arsenal were compact and high, cutting connections for the backline to advance to the midfield – improvement needed for ManU. Image
It was easy for Arsenal to isolate Manchester United. Without any midfield options, the back-line panicked for simple pressures that could be overcome with some reasonable amount of structure / pre-defined roles. Yesterday, that did not seem to exist for the hosts. Image
Read 31 tweets
Villarreal - F.C Barcelona:
Through struggle comes faith, or why Barcelona can/should be grateful for yesterday's win in the near future ~


It is in the first minutes that Abde had already showed the world why he started against Villarreal. A 1v1 winger that Barcelona lack, able to receive the ball thanks to his runs off the ball & Abde toyed with his marker throughout the night.

A unique profile in the squad.
Barcelona made frequent use of Abde's positioning off the ball + dribbling abilities as they were often caught in a dead-lock in the left despite frequent overloads. Excellent defending on the left, but abysmal on the right as Abde's 1v1 aptitudes gave Barcelona an advantage.
Read 39 tweets
Success in failure and why yesterday's draw was beautiful in its own way.

Similar patterns repeated right away as Demir and Alba were tasked as width-holders on either wing, both with significant responsibilities they managed well. Gavi once again enjoyed runs in his opponent's blind-stop, helping Barcelona open up – i.e Nico in this situation.
Benfica pressured Barcelona well in the opening phase, but Lenglet's outreach combined with his teammates dropping deep meant that Benfica's pressure could easily be bypassed without losing too many men in advanced zones. A pattern Xavi's team @ Al-Sadd shared.
Read 26 tweets

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