Football's cruel, even at youth level. Barcelona's Juvenil A lost 3-0 to Benfica. Though the result suggests uncontested dominance, Barcelona's first half only lacked very little to change the game. Notably that most of Juvenil A's players are born in 2004 (1y younger than me!).
The group was very difficult for Barcelona. Benfica & Kiev have been impressive throughout the campaign. Estanis was the highlight just like Casado: The former for his 1v1 attempts, the latter for his regular line-breaking passes – Casado has done it all season.
The result feels very harsh. Barcelona only lacked v little in the first half and the punishment was very cruel. That's just how football is – fairness/deserving doesn't mean much, hence terms I tend to avoid. It's all about key moment that were on Benfica's side today.
The boys shouldn't leave the pitch with regret, though. They've done an amazing job and they can/should be proud of themselves. Convinced there will be better luck next season.

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More from @__ElJdP

24 Nov
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
23 Nov
Curious about Atalanta's Sidibe & Panada concerning possible opportunities w/ the first team in the near future, especially after today's display. Both have been amazing for Atalanta's U-19.

Sidibe is really interesting btl to break the opposition, Panada to stabilize deep.
Both are standouts in the domestic league as well w/ pretty good numbers, too. Key 2-3 win away from home for Brambilla's boys. Tonight's win leaves the Young Boys alone while Atalanta can still hope to qualify as United netted a last minute winner to make it 2-1 v Villarreal.
United – 12 pts
Villarreal – 10 pts
Atalanta – 6 pts
Young Boys – 1 pt

Looks v unlikely as Atalanta were dominated by United on both occasions (2-1 & 4-2, United clear on paper & on the field) while they lost 2-0 against Villarreal. Very hard to see them winning these fixtures.
Read 6 tweets
22 Nov
This is why I love this app. The support on the last thread(s) has been immense, even overwhelming.

It's that type of messages that motivate me to continue what is just the start of this adventure. Image
You guys are just too nice. My heart... Image
Tonight seems to be the #PraiseDay ...absolutely blessed to have you all.
Don't even know how to thank you. Image
Read 4 tweets
21 Nov
Xavi's first game as Barcelona's manager: A game of two halves, of joy and fear.

From the first minutes we could see a valuable disposition in which Xavi instructed his wingers to stay wide, while interiors were utilised to progress through the center. Gavi did not always stay wide as he often tucked in, as Alba compensated for his movements.
Barcelona's build-up remained consistent through the left-wing while the right-wing was only used in rare occasions. The right half-space overload was notably through permutations of Frenkie, Depay, Gavi & Nico.
Alba was preferred as a ball carrier to force Espanyol in mistakes.
Read 27 tweets

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