[THREAD] 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.
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.
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.
Success in failure and why yesterday's draw was beautiful in its own way. #JdPExplains
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.
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.
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.
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.