Barça burns in the hell of San Mamés (3-2)

BarcelonaHappiness never comes to Barça. All the words of love written against Real Madrid in a Super Cup in which the fans were proud of their team, ended up on the floor in San Mamés, burning in the hell of Bilbao. The reigning champion lost the crown, stripped of football, although he showed a lot of heart by forcing the extra time thanks to Pedri. The roadmap is marked, but patience is required. Now seeds are planted, but the fruits will come later. And the victory was left to Athletic thanks to a penalty by Jordi Alba who played a game to forget.

The Bilbao party, instead of continuing to elevate the spirit of Barcelona, ​​was a small torture. It was like a recovery exam when your friends are already on vacation. It was like chasing a tireless little boy when you just want to sleep. Athletic took the game to the end, with a demonic pace. And Barça were beaten one after the other. Only the courage of Gerard Piqué and a few stops by Ter Stegen prevented the ship from sinking in a first half in which Barça only managed to play as they like in a single play, a single possession in which Ferran Torres ended up inventing a goal. That’s why the Valencian has arrived: to mark differences such as the shot that took the cobwebs out of the Basque goal. It was no less curious that the day Ousmane Dembélé was sent to the corner of thought, punished by a club typical of his rebukes, Ferran Torres made his glory that the French winger has never finished holding hands .

The goal was an oasis in the middle of a nightmare. Few convictions were reaffirmed, in the Cathedral. Not even close. The match served to certify that, on the other hand, Barça is suffering. That rivals continue to pose too much danger and, physically, this team is short of legs, yet. Athletic had scored in the second minute thanks to a delicate touch from Iker Muniain, by far the best of the match, over Ter Stegen, but Marcelino’s team is not at all delicate, quite the opposite. It’s a physical team that makes you sweat the bacon. And a new batch of lions did their thing, with Nico Williams highlighting an increasingly loose Jordi Alba in defense. Dani Alves almost put the reducer away having drawn the entire left side defense away, but the shot went straight into the arms of the goalkeeper. It didn’t help that Araujo didn’t have the day and lost a few balls right where you can’t lose them. Xavi had opted for a forward with Ez Abde, Ferran Jutglà and Ferran Torres, but they did not get the balls. Jutglà and Abde’s party was anecdotal. Ferran touched one, the goal. So at the break, Xavi sacrificed Abde to get Nico in, to have superiority in the middle of the field. And start playing as Xavi likes, who clearly lost the tactical duel with Marcelino in the first half.

Irreducible stone and injured Ansu

Aware that it was an important match, Xavi had bet on Ter Stegen in goal. A statement of intent that would hurt Neto’s pride, even though the German made two stops of merit when the team suffered the most. On the other hand, Athletic did play their second goalkeeper, the young Agirrezabala, instead of the international Unai Simón. In the Basque Country they find gatekeepers under the stones. But at Barça they find midfielders under the stones. And when, at the break, Xavi brought in Nico, who was the first team’s number one, Barça balanced the script of the game a bit in the second half in which Oihan Sancet’s injury led to Iñaki Williams coming in. And the two Williams brothers continued to cause problems for Barça without gunpowder in attack, due to the casualties of Luuk de Jong and Memphis, and the lack of rhythm of Ansu Fati, who was waiting for his moment on the bench. Xavi decided to give him half an hour. The Terrassa coach, after so many games in which he had to call up young people without a driver’s license to complete the call-up, is now looking at the bench and is already finding the resources to change the game. If he hadn’t hit the starting line-up with a tactic, once Frenkie de Jong had been brought in by an overgrown Gavi and Ansu by Jutglà, Xavi managed to take the game to his ground.

At last Barça looked into Athletic’s eyes, but the lions’ gaze was frightening. Unlike that frightened puppy thrashed in the Cup final a year ago, Athletic did not give up and scored 2-1, which seemed final, five minutes before the end. It was in a poorly defended corner by Barça that neither Piqué nor Ter Stegen managed to reject the ball and allowed Iñigo Martínez to score a goal that looked like one of the old San Mamés, when football was played on muddy fields. . But the man of extra time, Pedri, forced one with a saving goal in the last minute.

The fate, however, was written on a night when nothing went well, because Xavi lost Ansu Fati again due to injury. And Alba, always superior in defense, ended up committing a penalty in the extra time by hands that Muniain made it 3-2. Barça fell with their heads held high, with Araujo in the center forward, but ended up with a skin wound. A defeat to learn, to remember that change takes time. They don’t arrive overnight.

Source: – Portada by

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