(Jordi Blanco, correspondent) – Barcelona regained their confidence in Pucela with a solvent, clear, comfortable and resounding victory (0-3) over Valladolid overcome from the first minute by the change of system that Ronald Koeman imposed on his team and that provided him with absolute control to solve without further setbacks in a first half that he dominated unopposed.
The Barça coach surprised by bringing together three centrals (Mingueza, Lenglet and Araújo) in the eleven and theoretically advancing to the two full-backs, Dest and Alba, although it was the Dutchman who most sought depth … Although the greatest novelty, Busquets absent , Coutinho and Griezmann, was a superior presence, and presence, in the combination game in the midfield, offensive, where the understanding between Messi and Pedri was the best of the news, as well as the freedom and significance of De Jong.
Calm in defense and revolutionized in attack, at times patient and at other incisive on the wings, Barça took the rhythm of the game from the first minute and took twenty minutes to open the can, thanks to an impressive header from Lenglet to Messi center livelier in recent weeks …
And happy to find an ideal partner in Pedri, the young man of the team. A young man with the soul of a star.
Unable to stand up to him, Valladolid had enough work to chase a ball that Koeman’s footballers handled with care until shortly after half an hour an excellent deep pass from Messi to Dest led to the 0-2, scored by Braithwaite from mouth of goal in the poisoned center of the lateral, turned into a dagger by his band to demonstrate that the change in the bet of the technician had been of the most opportune.
If he tried, or seemed to, go out with greater intensity for Valladolid after the break, Barça lowered his fumes with simplicity. More conservative in appearance but as calm as in the first half, saving himself scares thanks to finally defending with the ball and away from his area until the Pedri-Messi society reappeared to erase any sign of doubt.
A magical assistance from the canary left the captain in front of Masip so that he could score calmly, add his 644 goal, an absolute record with a single team, and sentence the game without further fuss, aimed at a calm outcome in every way .
Ter Stegen even had the opportunity to shine with a double slap when the entry of Umtiti instead of Araújo gave the sensation of breaking the defensive solvency, but the scare was as brief as it was almost invisible, even though Valladolid was seen more regularly in the azulgrana area in a few final minutes that portrayed Umtiti’s bad physical moment.
Barça won with a solvency that, unexpectedly after the scares they have suffered since the beginning of the season, did not cease to surprise. After so many disappointments, it was appropriate to contemplate a new vision from the change imposed by Koeman … And although it must be waited to see if this team, this image, has continuity, it was the best news to celebrate Christmas.