Leo Messi entered in time to turn anxiety into victory. Barça wanted but could not at Villamarín, dominating but lacking in finishing, and the captain’s entrance, touching the hour of an anxious and worrying match, changed the whole set. Barça won 2-3 thanks to a goal from Trincao near the end, in a play started by Messi, and Koeman’s team showed that it maintains that intensity and faith that in other times would not have existed.
He suffered, again, and came back. And he did it through the Argentine crack, who two minutes after appearing on the scene equalized 1-0, shortly after the play of 1-2 began and almost at the end, when the final draw was feared, he threw a ball that, cut off by Víctor Ruiz, especially out of tune in defense, ended with Trincao’s shot to the net after stealing the ball.
One night of everything. Comes and goes. True and false domain. And of Messi, above all. Again.
Koeman opted to revolutionize the eleven, prioritizing rest with a view to the Cup match against Sevilla to be played next Wednesday, and left Leo, De Jong and Pedri on the bench. He continued to force Araújo, who paid for him as soon as he started, and returned Braithwaite to a team to which Riqui and Pjanic accompanied Busquets in an unprecedented line-up … And which was shown to be headless very soon.
Without time to catch up with the game Araújo left injured, with a sprained ankle, and De Jong came in to play as an improvised central and theoretical initiator of the attack game, but that attack game did not have any kind of continuity. Neither depth beyond Dembélé and even less of a shot, which only appeared brushing the half hour when Lenglet, alone, unmarked, comfortable and on the edge of the small area, finished off with a head too crossed forgiving a goal that, who knows, would have led the game to a very different setting.
He did not succeed and it was Betis who struck shortly afterwards, in a common oversight of the team that allowed Emerson’s boarding and Boeja Iglesias’ shot on goal. Barça ended up playing the first half, surprised, misplaced and close to the collapse of the one who waited to leave after the break.
Pedri appeared from the beginning in the second half and a different image was already seen. Outside Braithwaite, more driving and combination. And superiority … Which ended up being accurate when Koeman resolved to remove the invisible Pjanic and the unfortunate Riqui to give entry to Messi and Trincao, ultimately the protagonists of the victory.
Leo needed ten minutes to turn the 1-0 around, first, immediately, to finish off a pass from Dembélé and then to give a deep pass to Jordi ALba, whose center was fatally finished off by Griezmann … Bouncing the ball in Víctor Ruiz and being 1-2.
Absolute dominator, firm and serene, Barça got another blow with an unnecessary foul from Busquets that Fekir put on the head of Víctor Ruiz. Again a draw and nerves for the end … But the change of game, the change of football and the dominance of Barça owed him the prize.
And it came almost to the end. Again. Messi cross, Víctor Ruiz cut, slow to take the ball, Trincao steal and perfect shot, crossed, to the net. Barça continues. Six wins in a row in the League. Thinking about the Cup, he does not sleep because, with Messi, everything is possible. Always.