(Jordi Blanco, correspondent in Barcelona) – Barça, at cruising speed, added their seventh victory in a row in the League and proclaimed that although the classification says otherwise, they are still determined to monitor any missteps by Atlético de Madrid. He won 5-1 with sufficiency at Alavés and gained momentum, confidence and calm, facing the test that awaits him on Tuesday against PSG.
Abelardo’s team maintained the even half hour in the first half and held the guy with 2-1 until minute 74. By then Pedri had already entered the scene and parsimony gave way to electricity. In less than two minutes any doubt was sentenced with two goals. And the demonstration that this team maintains, with the weight of irregularity surrounding it, the desire to be seen.
Make himself seen through the non-negotiable leadership of 10, the author of two goals and a direct participant in another two, to push a growing Barça, whose coach is changing pieces with agility without affecting the overall performance of the team.
Koeman retouched the eleven, reserving pieces and giving ground to substitutes and rookies. This time, he left Jordi Alba, Pedri and Dembélé on the bench, replaced De Jong in the center of the defense with Lenglet and accompanied Busquets de Riqui Puig and the debutant Ilaix Moriba, a youth squad who made his debut as a starter in the League with a promising performance tarnished, yes, by a big mistake that led to the Alavés goal.
It was, probably, the only mole on the young midfielder and the little that could be attributed globally to a Barça that patiently chewed the game, which came out like a rocket and in which he had to slow down against the Numantine defense of an Alavés that was able, for almost half an hour, to slow down his momentum.
To which the first fell, born with a center from Mingueza, continued with an assist from Ilaix and finished with a hard shot from Trincao, Alavés began to surrender to the evidence, which already went to rest with an almost definitive 2 -0, a great goal from Leo after the VAR canceled a more than debatable goal.
SENTENCE AND HIT
He had time for the scare, almost common, Barça with the Rioja discount taking advantage of the, also common, failure of the defense. But this time Koeman’s team did not tremble.
If he had already rested Busquets at half-time, putting Umtiti in his place, he put Pedri into play and with the canary the rhythm accelerated again, the game deepened and in the blink of an eye he sentenced the victory and the led to the rout with three more goals in just over six minutes.
Barça won with sufficiency, with treachery and with overwhelming logic to a rival that he wanted but never could and that his goalkeeper, Pacheco, still saved from an even greater punishment.
Assisting, directing, marking and leading Messi carried his team with the happy look of Koeman, angry with solemnity in the first half for the goal disallowed by the captain for a more than debatable offside, with VAR included, by Griezmann.
In the end that was an anecdote. And all eyes have already turned to Tuesday, the date on which PSG will begin to shape the future of this team.