A match summary / review of the Alaves 0-5 Barcelona game.
After losing the La Liga title to Real Madrid, Barcelona had to show their fans some character with an away win in the Basque region. Against an opponent that was already safe, Barça had an exhibition and should play like this every game. A complete demolition for Alavés and many of the Barça players got some energy for the rest of the season, mainly Suarez, Messi, and Puig. Leo also added to his goal tally and broke the assist record in a single season in La Liga. All in all, a good night for the Catalans.
With nothing but pride to play, Barça had to win at the Mendizorroza to keep the momentum for the Champions League. The Catalans’ mentality changed drastically from the Osasuna game, as they played with purpose and relieved as they didn’t have to go toe to toe with another five-at-the-back formation. Alavés were open and let Barça play, as their heads were undoubtedly at the beach as they survived last Thursday. However, Alavés’ performance should not discredit the Culés’ efforts, and they finished the half with three clear goals from the front three.
First, it was Messi for Ansu as the Argentine magician broke the assist record in La Liga with an absolute peach of a chipped ball for the youngster. Ansu’s run facilitated the play, and it ended in the back of the net easily. After that, Riqui Puig made every Culé proud as he recorded his first league assist with an easy pass towards Messi who finished it smoothly in the bottom corner. Then, it was football champagne as Messi’s dinked ball came towards Jordi Alba’s feet, and the former Valencia defender passed it to Suarez for another easy finish. It’s worth noting that the Catalans hit the woodwork three times in the opening twenty minutes with shots from Puig, Vidal, and Messi all shaving the post. Also, Suarez could’ve had a brace as he missed an unforgettable one-on-one after the first goal. Great half from Barça, not from Alavés.
First-half score: Alaves 0-3 Barcelona
The last half of Barcelona’s 2019/20 La Liga season ended well, with the club following their scintillating first half with another highly impressive second half. With the Champions League approaching, this was the best way to show their fans that Barça are still in contention and can play well. While they didn’t score a lot in the second half, they retained the ball well enough to keep Alavés far away from their goal.
The Culés made three subs, as they only had three outfielders on the bench and Nelson Semedo replaced an injured Clément Lenglet as Sergi Roberto went into the midfield and Vidal played as a centre-back.
Semedo also got his name on the scoresheet as Riqui Puig recorded another exquisite assist. The Portuguese’s powerful finish ended in the top corner and the keeper could not do anything about it. The joy of the game was seeing Frenkie de Jong taking Sergio Busquets’ place as a single pivot and having a stellar game there, normal as it is his position. Alavés’ demolition continued as Leo Messi rounded the mark with another fierce finish in the Alavés corner and this goal should seal yet another Pichichi award. Barça continued to control the game and ended the game with a five-goal margin and end the campaign with 82 points.
Final score: Alaves 0-5 Barcelona
FC Barcelona: Neto; Araujo, Alba, Lenglet (50′ Lenglet), Roberto; Busquets (59′ De Jong), Vidal, Riqui Puig; Ansu Fati (78′ Braithwaite), Suarez, Messi
Goals: 24′ Ansu Fati, 34′ 75′ Lionel Messi, 44′ Luis Suarez, 57′ Nelson Semedo
Alaves: Roberto; Aguirregabiria, Laguardia (46′ Rodriguez), Magallan, Marin; Méndez, Camasara (65′ Mahmoud), Garcia (59′ Fesja), Burke (46′ Rioja); Joselu, Pérez (46′ Pere Pons)
That brings an end to the Alaves – Barcelona match summary.
Koeman rises Barça from its ashes: Barcelona 4-0 Villarreal, Match Summary
After a month of preparation, Barcelona officially set foot in La Liga and what a night for the Catalan giants. Against Villarreal, a team who had an excellent transfer window, the Culés needed to show their intents for the upcoming season, and they did it in style.
Barcelona’s first half was a match made in heaven as the massive rising star in Ansu Fati confirmed his great breakthrough campaign last year with a brace in the first half. Before Ansu’s opener, no team showed dominance, and it was anyone’s guess on who will open the scoring. Barça took their slow-paced game to another level as Jordi Alba’s run was smartly spotted by Clément Lenglet, who played a peach of a ball for the former Valencia defender. Alba went into the opposition area, passed across the face of the goal and Ansu was there to tuck in a powerful shot from close range.
A few minutes later and Philippe Coutinho’s superb run from midfield would open up the way nicely for Ansu to place a shot in Asenjo’s net. The Brazilian had a great first half, perhaps his best as a Barça player.
Ansu was the life of the party as he won a penalty after a nice buildup after the half-hour mark. Before that, a stat showed that Barça attacked eight times on the left and only once on the right, perhaps indicating that Ansu and Jordi are a better duo than Sergi and Antoine. Messi converted the penalty and scored his first La Liga goal of the year.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Before the half-time whistle, Pau Torres scored a comical own-goal, his second in two games against Barça, and Barcelona ran riot in the Yellow Submarine’s defence. For Koeman’s premiere, Barcelona showed great signs, and, whilst it’s still early days, the Dutch manager could be proud of himself, even if there are some aspects to change.
First-half score: Barcelona 4-0 Villareal
In the second half, Barcelona didn’t take their foot off the gas and actually tried to further their lead. Although Sergio Asenjo, one of the league’s best keeper, tried to sabotage Barça’s plans of scoring, the Catalans tested more than once, and they can be happy with their performance.
On the hour-mark, for example, Messi tested Asenjo from range, but his shot was tipped over the bar. Messi kept going, but his solitary goal of the game would only come from the spot.
Barça kept going, but Villarreal played much better in the second half and had chances to score on multiple occasions, which they did nit take apart from once, where Gerard Moreno scored from an offside position. Take Kubo’s incorporation into the encounter was a nice one, and the Japanese wonderkid could’ve scored twice had Neto not been great.
This game was also an occasion for Barça to show off their debutants as Miralem Pjanic, Francisco Trincão, and Pedri all played their first official games for Barça. For Ousmane Dembélé, who had a good entrance to the game, it was his first game since the 27th of November, and he can be proud.
Barça as a whole can be proud of their La Liga opener.
Final score: Barcelona 4-0 Villareal
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