Ronald Koeman has turned Barcelona into the best version of themselves, not tactically, but surely mentally. Each player is ready to put in the extra mile for the coach, and this was visible yet again in the victory over Real Betis. After going down 1-0 before the break, the introduction of Lionel Messi helped spark a victory as Fransisco Trincao grabbed the first goal of his Barcelona career.
Barcelona have scored eight goals in their last two games, conceding five. Given the hectic schedule, though, fans should take the three points as the biggest positive on the night. Barça Universal brings to you the five key stats from the thrilling clash.
The defence did not have an ideal game, and no-one was expecting them to after Ronald Araujo went down injured in the seventh minute of the clash. Frenkie de Jong came into the heart of the defence to fill in for the Uruguayan. While he was partly responsible for the first goal, and often let his marker rove, he was faultless on the ball.
Frenkie De Jong has succesfully completed ALL of his passes (81) against Real Betis. It's the first time since 2005/06 in La Liga that a substitute has a 100% passing accuracy. Maestro.— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 7, 2021
— Opta pic.twitter.com/pCYuNvWdBj
A horror show for Miralem Pjanic in the middle of the park helps us skip right to the attack. Ousmane Dembele grabbed the plaudits for assisting Lionel Messi’s equaliser, stemming from nothing. Despite that he was probably the best attacker for Barcelona on the night barring Lionel Messi.
Ousmane Dembélé had the most dribbles completed (5) and most chances created (4) against Real Betis. Mesmerizing performance. pic.twitter.com/qwZS6FN6gY— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 7, 2021
Proof of the improved mentality of the team has been proven in this week alone, but over the course of the season, we have seen the group improve slowly, but surely. For example, Barcelona could not register a win even once after going down in the opening 16 games, but have done so 6 times in the next 16.
Barcelona has made 6 comebacks in their last 16 games this season. pic.twitter.com/whDsF6WEq9— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 7, 2021
There have not been a lot of times that Lionel Messi has started on the bench for Barcelona, but the times he does, he is often asked to come on to turn the tables for the team. Yesterday, he recorded his quickest goal as a substitute for the club.
Lionel Messi scored his quickest goal in La Liga coming from the bench for Barcelona.— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 7, 2021
— Opta pic.twitter.com/wqChA5MjaK
We end with an absolutely bizarre stat about the man of the hour, Lionel Messi. Despite playing no more than 30 odd minutes yesterday, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner was awarded yet another man of the match award, taking his tally since 2009/10 to 207(!).
Most Man of the Match awards by league since 2009/10:— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 7, 2021
La Liga: Lionel Messi – 207
Premier League: Eden Hazard – 62
Bundesliga: Marco Reus – 48
Ligue 1: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 42
Serie A: Alejandro Gomez – 38
— @MessiScored pic.twitter.com/iJ203bjksp