Barcelona mercilessly put four goals past Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou in a game that instilled confidence in the Camp Nou faithful. It was a statement performance from the Catalans, who now head up into fourth place in the La Liga standings.
The win was possible thanks to a collective effort, but some individuals stood out for their brilliance on the night. SPORT journalist Joan Batlle spoke after the game about the tactical adjustments made by Xavi and their impact on the result.
He specifically names the combination of Adama Traore and Dani Alves as the foundation for Atletico Madrid’s demolition.
“Xavi knocked out Simeone yesterday. He suprised the Atletico manager with Gavi in that position and the numerical superiority in midfield. But in the Alves – Adama duo, that’s where Xavi found the key to the victory.”
Indeed, the combination on the right-wing was a decisive factor in the game. Though the Blaugranas predominantly built up on the left side, they exploited the right-wing for counters, with Adama staying wide, and Alves sitting in as an inverted fullback.
The Brazilian was sent off in the second half after a dangerous challenge on Yannick carrasco but made his mark well before the red card. He scored a wonderful goal and provided the assist for Jordi Alba’s equaliser.
Adama, meanwhile, was given a debut on the right-wing and deservedly received a standing ovation from the Camp Nou when being substituted. The Spaniard terrorised Mario Hermoso with his pace, dribbling, and physicality. He finished the game with an assist and a key-pass, in addition to two successful dribbles and four duels won.