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Pjanic vs De Jong duel ends in a draw

Alexandre Patanian

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Photo by ELVIS BARUKCIC/AFP via Getty Images

Yesterday’s Nations’s League matches made some teammates become rivals for the space of 90 minutes. Other than Francisco Trincao facing Antoine Griezmann, the Netherlands and Bosnia-Herzegovina faced each other with two of their stars being Barça midfielders. For the Oranje, Frenkie de Jong starred in midfield while Pjanic also started for his country.

The Nations League encounter ended in a stalemate, but the two midfielders had decent displays. Injured for his homeland’s last game, De Jong had a really positive impact, having four successful dribbles out of four and being really accurate in his passes. Similarly, Miralem Pjanic was one of the best players on his side, also being successful with every dribble he attempted.

In the end, the game ended in a 0-0 draw and the Netherlands are now second in their group while Pjanic’s side is close to relegation with no wins and two losses in three games. The group also contains Italy and Poland, which De Jong and Pjanic will have to face in their upcoming fixtures.

Stats: SofaScore

As a Lebanese teenager who never had the chance to support their local team, I fell in love with the club that was FC Barcelona at the start of the decade. I always was passionate about writing and this is exactly what I am looking for: sharing my insights and opinions on football.

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Barcelona call up midfielder Matheus Fernandes for the first time

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Photo via Imago

Barcelona confirmed the signing of Matheus Fernandes from Palmeiras for a fee of €7 million + €3 million in variables on the last day of the January transfer window on a four-year contract, with the release clause set at €300 million. The midfielder would join the Barcelona camp after the end of the 2019/20 season.

This transfer was regarded as a sketchy transfer as he was not touted as good enough for a club of the stature of Barcelona. In fact, the Brazilian was barely able to make it off the bench for Real Valladolid during his time with the club on six-month loan stretching from January to July this year.

During those six month, Matheus made only three appearances, registering a total of 166 minutes with starts against Atletico Madrid and Eibar, and a one-minute cameo against Real Betis. He also suffered a hamstring injury during this tenure, ruling him out for four games.

After his arrival to the Catalan capital, Matheus was not even presented as a Barcelona player unlike the signings of Pedri, Fransisco Trincão, Miralem Pjanic, and Sergino Dest. In fact, Matheus did not even participate in the pre-season friendlies as he was ruled out from a hamstring injury.

News surrounded his departure as early as January, without him even getting a chance to play for the club. However, against all odds, Matheus has been included in the squad that will take on Dynamo Kyiv in gameweek four of the UEFA Champions League. This, in all probability, stems from the exclusion of Sergio Busquets – who is injured, and Frenkie de Jong – who has been rested.

Ronald Koeman has named just four central midfielders for the trip to Ukraine, with Miralem Pjanic guaranteed a spot. However, with the lack of any natural defensive midfielders, Koeman might have to readjust his tactics, and field one of Riqui Puig and Carles Aleña in the centre of the pitch as part of the midfield.

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