In the Cathedral of football, Barcelona respects its football. The azulgrana team has a special magnetism with the home of the English national team because the Dream Team of Johan Cruyff broke the spell with the Orejona in 1992 and, 19 years later, in 2011, the Pep Guardiola team played a duel for the newspaper library to lift its fourth Champions League against Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United. And in one of the most delicate moments of Ernesto Valverde on the bench of Barça, Wembley appeared on the road. It also went well.
At the beginning of the course, the Txingurri had no better recipe than looking at the past. The trainer forgot his 4-4-2 more speculator, to risk from the most recognizable system for the azulgrana school. In the ideological duel, Messi prevailed over Valverde; but, above all and at Wembley, Coutinho won. Of course, as an extreme. In the same position in which his friend Neymar shone before leaving for Paris and forcing Valverde to seek new equilibria.
There was not the lawn for watermarks, crushed after the September 22 was held at the London stadium the match between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin for the world title heavyweight boxing. It was about to sound the first chords of the Champions, when still about fifty workers worked to leave the best possible mat before the boys of Valverde and Pochettino jump to the field. But even that did not scare a hungry Barca, ready to steal the ball in the middle of the field to a Tottenham headdress, prisoner of injuries (Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Dembélé, Vertoghen and Aurier). "But it was a very difficult field against a great team. And we have achieved the victory that was the goal, "said Coutinho at the end of the match.
Arthur appeared in the eleven, unequivocal signal that Valverde did not want so much muscle but game to break the English box. The Brazilian started as a right inside and then throw the castling with Rakitic and settle in the position of Xavi, his mirror in Barca ideology. Then, with Rakitic and Arthur to take over half of the field, Coutinho regained his freedom.
Marked by the curriculum
Called to be Iniesta's successor, Coutinho does not get the hang of the inside position. Your resume does not help. In Liverpool, Jürgen Klopp understood him as an extreme, also Tite in the Brazilian national team. A technician placed him by the left wing, the other by the right, without problems for Coutinho, as indecipherable in the hand to hand as to aim at goal. "Philippe has a very vertical way of playing, very much to gamble, to make one against one. It has a pass, shot and moves well between the lines, so it can play both extreme and interior, but it is true that it can condition us a bit to maintain balance, "Valverde resolved after the match, without positioning on a place or another for the Brazilian, aware that he will use it in both positions to give balance to the game or, also, to the minutes and charges of the players.
And if anything Barca needed in Wembley was to regain their balance, of course also their game. Like Neymar, Coutinho cornered on the left side against Tottenham. He did not forget, in any case, the rear-view mirror. He tied Trippier in defense to fly in attack. It marked the fastest goal of Barcelona in the Champions League at home – "it has helped us to open the game and it was important because we came from three games without winning and our goal was to be involved from the first minute", agreed Coutinho- and after rescued a leather that was lost by the bottom line so that Rakitic scored Barça's 600th goal in the Champions League in his 300 match.
Day of ephemeris for the azulgrana box, never a better place to celebrate than Wembley. Barcelona is vindicated against Tottenham, the night in which Coutinho remembered Neymar more than Iniesta and Messi remembered, once again, that it was Messi.