The phenomenon of Barça is called today Jordi Alba. Even Messi plays synchronized with the side of L'Hospitalet. The southpaw runs the band like an end and puts the center with pause like the best of the means for the arrival of the forwards and especially of the 10. The football of Barcelona is expressed right now in Alba. The rivals find no antidote for a football player curiously as predictable and bland as Barcelona itself. An excellent team player turned into the hero of a disfigured Barça.
Arthur Melo leaves
Sale Pione Sisto
Sale Fran Beltrán
The azulgrana are predictable in the alignment, in the game, in the definition and even in the changes, a sign that the matches go by the parameters that Valverde foresees and interests. And the results ensure that the path chosen is the best one because Barça is the undisputed leader of LaLiga. It also plays with the responsibility that is supposed to the commander of the tournament: serious, selective, effective and results, always trusting Messi and Alba.
He was not intimidated even by Celta, a team that he likes, and yet he was a bad enemy in the Camp Nou lately. The results invited to prepare the game in a special way, from the strategy and if you want from the surprise factor, or against persevere in such consolidated formulas that work even before the squad that now trains Miguel Cardoso. None is as effective as the society Messi-Jordi Alba.
The yours mine of the forward and the lateral one in the left side was unstoppable for the defense of the Celtic. Messi opened for Alba, the defender waited for the striker to reach the area and his left-footed shot could only be repelled by Rubén. The ball was released at the mercy of Dembélé and 1-0. He did not forgive the Frenchman, who already counts 10 goals, decisive in the open field, at ease with the candid bet of the Vigo team.
The Celta not only disputed the possession, but it happened to play often in opposite field, insistent with the high pressure, demanding with the rear led by Piqué. It happens that the azulgrana have already become accustomed to deploying against, against the transitions, Dembélé's career, Alba's ascents and Messi's speed. The question is not to get impatient or not to make mistakes as happened to Celta.
Valverde bets for a versatile formation in which Dembélé and Arturo Vidal seem to make more sense than Coutinho and Arthur. The only novelty is in the position of the two interiors: against Celta played Rakitic on the left while on the right was placed Vidal. Both are in any case physical and aggressive flyers more than midfielders touch and control of the Barça school.
The contest is then at the expense of the ability of each team to finish the plays, an issue that for a long time did not dominate either Barcelona or Celta, until they reconnected Jordi Alba and Messi. The change of direction of Busquets was as clairvoyant as the pass to the space of the lateral for the Argentinean, extraordinary in his appearance, determinant in the acceleration, infallible before Rubén.
The injury of Aspas
Messi's irruptions are as extraordinary as his naps when nothing happens at the Camp Nou. There is no more awake player or at the same time sleep well as the 10. The Rosario was only activated when he knew that his auction would be 2-0. The Celta defended very badly a play very seen in the Barça when the meeting still was open and the soccer was little, without occasions or plays, very little distraction for the festive Camp Nou.
Faced with so much outrage and vertical football, Cardoso tried to put some order on his team with the entry of Lobotka. They did not activate Iago Aspas nor Maxi and instead had already scored Dembélé and Messi, a sign that the Barca hierarchy was expressed in the score: 2-0. The injury of Aspas, a hammer for Barça, seemed to certify the surrender of Celta. The fans applauded the Galician as if he were a Barcelona player.
The wheel of the changes turned against Celta as in any league match. Dembélé and Arturo Vidal give their positions to Brazilians Coutinho and Arthur to help govern the game, to kill the day, to pass the time, provided there are no distractions in the area of Ter Stegen. The goalkeeper was especially fine when the stunned Celta moved a little closer.
The boys of Cardoso lacked character and stuck, too reverential Barcelona very quiet and reservón, comfortable with the score and with the classification of the League. Even Messi was activated on the last play with a free kick that escaped over Rubén Blanco's crossbar.
They did not need the azulgrana of a third goal in an inanimate and rough match, carried out by the intensity of Alba and the accelerations of Messi. Nobody complained in the stadium but the fans were satisfied with the fourth consecutive win of Barça. From a stable lineup, the Barça players have acquired a cruising speed that has allowed them to mark relative distances with Atlético, Sevilla and Madrid. Waiting for the excitement of the Champions to resume, for Barça purposes it was a matter of firing the year with a victory against Celta. They play the azulgrana still with fear, without joy, after taking many goals and confidence is only recovered from results like those also achieved against Levante or Espanyol. The azulgrana look is so short and pragmatic today that it is not good to talk about the future and less about La Masia but about the leadership of LaLiga.