Barcelona hosted Real Valladolid last weekend at Camp Nou. Barcelona was coming back from an excellent win over a tough Sociedad side. Meanwhile, Valladolid had a tricky start to their Laliga campaign.
Barcelona had a disappointing performance against Rayo at home. This game was predicted to be tough for the Catalans since Valladolid is unknown to sit back deep and defend all the game. With Rayo doing the same and managing to salvage a point in the opening game at Camp Nou.
But the game totally turned out to be different. Barcelona dominated from the get-go. Barca was intense and crispy in their passing and gameplay. Barcelona dominated the game leaving Valladolid under constant threat in their own half.
Catalans managed a dominating 4-0 victory against Real Valladolid at Camp Nou. With this win, Barcelona has gained much-needed momentum in Laliga. Let’s see some important takeaways from Barcelona over Real Valladolid.
Important Takeaways from Barcelona’s win against Valladolid
Jules Kounde makes his Barcelona debut
Kounde was signed by Barcelona from Sevilla for a hefty transfer fee. Kunde’s initial days in Barcelona were a bit frustrating. He was signed 2 weeks ago but had to wait for almost 14 days to make his official Barcelona debut. Barcelona owing to their financial situation was not able to register Kounde with Laliga officially as their player. But finally, before the Valladolid game, Barcelona were officially able to register him.
After registration, Xavi wasted no time and Kounde was named in Barcelona’s starting Xi in their game against Valladolid. With Xavi not trusting Sergino Dest and Roberto not being considered for the starting Xi. We saw Jules Kounde playing as right back for Barcelona in his debut game.
Kounde though has played in this position for the French National team at times but playing as Rb all the time might be tricky for him. But against Valladolid Kounde bossed that Right back position.
Kounde was superb on the ball as well as off the ball. With the ball his distribution was outstanding. Kounde maintained width all the time in the game which allowed Valladolid’s defence under pressure. Off the ball Kounde was excellent whenever he was needed to track back he was on point. Kounde’s goal-line clearance sums up his impact on the game.
Barcelona was left high and dry last year when they had very limited options on the Flanks. Last year the only good winger Barcelona had was Dembele whom himself had just recovered from a long-lasting injury. But now one year down the line just look at the options Xavi has for his flanks. Ansu Fati , Ferran Torres, Dembele and Rafinha.
The Duo of Raphinha and Dembele is very dangerous for opponents. Dembele has the ability to run at you straight with his raw pace while Raphinha looks like the perfect player to whip in balls from either flank for centre forward to just tap in the ball to score. In this duo, Raphinha works as an inverted winger who likes to drift inside while Dembele is a genuine winger who likes to hold his width and take on opposition defence head-on.
Not to forget Xavi also has options for Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres. The 19-year-old La Massia product can be a game changer from the bench we have seen against Real Sociedad. Meanwhile, Ferran can be equally dangerous and deadly.
Ter Stegen 2.0
Ter Stegen since the arrival to Barcelona has been their wall at the back. The German shot-stopper has been phenomenal since his arrival at Camp Nou. He has played an instrumental part in Barca’s success over the years.
But in the past few seasons, Ter Stegen had lost his old charm and was looking helpless. He scored many goals throughout the campaign. He was struggling mentally from scars of humiliating defeats back to back. Physically he was struggling with a long-standing knee problem. Ter Stegen decided to get himself operated on for that physical problem. From that time he was ridiculed by fans and his place in the squad was under threat. The question raised whether Barcelona needs a new no.1 keeper.
But with Xavi’s arrival as the coach, things started to change. Ter Stegen slowly started to show like he was returning to his older self. Since the start of this season, Ter Stegen has been outstanding. He has kept a clean sheet in 2 out of 3 games so far. Ter Stegen managed to spring out some outstanding saves. His game with the ball at his feet is back to normal. His vision and accuracy while playing the ball has returned.
It looks like Ter Stegen has rejuvenated himself and it looks like Ter Stegen 2.0 is brilliant and Barcelona will benefit from their stop-stopper returning to his old form.
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