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Pellegrino, a visionary

The spirit of Nan Ribera

We were saying yesterday that Alavés travelled to the Camp Nou with the spirit of the 1999-2000 season. On that occasion, Nan Ribera settled the tie as the side from Vitoria sneaked a 1-0 win. We were also ruminating about Pellegrino's philosophy and how it would ensure his side would compete with Barcelona and even dream of victory.

The Pellegrino vision

There’s no doubt that the man is a visionary and Alavés deserved all the plaudits the received. In the first half, with three centre-backs, they defended against a flat Barça side. When it seemed as though Mathieu’s goal was set to change the dynamic of the encounter, two more goals came: Edgar’s goal, rightly ruled offside, and Gomez’s, the eventual winner.

Binding the side together

Making 18 signings gel and weaving them in with the players that remain from last season, as well as ensuring the defence is tight, the midfield applies pressure and the forward line has the necessary bite, takes time. And time is precisely what Pellegrino has not had this season, which makes Saturday’s result all the more impressive and meant the Alavés coach left the Camp Nou as a hero.