Barça are finally playing as Xavi always wanted
Flying away in LaLiga, leading the table with the most goals scored and the fewest conceded, eight points above Madrid, Barça are not just conquering, they are making people fall in love. Xavi announced upon his arrival that winning was not enough, that something more had to be offered: against Sevilla, that was most certainly the case.
- More detail: How Barcelona beat Sevilla in LaLiga
This time it was clear, and not just for a short while: forward pressing, fluent possession, precise combinations, a firm defence and beautiful goals. All this with the injury to Sergio Busquets, the player who everyone sees as a reference, and without any goals from Lewandowski, the saviour on many occasions.
Barcelona’s tactical switch
Football cannot be explained on paper, but Xavi has succeeded in changing the 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 that allows him to better manage the game in the spaces where the magic happens. He has done this without losing the depth on the left wing; whether it is Balde or Alba, the left side continues to be a huge source of threat for the team.
And if not, Gavi, that player who can seemingly multiply. In fact, two of the goals against Sevilla were scored by the non-existent left winger, in one case Jordi Alba and in the other Gavi. With an asymmetric drawing, Barça have more depth on that side, be it to score or cross with speed, genius and the added value of surprise.
Xavi is using almost his entire squad
But football is about the footballers and it seems that in this version of Barça, most of the squad are at their peak of form, or close to it. Such an issue should be the main concern of a coach and Xavi seems to have achieved that, making them fit in with each other and convincing them of a common project.
A few have been left behind (Eric Garcia and Ferran, for example), while Ansu Fati is still coming back to form. But there is a large group, well over eleven players, who are able to start games. Who imagined Kessié playing an Iniesta pass? Everything points to Xavi being at the end of his search: it looks like he has now found the answers.
LaLiga Santander 2022/2023
*Data updated to date February 7th, 2023
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