Three giant points and a strong performance
Barcelona has reached the 50-point mark and is in third place in the league La Liga After its difficult victory over Deportivo Alaves with a score of 3-1 Mendizorroza Saturday evening. A very competitive match that saw Barcelona play well for an hour, they were very effective in converting their chances and maintaining their lead despite being reduced to 10 men after another refereeing debacle saw them suffer much more than they needed to in the end, but the Catalans got the job done and exited the Basque Country. With three huge points and their second consecutive victory in the league.
The first half
The first 45 minutes were lovely, with both teams having a good plan and often denying each other, with Barcelona naturally having more of the ball but struggling to find consistent passing sequences and spaces in the attacking half against Alaves' man-marking scheme.
The home team pressed high and did not allow Barcelona any joy on the ball once they crossed the midfield, and they knew exactly what to do in possession as well: Alaves used quick passes across the lines to find space on the flanks. They sent many crosses into the penalty area, and there were a fair number of balls in the air for Barcelona's defence.
Midway through the first half, the first goal came after a series of excellent passes down the left wing by the Catalans which finally created some space in the final third for Ilkay Gundogan to move, receive the ball and play a wonderful pass to Robert Lewandowski, who showed great composure to get past the goalkeeper and put the visitors ahead to finish. Great team move.
Alaves responded well to falling behind and regained some possession, and they should have scored an equalizer on the stroke of half-time when a cross from Luis Rioja found a lone John Joridi inside the six-yard box, but the midfielder's header went wide. Right at Iñaki Peña which made an important stop for Blaugrana.
The half-time whistle brought an end to a competitive first period, and while Barcelona took the lead, it was clear that the game was far from over, and Alaves looked set to launch an early attack to get back into the game in the second half.
the other half
The first five minutes of the final period were difficult: Barcelona doubled their lead after a long ball from the back that started a counterattack that ended with a wonderful pass from Pedri and a wonderful shot from Gundogan. Before Barcelona could finish celebrating, Alex Sola made a wonderful one-on-one pass down the right wing and crossed for Samu Omorodion alone inside the box for an easy header to put Alaves back in the game.
All of this happened before we reached the 50th minute, and the match remained wide open with momentum from Alaves. The home team looked confident and continued to attack in the next 10 minutes, but Barcelona did a solid job and did not allow a real chance and slowly but surely regained a bit of control.
Half an hour before the end of the match, the Catalans restored their lead with two goals: Lamine Yamal launched a wonderful individual shot down the right wing and passed to Frenkie de Jong, who quickly passed the ball to Hector Forte and the young striker. The full-back found Vitor Roque, who needed just three minutes on the pitch to score as a substitute for the second game in a row with a wonderfully instinctive first-time touch.
Then the young Roque was the victim of two horrific refereeing decisions that changed the course of the match: in the space of just five minutes, the Brazilian was shown two very weak yellow cards, the second for barely touching an Alaves defender in a match that should have been counted. It led to a foul for Barcelona 30 seconds ago, and Blaugrana They were suddenly down to 10 men 15 minutes before the end of the match.
Alaves, who seemed far from answers and almost accepted defeat at that stage, were suddenly given a push by the referees and returned to the attack after making some bold substitutions and playing without losing anything and an extra man on the pitch. He slanders.
10-man Barcelona had no choice but to sit back and park the bus to protect their lead as they looked for another golden opportunity to kill the game on the counter-attack. Xavi Hernandez made some defensive substitutions to strengthen the backline, and the final minutes were played almost entirely in the match. BlaugranaThe first half as Alaves chased down a late miracle.
The visitors did a great job of defending their advantage in the final seconds, and Alaves were unable to score a second goal to spark their comeback attempt. The final whistle came to end a match that was difficult as advertised, but it ended with a deserved victory for the Barcelona team that knew when to play good football and when to fight.
The referees continue to do their best to make Barcelona's life as miserable as possible this season, but the good guys still find a way to win this season. Vitor Roque made another huge impact despite an undeserved red card, and Xavi's men showed remarkable resilience despite facing adversity from a good Alaves side as well as those who are supposed to be neutral sides on the pitch. It's us against the world actually. Well done boys!
Alaves:Severa; Tenaglia (Hagi 77), Marin, Duarte, Lopez; Blanco (Benavidez 77), Guevara; Sola, Joridi (Rebach 64), Rioja (Simeone 64); Samo (Panicelli 87')
Goal: Samo (51')
Barcelona: pinya; Conde, Araujo, Cobarci (Iñigo 83), Cancelo (Fort 46); Christensen (Romeo 83), De Jong; Yamal, Gundogan (Rocky 59), Pedri (Fermin 75); Lewandowski
Objectives: Lewandowski (22), Gundogan (49), Roque (63).
Red card: Rocky (72')
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