Barcelona’s rout of Deportivo La Coruña has sent some clear messages for Luis Enrique to be delighted about. Aside from Luis Suarez flicking on his other-worldly beast mode there were some other positives to take away from this result, as an eight-nil scoreline usually suggests. This was the best game in terms of passing that Lionel Messi has had since, arguably, his return from injury in late November. His passes at times during this match looked as if they were being shot using an automated machine, such was the accuracy and pace put on them. And yet, it seemed that the Argentine wasn’t even putting in the entirety of the focus and power that he possesses into those passes, let alone adjust his body three or four times like every other player in the world does before playing the ball.
Messi has filled the passing void in this Barcelona team since Xavi’s departure, especially in games in which Andres Iniesta isn’t pulling the strings like an immaculate violinist.
Troubles brewed when Iniesta started playing a different section in the song than Lionel. Barcelona needs both of them to be on the same wavelength, like they were today, to continue their slight revival and keep the win streak going.
Marc Bartra offered the gaffer with another positive note, as the young Spanish defender filled in capably for the suspended Gerard Pique. Even though he put a foot wrong here and there, his performance, coupled with a goal taken on the run (view it above), was enough to suggest that he is a reliable option at the back even when Mathieu’s back in town.
This performance did come as a surprise result for many, as the previous suspicion that this Barca team were worn out and fatigued proved to be false. Turns out Enrique was right when he said that the physical tiredness was not an issue as he had data that said otherwise.
Barcelona players looked as physically fit as they’ve ever been, with MSN tracking back when they lost the ball, Jordi Alba running his socks off as usual, and Rakitić turning up anywhere and everywhere on the field. Some critics, however, suggested that it was more of a mental issue and that some players may not have been as much prepared mentally as it is necessary for them to focus on the game.
While this, like the other worries, was swept away during the Depor performance, there was a feeling that Neymar’s head wasn’t in the right place for much of the game after he misplaced two or three easy passes in the final third of the pitch during the first half, but regardless, when he sets up Suarez as selflessly as he did, what more can you say. To enforce his point further, he even got a late goal to put the icing on the cake and ended his 5 game goal drought in all competitions.
Displays like the one seen today will only boost morale and confidence within the squad; however, becoming overconfident can lead to further distress, and quite possibly, a league title and a cup getting snatched away from their pocket like the Champions League was. Their second result will be just as important in regards to their title defence, and though it looks like a game already won, we know better than to fall into that trap again.