Spanish left-back Jordi Alba rose into prominence during his spell at Valencia to earn a dream move to FC Barcelona.
The only player outside Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Spanish national team, made his move to the Catalonian giants to make them a stronger outfit.
Significant outlay was spend on the player who was expected to take over from Eric Abidal.
Alba's attacking instincts and contributions in the final third helped him to rise into prominence. In some games he effectively played as a winger to increase Barcelona's attacking threat.
The attack-minded left-back was a treat to watch while going forward. He notched up two goals and five assists in his 29 appearances in La Liga. While his total stats reads five goals in 44 matches across competitions.
His short passing game and lay-offs went down well with Barca's tiki-taka passing, but the new coach Tito Villanova wasn't tactically astute as his predecessor Pep Guardiola.
In an attempt to strengthen the attacks he used Alba in a more attacking capacity.
Alba, even though a good contributor on the other side of the pitch, forgot his basic responsibilities in defence.
His attacking forays left plenty of space behind the defence and the others had to cover his position leaving gaps elsewhere on the pitch.
Barcelona right-back Dani Alves used to play a similar role in the previous seasons.
He covered the entire right flank and was a major contributor in their attacks. When he ventured forward Sergio Busquets acted as a sweeper to thwart the threats.
Opponents attempts to attack through the vacant space were nullified by the midfielder dropping deep and Pique covering more ground.
It became possible because the other wing back was primarily playing in a defensive capacity.
Eric Abidal fulfilled his defensive duties very well, the same can be said about his back ups as well.
With the arrival of Alba in place of Abidal/Adriano Barcelona lost their balance and shape. Things got difficult with two attack minded wing backs.
Barcelona often caught themselves in trouble as the remaining players in defensive duties found it difficult to sweep the danger on time. With spaces opening up here and there due to their lack of defensive shape.
Bayern Munich and Real Madrid did their homework really well. They exploited the vacant spaces really well to put Barca in deep trouble.
If you analyse the primary reason behind Barca's downfall, then it was the presence of Alba in defence or his use by Vilanova.
Did Vilanova get it wrong with Alba? Could the player have done better in defence?
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