Football

What we learned after Barcelona’s opening day victory

Published 2 Comments

Football News
24/7

Luis Suarez scored the only goal of the game as Barcelona avenged their Super Cup defeat to Athletic Bilbao. The former Liverpool man scored a fine volleyed goal after the break to grab the three points for Luis Enrique’s side.

Despite Lionel Messi missing a penalty in the first half, it still did not stop Barca securing the victory in their attempt to defend their title.

With Neymar still missing through illness, there was a notable absence on the left-wing, as well as injuries during the game to Sergio Busquets and Dani Alves, this could be a challenging time for Catalan club.

BECOME A WRITER

Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay3

Article continues below

Barcelona are missing Pedro

Neymar missed the game with tonsillitis and could return in a few weeks’ time, if this would have happened last season there would have been a simple solution – Pedro.

The Spaniard secured his move to Chelsea last week and scored on his debut against West Bromwich Albion.

Pedro was the ultimate replacement if one of Barcelona’s front three was missing. The winger clearly enjoyed being an integral part of a team under Mourinho, rather than being a glorified super-sub at Barca. 

Rafinha started yesterday on the left-hand-side and did simply not impress. Pedro would have been more pacey and direct, but it was evident that Barcelona struggled to break down the stubborn Bilbao defence.

Barcelona lack squad depth

With Dani Alves injured early in the first half, Sergi Roberto, a traditional central midfielder, was tasked with playing at right-back for the remainder of the game.

Roberto got forward a number of times, displaying real speed and tactical awareness, but also defended well when called upon.

Barcelona are light on right-backs until Aleix Vidal can officially join the team once the transfer ban is lifted in January.

Perhaps the biggest miss for Barcelona could be the absence of Sergio Busquets. Luis Enrique lacks any other defensive minded midfielders, although he can use Javier Mascherano in that role if needed. 

Gerard Pique and Jeremy Mathieu will return from suspension next week, which could facilitate Mascherano to move to the midfield.

With players such as Pedro and Alex Song missing from the squad, as well as Vidal and Arda Turan not able to be registered until the New Year, Barca could struggle if a number of key players become injured.

Messi looks fatigued

It goes without saying that Messi rarely has a poor game, but he clearly looked a little jaded or even slightly unfit.

There were still a few mazy runs and the odd bit of skill, but really failed to exert his influence against Bilbao.

The biggest criticism you can say was his somewhat poor penalty, well by his incredibly high standard.

Perhaps the Argentinian superstar will need a few competitive games to up his fitness levels and to get that match sharpness back that on his day makes him the best player in the world, but after another long pre-season travelling all over the world, Messi could be paying the cost of such a busy schedule.

With Neymar missing with illness and a half-fit Messi, there could be a bit more pressure on Luis Suarez to make up for his missing team-mates.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
Football
La Liga
Lionel Messi
Barcelona
Luis Suarez

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again