The 34-year-old man never rests. He can’t rest. Not him yet. The father of the new Barça He leads the team from victory to victory, the hard-fought and ugly victory over Mallorca, which was about to fade two minutes from the end due to the lack of personality of a team that neither knew how to shield it with another goal nor knew how to secure it by hiding the ball skillfully when all the players on the field coincided.
Raya Lewandowski the brutal goalscoring records of Messi. He has restored the decision-making capacity of the former Barça star, guiding a team that needs leadership and goals. There was no lack of experience on the pitch, with five thirtysomethings, but a goal was lacking. Lewandowski has plenty, and the frequent and generous supply of the Pole propels Barça.
Ter Stegen, decisive
It would not be fair to avoid the contribution of Ter Stegen, as the first and last representative of the defensive device: he added in Mallorca the seventh game, out of nine, with a clean sheet. Something essential for appointments like Palm, accessory in the afternoons of goleadas. By the way, Xavi added the eighteenth game as visiting coach without losing, equaling a record of Ernest Valverde (2017-18).
Ter Stegen, crucial in one action, added the seventh clean sheet in nine games.
A bad game provided a great victory for how useful it is at the beginning of such an intensive phase of the season and for the endorsement of confidence in the team by resuming the calendar just as the national teams interrupted it and in such a destructive way in Sant Joan Despí with injuries.
The location of Bucket as right back It was the vivid portrait of Barça’s punctual shortage prior to the match. He played the left-footed footballer on the opposite wing to his good leg, and what he supposes to be a virtue at one end to line up the opposite goal seems not to be so in a defender despite the fact that he protects his own goal better. It is not usual and the fluidity that a right-hander would have provided was missing. He relieved him for a while in the second half Sunrise to relieve you of stress.
Ansu against Maffeo
There were bigger problems than the lack of depth provided by Balde, who could not and should not advance to avoid the already high density in the third third of the field. The responsibility rested with Dembele, obedient in his position wide open on the band, but too stopped to face and overwhelm the side. Above, she looked at Coast when he sneaked into the area, alone, and finished off the body of Ter Stegen in an apathy that endangered the victory.
was more active Ansu Fati attacking Maffeo and trying to generate spaces that did not exist. As a result of his insistence, Lewandowski’s goal was born, which looked decisive since he overtook Barça and already verified the degree of ambition of Mallorca, which trusted everything to set pieces. The first corner was celebrated with joy in the stands, just like the second, wonderfully executed and poorly finished.
Xavi, who devised a line-up with Milan in mind, has gone 18 undefeated starts.
Gil Manzano gets out of control
The excess of left-backs mitigated the drama on the right. Bucket covered the gap and Jordi Alba regained ownership in what was his farm, more threatened than ever with two assailants at once. Xavi’s choice suggests that Marcos Alonso will have the privilege of playing in Milan. The same deduction provided the owner of Kessie to the detriment of Pedri, that of Pique instead of Eric and that of Ansu Fati, regarding Raphinha for Tuesday’s duel, crucial for the European future.
Fati played as a left winger to add a goal to the one provided by Lewandowski, whose high productive level makes him irreplaceable. The couple saved a bad game, which got complicated when Barça’s sufficiency gave life to Mallorca. Above, to Gil Manzano he gave him the usual outburst after making a mistake and went out of control dealing cards.
Despite the advantage, the game demanded that Xavi make decisions, more than anything to avoid more scares. Being so ultra defensive, Mallorca had shot as much as Barça. It was obvious that something was wrong. Data that implied that Barça had not changed so much compared to January, with that patchwork teamof which only Ter Stegen, decisive once again, and Piqué, recovered for the occasion, continued.
But Barça has changed, although it didn’t seem like it this Saturday. He exhibits greater authority on the field and conviction in what he does, executing studied and intentional movements. there was hardly vertical passes last night before the very high risk of being intercepted and the game mechanism went through the connections on the outside. If there was no possibility of progression, go back and start on the other side. Everything was so repeated that there was a lot of game time left over.
Majorca: Rajkovic (6); Maffeo (7), Valjent (5), Raíllo (5), Copete (5), Costa (7); Sánchez (7), Galarreta (7), Baba (5), Muriqi (6), Kang-In (6).
Coach: Javier Aguirre (5).
Changes: Rodríguez (6) for Sánchez (m. 67); Cufré (sc) by Costa (d. 77); Lake (sc) by Galarreta (m. 85).
Barcelona: Ter Stegen (8); Bucket (6), Pique (7), Christensen (7), Alba (6); Kessie (5), Busquets (6), Gavi (7); Dembele (4), Lewandowski (8), Ansu Fati (7).
Coach: Xavi Hernandez (6).
Changes: Pedri (6) for Kessié (m. 67); Raphinha (5) by Fati (d. 67); Ferran (sc) by Dembélé (d. 79); Sergi Roberto (sc) for Alba (d. 79).
Goals: 0-1 (m. 20), Lewandowski controls a ball in the area, makes a cut and shoots across.
Referee: Gil Manzano (4), Extremadura.
Cards: Christensen (m. 39), Piqué (m. 40), Costa (m. 42), Kessié (m. 45), Busquets (m. 74), Valjent (m. 83).
Stadium: Visit Majorca.