In-depth analysis of Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Las Palmas

The latest from Barcelona 1-0 victory over Las Palmas implied a performance deserving a more flattering score. Xavi’s men dominated most of the match, but a fascinating tactical battle left the result uncertain until the final whistle.

The visitors were down to ten men midway through the first half and were forced to play at a disadvantage for the rest of the match. However, they didn’t make it easy for the Catalans as only a solitary strike from Raphinha helped them secure three points.

After a comprehensive analysis of Barcelona that evening, the strengths, weaknesses and notable players involved, Barça Universal brings you a more in-depth analysis of the team’s performance and the tactical battle that took place this evening- there.

Xavi’s line-out that evening spoke volumes about his intentions to maintain the team’s momentum and push for three points as he opted to deploy his strongest available eleven.

Marc Andre Ter Stegen started in goal with Inigo Martinez and Pau Cubarsi lining up defensively in the absence of Ronald Araujo. Jules Kounde and Joao Cancelo retained their full-back roles.

In the absence of Andreas Christensen, Ilkay Gundogan partnered Sergi Roberto and Fermin Lopez in midfield while Lamine Yamal and Raphinha flanked Robert Lewandowski in attack.

Xavi’s XI against Las Palmas

The match played out according to the expected scenario from the start, with both teams looking to build from the back. The joint approach led both sides to lobby loudly and individually.

Until Alvaro Valles of Las Palmas was sent off in the 25th minute, Barcelona had already recovered seven balls in the opponent’s half. Additionally, the move that caused Valles to be sent off also came from a recovery on the edge of midfield.

Las Palmas, however, was not left out as it recorded five recoveries over the same duration. The first third of the match was therefore dominated by the two teams imposing high pressure. The visitors’ plan changed from there, however.

The Barcelona High
Las Palmas responds with the same pressure

Cubarsi stands out once again

An additional factor to note at this point is the vital role played by Pau Cubarsi in Barcelona’s construction, especially in the aforementioned high-pressure period.

During the pressure cooker situation, it was the teenage sensation’s magic that helped him find the best pass despite the opposition’s best efforts to cut the ball away. His first-half passing chart shows a range that many defenders can’t muster even after five games.

cubethe passage card of the first half

In addition to his impeccable passing on the pitch, Cubarsi was also instrumental in passing the game to the opposite flank. His four attempted long balls all reached their destination, and in fact, two created big chances.

Cubarsi easily changes games

All of his contributions only prove his technical prowess, comfort on the ball and power, all of which contribute to his ability to dictate the game.

Returning to the subject of Las Palmas’ change in strategy after the red card, Cubarsi’s importance appears once again.

After all, he linked up directly with the attack on countless occasions to create a threat and played balls up to midfield, bypassing Las Palmas’ midfield unit with heavy balls and perfectly weighted.

A look at Barcelona’s overall passing map of the night only highlights its importance on distribution and progression.

Barcelona’s passing network against Las Palmas

Overall, Cubarsi’s quality and Barcelona’s overall harmony caused a tangible improvement in the team’s possession dominance. In fact, the Catalans made 29 sequences of more than ten passes during the 90 minutes.

The Fermín – Raphinha factor

Barcelona’s greater incisiveness in attack can also be particularly linked to two presences on the pitch – Fermin Lopez and Raphinha. After all, the improvement may be limited to the change in the upper part of the pitch where the duo offers more verticality than horizontal passes.

To begin with, Raphinha and Lopez were tireless in their pressure and made six high recoveries in the final third of the evening.

Additionally, they constantly hide in spaces behind the defense, drawing out defenders and creating spaces for midfielders to exploit. In fact, even Barcelona’s goal was born the same way.

When Pedri and Frenkie de Jong return, Barcelona will therefore have to look to keep at least one of the two on the pitch. They may not be as flashy as their teammates, but offer qualities that others can’t find on the field.

Felix’s impact

The impact of Joao Felix’s introduction is also worth discussing as part of in-depth analysis. THE Blaugrana controlled the game and had a good offensive flow from the start, but it was only after the arrival of Felix that they were able to break the deadlock.

Felix’s magical assistance

The Portuguese star’s ball over the Brazilian was simply brilliant.

Moreover, he also created a sensational opportunity for Ferran Torres with his magic. He should have scored the team’s second goal and lacked finesse in front of goal, which is not typical of a player of his quality.

Although his irregularity does not position him well to be a fundamental player or a starter, he is very powerful as an impact player off the bench with serious qualities.

Sergi Roberto’s improving form

The final note concerns Sergi Roberto who is currently in one of his peaks in terms of form. He started as an inside, then played as a defensive midfielder, and surprisingly shone in both.

After all, he understands Barca’s game perfectly and knows what is expected from each position. In 81 minutes, he made the second most interventions, 64 out of 70 pass attempts and five recoveries.

Things to improve

Despite their relatively dominant performance in attack, Barcelona had some deficiencies that they needed to look to improve on in the final third. Firstly, to further open the field and secondly, to perform 2 side-by-side tilts before searching for space.

After all, they should have benefited more from Las Palmas’ decision to switch to 4-4-1 after the sending off.

Editor: Adithya EshwarlaVisuals: KlipDraw, Effmatch, Gusfop

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