Messi scores his second goal against Elche.Joan Monfort / A
P Barça is a vagabond who lives pending a player without destiny named Messi. It is difficult for the team to play football if the 10 is not activated, previously decisive to win the Champions League and now essential to defeat opponents like Elche. They needed their captain's Barça team to win over Fran Escribá's team after derailing against Cádiz. The emotional impact of the defeat against PSG was so brutal that at times it seemed that Barcelona had left the Camp Nou. Until Messi appeared and resolved the appointment with three plays after partnering with Braithwaite, De Jong and Jordi Alba. In the absence of a collective course, supported by the team by Pedri's effort, there is no more certainty than Messi's top scorer (18): he scored two goals and participated in the third before giving way to a carousel of failures by Griezmann.
Although It is not easy to decipher the line-ups when the team is in no man's land, Koeman mixed starters with substitutes against Elche after betting on the same formation against PSG and Cádiz, two games that ended very badly at the Camp Nou . The coach needed to oxygenate the team and the Barcelona environment without forgetting that two stakes await him with Sevilla, the second decisive one in the Cup. Pedri is not questioned, neither is De Jong, and veterans like Piqué and Alba had to assume responsibility At the request of the coach, outraged by the lack of forcefulness in the areas of a team led curiously by the top scorer of the tournament: Messi.
Messi is enough to break Elche
The 10 is the one that scores the most goals, also the one that most he finishes and even the one who loses the most balls, so that his involvement in the Barça game remains on record. Messi does not touch himself but his companions vary: Griezmann and Dembélé became substitutes for the benefit of Braithwaite and Trincão. You had to attack better on the wings, more stretched with Trincão and Alba, and also defend stronger, a circumstance that left Dest and Lenglet on the bench, replaced by Mingueza and Umtiti. The changes, however, did not alter the usual landscape at the beginning of the match: Trincão finished off Edgar Badía's body in the first minute and then Lucas Boyé failed only against Ter Stegen.
Barça looks a lot. It is not what it seems: although he boasts of constantly shooting, few of his shots catch the goal, in the same way that rivals have enough to reach the area to generate a chance no matter how much talk about his effectiveness against Ter Stegen . The opponents cover themselves and wait patiently for the Catalans to make a mistake to shoot the counter and focus on Barcelona's goal. Very long, it was difficult for Koeman's team to find spaces and on the other hand, he conceded a lot of court because the centrals recoiled and the lines split: there was an ocean between Piqué and Messi. Only Trincão dribbled and then failed against Edgar Badía.
The ball burns
The game had no rhythm, there was no pressure or control and Messi was not yet unbalanced. The only one holding out was Pedri. In the absence of figures, the group did not work either, desynchronized and distrustful, without offensive resources and repetitive with the losses of the ball for the luck of Elche. The leather burned Barça . The Barça disappearance was so evident that Fran Escribá's boys began to play, dominate and govern the Camp Nou. The boredom was unbearable, the team in Trincão summed up, and Koeman had no choice but to turn to the always disconcerting Dembélé and dispense with Pjanic to deploy the team from a double pivot: Pedri-De Jong.
The solution, however , He arrived by the conventional and practically the only route: Messi . The captain took the ball, drove it a bit and leaned on Braithwaite's heel to finish it off 1-0. With Trincão and Dembélé wide open, Braithwaite offered himself as Messi's best partner. The contest was encouraged a bit because Barça began to walk more than to run, after standing for a long time, and Elche became oxygenated with the changes. In any case, no one forgot Sunday's game against Cádiz. The script could be repeated if there was not a second Barça goal. Koeman was especially uneasy and in favor of the scoreboard he recovered the figure of the midfielder with Busquets.
The meeting then definitively broke in favor of Barça with De Jong. The midfielder, expansive after the break, started from field to field and his play was finished off by Messi. The Rosario also intervened in the third, which transformed Alba. Once the game was closed, Griezmann appeared to enlarge the performance of an endeavor like Braithwaite. The failures in the Frenchman's shot contrasted with the helpful football of the Danish, generous with Messi.
The success of the 10 saved for Barcelona a football match very similar to that of Cádiz. Barça is not growing as a team and there is no choice but to look for the best teammates for Messi. Most versions of the 10 are still better to anyone Barcelona can propose.