He came out as a substitute but entered the field as any coach wants, with the hunger to show that he wants a place in the team and why not in the eleven , also with the desire to help the team. It is Ilaix Moriba, 18 years old, who has reached the first team of Barcelona and does not want to look back. “Whenever he enters, he gives something extra to the game because of his personality. He is strong and is gaining ground with the team to stay with us more ”, said Ronald Koeman, happy because his last bet with a youth squad also works for him. Although in this case, Moriba gave something more because he made his debut as a scorer in the elite, the fifth youngest with the Barça shirt after Pedri, Messi, Bojan and Ansu Fati, the most precocious. “I always dreamed of scoring. I started playing soccer because I liked the goal. If he hadn't been a goalkeeper ”, Ilaix resolved, daring on and off the field but an admirer like few of the players who not so long ago had on posters and now in the dressing room.
Precisely, Fati also celebrated his first goal with the Barça jacket in the same goal. “Ansu is like my brother. We have been together for many years, it is like family ”, explained Ilaix, since they always played together since they were little. Ilaix's goal was not easy. "A great goal that served to sentence the game," described Koeman . Ilaix went deeper: “Leo gave me a pass, I cut inwards, I don't know how, and I kicked with my left and he entered. I will never forget this goal, I will take it to my grave ”. The companions went to bless him with hugs and some affectionate slap because of his age. “In training there is competitiveness and there is neither young nor non-young”, defended Ilaix; “But veterans advise us and we must listen to them. Messi , for example, told me: 'Shoot into the area'. And it is what I have done ”. Mingueza had it clear: “I am very happy for him because he is contributing a lot. I am going to congratulate him well ”. Koeman added: "It's that Ilaix, Pedri, Mingueza ask for passage and I always give it if they deserve it."
The other one who also had a smile on his face was Jordi Alba , who has been looking back with a carefree air for a few days . The space behind him, shielded by the closest center-back of the three that Koeman has installed in his new tactical proposal, 3-5-2, no longer takes his sleep away. Jauja for the wingers, who become lanes and also a headache for any defense because Barça arrives with one more to the rival area. Against Osasuna , Alba returned to make the bet good by signing another target
Alba, five goals and 11 assists
It is the highest scoring version of Alba, who with Koeman has found the perfect ecosystem for his football, also the highway to the goal. It turns out that the interior (Pedri) or a tip approaches the side and absorbs rivals to remove a mark or the help of turn before the rise of Alba. So the lane, fast in the start and empathized with Messi, enjoys a few tenths of a second of advantage. As it happened in the Sadar. Pass from 10 to the race and shot by Alba when he stepped on the small area. Fifth goal to match his best mark with the Barça team, then in the 2012-2013 season. The difference is that in that course he gave five assists and in this one he already has 11 [his second best mark; far from the 17 that he gave away in 2018-2019] .
It so happened that Alba heeded Alfred Schreuder's advice before the meeting. “If you have the first one, you have to put it in. We have to continue with the same concentration as in the last games ", asked Koeman's assistant. And although before Messi tried a shot and Griezmann tried a header, the clear chance was that of Alba and it was the one that entered. Barça celebration in a dull and too stuck duel; also for Alba because he reached 247 games in LaLiga with the Barça shirt, the same ones recorded by Alves, once his crony on the opposite side.
Warned Umtiti with the yellow card, Koeman changed the system to return to 4-3-3. Alba lowered her foot from the bike, although she had a chance again, again after Messi passed. Later he was replaced by Junior, complaining of a blow to the arm. But he was satisfied because his goal and that of Ilaix were well worth the triumph of Barcelona.