In the absence of legs, weakened by the effort of the carousel of matches that he leads, Messi uses his feet to cement victories in physical matches such as El Sadar. On the 10th he put Jordi Alba in orbit and then he played for the arrival of Ilax Moriba, and the Catalans sang two goals in Pamplona. Around the captain, Koeman has brought together young people and veterans, and Barça has eight consecutive victories away from home, 16 games without losing, 31 of 33 points, more expectant than ever with the result of Atlético-Madrid . The dynamics are so positive that the triumphs fall even in difficult and demanding matches such as those of El Sadar.
Koeman will hardly give a style attack because he has always been a possible coach and, therefore, willing to give continuity to the team when the results accompany, as it happens with Barça . The coach bets on the three center-backs, a device that favors defensive solidarity and allows freeing the full-backs in attack, and insists as the key to football with the Pedri-Busquets-De Jong trio. Messi acts as a hitch while the second starting striker is usually Dembélé. Against Osasuna , however, Griezmann played, substitute in the last three games, while Umtiti replaced the injured Piqué.
OsasunaHerrera, David García, Manu Sánchez, Aridane, Nacho Vidal, Rubén García (Adrián, min. 69), Jon Moncayola, Lucas Torró (Oier, min. 83), Roberto Torres (Enric Gallego, min. 83), Barja (Jony, min. 61) and Jonathan Calleri (Ante Budimir, min. 70) BarcelonaTer Stegen, Óscar Mingueza, Clement Lenglet , Umtiti (Ousmane Dembélé, min. 45), Sergiño Dest, Alba (Júnior Firpo, min. 86), Busquets (Moriba Kourouma, min. 66), Pedri (Ricard Puig, min. 86), Frenkie De Jong, Messi and Griezmann (Braithwaite, min. 66) Goals0-1 min. 29: Alba. 0-2 min. 82: Moriba Kourouma. Referee Guillermo Cuadra Fernández Yellow cards Umtiti (min. 25) and Júnior Firpo (min. 87)
There were no more changes because the 3-5-2 Barcelona demanded victory against a very intense opponent, powerful on the sides and in the air game , capable of putting many centers and good finisher, especially intimidating in Pamplona. Arrasate had carefully studied the game plan: the locals pressed when the ball was in the Barcelona area and then they closed very close together and compact against Herrera. The aggressiveness of the Navarrese team contrasted with the lack of consistency of the Catalans, soft and without continuity, pending on Messi's movements. Osasuna used to penalize the faint-hearted and time-consuming rivals, erratic in the pass as it seemed in the case of Barça.
A quarter of an hour of play had not elapsed and Osasuna had already counted twice against Ter Stegen , splendid in a shot from Kike Barja. The Catalans, lacking in air and light, had no choice but to resort to tactical fouls to combat the strong rhythm proposed by the Arrasate boys. The Catalans finally responded to Navarre's bravery with a manual play, which is never disarticulated for the best known: Messi deepened for Jordi Alba's career and the side finished off with a closed and impossible left-foot for Herrera. He attacked the space enabled by the rival line defense and preferred to shoot hard and close to the post rather than connect with the arrival of De Jong.
Barça scored in his first shot and was always entrusted to Ter Stegen. They did not cover well the centrals nor did they know how to get the ball out to the despair of the goal, decisive again in a powerful shot from Rubén García. Koeman had a defender to spare because Osasuna only attacked with Calleri. It was not surprising, therefore, that at half time Dembélé replaced the admonished Umtiti and the Catalans were applied in long possessions from 4-3-3. Pedri intervened a lot and well, De Jong did not falter and, on the contrary, Griezmann did not appear. Despite the control of the game, the Barça players did not generate opportunities because Messi looked tired and erratic, well overpowered by Osasuna. PP Koeman preferred to remove the innocuous Griezmann. The Frenchman does not ride the optimistic wave of Barça. Right now he is a spectator in a team that is very tight for the many kilometers traveled, a moment for young people like Ilaix Moriba .
The 18-year-old midfielder approached the area for Messi to see him. The captain touched for Ilaix and he cut with his right to hook a left-handed shot that slipped halfway up Herrera's right post. The two goals had great symbolism because Alba looks like a newcomer and Ilaix acts like an expert, both joined by Messi's left foot and the hands of Ter Stegen, powerful against Osasuna's points. Barça was better in the areas after being supported by De Jong and Pedri. Once he feels sure of himself, he begins to look at the result of others and the classification of the League.