Xavi found the 'key' in midfield, releasing Pedri and Gundogan
Christensen's presence also freed de Jong
Barcelona's victory over Alaves (1-3) left Barcelona with very good attacking feelings. Aside from the usual mistakes in defense and receiving the goal, Xavi Hernandez left Mendizorroza satisfied after experimenting with Andreas Christensen as a defensive pivot. The Dane's presence not only gave the team a safer exit, but also freed up the midfield trident.
Both Frenkie de Jong, and mainly, Ilkay Gundogan and Pedri had more freedom to settle on the opposite field and create danger in the opponent's area. The Canary Islander sat on the left in the absence of Ferran Torres and Joao Felix, while the Germany international returned to the position in which he performed best last season for Manchester City, as a playmaker and free to move around the front of the area. .
In the first half, the Pole opened the scoring, capitalizing on a perfect pass from Jondo in Barcelona's first dangerous action. In the supplementary match, the player from Gelsenkirchen took advantage of a broken pass from Pedri and converted it with a direct shot, completing an impressive performance, and in addition, he had plenty of distance to help the recovery. Frenkie did the same, and was very active as a hybrid midfielder, improving the ball movement for Barcelona, who managed a wonderfully long possession thanks to Vitor Roque's goal.
Xavi may have found the 'key' to the rest of the season
Although it was an adjustment forced by the losses, having a defensive pivot once again could be the solution for Barcelona, who could, based on punch and good play, restore order despite defensive fragility. With Christensen in the fifth position, the team can regain its lost balanceThis is something that neither Oriol Romeu nor Sergi Roberto has been able to achieve so far.
Xavi himself understood the importance of the Dane's victory in Vitoria. “We played very well with the ball. Andreas has the ability to play inside. He was comfortable. He was aggressive. He didn't lose the ball. He was attentive to his marking. We were good in transitions.”. He gave us discipline. “He is very competitive, always alert, he is a defender but thanks to his technical ability he can play on the field.”
In this sense, Kohli's coach expressed his appreciation for the possibility of filling the midfield again, a quality that the team has been missing since Javi's injury. “Christensen is always focused. It's a choice. It's been a long time since we've tested it in indoor workouts. He is smooth with the ball and is a good defender.. “It's a success and he found himself comfortable.”