Barcelona’s Copa Del Rey campaign kicked off with a 1-1 draw against Segunda B side Hercules. With three draws in their last four games, Barcelona has had a poor build up to their biggest game so far this season, the El Clasico.
However, it was wasn’t all about Barcelona as Los Herculanos put up an impressive performance leaving Barcelona with a lot to do in the second leg at the Camp Nou.
With the Clasico in mind, Barcelona went into the game with a second string squad led by Brazillian Rafinha. Samuel Umtiti made his return from injury while Alex Carbonell, Carles Alena and Borja Lopez were given a game. Hercules took the lead early in the second half through David Mainz, but Barcelona was quick to reply through a fantastic goal from Carlos Alena.
Here are five talking points from the game in Alicante:
#1 Arda Turan’s new role this season
When Turkish midfielder Arda Turan left Atletico Madrid to join FC Barcelona, many would have thought that the Turk would be one of Barcelona’s most important players for the seasons to come. In his first season, Arda Turan was an important first team player who made a fair number of appearances in midfield and slotted into the attack when required.
However, this season, his role seems to be reduced to just playing in the attack. With the arrival of Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes and Rafinha’s return from a long-term injury that he suffered last season, the Turkish player cannot seem to find a place in Barcelona’s midfield and is used as a squad rotation player in the midfield so far.
Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar’s reluctance to being substituted and the arrival of Paco Alcacer leaves Arda Turan featuring in the less important games for Barcelona.