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5 things Barcelona and Luis Enrique got wrong this season

Rohith Nair
Modified 30 May 2017, 19:29 IST
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2) Playing a 3-man defence without the correct personnel

Javier Mascherano Barcelona
Javier Mascherano is no longer among one of Barcelona’s best defenders

There were times when Enrique played a back-three, especially when they desperately needed a result. The remarkable comeback against Paris Saint-Germain comes to mind when Enrique gambled with a very unorthodox 3-1-4-2 and eventually won. However, there were games when he played a 3-3-1-3. 

This was a formation that exposed the Catalan club defensively, especially on a wide pitch such as the Camp Nou. Width became the formation’s biggest enemy and to counter that Enrique deployed the wrong players to make up for it. 

Take the Valencia game for example. With Sergio Busquets all on his own in central midfield, Andres Iniesta and Rafinha were forced to play in wide roles – hardly the players you would expect to provide defensive solidity when they lose the ball. 

As a result, the likes of Javier Mascherano in defence were exposed and he was always in two minds whether to sit back and give opponents space or step up and leave space behind him for opponents to run into. Jeremy Mathieu was also another player who struggled in a back-three. Both defenders are in their 30s and will most likely not have a future at the club. 

Also read: Barcelona's 3-3-1-3 formation is exciting but also suicidal

Published 30 May 2017, 18:45 IST
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