La Liga 2017/18: Girona 0-3 Barcelona, 5 Talking Points
Barcelona ran out 3-0 victors in the first ever Catalan Derby in La Liga against Girona, ensuring they left the Estadi Montilivi with all three points to remain top of the league and keep their lead over Real Madrid to 7 points.
Aday's own goal that was a result of Jordi Alba's strike in the 18th minute began things off, before another own goal from Iraizoz minutes into the second half ensured Barcelona had the advantage. Luis Suarez scored in the 69th minute to round out the scoring and make things safe for Barcelona as they saw out the rest of the game with relative ease.
Here are the major talking points from the game:
#1 Valverde's Barcelona keep marching on
Ernesto Valverde is a singularly calm man. When the summer hysteria surrounding Neymar and Barcelona's subsequent failures in the transfer market coupled with the loss to Real Madrid in the Super Cup exploded into a frenzy, the Barcelona boss kept his counsel and did what he did best. Train.
Barcelona have trained, trained and trained to the point where they're perfectly executing Valverde's vision in his trademark 4-2-3-1 shape. Nelson Semedo was offered a rest, and so intent was Valverde on his shape that Sergi Roberto operated at right back with Aleix Vidal having an impressive outing in the wings ahead of him.
The system allows Barcelona to remain secure defensively even when they're not dominating games to the extent they normally do, as was the case tonight. There's no panic within the Barca squad, each player is cognizant of his role, which was not the case in Luis Enrique's last season. The clarity in play will only lead to trophies - La Liga is Barcelona's to lose, despite the early season predictions.