Real Valladolid vs Barcelona: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis
SCORE: Real Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona (Dembele 57')
Barcelona travelled to Real Valladolid in the second week of LaLiga after getting off to the perfect start against Deporvito Alaves on Matchday 1.
Ernesto Valverde decided to keep his faith in largely the same side, with players who came in during the transfer window only finding a place on the bench.
In a game that was devoid of glittering moments, played on a pitch of questionable quality, Barcelona managed to grab the lead early in the second half and then proceeded to hold off the home side for the rest of the game for all three points, and keep their 100% win record in the early stages of LaLiga 2018/19 intact.
Here are the Talking Points from a win that had a lot to do with VAR technology:
#5 Messi was far from his delightful best on a torrid pitch
Lionel Messi was at his stupendous best in the home game against Alaves in Matchweek 1. However, he failed to find the magic he so generally does to land lethal blows on the opposition.
A brace - including a free-kick he rolled under the wall - against Deporvito was not followed up with the usual heroics that fans of Barcelona have become so accustomed to seeing.
A look at the pitch would've given you an indication as to why that was the case. The Jose Zorilla Stadium played host to the game, but the pitch was far from welcoming. The grass gave way at every possible moment and resembled a rugged rugby field rather than a football pitch.
There were heaps of grass gatherings - uprooted from the ground as players looked to find traction on the ground but failed miserably. Managers often ask their players to keep the ball on the ground, but this particular ground made it almost impossible to do so.