Barcelona marked their return to the Nou Camp yesterday with a 2-0 win over Leganes.
The win keeps Barcelona top and piles the pressure on their rivals Real Madrid ahead of their next game.
In a somewhat disjointed performance, the La Liga leaders managed to secure all three points.
Here’s what we learned.
In the opening stages of the game and indeed throughout the match, Barcelona seemed to lack penetration.
The Blaugrana needed a goal and so Fati delivered.
His 42nd minute strike came after some great tenacity from Junior Firpo to set him up.
The 17-year old showed that though he may be young, Barcelona can still count on him to deliver when needed.
Strikers striking out
On a night when the forwards were required to provide the inspiration, Barcelona’s strikers couldn’t provide the required impetus.
Antoine Griezmann continues to look slightly out of place. He put in a classic hardworking performance and was unlucky not to score, his 65th minute strike ruled out by VAR for a marginal offside.
Luis Suarez on the other hand looked like he lacked match sharpness.
The best thing the Uruguayan international did on the pitch was “not touch the ball” as his dummy started a beautiful move which Puig couldn’t apply a finish to.
Setien will hope his strikers put in a better showing against Sevilla on Friday.
Messi salvaging Maestro-less Midfield
Lionel Messi provided the most brilliant moment of the night yet again.
He picked up the ball in midfield, dribbled past two opponents and won a penalty, which he then converted.
66': Lionel Messi dribbles past Unai Bustinza
66': Lionel Messi dribbles past Rubén Pérez
66': Lionel Messi is fouled in the box by Jonathan Silva
69': Lionel Messi scores the 699th goal of his career.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 16, 2020
Though this is testament to Messi’s brilliance, it also highlights the lack of inspiration coming from Barça’s midfield.
With Rakitic and Arthur happy to keep recycling possessions and making runs, only Busquets attempted to break the lines from midfield.
Messi once again dropped deep to play the role of creator for Barcelona, playing several through balls including the one that led to Griezmann’s disallowed goal.
There was slight improvement when Ruqui Puig entered the fray.
The young man is a player the Blaugrana have high hopes for and he looked sharp on the night.
Setien will hope he can grow into the player Barcelona need him to be, but for now Messi continues to come to their rescue.