Two things we learned from Villareal vs Barcelona

Barcelona secured victory away at the El Madrigal stadium in grand style yesterday evening.

The Blaugrana scored four goals on the night and were denied a fifth. Arturo Vidal was ruled to be offside in the build-up to Messi’s disallowed goal.

Here’s what we learned from the 4-1 victory.

Setien gets the message

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Quique Setien deployed his star studded front three last night and they delivered. Griezmann and Suarez both scored sublime goals from Messi assists and Barcelona dominated the game from start to finish.

Unlike previous outings where he has been banished to the left flank, Griezmann played from a more central position with freedom to roam and make things happen.

It’s no surprise that this change led to the Frenchman’s best performance in a Barcelona shirt till date. What’s more surprising is that it’s taken this long to happen, and fans will be hopeful that it continues.

GSM is finally buzzing, and it seems Setien has gotten the message.

Diamond in the rough

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Another noticeable tactical tweak to Setien’s set up was the 4-4-2 diamond formation Barcelona employed.

With Messi at the tip of the diamond and Griezmann playing just off Suarez, Barcelona made life difficult for the Villarreal defence.

Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba created overloads on the left side of the Blaugrana’s attack and they utilized this space to create the chance that led to the first goal.

Some brilliant work from Messi in a role to match his shirt number set up two more goals to establish a 3-1 halftime lead.

When Griezmann and Suarez were taken off, the system changed into a 4-3-3 with Messi playing as a false nine.

Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati impressed upon their introduction, the latter rounding up the scoring with a sublime disguised finish.

Barcelona’s newfound fluidity and dynamism in this system could be the solution to their previous issues going forward.


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