El Sadar was the place where Osasuna got an important visit from FC Barcelona in La Liga. We have tonight’s player ratings.
The calm before the storm came tonight for FC Barcelona as they visited Osasuna’s El Sadar stadium in Pamplona. Ronald Koeman keeps using his brand new defensive system in which he uses a five-man line that has been working for him recently. During the first half, one of those defensive players scored the first goal of the evening after a brilliant assist from Leo Messi. Jordi Alba released a strike with no angle and scored the opener before the break.
Koeman’s plans were to use more of the younger players in the second half, something he did as he saw Griezmann failing to meet the expectations. El Sadar was a place where Barcelona hadn’t won since the 2011-12 season and today proved equally difficult to overcome. But Koeman’s tactical approach secured the back and prevented Osasuna from getting too many chances. Marc-Andre ter Stegen was also there to save two clear shots on target during the first half.
Ilaix scores his first goal for Barcelona.
The second half saw Koeman give chances to young players such as Ilaix Moriba or Riqui Puig, but the attention was on the ladder. With his recent performances, Ilaix was proving to be a great option for Barcelona’s midfield. Today, he proved his manager right by scoring his first-ever goal as a first-team player. None other than Leo Messi was the man who set him up for the goal.
Ilaix grabbed the ball from the outskirts of the box and released a potent strike. Every Barcelona player was beaming with excitement because they know how special Ilaix can become for the squad. In fact, there’s a good argument to be made in his favor to start against PSG next week. Koeman has nothing to lose from a round of 16 in which he is already losing 4-1. For all those reasons, today was the calm before the storm in Paris.
Osasuna: Herrera (6), Aridane (5), Garcia (5), Vidal (5), Sanchez (6), Torres (6), Torro (6), Garcia (5), Moncayola (5), Calleri (5), Barja (4).
Bench: Jony (5), Adrian (5), Budimir (6), Oier (6), Gallego (5).
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen (9), Alba (7), Umtiti (7), Lenglet (7), Mingueza (8), Dest (7), Busquets (7), De Jong (7), Pedri (8), Griezmann (5), Messi (9).
Bench: Dembele (7), Braithwaite (7), Ilaix (8), Puig (6), Firpo (6).
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