Playing the way they did on this occasion, Luis Enrique’s men are nearly unstoppable, although Saturday’s opponent is currently dead last in the league
A massive 0-8 win over Córdoba took Barcelona closer to the Liga title, but most importantly, served as a proof of how complete and brutal the side is. Playing the way they did on this occasion, Luis Enrique’s men are nearly unstoppable, although Saturday’s opponent is currently dead last in the league.
Barcelona showed, once more, that it has the ability to score in a variety of different ways, making it extremely difficult to defend against them. Initially it seemed like Barcelona would have trouble breaking down the Córdoba defense as Neymar and Leo Messi missed good chances to score, but eventually the goal came through Ivan Rakitic, from Messi’s pass.
On this occasion, Suárez is wide after a set-piece, whereas Neymar, Rakitic and Piqué are in the box. The four players’ presence in dangerous areas means that Messi has space in front of the defense. He gets the ball from Suárez and sees that Rakitic is wide open as the Córdoba defense focuses on Neymar and Piqué.
In the second goal, Messi is again deeper than his attacking colleagues, but this time, Suárez is playing centrally together with Neymar. This means that the Córdoba defense has to play narrowly, which leaves a lot of space for Iniesta on the left. When Iniesta gets the ball, Neymar stops to offer a passing option, whereas Suárez makes an unstoppable run behind the line. It’s direct football at its very best.
If the first two goals were examples of the direct Barcelona, the third (which ultimately broke Córdoba’s already weakened defensive spine) came after a lengthy spell of possession. Barcelona held the ball from the kick-off of the second half, and eventually Rakitic, Messi and Dani Alves combined on the right to create the Brazilian heaps of space on the flank. Messi then made a run into the box and scored from Alves’ cross.
The fourth goal also came from a cross, which hasn’t been typical for Barcelona in the recent years. This time Alves’ cross was headed in by Suárez, whose movement was again excellent and made it impossible for Córdoba to stay in shape.