La Liga giants Barcelona started the season with high confidence and a winning mentality after a successful pre-season. Newly-appointed Ronald Koeman had a point to prove on his debut match which he won comfortably but things started to turn ugly as the season progress.
Recovering from a bad start
Barcelona could only muster as much as 8 points from 6 games which are disappointing considering the high standards of the club. The players were trying hard in training and during the matchday but the chances created in front of the goal were of no good.
However, Barca proved that they can score freely in their last game against Real Betis as they defeated Manuel Pellegrini’s side 5-2 at home. Koeman did not start Lionel Messi as he was doubtful with a minor injury and the gaffer did not want to risk their star man. So, Antoine Griezmann played alongside Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati.
Dembele made a quick impact as he scored the opener which was assisted by fellow national Griezmann. This was a fair game for the Barcelona number 7 who did miss a penalty but ended the match with a goal and assist each to his name. According to Marca, Koeman applauded the Frenchman on his recovery of form and hoped he maintains the run.
Lionel Messi stands tall for Barcelona
Lionel Messi inspired the win at Camp Nou after he took the pitch in the place of youngster Ansu Fati. The 6-time Balon D’or winner scored a penalty and netted his first goal from open play this season which shows positive signs for the Catalan outfit. Leo regaining his goal scoring form is a boon and it would boost the morale of the teammates as well who are creating the balls. Messi did what the man with the armband should do, lead his team from the front.
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Another great thing to notice is Dembele trying to make it into the first-team with his regular efforts for the Blaugrana. If the youngster keeps on producing such stellar performances, Barcelona may retain him. Summer signing Pedri continued to capitalize on his opportunities of the squad rotation and displayed his talent against Betis.
It is safe to say the 17-year-old fits well into Barca and will have a great future at the club. Koeman has a lot on his plate as he continues to experiment with his squad who are working hard day and night to deliver good matches like this one.