Green shoots for Barca despite Real Madrid Clasico KO

Green shoots for Barca despite Real Madrid Clasico KO

| sport

Losing a Clasico can cloud your mind and make you see everything negatively. It shouldn't be like that. In the end, the first Barça-Madrid game at the Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc was decided by details, and above all, by the physical aspect caused by the injuries the Azulgrana team had to face against their eternal rivals. Without ignoring, of course, the 'Bellingham factor', which was a real difference-maker.

But there are also positive things to take away with us that allow us to be optimistic, as there is still a long way to go in La Liga, and if, knock on wood, the injured players are back and there is no new plague, this team has a lot of room for improvement.

These are the main green shoots that, despite Barça's defeat, the league derby left us with:

Gündogan takes the step forward and Iñigo settles in

The German showed that he still has plenty of football in his boots. Some were impatient when he struggled to find his feet in the first few games and even questioned his signing, but time - and it didn't take long - has proved Xavi and his insistence on the arrival of the former Manchester City captain right.

His first goal as a Azulgrana, full of faith and drive, coincided with one of his best games. Experience allows him to be in control of the situation and to make high quality passes. He recorded 79 and missed five. It is true that physically he felt the strain and like the rest of the team, he fell apart in the second half, but the German, well-rested, is a treasure. Especially when the important Champions League matches come around.

For his part, Iñigo Martínez confirmed that he will be important with Xavi. Third game in a row and all at a good level, showing leadership at the back and a good long run. And in attack, a lot of danger, as in the action at the post. The player from Ondarroa formed a good partnership with Christensen and now Xavi is spoilt for choice, as Araujo will return to the centre and Koundé is already medically cleared. Better 'too much' than too little.

Ilkay Gündogan, en la acción del gol azulgrana

| Valentí Enrich

Gavi is the heart of this Barça... at 19 years old!

Madridistas took advantage of Bellingham's brace in the clásico to belittle Gavi, when the player from Los Palacios was the best azulgrana player in the clásico by far. They have nothing to do with each other, Gavi does not have the scoring power of Jude, it is obvious, but he does have qualities that the former Borussia Dortmund player lacks. Gavi masterfully dried up Bellingham until the Englishman's long shot that brought the equaliser.

Gavi is the heart of Barça, the tears of the youth product at the end of the clásico represent Barcelonismo. It is wonderful to see him on the pitch, he is everywhere. It is true that he gives, but he also gets a lot. And he has added to his repertoire an ever-increasing number of arrivals in the rival area. In the clásico, without going any further, he scored twice. 

Sometimes we forget that he is only 19 years old because he plays with the experience of a 30 year old. He has no ceiling and has become absolutely essential.

Fermín has earned his place and Lamine, more playing time

La Masia is an inexhaustible quarry of talent and Barça must orbit around its young stars. The latest examples are Fermín and Lamine. Both were at a good level in the Clasico. The one from El Campillo is only being held back by the woodwork - four in the last two games! But to go from playing in Primera RFEF to being a starter in a Barça-Madrid has an incalculable merit. And he has earned it. Xavi knows he has a player who will be better or worse, but he will never let him down.

Lamine Yamal, for his part, came on when Barça were struggling the most, and although he was unable to prevent the comeback, he showed good moments and the feeling that he lacked minutes. When he burst onto the scene with such force at the beginning of the season, Xavi opted to rotate him, taking into account his age and the fact that he is not fully developed physically. But that could also have led to a loss of confidence on the part of the player. There are times when it is best not to look at the ID card and just let yourself go.

Fermín López fue titular y respondió en el clásico

| Valentí Enrich

An initial approach that will be boosted by the comebacks

Barça were far superior to Real Madrid in the first 45 minutes and also at the start of the second half. Then, Bellingham dynamited everything. But Xavi Hernández - who was later blamed for his handling of the changes and the team falling back - could not be denied a great approach and study of the opposition. For many minutes, his tactical scheme with Araujo drying up Vinicius, Cancelo as a winger and Gavi chasing Bellingham bore much fruit.

The spaces were well-occupied and there was a great sense of control. It's the way forward: exploit everything that worked for over an hour and take note of the physical drop-off in the final stretch. If anything is to be corrected in this respect, it was undoubtedly largely due to absentees and in this respect, the returns of Lewy, Raphinha and Koundé - although the Frenchman did not play - and the imminent returns of Frenkie de Jong and Pedri are great news. With them at full strength, it will be a much stronger Barça side.

La afición azulgrana está con el equipo

| Valentí Enrich

Communion with the fans: nothing to reproach the team for

Let's not fool ourselves. Montjuïc is not the Camp Nou.The smaller capacity, the Olympic track... the changes are not easy, but the fans are responding.In the Clasico, a full house and a commendable attitude, even in the moments of greatest Madrid pressure. At the end of the match, the players came to applaud the fans, especially the most loyal fans in the goal where the cauldron is, and they reciprocated.

It is a year of transition and all the Barcelona fans who come to Montjuïc do so with the conviction that they will not leave the team alone. It's true that there are quite a few tourists, but this also happened at the Camp Nou. The real ones who have not let their season ticket be lost because of the transfer are loyal and in the Clasico they made it clear that they are by the team's side.  


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