The void Ousmane Dembele's injury has left at Barcelona

The void Ousmane Dembele's injury has left at Barcelona

| sport

The French winger's quality has been key this season and the team have missed him

If these days we have been saying that the absence of Ousmane Dembélé was being taken advantage of by Raphinha or Ferran Torres to gain confidence and ascendancy, yesterday at Old Trafford the Frenchman was missed more than ever. That ability he has to break the script of matches, to change the rhythm, to unsettle defences when it seems that the games are under control. In Manchester, there was no genius, no difference maker, nor anyone who did the unexpected.

Xavi opted to start with the four midfielder system and with Raphinha and Lewandowski up top. As expected. And what worked against United in some parts of the match. The Brazilian, in fact, ended up being unleashed and relieved by the coach at his peak, which led to that memorable fit of anger for which he later apologised. But that formula did not work on British soil. At no time was the Porto Alegre player at ease. He did not face, nor did he participate much in the game. The team did not know how to find him. Lewy' did come into contact with the ball more, but he was rather grey. He still has that thorn in his side, of still waiting to experience a great European night with Barça and now he will have to wait for the moment to come. 

Returning to 'Dembouz', since he went down injured on 29 January at Montilivi, Barça have 'cheated', getting a good series of results, but on the big nights, at the moment of truth, they have failed. In many games, when the team has been stuck or lacking ideas, Ousmane has been the 'easy' outlet. Feed balls to the '7' and wait for a moment of inspiration. 

Obviously, the absence of Pedri and Gavi in the engine room and when it came to building the team was very noticeable. But when it comes to isolated genius, almost out of nowhere, that is one of Dembélé's specialities. His return, as we commented in SPORT recently, will depend largely on how he feels next week. He will have a month of recovery and some tests will be carried out to be more precise about when he could make his comeback.

Topics with the letter