A Barcelona lacking their DNA take the three points in Porto

A Barcelona lacking their DNA take the three points in Porto

Joan Vehils

Director de Sport

| sport

Xavi said before Barcelona's game against Porto that if they won by a landslide they would not be the Champions League favourites and if they lost it would not be an absolute disaster. Neither of those two things happened in Porto.

Barça won, but they struggled mightily. Xavi's team was lucky to have the defensive solidity of an immense Kounde and Araujo, who ended up half-injured, as well as, obviously, the always accurate and attentive Ter Stegen. On Wednesday, we saw again the Barça of 1-0. That is to say, the Barça of last season that led them to win the league, but which some criticised.

Perhaps these, the most purist, the defenders of the style or those who proclaim that this team is losing the Barça DNA, do not like to win in this way. That is normal, but winning in Europe is very complicated. You can ask Guardiola who saw how his how his Manchester City side did not decide the game against Leipzig until the 85th minute or Luis Enrique whose PSG conceded four Newcastle goals.

That said, Barça must learn how to close out games to avoid suffering until the last second and being trapped in their own penalty area. Xavi's team cannot be dependent on VAR or on defensive successes. There are enough players to control the games.

Nobody now doubts the attitude and professionalism of any of Barça's players, but more needs to be made of each of them. During the second half, Gundogan was barely able to show his quality in the midst of the general chaos. What's more, he left the pitch looking as pissed off as Xavi. They won, but both knew they could not continue to play like this.

The victory was important, the three points almost definitive in securing a place in the last 16, but the final feeling is that this Barça can win as well as lose. That everything depends on a thread. In short, that there is still a lot of room for improvement.

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