FC Barcelona’s assembly with Athletic Membership on Saturday night gave rise to numerous noteworthy takeaways, a trio of which we’ll delve into beneath.
Depay on track
Ronald Koeman’s males have been again in motion a short while in the past.
The Blaugrana made the journey to San Mames, for a La Liga showdown with the aforementioned Bilbao.
Barca headed into proceedings aiming to maintain a optimistic begin to the brand new marketing campaign alive, after bouncing again from the departure of talisman Lionel Messi with a 4-2 downing of Actual Sociedad final weekend.
When all was mentioned and accomplished within the Basque nation this night, nevertheless, the guests have been pressured to accept a share of the spoils.
A pulsating affair, throughout which each side may and possibly ought to have added additional to the scoreline, finally culminated in a 1-1 stalemate.
Inigo Martinez put Athletic in entrance early within the 2nd-half, nodding house following a sustained spell of strain.
Barcelona, although, levelled issues up in devastating style quarter-hour from time, when Sergi Roberto’s defence-splitting go was rifled house in beautiful style by Memphis Depay, securing some extent within the course of:
Magic from Memphis! 😱
SMASHED into the roof of the web for the Barca equaliser 💥 pic.twitter.com/DaqS54yMCW
— Premier Sports activities (@PremierSportsTV) August 21, 2021
Dazzling De Jong
Depay’s eventual equaliser got here as a simply reward for the Dutchman, who, since his free agent arrival this summer season, has regarded by far essentially the most harmful of Ronald Koeman’s wealth of attackers.
The ex-Lyon man teed up the membership’s opener versus Sociedad final trip, along with his first aggressive strike in Blaugrana colors this night boding altogether effectively relating to prospects shifting ahead.
While Depay proved the difference-maker on the scoreboard, nevertheless, it was one other member of the guests’ XI who actually shone brightest at San Mames.
The participant in query? Frenkie De Jong.
One other Dutchman at the moment plying his commerce in Catalunya, the younger midfielder appeared to be on the coronary heart of all the pieces optimistic produced by Barca this night.
De Jong has lengthy developed into one of the crucial full midfielders in world soccer, along with his close to unrivalled mixture of guile, dribbling capacity, defensive nous and ceaseless work-rate having been on full show versus Athletic Membership.
📊 | Frenkie de Jong vs. Athletic Bilbao
70 passes (85% accuracy)
2 key passes
2 correct lengthy balls
1 hit woodwork
4 profitable dribbles
9 duels gained
2 blocked photographs
2 tackles pic.twitter.com/K68kY5jANi
— 🪄🇳🇱 (@FDJChief) August 21, 2021
An in any other case largely optimistic night for Barcelona, nevertheless, was soured by a pair of blows on the personnel entrance.
First, on the half-hour mark, key defender Gerard Pique was pressured to limp off, after choosing up an unspecified harm drawback. This provides to a worrying development for the Spanish veteran, who, as of late, has begun to battle in his efforts to easily keep on the pitch:
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 21, 2021
Then, with simply minutes remaining within the 90 within the Basque nation, the Blaugrana’s defensive woes have been added to additional, when Eric Garcia was despatched for an early bathtub following a last-man problem on the sting of the world.
Koeman might must get artistic when his facet play host to Getafe subsequent weekend…
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