Let’s analyze Barcelona’s victory against Alavés. This was the structure in possession of Xavi’s team, with Araujo as right back and Cancelo as inverted left back. During the first half, Barça lacked depth, not generating superiority against Alavés’ back 5. Every time Araújo received the play didn’t progress and the centre-backs, who have to provide offensive solutions against this type of defensive blocks, didn’t contribute.

Barcelona’s centre-backs had many problems defending Samu Omorodion, in most of the duels he was covered by Koundé or like in the Alavés goal in which Íñigo Martínez lost position. These weaknesses forced Xavi to make changes in the Barça structure.

Araujo and Koundé swapped positions, Cancelo pushed forward and Gungdogan moved closer to the right side to overload Lamine Yamal’s wing.

This is how they scored the equalizer. Koundé, as a right back, joins the attack and puts in a great cross. Poor job by Alavés defending the box, Lewandowski unmarked and a great header, with the center backs and the goalkeeper unable to defend the finish

The other tweak in the second half was Cancelo’s position, playing higher up, either on the wing or as in this play, drifting inside, appearing between the lines, which generated more spaces for the center backs to progress.

The penalty to win the game came with Íñigo Martínez putting a great pass behind the defense. Ferran Torres attacked the space and Abqar took him down. The offensive contribution of the center backs against low blocks is very important.

In the final stretch, Barcelona lost control of the match again, not having possession and defending poorly, although Alavés didn’t scored.

Xavi Hernández’s men have a lot to improve.

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