Let’s analyze one of the most interesting matches of this start of the season, Benítez’s defensive system against Xavi’s tactical adjustments. Celta in a 5-3-2, compact block, avoiding passes between the lines so that João Félix and İlkay Gündoğan, who were Barça’s main threats, couldn’t receive. Barcelona in possession in a 2-3-5, although it was common to see a center back alone in the first line and Cancelo pushing up into the offensive line. Barcelona couldn’t hurt Celta because Ferrán Torres and Marcos Alonso weren’t able to win 1v1 when they received wide.

This meant that in the defensive transition Barcelona had many problems stopping Celta. Poor counter pressing and Celta found many spaces against Barcelona’s aggressive structure in possession, scoring Celta in this play.

And the other goal after a corner, Barcelona’s defensive block was too narrow, another weakness for Xavi’s team in this match, leaving Celta players unmarked allowing them to progress.

After the break, Xavi switched to a 3-4-3, with Gavi inside and Lamine Yamal open on the right, although Barcelona wasn’t able to find players between the lines and neither Ferrán Torres nor Joao Félix were capable of generating danger on the left side.

The key to open Benítez’s wall was Balde and Raphinha. The flank free for the left-back, with Raphinha inside, overloading Celta’s defensive line.

This allowed Barcelona to complete the comeback in just 10 minutes, spaces between the lines appeared, with João Félix receiving alone and giving a great pass to Lewandowski.

In the equalizer, Cancelo in the gap between full-back and centre-back, 6 Barcelona players against 5 Celta defenders, a pass from Raphinha to Cancelo and a brilliant read by Lewandowksi. Celta dropping to defend the goal and Lewandowski waits, receiving unmarked.

In the winning goal, Cancelo’s unpredictability with a late run, Gavi’s vision and top technical level to put in a perfect cross.

Celta did everything but in the end Barcelona won in a very important match for their confidence.

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