Barcelona returned to the Champions League with a convincing display against Celtic. They put seven last Celtic in a one sided match that should have sent tremors around Europe. A masterclass from Messi was the cherry on the top as Barcelona cut through the Celtic defense with ease. Here are 5 things which we learnt from Barcelona vs Celtic!
5) MSN” is back !
After a long summer of football, the deadly trident returns back together for the elite competition. Barcelona started off UEFA Champions League 2016 with a bang. Not only they retuned together to start the game at the Camp Nou but also managed to wreck Celtic with a close to perfect performance.
Lionel Messi marked his Barcelona return to the starting line-up with a hat-trick which narrows down the gap between him and Cristiano Ronaldo. His fellow blonde team-mate Neymar registered 4 assists on the night alongside adding his name on the scoresheet scoring an amazing free-kick in the early minutes of the second half. Luis Suarez capped off the night with two amazing finishes in the last quarter of the game to complete the 7-0 routing of the Scottish side. (5 things which we learnt from Barcelona vs Celtic)
4) Sergi Roberto
The 24-year-old midfielder from Reus has proved Barcelona that he is an indispensable member of the starting XI. The midfielder relishes the right back role given to him by the coach Luis Enrique. The midfielder has managed to secure the faith of the Catalan supporters. Aleix Vidal, who was touted to be the first choice right back for the Catalans following a huge transfer move from the Europa League champions Sevilla.
Vidal, has failed to establish his opportunity with the first team following a handful of lacklustre performance for the club. On the contrary, the midfielder has gone from strength to strength following a string of complete performances on both sides of the pitch. Roberto, also has managed to combine well with the trident just like his predecessor Dani Alves. Luis Enrique has been successful in finding a suitable replacement for the Brazilian defender.
3) Luis Enrique
The Asturian coach has been a name that the critics love. Enrique has often been criticised for the tactics he has employed at the club. The recent defeat at home against the promoted Alaves has allowed the critics to have a clear go at the manager. The manager still remains confident with his decision to rest important players despite the defeat. This sets him apart from the top managers in Europe. (5 things which we learnt from Barcelona vs Celtic)
The Asturian, however led the club to an astounding win against the Scottish side Celtic. The last time, Celtic faced the Spanish club at home, they were trashed with a similar score line 6-1. Luis Enrique however made as many as 9 changes for the crucial Champions league tie against Celtic with the trident starting up front for the Catalans. He picked Andre Gomes ahead of Denis Suarez in the middle of the park. The coach, however reaped the rewards with a comprehensive display from the Portuguese.
2) Umtiti- Pique Combination
Barcelona shocked the footballing world, when they announced that they had bought the young French defender Samuel Umtiti for around $25m. Barcelona’s sporting director Robert Fernandez had actually done a very clever business with the deal.
Little did the fans hope that the French sensation would go on to replace the Argentine at the centre of the defence. Samuel Umtiti, with a string of solid display has cemented his spot in the First XI. The defender has often drawn parallels to Barcelona’s legendary centre back Carles Puyol. The Frenchman, displays solidarity at the back with equal solidarity in moving the ball across the pitch. (5 things which we learnt from Barcelona vs Celtic)
Pique has taken over the role of the Argentine defender Mascherano as the leader of the Catalan defence. The duo has showed their solidarity against the Scottish side Celtic. Umtiti’s pace is definitely a positive sign for the Catalans for the years to follow.
1) Barcelona’s Mojo has returned !
Barcelona under Luis Enrique have evolved from the usual Tiki-Taka that the previous Barcelona team had to a more dynamic and counter-attacking Barcelona. Enrique, has proven that counter attacking football alongside Tiki-Taka is the deadly formula for success. This season, Barcelona have had more of a direct approach with a smooth transition through the wings.
Lionel Messi, has dropped deeper under Enrique and this allows the likes of Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto to roam around the opposition box with more ease and time. Lionel Messi has often found Lucas Digne, Jordi Alba or Sergi Roberto on the wings with an amazing chip with a very less back lift, this has enabled the Argentine to find the players with ease. The likes of Ivan Rakitic, Denis Suarez and Andres Iniesta have tried their luck from distance, unlike the previous Barcelona team who would pass the ball back to the defence.
Luis Enrique has enabled a free form attacking pattern for the trio with no stable position for either of the three forwards, giving them complete freedom to switch over wings during the game. The pattern was clearly visible in the Celtic game when Neymar and Messi exchanged positions during the course of the game.