Lessons to learn for Barcelona and Xavi
Barcelona took on Bayern Munich in the Champions League once more and again failed to win at the home of the Bavarian giants. The visitors did come much closer this time around but will need to learn from this game if they are to taste success this season. Xavi’s side enjoyed a great start and dominated the first half. Robert Lewandowski was uncharacteristically wasteful in front of goal, while Pedri also missed some good chances to break the deadlock.
Xavi has been tinkering with his defense all season and named another new backline for the trip to Bayern. Marcos Alonso was in from the start, Andreas Christensen partnered Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde was back at right-back. The decision to go with Alonso was something of a surprise but the Chelsea left-back enjoyed a solid showing, at least until the first goal went in.
Alonso switched off for the corner, allowing an unmarked Lucas Hernandez to head past Marc-Andre ter Stegen from three yards. It was a costly mistake by the summer signing. You get the feeling Xavi will switch his defense around again at the weekend for the visit of Elche as he continues to search for his best combination at the back.
Gavi and Pedri the best of the bunch
In midfield we saw Xavi once again trust his youngsters ahead of more experienced options like Frenkie de Jong and Franck Kessie. Pedri and Gavi featured alongside captain Sergio Busquets and went on to run the show in the first half. Gavi has looked absolutely superb in Barca’s last few games and shone again at Bayern. The 18-year-old, who will sign his contract renewal at Barcelona tomorrow, created four chances alone in the first half.
Pedri also stood out with skill and composure on the ball despite missing chances to score. The 19-year-old is simply a joy to watch and knows more than anyone his name should have been on the scoresheet.