Talking points from the Barcelona Derby.
1 – Barcelona know how to grind out wins.
Not every game can be a 6-1 or a last minute winner at the Bernabéu. Sometimes, Barcelona will have to play a significant portion of the game with just a one goal advantage. It is said the sign of a champion is to see out the difficult victories and Barcelona have become very strong in that area. Instead of sitting back and soaking up pressure, Barcelona looked to apply pressure of their own on their opponents because what is the best way to deal with a one goal advantage? Make it a two gaol advantage and then three.
2 – Luis Suárez looked a little low on confidence but his goals will boost that.
Late in the first half, Suárez broke clear to the left of the Espanyol area, he looked up but then he stuttered. He tried to slide it across to Neymar but it didn’t come off and it made you wonder why did he not shoot first time? The opportunity was definitely there for a player of his quality so does it reflect a bigger confidence problem in Suárez? He has been going through somewhat of a difficult period as of late but his two goals should be enough to push him out of that less than great run of form.
3 – Barcelona have a very strong spine in the team.
Marc-André ter Stegen – Gerard Piqué – Sergio Busquets – Lionel Messi. Those four players create the spine of the team and are crucial. Lose one and there is a significant drop in quality and cohesion in the team. Piqué and ter Stegen keeps it solid at the back, Busquets runs the midfield and Messi creates the chances. Of course, there are other quality players around them but this spine is pivotal to the team’s success.