Reactions to Barcelona's 3-1 Win over Alaves
Barcelona entered Wednesday's return leg having won the previous encounter by a score of 3-0 (via Goal). All signs pointed to an easy Barcelona win and advancement into the next round of the Copa del Rey.
Unsurprisingly, La Blaugrana played with many youth players, as advancement was all but wrapped up.
It took a while for the young players to gel on the pitch, as Alaves surprisingly found the goal to start the scoring. A beautiful cross found Vigeura in the box to head past keeper Manuel Pinto.
Barcelona answered back with a goal from Adriano before David Villa netted a brace in the second half to seal the win, and advancement. The aggregate score stands at 6-1 for Barcelona.
Barcelona will now play Cordoba in the next round in the coming weeks as the reigning champions look to repeat.
Now, let us take a look at some of the reactions from game at the Camp Nou.
Alaves Had Nothing to Lose
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Having already been eliminated basically, Alaves went at Barcelona with everything to gain. The segunda B side pressured high and did well to disposes the Catalans in the midfield.
Against mostly youth payers, Alaves looked to capitalize on the inexperience. After forcing many turnovers, Alaves actually looked quite impressive.
The biggest shock of the match was the goal scored by Alaves that set the Camp Nou into silence.
With Barcelona down 1-0 and youth the vast majority of the field, cules everywhere began to feel that maybe an upset could happen.
But, Alaves were not able to overtake the Catalans, as La Blaugrana showed their class and ability at home as the game continued.
I tip my cap to Alaves, though. The team showed no fear and gave a great performance. They should be proud of themselves.
Javier Mascherano Is Still a Liability in the Air
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The Argentine midfielder turned center back has seen some success at his new position. His reading of the game and passing is definitely a strength. Yet Javier Mascherano continues to struggle in the air.
The sole goal scored by Alaves resulted in Vigeura beating the defender to a cross. Granted, the cross never would have occurred if Jonathan Dos Santos had been able to clear the ball properly. More about that later.
Though Mascherano is a very talented player at center back, it is evident that the Argentine should not be considered a first-choice starter.
Barcelona's main weakness is obviously goals scored off of set plays. With that being said, the club would not want to field a defender who struggles in the air.
Even though this games does not count for much in the big picture of the season, Barcelona clearly need to find a suitable long-term replacement for Javier Mascherano. Luckily, the club have a capable candidate in youngster Marc Bartra.
Jonathan Dos Santos Is Running out of Time
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Jonathan Dos Santos has yet to make his mark on the Barcelona club. The Mexico international has still not impressed current Coach Tito Vilanova, and he may see his way out soon.
Goal reported earlier this year that the midfielder could have been on his way out of the club, but he chose to stay to fight for his place. Staying at the club may have been the wrong choice.
While the Barcelona youth players impressed, Dos Santos faltered.
Players such as Deulofeu, Sergi Roberto and Carles Planas impressed immensely in their time on the pitch. Yet Dos Santos squandered a ripe opportunity to show why he should play more.
The midfielder's poor clearance led to the Alaves goal, and he was rightfully subbed out midway through the second half.
With the 22-year-old not getting any younger, his window of opportunity may have finally closed against Alaves.
David Villa Is Back
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David Villa completed his first full game since returning from a broken leg (via Fox Sports). The all-time leading scorer for Spain's national team has been fighting to regain form this year, but this game proved he is back.
Although scoring on several occasions this season, Villa has yet to take back his starting spot that he surrendered when he was injured.
It made sense for Coach Tito Vilanova to take time with the player after such an injury. But David Villa made a statement again Alaves. The striker has now told the world that he is still world-class and can perform.
Villa scored a brace on the night with one goal coming from a free kick.
Both goals were evident of the skill possessed by the 30-year-old. With the form he displayed, Tito Vilanova will have no choice but to give more playing time to El Guaje.
Barcelona have been missing a goal scoring threat from outside the box, but David Villa finally looks ready to make his mark at Barcelona again.
La Masia Continues to Impress
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Barcelona, unsurprisingly, fielded a squad full of young talent. La Masia has always received praise for the talent it puts out, and this game allowed for some of the rising stars to show their worth.
Midfielder Sergi Roberto did well to show he can pull the strings in the center of the pitch. Yet the player still lacks experience, as he lost the ball way too often. But the overall performance was very promising.
Martin Montoya and Thiago are both first team players, yet at such a young age, they continue to show their class. The two have already played major minutes for Barcelona, but this game just reminded the fans of their talent.
As evidenced in this game, Thiago is the most likely replacement for Xavi when the midfield general decides to retire.
Gerard Deulofeu was subbed in during the second half and immediately made an impact. The dribbling and pace of the 18-year-old terrorized the defense. Deulofeu even had an attempt on goal that caught the keeper off-guard.
However, the shot sailed high as the Camp Nou let out a sigh. Of all the youth players looking to impress, Deulofeu looks the most likely candidate for first team glory.
Though, Deulofeu will want to improve his passing, as he often appeared a bit selfish on the pitch. This was likely due to his desire to show his skill. Nonetheless, the Barcelona B winger must continue his development.
La Masia continues to put out stars; this game was just another picture of the talent Barcelona has in its ranks.
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Barcelona have now advanced to the next round of Copa del Rey and will face Cordoba. The reigning champions dominated over two games for an aggregate of 6-1 against Alaves and look poised for an eventual repeat.
With a new round comes bigger challenges for La Blaugrana. The further the club advances, the less it will be likely to use to youth players as the competition level will increase.
No doubt Barcelona want to repeat as champions. But as we look ahead to the next round, we must stop and appreciate the game against Alaves for all the exposure received by the youth players.
Again, this game will be small in the large picture of the full season. Yet to David Villa and the many youngsters, this game was a big deal.
But with the tie being finished, Barcelona will regroup as the must also compete in the Champions League and La Liga as their quest for the treble continues.
Now to you, the readers. What are your thoughts on the youth of Barcelona? Is David Villa finally back? And has Jonathan Dos Santos reached the end of his time at Barcelona?
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