Barcelona 7-0 Osasuna: 6 Things We Learned
FC Barcelona thrashed La Liga opponents Osasuna on Sunday to the tune of a 7-0 scoreline. The Camp Nou was rocking all match long as the Catalans did not put a foot wrong and moved back to within four points of the top of the table.
It was a stunning performance for Barcelona coming off their 2-1 victory over Manchester City, and fans will be hoping that they have finally found their rhythm once again.
For Osasuna, this will definitely be a match to forget as they had no answer for their hosts throughout the 90 minutes. The Basques were expected to give Barcelona something of a problem, but it did not happen.
With El Clasico on the horizon, this was a perfect match to analyze the state of Barcelona. In this article, we will take a look at six things we learned from the match. Enjoy.
*All statistics are courtesy of WhoScored.com.
Barcelona Understood the Importance of This Match
In a recent article, I mentioned that inconsistency has ruled Barcelona's 2014. After losing 1-0 to Real Valladolid last weekend, the Catalans bounced back to put in a wonderful performance against Manchester City.
Coming off of such a big victory, it was vitally important that Barcelona keep the good results coming against Osasuna. That is exactly what they did.
Manager Tata Martino was sure to put a very strong lineup on the pitch from the very start of the game. Though players like Neymar and Cesc Fabregas got the night off, La Blaugrana did not field a weak XI by any means.
It was clearly seen on the players' faces that this match was important. In order to regain some consistency and keep back in the title fight, they needed a big result at the Camp Nou.
It has been a while since Barcelona played with this much intensity, and it was a great thing to see. Fans will surely be hoping that this is a good sign and that the club can build on another strong performance.
When Iniesta Scores, He Does Not Disappoint
Andres Iniesta was able to score a rare goal against Osasuna that brought the crowd to their feet. How rare is it that he scores? Well, the strike from the 29-year-old was only his second of the entire season.
There is an exciting trend when it comes to Iniesta scoring. He does not score a lot of goals, but when he does hit the back of the net, it is always in a sensational way.
Against Osasuna, the midfielder picked the ball up well outside the box and ran straight at the defense. While still well outside of the box, he blasted a left-footed effort at goal that sailed straight into the top corner.
Fans and players alike were completely stunned at the amazing strike. Though Iniesta doesn't score a lot, when he does you should expect something spectacular.
It was also a touching moment as well for Iniesta, who, while everyone else was celebrating, pointed to the sky in remembrance of his unborn child after his wife had a miscarriage earlier this month.
Osasuna Did Not Show Up
Osasuna may not be as high in the La Liga table as they would like, but they have had some fairly incredible results this season. So far, they have been able to play both Real Madrid and Barcelona to draws at home, while they also recently defeated Atletico Madrid 3-0.
It is clear that Osasuna know how to get a result against a much better opponent and are not afraid to take them on face to face.
Yet, that is not the same Osasuna that we saw Sunday afternoon. The Basque club was very timid and refused to put players forward in hopes of finding a goal. Barcelona was given the freedom to do whatever they want and could have scored even more than seven goals.
For whatever reason, Osasuna did not come to the Camp Nou to play. In truth, nobody was expecting them to get a result on the road, but this was just a dismal showing to put it lightly.
Hats off to the Forwards
Though Barcelona's defense has received a lot of criticism this season, their offense has not been great at times either. All that changed against Osasuna.
It isn't often that a team can have all three of their forwards score in a single match, but the Catalans had four do it. Lionel Messi, Pedro, Alexis Sanchez and Cristian Tello all found the back of the net and fans can only be enthralled with that.
The Barcelona wingers have been fighting all season for the last spot in the starting lineup. Messi and Neymar continue to be staples, but the right-wing holder is always changing.
After the 7-0 thumping of Osasuna, Martino has just as big of a selection headache as always.
Alexis Sanchez provided a constant threat down the right forcing the defense out of position, while Pedro was able to get in behind the back line several times. Not to be outdone, once Tello came on, he had an immediate impact scoring an absolute screamer out of nowhere.
It's easy to see that all of the wingers want the starting role. They are all playing at such a high level, and that is paying off big time for La Blaugrana.
Lionel Messi Is Back
Lionel Messi is one of, if not the best player on the planet and arguably the best in the history of the game. Yet, ever since returning from injury, he hasn't quite looked like himself.
At times the Argentine has appeared slow and not as sharp as in recent years. For the first time all season, he looked like the Messi of old when Barcelona defeated Manchester City, and that form has stuck.
Messi put on one of his best performances of the season against Osasuna and left nothing to be desired. The 26-year-old was deadly all match long and looked as passionately focused and sharp as ever.
The Barcelona ace ended the match having scored three goals and also giving an assist to Pedro. He won four dribbled throughout the 90 minutes and got off five total shots. Lionel Messi is back, and he may be more dangerous than ever.
All Eyes on El Clasico
With this win, Barcelona have moved back to within four points of table leaders Real Madrid. With roughly two months of action left, every point becomes vital and every match a final.
Yet, Barcelona will not have to wait long to have their chance of making up more points as they travel to the Santiago Bernabeu next Sunday for the long-awaited El Clasico.
Real Madrid will be hoping to further extend their lead over their bitter rivals, while the Catalans will have a wonderful chance to pull within a single point of the table leaders. It promises to be more than just a Clasico meeting; this could be a title-deciding encounter.
All eyes will be looking forward to Sunday, and fans are already starting to talk about it. There will be fireworks, and the anticipation is steadily growing.
What did you learn from Barcelona's victory? Have the Catalans now found their rhythm once again? Leave your thoughts and comments below!