Nice 1-1 Barcelona: What Luis Enrique Learned in Preseason Friendly
FC Barcelona played French side Nice to a 1-1 draw on Saturday in the club's second preseason friendly of the summer. While it wasn't the best showing from the Catalans, there were moments of excitement for the fans tuning in.
After a defensive mistake, Nice were able to take the lead, but Barcelona would bounce back through an equalizer from Xavi. It is difficult to take much away from friendlies, but there are still lessons to be learned.
In this article we will take a look at a few things Barcelona learned from the friendly against Nice, so be sure to get involved in the discussion in the comment section below!
The Defense Still Needs Work
Barcelona were in complete control for most of the match, but Nice did open up the scoring through a defensive error by Gerard Pique. It may just be a friendly, but it is clear that Luis Enrique is still looking to fit his back line together.
At the start of the match, Pique and Jeremy Mathieu did not look very comfortable together. Both center-backs were playing some odd passes and were caught out of position a couple of times. However, it was the first time they have played together in a real match, so it is understandable that they had to work out the kinks.
As the match went on, the duo become more comfortable. Fans can be encouraged that Enrique will be able to strengthen the defense, but it is safe to say that there is still a bit of work to do.
Xavi Has Still Got It
Well, Xavi may be edging closer to 35, but the Catalans midfielder still has it. From the moment he set foot on the pitch, things changed, and Barcelona looked unstoppable.
The La Masia legend immediately improved the team's passing and helped put together some nice attacking plays. His penalty to level the scoring may have been simple, but it also showed that he is still a leader in this squad.
So what did Luis Enrique learn? Xavi still has a lot to offer this Barcelona team, and this season could see the 34-year-old still playing a major role in the squad despite his age.
Sergi Samper and Alen Halilovic Are Too Good for the Reserve Team
The more Sergi Samper and Alen Halilovic play, the more it becomes glaringly obvious that they are far too talented to be playing for the reserve team. However, that is the lucky curse of FC Barcelona.
Both midfielders had the chance to show just how talented they are against Nice, and fans got a really good look at the future. Halilovic dazzled with the ball at his feet while Samper showed that he can read the game better than almost any other 19-year-old on the planet.
The thought of having Samper and Halilovic playing together for Barcelona B is exciting. Yet, the fact that they could soon be playing together for the first team is downright scary.
Barcelona's future looks as bright as ever, but Luis Enrique must focus on the present. He got several good looks against Nice, but the season will soon kick off, and it is time to start putting it all together.
What do you think Enrique learned against Nice? Who stood out in the friendly match? Leave your thoughts and comments below!