FC Barcelona Playing a 4-3-3 and Winning Games Again
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On September 24th, Camp Nou was nearly full with 83,154 fans shouting and supporting the Blaugrana. The team played against a tough Atlético Madrid and absolutely destroyed them 5-0. Even though Atlético Madrid had just sold 2 key players (Forlán and Agüero) they still have been able to pull off a respectable 2-1-1 record so far. After a disappointing draw against Valencia CF, FC Barcelona needed to start winning again. They had drawn 3 of their last 4 games. In the game against Valencia, Barcelona played with a 3-4-3 formation and were exposed to Valencia's fast wingers. Both of Valencia goals came from attacks down the sideline. Josep Guardiola must have realized this because he decided to play with a 4-3-3 formation against Atlético Madrid. The starters were as follows: Valdes, Alves, Mascherano, Busquets, Abidal, Thiago, Xavi, Fabregas, Pedro, Messi, Villa. With four defenders Barcelona was able to keep Atlético Madrid's attack under control and only give them one real chance to score. This game also proved that FC Barcelona really does not need more than 3 midfielders and 3 attackers to win a game by a large amount.
David Villa had a dream start to this game scoring on one of Barcelona very first attacks.In the 9th minute, Xavi sent a beautiful, long, and aired through ball to David Villa who first controlled the ball with his chest, then cut the ball away from the defender, and finally made a fines shot to the far post. It was a beautifully worked play that could not have been finished better. Xavi had a spectacular first half also supplying the through ball that led to the second goal in the 15th minute of the game. He made a great back-heel pass that put Pedro in a one on one situation. The goal ended up being an own goal in the end after an unfortunate bounce off Miranda. Some might argue that this goal should not have counted as Messi was offside during the Xavi's pass, but it was not offside. An offside is when a player is beyond is closer to the goal then the last defender and therefore has an unfair advantage. For an offside to be called however, the player thats offside needs to influence the play in some way (usually by touching the ball). Messi did not touch the ball or influence the play before Pedro received it and therefore the offside was not called. The game against Valencia was pretty much over after the 26th minute goal from Lionel Messi, putting the Catalan team up by 3 goals. Messi led the defenders to believe that he was dribbling to the outside of the penalty box and then quickly cut in and accelerated to the goal were he made a dream finish towards the near post. In the second half Messi was great and scored two more goals, proving once again that he is the best soccer player in the world.
Barcelona might finally be back to their constant winning days and after this win Barcelona is now in third place in La Liga BBVA. Some teams are yet to play their 5th game though.
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