Barcelona vs Osasuna: Alba gives birth to the Camp Nou | Sports

The delicate left foot of Jordi Alba, a substitute winger, frowned upon by some journalists and also distanced from many fans, unleashed a game at the last minute that Osasuna defended as if his life depended on the impatience of the Camp Nou. Barça’s pulse trembled when the league title began to be within reach. And then the veteran Alba came out, relegated by the young Balde, and scored 1-0. A marker repeated up to 11 times in the championship and that defines the trajectory of Barcelona. Alba’s surprise goal redeemed the wide assortment of strikers denied against Aitor Fernández. The Navarrese fought just as well with 11 as with 10 since the expulsion of Herrando.



Ter Stegen, Koundé, Ronald Araújo, Alex Balde (Alba, min. 75), A. Christensen (Eric Garcia, min. 52), Frenkie De Jong, Raphinha (Ousmane Dembélé, min. 52), Busquets (Ferrán Torres, min. 75), Pedri, Gavi (Ansu Fati, min. 36) and Lewandowski



Aitor, Diego Moreno, Unai García, Jorge Herrando, Manu Sánchez, Lucas Torró (Juan Cruz, min. 59), Iker Benito (Aridane, min. 69), Rubén García (Kike Barja, min. 45), Pablo Ibáñez, Aimar Oroz (Iker Muñoz, min. 45) and Chimy Ávila (Kike García, min. 59)

goals 1-0 min. 85: Dawn.

Referee Javier Iglesias Villanueva

red cards Jorge Herrando (min. 26)

Osasuna was not exactly passing through Barcelona on the way to a historic match in Seville. It was not easy to manage a league match against Barça four days before playing the Cup final against Madrid. Abde’s absence didn’t help either. The Barça winger has played very good games with the Arrasate team and it is assumed that next season he will be on Xavi’s squad. For some Mediterranean players, the teams from the north tend to come in handy because of the rain, the mud and the popular clamor of stadiums like El Sadar in front of the warm sun, the freshly cut grass and the skepticism of the Camp Nou.

Abde did not play because Barça did not want to – or he did not let him because of the fear clause that penalizes the lineup of loanees – and Jagoba Arrasate set up a formation that was as experimental as it was noble and competitive, a mixture of young people and veterans, innovative in defense and conducive to for the filming of Torró and Chimy Ávila. The alignments, after all, are variable in Osasuna. The effort, on the other hand, is non-negotiable for those who have gone to school in Tajonar, even in apparently extraordinary events such as the one that faced a starting Barça from the goalkeeper to the last striker, the same eleven that thrashed Betis.

The Catalans have dressed to win the League. The good guys played and it seemed like they were in a hurry to win the match, dynamic in attack and firm in defending the ball, weak on the counter against Osasuna’s physical and tactical strength. The speed of the ball was not enough to upset the Navarrese defense, Pedri was very imprecise, nobody managed to finish a play the day the stands stopped calling on Messi. The only resource was the speed of Balde, whose centers could not find Lewandowski or Pedri, clumsy in the goal mouth against Aitor.

Osasuna defended very hard and the azulgranas came upside down with each divided ball before the complacency of the referee Iglesias Villanueva. In the absence of depth, the wear and tear was enormous and in the absence of occasions the most decisive play was the expulsion of the rookie Jorge Herrando for grabbing Pedri. The defender was the last player, the referee showed him the red card and Osasuna was left at minute 26 with 10. Barca’s superiority led to the entry of Ansu for the injured Gavi. At half-time, however, there was not a shot from Barça, neither close nor from medium distance, nor a serious shot against Aitor.

The Barça fall was so alarming that Osasuna never gave the impression that they were playing with one less player, firm and well positioned in defense, comfortable given the lack of width of the Barça forward. The Navarrese did not concede spaces and the Barcelona fans strangled each other, repetitive losses because nobody knew how to play with one touch and Osasuna was at ease in the face of Xavi’s irritation. The coach then appealed to Dembélé and the team definitively looked into the Osasuna area. The arrivals began to follow one another to the despair of Aitor.

Aitor Fernández stops an incursion by Ansu Fati.
Aitor Fernández stops an incursion by Ansu Fati.

The goalkeeper saved Ansu’s shot from outside the area and took a too-focused shot from De Jong at point-blank range after an assist from Pedri. Nor did Dembélé or Lewandowski hit a very comfortable position. Warm and relaxed at the beginning, Barça could not find a way to finish off the game at the end while Osasuna stretched with Kike Barja. The game turned into a crazy Barça mess on the edge of the Osasuna area until Alba gave the light with a slanting shot with his left foot after De Jong’s drop.

Although Osasuna never gave up and even reached the Barça goal with Ibáñez, Barça did not stop until they beat Aitor. No one disputed the victory with Alba’s goal anymore because Ter Stegen has kept his score to zero in 25 of 33 league games. The goalkeeper was always more reliable than Xavi’s squad of forwards. Secured 1-0 and the League, the date of the Barça title may be set by Madrid.

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