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Barça regained its shine at José Zorrilla on Tuesday in a match that dominated from the start, with an approach that was choked on Real Valladolid, unable to stop the constant creation game of the Catalan team, in which Leo Messi returned to be the protagonist, along with Pedri.
The Blanquivioleta team, as its coach, Sergio González, had commented on the eve of the match, came out boldly and impudently, ready to surprise the rival players and, above all, the trio of centrals that Koeman arranged on the Zorrilla pitch , and imposed an intense pace of play.
Weissman fired the first shot on goal of the clash in minute 6, which was stopped by Ter Stegen and, although the Valladolid people kept up the pressure, they did not find a counter-attack option, while Barça, used to having possession of the ball, was finding accommodation and approaching the local area with great danger.
Messi began to show his power with a great hit that went to the right of Masip’s goal and the Jordi Alba-Pedri tandem, accumulated good actions. It was the Argentine striker who was about to open the scoring, with a strong shot that Masip cleared in a great intervention.
It was the first warning, which did not leave time for the Blanquivioleta team to assimilate it, since, in the subsequent play, Lenglet managed to raise the first goal to the Barca locker, with a header after a perfect cross from Messi, before which the goal local couldn’t do anything.
Barça became owner and lord of the game, and made it clear that it was not going to settle for the advantage. The Valladolid people did not know how to defend the system proposed by Koeman and were constantly besieged.
The good collective organization of the Catalans was rewarded again and, thus, Braithwaite added a new goal before the break, after winning the position and pushing the ball to the back of the net, in a play in which, again, Messi, had a special role.
With that 0-2, and the feeling that there was only one team on the José Zorrilla pitch, especially after the first Barça goal, it came to rest. Total superiority of Barcelona, which displayed its best version, both on the offensive and defensive sides.
Sergio González gave way to Toni Villa to look for a revulsive attack with his speed and, ten minutes later, he made a triple change, giving entry to Orellana, Kike Pérez and Roque Mesa, in order to match the rival’s scheme, although the Barça continued at his own pace, and Messi tried again, finding Masip again.
But the insistence also found gratification, and the Argentine star managed to score, after a great heel pass from Pedri, a decisive player in the Barça creation game. Curiously, that third goal came when Valladolid began to balance Barça’s tactics.
Orellana had the best chance for Real Valladolid to score, but his very strong shot was cleared by Ter Stegen masterfully and also annulled Kike Pérez’s subsequent rejection, to finish off the full match made by the Catalans. Of course, Valladolid insisted until the end in search of that much honor that would not come. Ter Stegen prevented it.