Podcast discussing the latest news concerning FC Barcelona.
FC Barcelona v Elche (3-0) Match Review: Lewandowski TWO MORE GOALS! Pedri MOTM, Depay Scores!
The Barca Breakdown discussed Matchday 6 against Elche. Elche has surely struggled this season as they've plummeted to 20th on the table. Barca's form this season has proved to be strong, scoring many goals, many of which coming from Lewandowski.
Unfortunately for Elche, they received a red card for a poor foul on Lewandowski in the 15th minute leaving them with 10 men. Barca certainly capitalized on this opportunity, in the 34' when Balde crossed the ball into the box and Lewy slid in and scored. It was all downhill for Elche from that point. Depay was also able to box out his defender in the box and received a pass from Balde. Depay quickly turned and smashed the ball into the back of the net. The first half ended and Barca completely dominated possession and control of the game.
The second half started with Kessie subbed off for Gavi. Soon after, Gavi pushed forward and crossed the ball back to Lewandowski. A one touch shot placed the ball in the left side of the net. Barca lead 3-0.
Big shout out to Frenkie De Jong, Balde, and Lewandowski for a great performance and complete domination of the game. Elche only managed 1 shot on goal with a 22% possession. While this game cannot provide any insight on Barca's progress it keeps them very competitive in La Liga. International break has now begun for Barca. The big question is can they keep their form when they return? When we return in October to play Mallorca, we have a big test in the Champions League against Inter Milan. This is the focus of Barca.
Bayern Munich v FC Barcelona (2-0) Match Review: Lewandowski and Pedri Fall Short & Alonso Starts!
The Barca Breakdown discussed the tough Champions League loss in Munich. With so much history in the recent years between Bayern and Barca, this match was highly anticipated. This is especially true as Barca has seen some wonderful improvement this year under Xavi and after the summer transfer window. Unfortunately, the game did not pan out in Barca's favor and they lost 2-0 to Bayern. Barca's biggest enemy was themselves. This game could have been won with some clinical finishing from Lewandowski and Pedri. Additionally, the front line overall seems to lack that final oomph.
Let's take a step back and look at Xavi's lineup. It was pretty obvious Xavi was going to start Dembele, Raphinha, Lewandowski, Pedri, Gavi, and Busquets. However, surprisingly, Xavi started Alonso as left back ahead of Balde or even Alba. Christensen also received a start over Garcia, presumably due to the injury Garcia has. Despite the one curveball, Barca came out with a ferocity unseen in a big Champions League game in the last few years. Barca defense was able to keep Bayern at bay for most of the first half by intercepting the ball and stripping players in the midfield. This accomplishment was led by Busquets and Gavi who performed wonderfully in the first 90. Unfortunately, Raphinha seemed a bit off the mark and Lewandowski/Pedri both missed great opportunities.
The second half began with subs on the Bayern side, yet none from Xavi. This had an immediate effect, as Bayern were able to break Barca's defense. Barca failed to effectively mark attackers on a corner and fell asleep on the defense resulting in 2 goals. Xavi finally decided to make some subs, however a little too late. Barca found themselves trying to fight back and could not finish anything. Xavi received some criticism for making late subs and for Ferran Torres being the first player off the bench. Barca are tied in Group C with Inter Milan under Bayern Munich. While this game did not give the results fans had hoped for, it certainly leaves hope in Barca's CL endeavors for this year. Focus will be turned back to La Liga for the weekend game against Elche.
Cadiz v. FC Barcelona (0-4): Frenkie CRUSHES Cadiz’s 2 Year Unbeaten Streak Against Barca
The Barca Breakdown discussed matchday 5 away in Cadiz. A team that is 20th on the table with ZERO points and ZERO goals on the charts. Seeing Barca have their first huge match of the season against Bayern on Tuesday, Xavi chose a lineup that featured less starters. Bellerin started as right back alongside Araujo, Pique, and Balde while the midfield started with Frenkie, giving Pedri a rest. Memphis and Torres were the attacking front with Raphinha.
As the lineup is very fresh, it was expected to have a slower start. Most goal scoring attempts came from the left side of the field, however, the finishing touches were sloppy and off the mark. Torres continued to sky the ball into the stands and Depay continued to shoot low and weak at the goalie, making for easy saves. A great output was seen from Frenkie and Gavi while Busquets held the midfield ground. However no goals were scored and Cadiz was able to play a heavy defensive line to crowd the box.
The second half started with no substitutes. But it was the starting XI that could score the game opener. Raphinha runs up the right side of the pitch getting the ball to Gavi who crosses the ball and the goalie blocks it. The rebound fell to Frenkie de Jong who put in the opening goal. After this moment, the game opens up as Cadiz must score to equalize or lose the game. Xavi then puts on Dembele, Fati, and Lewandowski. Not long after, Bellerin makes a run down the right pitch and gets the ball to Raphinha who crosses the ball into Frenkie and a Cadiz defender. The ball slips off and Lewandowki slides in for the goal! In the 80' the game was paused due to a person in the crowd falling ill. After about a 45 minute delay the game resumed. Fati was able to score in the box from an assist from Lewy and another goal from Dembele! The game ends 0-4 and Barca take another 3 points.
The Breakdown looks forward to the midweek Bayern game. Where Barca will face their first huge test of the season.
FC Barcelona v. Plzen (5-1): DEMBELE AND LEWANDOWSKI IGNITE Champions League Season Opener!
The Barca Breakdown discussed the champions league season opener against Plzen with goals from Lewandowski and Dembele. While Barca fell in the Group of Death (again), Plzen were the least threatening. However, Barca could not afford to lose points in the group as Barca will play Bayern Munich and Inter Milano. The Bayern game is next Tuesday and it's safe to say Xavi wants his most trusted starting XI ready and rested.
So in today's game, we saw an interesting line-up which included Alba and Roberto as fullbacks, Frenkie, Pedri, and Kessie in the midfield, and Fati with his first start alongside Dembele and Lewandowski. The game opened up a little rusty, with Barca losing the ball which led to some fast breaks for Plzen. After a few close calls from Plzen, Barca adjusted. Suddenly, Barca were on the ball consistently and maintained possession in the attacking half. Plzen became helpless as they scrambled to cover the gaps in their defense. The game exploded wide open after Dembele's corner came soaring to Kounde. Kounde headed the ball to Kessie and Kessie put the goal away. The next 3 goals came from a hattrick by none other than Robert Lewandowski! His assists came from Roberto, Dembele, and Ferran Torres. The last goal was scored by Torres with an assist from Demebele. Overall, Lewandsowki and Dembele were equally magnificent in the Champions League opener.
The team was able to dominate possession and capitalize on Plzen's mistakes. The Barca squad also put in high effort offensively and defensively, constantly looking to score and get the ball back. While the Barca squad did a fantastic job, it must be said that Plzen did not perform very well. They clearly could not match the caliber of Barca and were not prepared. Despite this, Barca put out a completely dominant performance and should be applauded for their hard work! The Breakdown looks to the weekend as we play Cadiz and next week's Champions League game in Munich.
Sevilla v FC Barcelona (0-3) Match Review: Lewandowski, Dembele, & Raphinha Shut Sevilla Down In 45’
The Barca Breakdown discussed the away victory against Sevilla. Coming into the game Barca had just come off a 4-0 win against Villadolid and Sevilla only had 1 point in 4 games. Xavi also decided to use the same line up against Villadolid, but started Dembele on the left side and Raphinha on the right.
In the first 20 minutes, Barca struggled to move the ball forward as Sevilla dropped their defense into their defensive half. This was also difficult to deal with because our midfields were pushed too far forward. However, Gavi dropped back and was able to intercept and steal the ball from Sevilla. This was the catalyst to Barca's success. In the 21' minute, Gavi intercepted the ball and was able to find Dembele running down the left wing. Lewandowski receives the ball and chips it over the goalie, but a defender knocks it before it makes it past the goal line. Luckily, Raphinha had tracked on the right side and headers the ball in to make the opening goal.
After this moment, Sevilla wasn't able to hold Barca back. By the end of the first half Barca were up 0-2 with an assist from Kounde to Lewandowski for an astounding goal. The third goal came from a nice set piece from Dembele and Raphinha to Erica Garcia in the box. After this, the game was sealed and Sevilla could not come back.
Barca look forward to the midweek champions league game against Plzen, then Cadiz on the weekend, and lastly face off against Bayern Munich.
FRENKIE v. GAVI with ThePurist: The FIGHT For Xavi’s Starting XI - Who Deserves The RW? Dembele or Raphinha?
The Barca Breakdown discussed the debate of who should start, Frenkie or Gavi and Barcelona's choices for wingers. Special guest Jaleel, aka ThePurist_ on Twitter, joins us to give his insight.
Gavi and Frenkie both have their strengths and weaknesses, but the differential in minutes seems to favor Gavi. We discuss why Xavi prefers Gavi and why haven't we seen more Frenkie. What type of match do each of these players prosper in and has Xavi figured this out?
Then there's the discussion of Dembele and Raphinha playing at the same time. It clear that both of them perform better on the right wing. If this is the case, should be be playing them both at the same time if they both ar best on the right? What about the left wing? Raphinha is not the only option on the left wing. Barca still have Fati and Ferran Torres. But both have recently come back from injury and have yet to reach their forms.
One thing is for sure, Barca have many options and can experiment in the coming season.
One of my favorite podcasts
Glad they are back!!
I’m so glad the breakdown is back! Great energy and coverage of Barca, love to unwind and get their take on what’s going on. I agree the team is on a good run and am excited to see what is happening with the elections and Messi!
A good summary of the top post-game tweets and reddit posts.