Striker Ousmane Dembele could not play due to injury, but that did not affect the decision to rotate players in the attack of coach Xavi Hernandez. Winger Raphinha is still resting on the bench, in order to recuperate for the rematch with Man United in the Europa League in the middle of this week. The person chosen to play Barca’s right-wing striker in the match against Cadiz was Ferran Torres.
It was the right choice of coach Xavi. Torres is Barca’s best player, although he did not score a goal against Cadiz. The Spanish player is very active. He constantly “tortures” Cadiz’s defense with quick and technical dribbles. Torres became the trigger for the attacking ball of the Catalunya team with no less than 5 passes creating delicious opportunities for teammates.
Another decision to rotate players by coach Xavi has also worked great. That’s how he put the old general Sergio Busquets on the bench to create conditions for Sergi Roberto to play in central midfield. This is a brave choice. Because Barca’s midfield in this match is already short of personnel with Pedri’s injury, not to mention in recent years, Sergi Roberto has often kicked right back.
Returning to play in his forte position in the middle of the field, Sergi Roberto was like a fish in water. He became Barca’s great ball transit point, making a great contribution to helping the Catalan team gain control of the ball overwhelmingly with a rate of 65% – 35% against Cadiz. In particular, this 31-year-old player is very effective in supporting the attack. He scored the opening goal for the home team, and directly assisted Robert Lewandowski to seal a 2-0 victory in the first half for Barca.
In defense, the absence of Ronald Araujo (suspended) allows Eric Garcia to play in the center-back pairing with Andreas Christensen. The Spaniard had an excellent day. He is not only sure in defense but also becomes a very good attacking link of the Catalunya team. Statistics after the game show that Garcia is Barca’s player making the most passes on the field (106 passes).
Barca currently leads La Liga with 8 points more than the second-ranked team and is entering an acceleration phase to prepare to finish in the 2022/23 season. The effectiveness of coach Xavi’s “rotation” rounds is very encouraging. That partly shows in Barca the appearance of the La Liga champion.