Despite the somewhat perceived unnecessary nature of this return fixture (in the sense it should have been dealt with, perhaps, in the away game), the Barcelona second-teamers managed to adroitly secure our moving on to the next round. Yes, granted, a couple of the starters played in this match instead of getting a break, but the grand majority of the gala eleven got a well-deserved rest. It is an extremely comforting site to see the substitutes finally gelling and playing like a top-notch unit. This with the small caveat of Hércules not really being the most competitive unit. It will be interesting to see how these players perform when faced with more capable opposition.
A very pleasant thing we were all waiting for was the long-awaited first goal in a Barcelona jersey of Paco Alcácer. Hopefully this is the spark that starts the fire. The relief on his face when that ball went in was palpable. For a minute, his lack of celebration coupled with my thinking he was off-sides made me believe he had his goal disallowed. Now we can hope his less than stellar performances of late were some sort of mental block from his pressure to produce as a blaugrana, which should me ameliorated now that he scored his first goal.
Irish Goat’s Gamboling Goleadores!
1st Goleador: Arda Turan
Three goals in a single game will get you on the top spot of any list real fast. It seems that whenever Arda starts a match against a weaker team, instead of coming on from the bench, he scores three goals. Scoring a hat-trick in any game, against any opposition, is not easy in today’s day and age. Unfortunately, it is hard to tell which Arda will show up. The last time he scored a hat-trick earned him a spot in the gala eleven for a match, over a Neymar that has also struggled of late, but little came off that in his performance.
2nd Goleador: Denis Suárez
Correct me if I am wrong, please, but I believe this was the best match Denis has played in a barça jersey to date. He was fast, strong on the ball, and deadly. The opposing players must have felt dread every time he touched the ball, as he was handling pressure impeccably and creating danger every time he had the ball. In a match where Hércules were basically defending with two lines of five defenders, it was ostensibly hard to find any room to do anything. Denis didn’t seem to think this was much of a problem, as he was dribbling everywhere.
3rd Goleador: Rafinha
Rafinha has been one of the most solid substitutes of our team for a while now, and it is honestly getting hard to see why he is not getting more minutes. Along with Denis, the mid-fielding duo were extremely incisive. Rafinha also associated incredibly well with Aleix Vidal, who also had a terrific game.
As always Visca Barça!