The media will talk all about ‘MSG’, Barcelona’s new attacking trident that finally clicked after Griezmann, Suarez and Messi all linked up brilliantly to each get a goal apiece at Ipurua, but the real credit should be given to the man directly behind them in the midfield: Frenkie de Jong.
The Dutchman was phenomenal from start to finish and once again proved he was worth every penny. Head coach Ernesto Valverde set him up in the center alongside Arthur Melo and Sergio Busquets, who acted as a holding midfielder, and throughout his 79 minutes of play, he successfully completed 45 out of his 50 attempted passes (40% of those passes were sent forward up the pitch), in addition, he set up two clear chances, and won four out of seven duels: a total midfielder.
Without a doubt, it was his best performance away from Camp Nou, and the Eibar fans also realized it, as they applauded him off the field when he was replaced by Ivan Rakitic. I don’t think the Blaugrana club really understand the type of a player they have up their sleeve. His technical skill and ball control are immense, he is everywhere on the pitch, helping out in both attack with his creative vision and in defence, tracking back all the way to the goal line. He rarely makes a wrong decision and fans just can’t get enough of him. A pure exhibition against Eibar and an indicator that the best is yet to come.