Well that’s more like it!
What a fantastic advert for Xavi’s style of football Tuesday night’s game at the Ramon Sánchez Pizjuán was.
A lick of paint away from an away victory was more than most of us would’ve thought possible before the start of the game against Sevilla, and by the end of the game I was disappointed, as I’m sure were many of you, that Barca hadn’t come away with all three points.
There was so much to enjoy on the night, not least seeing Ousmane Dembele causing problems again.
The fact that the Andalusians had to keep doubling up on him said everything about the threat he possesses, and though he still needs to work on his final ball, his was a more than acceptable performance.
Seeing Abde taking on all comers again on the opposite flank will certainly give Xavi some more food for thought.
As with the other youngsters in the team, he is no respecter of reputations. Just get him the ball and watch him go!
His complete lack of fear against any opponent makes him a dangerous customer too, and it’s been a while since we had genuine threats on both sides to widen the pitch and stretch the opposition defence.
For long periods Barca controlled the midfield which was always our stock-in-trade, and we can only dream just how good the Blaugranes will be in those areas once Pedri is back and fit again.
It speaks wonderfully well of the likes of Gavi, Nico and the like that Xavi hasn’t really missed him.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen had barely anything to do in Seville which is probably just as well at this point. Rumours that he has a slight niggle begs the question as to why he isn’t being given time to rest and Inaki Pena given a run in the side?
Defensively there are clear issues to work on, and against teams that are quick on the break and sharper with their passing than Sevilla were, we’ll be in trouble.
Not even Ronald Araujo can be a Johnny on the spot every single time.
However, it’s worth dwelling on how well the back line did for the most part on Tuesday.
Even when playing a high line, they consistently outmanoeuvred their hosts, who were kept at arm’s length save for the Papu Gomez goal from a rehearsed set-piece routine.
That performance has provided the foundation and blueprint for Xavi to work from and it bodes very well indeed for the future.