clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Dembele keeps Barcelona on track in the title race

New, comments

Cometh the hour...

FC Barcelona v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Don’t you just hate the games after the international breaks?!

Almost without fail, Barca seem to struggle in the matches that come directly afterwards, no matter the opponents.

Maybe there was also a little too much complacency in the side given that Valladolid have been struggling and with 12 players out for a variety of reasons, this was going to be a walk in the park wasn’t it...

As we’ve seen so many times before, Cadiz being the prime example, Barca find it difficult to break down teams that sit 10 men behind the ball and then spring out on the counterattaack.

In fairness to the visitors to the Camp Nou on Monday night, they probably could’ve been a goal to the good themselves at various points throughout the 90 minutes.

FC Barcelona v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As it turned out, one goal was it all needed for the Catalans to take all three points, and what a time for Ousmane Dembele to strike.

There’s no knowing at this stage just how important that goal will be, but it will have certainly given the team the lift they needed before El Clasico.

Having the luxury of the rest of the week without any worries whilst Real Madrid have to go at it hammer and tongs in the Champions League against Liverpool can’t be understated.

Barca will need to have Dembele in much better form on Saturday if they want to earn a first Clasico win in a while, however.

Against Valladolid, we saw the full range of what the Frenchman is capable of. Pace, power, accuracy and a threat with both feet.

FC Barcelona v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Infuriatingly, the wasteful shooting, running down blind alleys and lazy passing was also on show and it’s a wonder Ronald Koeman hadn’t substituted him he was that poor in the final 20 minutes.

All of that will be forgotten because of that one glorious moment in the final minute of normal time.

It’s quite unbelievable to think that the title race is in Barca’s hands, considering where they were after 10 games of the season... the worst start to a campaign in three decades.

If nothing else, this season really has shown everyone that a league campaign is a marathon not a sprint, and Barca are absolutely the form team at just the right time.

They might not go on to win anything, but will have given it a bloody good go, and as football supporters that’s all you can ask for from your team.