Sergi Roberto is Valverde’s go-to guy
Ernesto Valverde raised a few eyebrows on Saturday as he threw Sergi Roberto in at left-back in place of Jordi Alba.
The 26-year-old has predominantly played at right-back this season, and also in central midfield, but his versatility was tested to the full against Leganes.
It’s probably not an experiment we’re going to see too often, but Roberto did just fine and underlined again just how important he is to Valverde.
Valverde manages a bit of rotation
The fixtures are coming thick and fast for Barcelona at the moment and Valverde finally got into the spirit of things and managed a bit of rotation.
Sergio Busquets wasn’t included at all (let’s hope he’s OK) while Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta all got a bit of a rest.
The players who came in also did well. Thomas Vermaelen has been a great backup centre-back this season and Andre Gomes also looked far more comfortable in a more familiar central role.
Barca equal record but can they go unbeaten all season?
Barcelona equalled Real Sociedad’s record of 38 La Liga games unbeaten on Saturday and they can break it next weekend against Valencia.
The club have not tasted defeat in La Liga for exactly a year, since defeat to Malaga on 8 April 207, a quite remarkable run.
They have just seven games left which raises the question: can they go through the whole season unbeaten? No team has ever gone through a 38-game season unbeaten in Spain but it’s still on for Barca.
Barca must cut out sloppiness
Barcelona were 2-0 up and cruising but it all got a bit tense in the second half when Nabil El Zhar managed to pull one back.
Suddenly the visitors had a glimmer of getting something from a game that Barcelona should have had wrapped up.
Of course Messi’s late goal ensured the points were safe, but better teams that Leganes will make Barcelona pay for such carelessness.
Messi makes up for Suarez misses
Lionel Messi was once again simply brilliant as he scored yet another hat-trick and ensured Barcelona would take him all three points.
A sixth direct free kick goal of the season, was also his sixth consecutive goal from outside the box, what more can you say about this guy?
Yet it was just as well that Messi was on fire because Luis Suarez certainly wasn’t. The Uruguayan has been in prolific form after a slow start but wasted several good chances.