clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Messi, Coutinho & Ansu magnificent as Barcelona cut down Celta

New, comments

The Blaugranes on a roll

RC Celta v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

What a start to the season this is turning out to be.

From the depths of despair against Bayern to a - whisper it quietly - sparkling new era under Ronald Koeman.

Of course, we’re only two games into the 2020/21 campaign, so let’s not get too carried away.

However, hearing how Lionel Messi was ‘plugged in’ according to Sergi Roberto, certainly offers hope that this season will be anything but what we expected three to four weeks ago.

The win at Celta, our first at Balaidos since 2015, was well deserved too.

RC Celta v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

In monsoon like conditions at times, Barca played the better football, pressed harder and faster and generally looked as though they’d been playing Koeman’s 4-2-3-1 a lot longer than they have.

Evidently, it’s a formation that suits them, albeit it’s a real departure from the 4-3-3 that culers have become used to.

The system affords a freedom to Messi and Philippe Coutinho, and how different does the Brazilian look now that he’s being played in his rightful position?!

He has to go some way to start paying back the €160m, but at this point, I’d rather dwell on the positives than looking back.

Ansu Fati continues to impress and delight in equal measure too.

If the Blaugranes can stay relatively injury free over the course of the next few weeks, there’s no reason why a decent lead at the top of La Liga can’t be built up.

Real Madrid are stuttering through matches, ditto Atleti, and if Sevilla can be dispatched on Sunday, then a difficult opening trio of games will have been negotiated perfectly. I’m not sure anyone would’ve predicted that.

Away from on-pitch matters, the vote of no confidence appears likely to get to the second stage at least.

Celta de Vigo v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

If a new president was to be elected in the next few weeks rather than in six months, it would be a brave man to remove Koeman if Barca are still as sprightly and aggressive as they have been in their opening two league games.

There is certainly a form of respect there now for the Dutchman from Messi, even if it’s nothing more than a business arrangement.

That’s vital as Barca look to go into the Champions League group stages in the best possible shape.

A winner in the European competition last season, Coutinho’s form could also be crucial in how deep into the competition the team could go this season.

There’ll be bumps along the way for this team, of that there’ll be no doubt, but I’m willing to bet that this will end up being a season to savour.