God save the King
Those were the four words on the Tifo that Barcelona supporters displayed before the start of the Chelsea game. On it, was Lionel Messi celebrating the last second winner vs PSG in last season’s Champions League. Today though, there was no magic needed. Messi proved to the supporters and the world, just how great he is once again, and finished the game with 100 Champions League goals to his name. Nutmegging Courtouis twice is no small feat and then setting up Dembele for his first goal in a Barcelona shirt… God Save The King indeed.
Dembele’s best is yet to come
After months of injuries, the French winger is finally showing the Camp Nou exactly what warranted his large price tag. His speed, trickery on the ball, and even defensive capabilities were all on show against Chelsea. The winger scored his first goal and then made several lung-busting runs to help out his defense. The Nou Camp showed its appreciation and are right to be excited about the future.
Barca bend but don’t break
Throughout the first and second half, it seemed destined that Barcelona would give up at least one goal. With two shots striking the post again, Barcelona were in a way lucky not to concede a goal. But a recurring theme throughout this campaign is how Valverde’s side will allow another team to mount pressure for a period of time, but not give up a goal. Bend don’t break.
Counter-attacking life is fast
Two of Barcelona’s came on lightning quick counter attacks and after Chelsea had dominated in the offensive half for significant periods of time. It seems as though Ernesto Valverde’s game plan is to simply get the ball to Messi with space and let him work his magic. Luis Suarez and Dembele produced beautifully off the ball, while the midfield played a solid game in the middle of the park.
Injuries worries cloud win?
The one negative coming out of the game is the injuries sustained. First, we saw Sergio Busquets limp off with an apparent leg injury and then Jordi Alba pointing to the back of his leg and coming off. With one more game left before the international break (against Athletic Bilbao), Barcelona will hope that the break ensures that two critically important players get the opportunity to rest and that their injuries are not severe.