Incredible but true. In a team of excessive talent and that has some of the best players in the world in its eleven, two are the resources that keep Barça leading. First, the ball stopped. And second, the scoring contribution of the substitutes. Two strengths of a club that won in Butarque but did not play well and that, with the passing of the games, especially outside the Camp Nou, parked the brilliance to resort to efficiency.
As for the stopped ball, Barça no longer sees this fate as an anecdote, but as a category. Each day has more importance in the team and increasingly weighs more on the results. The numbers do not lie: only 1 of Barça’s last 7 goals has been a game run. On the other hand, 6 of the last 7 goals Barça have come from the actions to the stopped ball. Namely: two goals from the penalty spot, two direct foul by Lionel Messi and two in strategy plays.
Another factor that is saving Barça in the most delicate moments of the matches is the contribution of the bench. Valverde’s “second unit” has given Barça quite a few points in the most complicated games. And in fact, he has scored up to 7 goals coming off the bench. Luis Suarez scored 2 goals as a substitute, Arturo Vidal scored against Leganés, Ansu Fati also scored from the bench, so did the Brazilian Arthur and finally, Sergio Busquets also managed to score.
It is obvious that Barça must improve its game and its performance, especially away from home, if you want to win this League. But of course, no one could argue that Valverde, in these last matches, is being saved and the contribution of the “second unit.”