FC Barcelona vs Osasuna
In the wake up of the game’s all-time great Diego Maradona’s death, the game began with a tribute to the former Barcelona player. The club displayed a framed and signed Maradona’s no 10 jersey from the stands even as a better tribute was to come from the Argentines successor Messi.
The game started with Barcelona at an unfamiliar position in the bottom half of the table with their opposition. Only a victory would have given Ronald Koeman some breathing space and his team gave it to him with an emphatic 4-0 thrashing. Griezmann’s brilliance and an imperious display by Messi was enough to overcome Osasuna.
Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong returned after the much-needed rest in the Tuesday’s Champions League encounter against Dynamo Kyiv as Koeman made 6 changes to the starting lineups from the game in Kyiv.
Koeman fielded a top-heavy team with Messi, Braithwaite, Griezmann and Coutinho all in the attack as he searched for a much-needed victory after the loss against Atletico Madrid last week.
Jagoba Arraste, Osasuna’s manager also made several changes to his lineup as he looked to exploit Barcelona’s lousy form in La Liga. In the perhaps one of the most exciting season of La Liga in years Osasuna looked to go into the top half of the table after their draw against Huesca.
The match began with a minute’s silence dedicated to Maradona. After the opening whistle, both teams started cautiously. In the 11th minute after a sublime pass from Messi to Griezmann, Coutinho found himself in the shooting for the goal without the goalkeeper in front of the goal. However, his low shot was blocked by the Osasuna defender.
At the 30th minute mark in the goal scuffle where Messi almost recreated Maradona’s hand of God Braithwaite gave Barca the lead. The most stunning goal was to come from Griezmann’s boots when he smashed a volley from outside the D into the net and followed it with a new celebration for his daughter.
Griezmann’s brilliance continued after the half time break as he wrung out the ball from Osasuna player and after a clever interplay with Coutinho pulled a cutback for Coutinho who did not fail this time to put the ball in the back of the net.
The crowning moment, however, was to come in the 73rd minute. Messi, after receiving the ball from Trincao, danced past two defenders and hit the ball in the net. After scoring, he took off his shirt and revealed a Newell’s Old Boys shirt in Maradona’s honour.
The other noteworthy incident was the injury to Clement Lenglet after several clashes with Osasuna players. His injury meant Frenkie de Jong had to play in the position of central defender. Barca is already short on defenders after injuries to Pique, Araujo and Umtiti.
MAN OF THE MATCH:
Lionel Messi with his brilliant performance, was adjudged man o the match. He paid a beautiful tribute to his idol after the 4th goal. For a moment no 10 on the back of his shirt combined with Maradona’s number to form a perfect 10.
It was a confirmation perhaps that Maradona had indeed passed the mantle of GOAT to Messi.
He was so much involved in the game; he was making those through passes, that Alba-Messi linkup was thriving well and even Messi-Griezmann was clicking well with perfection. Messi had a 10 on 10 game and even his heatmap was saying so.
Apart from him, Griezmann’s brilliant performance was a big positive for barca fans as he delivered a much-needed goal and an assist for the team.