Sergino Dest vs Dynamo Kyiv
In one of the season’s best performances, Barca thrashed Dynamo Kyiv 4-0 and fixed their place in the knockout stages of this year’s Champions League. Despite struggling with a lengthy list of injuries, the team looked solid, and there were many standouts. The deserved Man of the Match and the clear standout among all the other players was Sergino Dest.
Sergino Dest – The Perfect ‘Barca’ Right Back
Barca came into this match with a list of injuries, which is increasing game after game. The two first-choice defenders, Pique and Roberto, were not available, and Dest and Barca B’s Mingueza came in. And there is no lie in saying that Barca didn’t miss them. Mingueza was solid at the back and had one of the best debuts one can dream of.
Sergino Dest, from the very first minute, didn’t put a foot wrong. As the match started, Barca dominated possession and played some great transition passes through the outstanding midfield duo of Alena and Pjanic. Trincao started on the right-wing, and in the initial phases of the game, he was overdoing things. Trincao was looking to take on players rather than giving it to the best-suited player.
With Trincao being a bit wasteful on the ball, Dest shone on the right flank. He was very active on the ball, and off the ball, he was aware of his defensive duties. In the game’s initial phases, the game was played on the left flank, with Pedri and Coutinho running things on the left and Firpo being an extra body there. But, as soon as the game shifted from the left to the right, Dest never looked back.
Sergi Roberto has been the first choice right-back for Koeman. When Dest arrived, there were doubts about how much time will he take to adapt to this team. Other than this, there were also doubts about his defensive capabilities. But as he has played more and more, he is also putting that doubt to the bed. Let’s look at some of his best plays from last night’s match. Here is how the 1st goal was scored.
The above three graphics show the initiation for the first goal. Dest, with his attacking mindset, takes a central position. He then releases Pedri with a small poke, but he doesn’t stop there. As Pedri gives it to Braithwaite, Dest continues his run in the box and eventually scored Barca’s first goal on the night. Now, let’s look at another example of his attacking mindset.
The above two graphics show his attacking intent. He starts on the right flank, takes on the first defender with a cheeky skill, and puts a very dangerous cross between the goalkeeper and the defenders.
These are some of his plays among many of them in the game, where he dominated the opposition. Dest is the answer to Barca’s question of the perfect right back. Whenever Roberto returns from injury, he has fantastic competition, which is very healthy for the team.
These three plays are just an example of how a long ball distorted the defensive shape. The keeper plays a long ball in the first one, and Firpo is way out of his position, making a 4v3 situation. But, on the top, Dest holds his position amazingly well and tracks back fast. The second image is the end of the 1st image’s move. Mingueza’s tackle stopped Kyiv’s shot, and Barca recovered well.
The 3rd image again shows how Firpo is again out of position. Again, top right, Dest holds his position well.
Sergino Dest is just 20. He is pacy, which helps him recover his position as fast he can. And what stands out most for him is he is very efficient in the attack, which leads to no-ball losses, which eventually leads to a minimum pressure.
According to Fbref, Dest had 95 touches in 90 minutes and had around 89% completion rate. He had an xG of 0.4, which is the highest in the team.
Dest is the next big thing at the right-back position. Barca had a sensation in Dani Alves for many years, and to fill in his shoes is not easy. Barca tried many players, but nobody reached that level. Dani Alves was the GOAT of the right-back position. Dest has the best opportunity to make the right-back position his, as Barca fans should be very excited for him.