Photo of Barcelona captain Lionel Messi and Miralem Pjanić

Barcelona looks to turn things around in Spanish league

After lastly successful a match at Juventus, Barcelona will probably be trying to flip issues round within the Spanish league. The Catalan membership has a great probability to construct on its Champions League success in Italy when it visits Alavés on Saturday after going winless in three straight league video games, together with final Saturday’s loss to perennial title rival Real Madrid.

Barcelona is already six factors behind second-place Madrid, and one other slip would open up a worrying hole — regardless of having a sport in hand.

“If we keep playing like this, we will get some big wins,” Barcelona proper again Sergi Roberto stated. “After the loss to Madrid, it was important to get a good result. … We want a Barcelona that dictates games, has the ball, and defends well. And that is what we are doing. We have a new coach and are getting our rhythm.”

Barcelona had by no means received in six earlier visits to Juventus. But the crew put in what coach Ronald Koeman referred to as its greatest efficiency this season within the 2-Zero victory on Wednesday.

The membership had began properly below Koeman, successful two matches by a mixed 7-Zero rating. Then got here a dip within the Spanish league, with a 1-1 draw towards Sevilla, a 1-Zero loss at Getafe, and a disappointing 3-1 dwelling loss to Madrid.

That winless run mirrored the turmoil within the boardroom. President Josep Bartomeu introduced that he and his board had been resigning on Tuesday, thereby avoiding the opportunity of changing into the primary membership president to be ousted in a no-confidence vote — a vote that greater than 20,000 offended membership members had efficiently lobbied for.

Now, following the win in Turin, Barcelona is near incomes an early move to the knockout rounds of the Champions League. The crew leads Group G with six factors, three greater than Juventus. Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencváros have one level every.

The caretaker board that can run Barcelona’s day-to-day operations following the exit of Bartomeu was launched on Thursday. It has the difficult activity of figuring out methods to safely maintain elections for a brand new president throughout a resurgence of the coronavirus.

“Barça continues forward,” stated Joan Trayter, a member of the caretaker board. “It helps us a lot that the team won in Turin, where it never had before.”

Barcelona has endured large losses within the knockout rounds of the Champions League over the previous 4 seasons, just like the 8-2 drubbing it took towards Bayern Munich final season. There is a protracted approach to go earlier than reaching that essential stretch of the competitors, however the victory on Wednesday gave Barcelona cause to be hopeful.

The protection held up with out the suspended Gerard Pique even after the damage to Ronald Araújo, when Frenkie de Jong shifted again from midfield to assist Clement Lenglet.

Gone is the well-known assault spearheaded by Luis Suárez. But Messi is now surrounded by a number of weapons that Koeman continually shifts to seek out the proper match — and preserve opponents guessing. Juventus by no means figured it out.

And maybe most significantly, Messi confirmed as soon as once more that he simply desires to play — and to win — regardless of his offseason request to go away the membership he has been part of for 20 years.