An impotent Barça in the first game after Ronald Koeman was sent off could not beat Alavés, who took one point from a Camp Nou with just 37,278 spectators Luis Rioja will manage to level the big goal from Memphis Depay who scored the goal at the beginning of the second half.
Sergi Barjuan, the interim coach of the Catalans, put the revolutions aside and even continued to rely on Sergiño Dest as right-winger despite his hostility to goals. The most relevant novelty in relation to the last games, which were forced by the many losses, was to see the very young interior couple Nico González-Gavi from the start, barely turning 36 years old overall.
The left wing was Barça’s big weapon in the early stages of the game, with a very active Memphis Depay, who temporarily regained some of the freshness shown at the beginning of the season, and a Jordi Alba who managed to reach the bottom line, unfortunately for Joaquín ‘Ximo’ Navarro, who, as if that wasn’t enough, was replaced by an injury previously from the equator of the first half.
Barça intended to show, albeit without luck, that another reality is possible with another ideologue on the bench. Meanwhile, the chosen one, Xavi Hernández, celebrated another triumph with Al Sadd this Saturday as he waited to resolve contractual issues to leave the Qatari club.
But the first chance came in the 17th minute when a hyperactive Eric García hit a header that Antonio Sivera, who was substituted on for the injured Fernando Pacheco, cleared “in extremis”. For his part, Alavés, robust in defense, only managed to disturb Marc-André Ter Stegen after half an hour with a different heading. Edgar Méndez’s attempt went very far from the Barça goal.
This action gave air to the Vitoria team, who managed for the first time to get rid of the hitherto constant, albeit sterile, attack by Barça. And the party fell asleep when the break loomed.
Before it comes Sergio Aguero scared the Camp Nou of Stretching on the floor after symptoms of dizziness appear. The Argentine left the field and was taken to a hospital for a medical examination.
The lost magic returned at the feet of Memphis and once the second half began his right foot invented a shot in the form of a simile embedded in Sivera’s left field. The Camp Nou was released and the Dutchman celebrated with his characteristic gesture of covering his ears.
But the Barça joy lasted only three minutes. The ones who took Luis Rioja to pierce the center of Barça’s defense, very soft, with a single game in which he leaned on Joselu before dribbling over to Ter Stegen and scoring an empty goal.
The guest goal made the Barjuan angry, who initially overcame the blow and they had two very clear opportunities at the feet of Memphis to make the second goal. In the first Gavi helped him and the ball crashed into the right post after a blow over Sivera, in the second it was Nico González who left him alone in front of the visiting goalkeeper who saved the ball.
Both Gerard Piqué and Edgar Méndez left the field with muscle ailments and following the first half, the rhythm of the game deteriorated to the detriment of Barça’s interests. Barjuan’s last letter was to let Alejandro Balde and debutant Ez Abde 10 minutes before the end. They brought energy and daring, but the result no longer stirred.
1- Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mingueza (Balde, at least 80), Eric García, Piqué (Lenglet, at least 70), Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Nico González (Ez Abde, at least 80), Gavi (Riqui Puig, at least 70); Dest, Memphis and Agüero (Coutinho, at least 41).
1 – Alaves: Sivera; Navarro (Martín, min. 21), Laguardia, Lejeune, Duarte; Moya (Manu García, at least 80), Loum, Pere Pons (Tomás Pina, at least 62); Edgar (Pellistri, min. 62), Rioja and Joselu (Sylla, min. 80).
Goals: 1: 0: Memphis Depay, min. 49.1-1: Luis Rioja, min. 52.
Referee: Jorge Figueroa Vázquez (Andalusian Committee). He admonished Antonio Sivera (min. 45 + 5) and Rubén Duarte (min. 82) for Alavés.
Incidents: Game corresponding to the 12th matchday of LaLiga Santander at the Camp Nou in front of 37,278 spectators.