Barca 3-2 A-League All Stars: Xavi’s team signed off the 2021-22 campaign in Australia with a 3-2 win over the A-League All Stars in a friendly match at the Accor Stadium in Sydney.
Well, this season finale wasn’t the one we were dreaming about, which might obscure the events of the past months. In the end, the Blaugrana finished 2nd place, miles away from the league title but also comfortably clear of bronze-placed Atléti. Thus, the last games were just formality, which was well-reflected by our performance, and ultimately, the result as well.
We are liable to forget the former achievements of the team in the shadow of a recent weak series of games – also known as recency bias. Yes, the international break was truly a break in our form, and we are not the same as before. The intensity, desire, and concentration started to fade away, and just generally, our play massively regressed.
Since Xavi Hernández took over, the team has undergone significant development, which culminated in that amazing February-March run, with the trashings of Napoli, Atlético Madrid, and Real Madrid. However, the recent games gave us flashbacks to the days before his appointment, when we struggled to break the opposition defense, lacked creativity, and most importantly, highlighted our still woeful defensive output, transitions, and decisive mistakes.
On the other hand, being only a friendly match, Xavi was finally comfortable with rotating the squad heavily vs A-League All-Stars (even though he could have done so against Villareal as well, given that we have already secured the league position before), giving game time to the benchwarmers as well, ones who might have played their last game as a Blaugrana – for example, Adama Traoré who also managed to crown his Barca chapter with a goal.
And finally, the youngsters like Baldé, Sanz, Mármol, Aranda, Tenas, and Orellana got the chance as well, some of them were even granted their first-team debut. It’s the start of something beautiful, looking forward to seeing even more of them. The future is bright.