True to its name – La Festa del Gamper – this game was a fest. The last show for 80.000 eager fans before the 2022/23 season officially kicks off the next weekend. Barcelona ended this preseason period in style, putting 6 past their Mexican visitors, and is heading into the league start oozing from power and confidence.
One thing which clearly put us superior in this encounter is simply the quality in our team. In this transfer window, we managed to strengthen our roster with some top individuals who are able to raise the bar higher. With these moves, we secured a comfortable depth in the squad which helps to retain the quality of football with personnel changes.
For example, there was a full-line substitution in the second half, but it wasn’t visible in the play. From Riqui Puig and Martin Braithwaite, we reached a level of luxury where de Jong and Aubameyang can come off the bench to bring a new wave of energy into the game, sustaining the high intensity of Xavi’s game.
The other side of the game, from a tactical standpoint, worked wonders. Inserting the new components while unleashing the best self of them, individuals were flourishing in the well-oiled machine of the Blaugranas. Suffice thinking to Lewandowski, who, with a goal and 2 assists, eventually won the MVP of the match. In possession, his contribution to the buildups was constant & crucial, and his first goal also came in finally. First of many, hopefully.
Besides him, there were numerous performances to be praised. Pedri was magnificent again, also rewarded with a brace, Frenkie’s impressive skills, Kessié’s ever-present energy bomb, the dynamic duo of Dembélé and Raphinha…plenty of showings to be proud of.
Lastly, a heartwarming phenomenon was the presence of Dani Alves. Sure, this time not in the garnet and blue jersey, but the good crazy was celebrated as the eternal member of our family. The warm welcome though was rather a goodbye to the legend who gave his everything for the Barca crest in two stints, and now, came back to say goodbye properly in front of Camp Nou. Quite an unusual farewell, but that made it even more memorable.
Thank you, Gamper, for all the spectacle!