Barcelona take home only one positive from Athletic Club clash


BILBAO, SPAIN - JANUARY 24: Lamine Yamal of FC Barcelona is challenged by Mikel Vesga of Athletic Club during the Copa del Rey Quarter Final match between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on January 24, 2024 in Bilbao, Spain.
Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The recent defeat to Athletic Club leaves FC Barcelona with quite the sour taste in their mouth. Beyond the 4-2 scoreline being hard to digest, it also puts an end to another chapter. With this defeat, Barcelona are now out of another competition that they could have won.

While no positive would normally come out of such a defeat for Barcelona, this time it was a different kind of game. With so many injuries and uncertainties, there was no knowing what players Xavi would end up relying on. Ultimately, those that he did call upon rose to the occasion.

As highlighted by SPORT, it is only through the exceptional performances of the Barcelona youngsters that the club can continue to dream. From Lamine Yamal to Marc Guiu, any and every single one of them that stepped on the field left a mark.

Starting from Yamal, few words can truly describe how exceptional this 16-year-old is. Just when Barcelona were put on the back foot in the first minute, they already seemed out of ideas. However, that is when Lamine Yamal did something that can only be described as “Messi-esque”.

Taking a graceful few touches as he cut in from the right wing, he powered through a shot with his left foot that went straight into the bottom corner. A goal of unquestionable beauty, it gave La Blaugrana something to hope with.

Throughout the game, he continued to put the Athletic goal in danger. Even despite his misses, the youngster proved yet again why there are so many people who dare to believe that he can one day lead this team to a new level.

Beyond just Yamal, even Hector Fort came in to make his mark. Replacing the injured Alejandro Balde, Fort once again was asked to play an unorthodox role for him. Yet, despite being on the left flank, he did all that he could and with great applause-worthy effect.

Then came Pau Cubarsi, replacing the injured Andreas Christensen. Just as he did against Real Betis, Cubarsi once again showed his compatibility with the first team and just how easy it is for him to adjust to the highest level there is.

Lastly, Marc Guiu was Xavi’s final trump card for the game. He constantly managed to create danger with his runs and positioning, and even lashed a shot at goal that the Athletic keeper ultimately managed to keep out. While the goal did not come for him, he surely left a strong impression like his peers.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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