Dynamic midfield trio helps revitalize Barcelona against Atletico Madrid

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DEC 3: Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona (R) during the Spanish "La Liga" league football match between FC Barcelona vs Atletico de Madrid at the Lluis Companys stadium in Barcelona, Spain on December 3, 2023.
Photo by Adria Puig/Anadolu via Getty Images

FC Barcelona have always been known to have a particular style of play. However, this season they began to overthink things and as a result, became predictable for the opponent. But in the recent fixture against rivals Atletico Madrid, it was a different Barcelona – a more relaxed Barcelona.

It was noticeable in recent games that the Blaugranes were not enjoying themselves on the field, which was frustrating for fans to watch. Perhaps, one of the reasons for that was the absence of the midfield duo of Pedri and Frenkie De Jong.

With these two players in the midfield and Ilkay Gundogan, The Blaugranes were a totally different side and managed to dominate the game for the most part. Gundogan and De Jong aimed at attracting the opponent players which generated space for Pedri to roam freely in the midfield and dictate the play.

Thanks to Pedri, two passes are all it took to score the only goal in the game. Raphinha received the ball and had space in the midfield to easily find Joao Felix, who nonchalantly chipped it over Jan Oblak to put the ball in the back of the net.

The scoreline didn’t do justice to how well the Catalans played. If it weren’t for Robert Lewandowski’s indecisiveness in front of goal, Atletico Madrid would have faced a drubbing at the hands of Barcelona.

The Catalans were no longer predictable and with the game their midfield maestros were having, it became even more difficult for Atletico Madrid to stop them.

The players were all smiles during the game and it was evident with the social media post made by Pedri, in which he said, “Today we enjoyed it and we made them enjoy it.”

As highlighted by SPORT, “This Barca is playing something,” was the message from the fans in the stadium and millions around the world as they watched FC Barcelona arguably have one of their best games of the season.

This midfield trio hasn’t started many games together, but yesterday it looked like they had been playing together since ages.

“Pedri, Gundogan, and De Jong have played very few games together. It’s a question of chemistry and it takes some time. Today they played very well,” were the words of a delighted Xavi after the game.

Pedri, De Jong, and Gundogan dominated the match by keeping things simple, enjoying the game, and not overcomplicating stuff. Beware Europe because if Barcelona dare, they can play like no one else and on their day, would outplay any team in the world.

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