Two pivots and the colors they painted for Barcelona against Arsenal – report

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Barcelona took part in their first game of their pre-season tour of the United States of America against Arsenal in what resulted in an intense friendly between the two European giants.

Resulting in a 5-3 defeat for La Blaugrana, Barcelona had the opportunity to try out some of their new signings and relatively lesser integrated players in an experimental squad of sorts.

One key area of concern that fans and staff alike of FC Barcelona were keeping a keen eye on was the position of the central defensive midfielder. For both halves of the game, a different player was in charge of holding down the pivot position.

As highlighted by Spanish outlet SPORT, for the first 45 minutes the position was helmed by new arrival from Girona, Oriol Romeu, and it was clear to see that the 31-year-old was still adapting to his new environment at Barcelona.

During his half on the field, the midfielder managed 14 interceptions, 2 losses of possession, and only a singular clearance. In terms of passing the midfielder managed to complete 6 out of his 8 total passes, a 75% success rate. He also conceded two fouls and won 5 duels.

The second half was then helmed by Dutch star Frenkie De Jong, with the 26-year-old being noticeably more comfortable in the middle of the Barcelona midfield as the pivot.

Given his prior experience already in the position at Barcelona itself, it was understandable that while he was on the field it seemed much more covered. However, it does seem apparent that the Dutchman is a much more useful asset to Barcelona when deployed in a more offensive role.

The 26-year-old Barcelona star managed to complete 28 out of 32 total passes, a success rate of 88%, alongside having created a great chance, winning a singular duel, and also amassing 35 interceptions.

As it stands, the midfield dilemma will continue to persist for Barcelona for the entirety of the remaining pre-season. However, it is now in the hands of Xavi Hernandez to make sure the best possible outcome is found.

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