FC Barcelona are competing for several major trophies this season. The Catalans will be defending their Spanish Champions title while also competing for the Copa del Rey and trying to go as far as possible in the UEFA Champions League.
It is understood that for any team to compete in these many tournaments, the quality of the overall squad sometimes matters more than the quality of the starting XI. This season, Barcelona seems blessed with a very strong squad despite it not being a very big one.
Xavi’s substitutes showing great numbers
Xavi mentioned in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Mollarca that Barcelona’s squad was not the biggest, but the versatility of his players allows him to keep his team fresh throughout a ninety-minute match.
The Barcelona head coach has been quite good with his substitutions this season, and this is also observable from the stats.
Barcelona substitutes have contributed four goals and one assist in eight games up to now. However, their introduction into the game is not fully reflected in their numbers, as they also change the entire tempo of the team with their freshness and quality.
Helping the team win
In the match against Cadiz, Xavi brought in players from his bench from the 68th minute when the score was tied 0-0. Barcelona won this match with two goals, one of which was scored by a substitute, Ferran Torres, in the final ten minutes.
The same thing happened against Villarreal, as the team was losing 3-2 before Xavi took to his bench in the 63rd minute, and Barcelona won the match 4-3, with another goal from Torres, who came on as a substitute.
Against Osasuna, the score was tied at 1-1 before three of the five substitutes made their entry to help Barcelona score another goal in the 85th minute. Raphinha came from the bench to score a goal against Celta, while Gavi came on in the 36th minute against Celta Vigo and helped spark the comeback in the final ten minutes of the game.
In the match against Mallorca, Xavi once again turned to his bench. On the 58th minute, with the score at 2-1, he brought in Lewandowski, followed by Lamine Yamal and Fermin Lopez on the 64th minute.
The reinforcements he brought on from the bench successfully altered the pace and dynamics of the game. Notably, all three substitutes played vital roles in the buildup to the equalizing goal, which was ultimately netted by Fermin Lopez in the 75th minute.”
Thus, Barcelona’s strong bench has been one of the reasons for the team’s strong start to La Liga. Xavi has been key with his in-game changes, and this strong bench and Xavi’s abilities can help Barcelona win important trophies by the end of the season.