Dominant result,(not so) dominant display: Barça score 4 but still underperform?

It was a convincing win for Barcelona, at least on paper. But there are still questions Xavi needs to answer.

It’s easy to criticise when the team loses and nothing goes their way. That’s when the flaws are in the spotlight and kicking someone when they’re down is what often happens. But criticising when the team is winning is far more difficult. That’s when we have to analyse the details, look for little things that could’ve been better and identify aspects that can take the team to a new level.

Tonight, Barcelona registered a dominant win in a game that felt anything but dominant. When you go deeper into it, it felt like another instance of not playing particularly well and yet still ‘grinding out’ the result. Grinding out may be a strange way to describe a game that ended 4-0 but anything that’s not dominant on the pitch - positionally, structurally and possession-wise, regardless of the result - is grinding out for Barcelona. That is the bar Xavi should be aiming for.

In theory, it should also be easy for a team winning 4-0 against the currently worst team in LaLiga to calm the game down and ease off into the sunset. But Barcelona never showed that kind of composure tonight. And much of it has to do with their verticality triggers.