Pedri/ Photograph - Shutterstock/Photographer - Christian Bertrand

Barcelona are young and exciting. But Barcelona are also still naive and inexperienced

One of Barcelona's most reassuring halves on European soil was sadly followed by total capitulation. But is all as bleak as it may seem?

Barcelona are the spitting image of their coach. Just like Xavi, Barcelona are young and exciting. Just like Xavi, Barcelona are aggressive and intense. Just like Xavi, Barcelona want it all and they want it now. But also like Xavi, Barcelona are still inexperienced. Also like Xavi, Barcelona are often reckless and naive; they live and they die by their choices and decisions.

Manchester United, on the other hand, are also a young team. If anything, Erik Ten Hag has had even less time at the wheel than his Catalan counterpart. But his team also feels more mature, more adaptive and even more so than that, they are a team that has more bite to them. And perhaps, that is to be expected.

After all, Ten Hag’s resume speaks for itself, even if his only other big tenure was at Ajax. Still, these details matter. It matters when you have experience in Europe, playing against other top European teams. It matters when you have lived the pressure of those unforgiving nights as a coach, dancing on the knife’s edge. And it matters when you have the leisure of a total rebuild behind you. Barcelona have no such thing.