The tactical analysis of Barça-Atlético: fear of being discarded. Barça and Atlético did too little to deserve the three points and preferred to avoid the disaster rather than seek the impact of a victory.
1. Barça sinks
The insecurity of Barça was perceptible by looking at the height at which the defense stood and comparing it with that of Atlético. Barça sank a lot, too much, as if it had given up defending forward and allowed Atlético to advance and finish from the area.
The feeling of danger multiplied to the point of frightening and the Catalans lagged behind, forcing themselves to run many meters. Atlético knew how to put the lines together very well and did not allow the Catalans to reach Oblak’s domains. Ter Stegen, on the other hand, lived in anguish .
2. Messi fouls
Atlético defended away from Oblak because they stopped Barça. He stopped Messi. It is already known that the Barça captain is only stopped with fouls, and the exception to the rule was observed in the 40th minute: on the 10th he left with up to six opponents in a slalom that Oblak destroyed with the tips of his fingers. The rojiblanco goalkeeper’s first stop came when Ter Stegen had already had four.
Five of Atlético’s 13 fouls in the first half were on Messi, the only one with initiatives. In the end, they increased to nine of the 26 committed by the rojiblanco team. Messi forced all three cards (Saúl, Felipe and Koke). Nobody has made so many fouls against Barça this season. Athletic (in the Super Cup) and Rayo Vallecano (in the Cup) reached 24.
3. Always in the center
Little of Jordi Alba and less of Sergiño Dest. Atlético waited in the center for Barça with a mountain of footballers that made a route of penetration impossible, unless Messi created it. Attracting in the center to open in the band was done by Barça too slowly, so much so that Simeone’s team struggled only in a final arreón.
The team failed to exploit Atlético’s weakness on its left wing , which covered Lemar (injured at ten minutes) and Carrasco, who is not a defense. Saúl entered , who is not, and Messi took a card from him very soon. Barça did not know how to turn on the right wing and gave Simeone time to rectify.