Just like we predicted, Barcelona trashed Sporting Gijon 0-5. It wasn’t a dominated match as expected, but Barcelona was great at turning every chance into a goal.
Enrique decided to give Gomes a starting place, and Rakitic and Iniesta were on the bench. Rafinha was a starter too, and Paco had 20 minutes to impress Enrique.
Neymar scored two goals, Rafinha, Suarez and Arda scored per one.
Neymar had the role of a playmaker, and he didn’t disappoint. He was comfortable with the ball, and the Sporting defense had troubles stopping him and his offensive runs.
Andre Gomes needs to improve
Iniesta is not getting younger, even though he’s still a key figure at Barcelona. But bringing a potential replacement was a good move.
But we’re not sure if the Gomes is the right guy to replace Iniesta. He’s job is to create chances and move the ball to create space. But that’s not what we saw against Sporting.
He was slow when it comes to decision making, and he had a few goal chances but he couldn’t score. He’s still adapting to the system, but he better start improving and show results as soon as possible.
Enrique is not that type of a coach that will give you more chances than you deserve. But that’s not all up to him. Barcelona just can’t afford to work with players that lack the potential to constantly perform on high level.
Sergi Roberto is showing world class potential
All that rumors regarding Bellerin will vanish if Sergi continues to perform like he did against Sporting. He was truly a world class right back, and that’s not even his position.
He made two assists against Sporting, and he was amazing overall. He’s currently the La Liga player with the most assists.
He was always there to stop a potential counter attack, and his timing was great when he was running wide to receive the ball and create a chance.
“Sergi Roberto is the best right-back for Barcelona,” Luis Enrique said at his post-match press conference.”
“Sporting Gijon were very intense, Barcelona were having a hard time making progress in attack but fortunately we took advantage of a quick transition and a play from the wing.”
“We were sloppy in the early stages of the second half but the red card allowed us to extend the lead and seize the win for good.”
“Barcelona were strong on the wings, especially Sergi [Roberto] on the right side of the pitch.”
“I watch a lot of football and I honestly can’t see a better right-back than him, at least for a team like Barcelona who always have possession of the ball.”
“He has adapted to this position, can hold his own at both attacking and defensive midfielder, can get past defenders on speed, and sees great passing lanes…”
If Sergi continues with his impressive form, Barcelona will have to let go Vidal and give up on Bellerin. Not that the Arsenal right back is not good enough, but the way Sergi managed to adopt to the right back position is simply impressive.
It looks like Enrique has one less problem to worry about.