Barcelona’s defensive fragilities came to the fore in their 4-0 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final.
Barca enjoyed success in the final third in the early stages of the fixture at Camp Nou, with Robert Lewandowski testing Thibaut Courtois with a fine strike and Raphinha coming close to putting Gavi’s pass across the goal into the back of the net.
But Carlo Ancelotti‘s side did well to absorb the pressure and exploit Barcelona’s vulnerabilities on the break. Los Blancos took less than a minute to go from one end to another to stun the home crowd through Vinicius Jr. They glided like a hot knife through butter!
For the second goal, Luka Modric got out of the traffic in the middle with similar ease before finding Karim Benzema on the edge of the box for an easy finish by the Frenchman’s standards.
Transfer boost for Barcelona with club willing to listen to offer for midfielder
Xavi has persisted with a four-man midfield all season to cover the weaknesses of Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong (who didn’t feature against Real Madrid) out of possession. Although numbers are impressive in La Liga, things have more or less returned to square one against big sides in other competitions.
The hierarchy recognised the need for a more solid defensive midfielder in January, but couldn’t find an agreement with Fiorentina for Sofyan Amrabat. But things are expected to be different in the summer transfer window, with the Serie A outfit now understood to be open to listening to offers for their key man.
The midfielder’s agent Mohamed Sinouh told Kora Plus (via The Sun): “For now we don’t have any offer for the summer, but now at least Fiorentina is willing to listen.
But Barcelona – if they remain interested in signing Amrabat at the end of the season – might have to fight off competition from Manchester United, who also wanted to sign the Morocco international in the winter transfer window.