Xavi, Iniesta and Messi celebrated the goal
Xavi, Iniesta and Messi celebrating the goal

If remembering last time when Milan met Barca at San Siro, one should feel glad that this time Barca have improved, at least leaving limited open spaces to his opponent at back. But as the duo-core Xavi and Ineista are no longer energetic as years before, the operation of the team suffers a great recession at the attacking side today. Iniesta’s iconic dribbling down the flanks are rarely seen, so as to diminish the magic of through balls from Xavi.  In return, Xavi always finds himself lost in the forest of defenders, failing to point out the path to the goal.  Thanks to the omnipotent Messi, the team survived the smothering pressure at San Siro. Dribbles, through balls and forward runnings marked him the only one in pursuit of victory. But he was far from driving the whole team to victory, especially when others in the mood of enjoying a holiday in Milan.

Indeed, revolutionary changes should have been taken to the team upon the leaving of Pep, whose Tiki-Taka playing has dominated the Europe soccer during his time. But fluent operation of Tiki-Taka largely relies on fatigue-less running of the midfielders to create spaces in attack and knit close networks in defense. Failing to afford such fatigue-strict tactics Barca now is not the team years ago anymore. Then the team becomes isolated and the stagnant, resorting to sparkling performance from individuals.

Without the ability to tilt the playing ground, the current Barca now shares less with its former version. Yet it keeps diverting further, from the altar crowned by its predecessor.  But there should be something to expect from the positive. Players are equipped with more sorts of finishing skills like long shots, crossing and long passes, making several chances to goal despite of the bad luck. Neymar becomes more flexible in his potions and the defenders have also shown consistency in most of the time, as the trend of this season. But whether above signs are clues towards a new alter, one should wait and see.

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