Barca defence ready for Anfield test

May 7, 2019

Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Gerard Pique

Barcelona have occasionally struggled to find defensive stability this season, but their backline has turned into one of the team’s most important weapons as the campaign has progressed.

A poor start to the 2018/19 campaign was followed by impressive performances both collectively and individually.

In nine crucial games – five in the Champions League and four in LaLiga Santanderagainst Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid – Ernesto Valverde‘s side have conceded only two goals, which translates to an average of just 0.22 per game.

Most importantly, in the last two knock-out away games in the Champions League they kept a clean sheet against Lyonand Manchester United.

Barcelona‘s central characters this season come from the back and they have helped to bring the team a few steps away from the treble.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen

The German goalkeeper’s performances have been spectacular this season, as they were in his previous campaigns at the club.

Two saves in the last game against Liverpool at the Camp Nou, including one against Mohamed Salah, provided confidence and another clean sheet for the Blaugrana.

Gerard Pique

He is in top form this season and, in crucial games, he steps up his game, being the leader his team needs him to be on such occasions.

Clement Lenglet

The Frenchman’s contribution has been vital this season, as he successfully filled Samuel Umtiti‘s boots, while his compatriot has been absent from the majority of matches due to injury.

Jordi Alba

His connection with Lionel Messi up front, as well as his defensive contribution, have turned him into one of the most important players of the team.

Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto

The two right-backs have shared minutes as starters throughout the season, as Valverde swaps them according to his game approach, concerning the rival team.

Semedo is regarded as the more defensive player while sometimes they are used together in the starting line-up, as was the case against Liverpool, Lyon and Real Madrid with Roberto moving into midfield for a certain period of the encounter.

 

 

SOURCE: marca.com


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