On Sunday 24th August, Luis Enrique started officially as FC Barcelona manager at Camp Nou.
His team won 3-0 against Elche.
1- Barcelona average positions were the following:
Wingers high up, Messi in the center and wingers tending to go inside.
Leo declared that he prefers to play with 3 midfielders behind and two strikers in front of him.
Midfielders enable him to try more take ons without fearing loosing the ball.
Strikers help him to combine and get free space in front of the area.
3- All Barcelona players were rather strict with their positions. Messi was the only one to move freely inside the square formed by strikers and midfielders.
5- Playing with two strikers centered make impossible for the defenders to go press Messi high.
And it is risky to play 1x1 against Leo.
Therefore Barcelona managed to get a free player.
6- Theoretically, positions occupied by Luis Enrique's players create numerous passing options.
7- The most used of those options was Midfielder-Full Back.
Full backs receive the ball high on the pitch and combine backwards with their respective midfielder. Those can play looking at Elche's goal.
8- Let's have a look at one of those midfielders, Rakitic.
For his first Liga game at Camp Nou, he gave more than expected.
Playing where we use to see Xavi, he was significantly closer to the line.
He compensated Alves attacks and manage to steal several times from Elche.
It is too soon to draw conclusions, but we already can see certain things getting implemented.
Next game will say if they are here to stay.
24th August 2014
1st Liga game
Barcelona-Elche 3-0 (Messi 42', Mascherano red card 43', Munir 46', Messi 63')
Main picture from bild.de