FC Barcelona are competing for several major trophies this season. The Catalans will be defending their Spanish Champions title while also competing for the Copa del Rey and trying to go as far as possible in the UEFA Champions League.
It is understood that for any team to compete in these many tournaments, the quality of the overall squad sometimes matters more than the quality of the starting XI. This season, Barcelona seems blessed with a very strong squad despite it not being a very big one.
Xavi’s substitutes showing great numbers
Xavi stated in his pre-match news conference prior to the game against Mollarca that Barcelona’s squad is not the largest, but the diversity of his players allows him to keep his team fresh throughout a 90-minute encounter.
This season, Barcelona’s head coach has been fairly good with his substitutes, as seen by the data.
So far, Barcelona’s replacements have provided four goals and one assist in eight games. However, their entry into the game is not completely represented in their stats since their freshness and quality shift the entire tempo of the squad.
Helping the team win
Xavi called in players from his bench in the 68th minute of the encounter against Cadiz, when the score was 0-0. Barcelona won this match with two goals, one of which was scored in the closing ten minutes by a replacement, Ferran Torres.
The same scenario happened against Villarreal, when the club was down 3-2 when Xavi came off the bench in the 63rd minute, and Barcelona won 4-3, with another goal from Torres, who came on as a replacement.
The score was 1-1 against Osasuna until three of the five replacements came in to assist Barcelona score another goal in the 85th minute. Raphinha scored off the bench against Celta, while Gavi came on in the 36th minute against Celta Vigo and helped spark the comeback in the final ten minutes of the game.
Xavi turned to his bench again in the contest against Mallorca. With the score at 2-1, he introduced Lewandowski in the 58th minute, followed by Lamine Yamal and Fermin Lopez on the 64th.
The reinforcements he brought in from the bench successfully changed the game’s tempo and dynamics. Notably, all three substitutions contributed significantly to the equalising goal, which was eventually scored by Fermin Lopez in the 75th minute.”
Thus, one of the reasons for Barcelona’s excellent start to La Liga has been the team’s strong bench. With his in-game substitutions, Xavi has been crucial, and this powerful bench, together with Xavi’s ability, may help Barcelona win critical titles at the conclusion of the season.