Barca is another, team that has little to do with the one that started the season and collected bad results until they settled in the middle zone of the table, immersed in a wasteland with no way out. Months later the Barca team has rebuilt itself until it is second, tied with Madrid, caught up with a series of results that confirms that the line is ascending. Ten games, eight wins, two draws.
The value of the 26 of 30 of the Barca is dwarfed by the cruising speed of the leader, who in his last 10 days has added nine wins and one loss. But it takes shape when compared to Madrid, which for the first time has tied in the standings this season (taking into account the +3 in the Classic for the whites). The azulgranas have cut eight points from the whites (the maximum distance, matchday 8, with one more match from Real ). Quite a bite.
The merit is greater for Koeman considering that this climb is being carried out without Pique or Ansu Fati, Coutinho lost along the way and Sergi Roberto recently recovered. Because Ronald is giving unexpected solutions, causes of this moment: Mingueza as a side as a solution to a missing Dest, decisive goal assist for Griezmann.
Araujo untouchable in the axis De Jong breaking into an arriving midfielder and scorer, although against Athletic he had to play Busquets; Dembele recovered and growing; Griezmannscoring and assisting after his substitution against Huesca, and Messi becoming Leo again. The change to 4-3-3 was definitive so that the Catalans began to feel more comfortable with the ball.
He returned to the classic drawing against Levante and there the streak began. To this has been added a point of physical form that allows high pressure and recovery after loss, in a clear line of improvement. Even Messi gets involved running behind the ball, in the same way, that Dembele can follow Yuri in 80 as Griezmann has always done.
Of course, there are buts, and they are not anything. The squad is very scarce (in Vallecas he had to resort to the starting eleven to overcome ) and the calendar, with the team alive in the Cup, will make a dent as the legs add kilometers. And it continues to be difficult for him to win easily and close the matches.
There is no peaceful afternoon, except the one in Granada. The tonic of missing clear chances is repeated to the anger of a Koeman who has been demanding his players for months to refine their aim. Because Barca regularly produces dangerous situations. Thus, Koeman does not give praise but emphasizes that the team is playing good games. Although he does not get carried away.
And he repeats convinced one day that the shortest way to win a title is the Cup and the next day that Barca is not up for great things. Perhaps he is right and it reaches him neither for LaLiga nor for the Champions League, but after the halfway point of the season, Barça is already a recognizable team. The question is for how long.