A game more practical than brilliant, with rotations and debuts by Ballerín and Marcos, resolved in the second half with goals from De Jong, Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Dembélé

Rarely does a plan designed before a game come out so perfect. Barça needed the three points in Cádiz to intimidate Real Madrid in the fight for the top spot in LaLiga, but it was also important to dose players ahead of Tuesday’s visit to Bayern, make the less usual see that they can be important and give the first opportunity to newcomers Bellerin and Marcos Alonso . All this went well for Xavi Hernández in a game that was more serious than brilliant with four goals in the second half from Frenkie de Jong,  Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Dembélé.

Xavi Hernández made rotations, as expected as a concept, but initially reserved players that few imagined as substitutes in the New Mirandilla, such as Koundé, Eric and Lewandowski , making it clear that next Tuesday’s Bayern-Barça game is of special importance for him. More predictable was that Pedri and Dembélé took a break. Between one thing and another, a rare eleven and three debutants this season as starters: Bellerín , in his debut as a Barça player, Piqué and Memphis .

And that Cádiz, with a zero in the points and goals box after four days, instilled the respect of its passionate fans, who filled the stadium despite everything, and the extraordinary streak against Barça since its return to First Division in 2020 : four games in a row without losing against the azulgrana team, with two wins and two draws.

The first tactical unknown due to the substitution of ‘ Lewy ‘ was soon resolved: Memphis was placed at ‘9’, with Raphinha on the right and Ferran on the left. That trident did not work, although a specific moment could have changed everything: after a steal by Gavi in ​​the 8th minute, Raphinha sent a low left-footed shot to the post and the rebound was adjusted by Ferran to a post, with Ledesma ‘s miraculous hand . But in general they lived fought with the goal. The little that Barça generated in the first half, they did not take advantage of. Ferran did not react after a couple of good lateral crosses, RaphinhaHe finished off the clouds in an advantage position and Memphis gave up two goals with innocent shots, one of them after a left by Araujo in a corner and another after a service by Busquets .

There was also no success in the final pass from the middle, although there was dominance and another great game from Gavi , and at least the defense, except for an initial scare due to a mismatch that ended with several rebounds, did give a sense of security.

Not much else happened in the first half in which Del Cerro Grande did not want to award a penalty from Alejo to Balde at the apex of the large area, naive, but a penalty, before Ledesma flew into a poisoned Memphis center and that Ferran wo n’t get his classic right footed shot from the left.

Xavi made no changes after the break despite Barça’s need, thinking that the harassment and demolition would end up bearing fruit, with Sergio happy with a 0-0 that allowed Cádiz to wait for their opportunity in a visitor’s mistake or in a counterattack. And San Emeterio had it in the 53rd minute when a rebound hit him in the area with everything to his face and he shot very high.

And one of the maxims of football was fulfilled to the joy of Barça. He forgave the small one and instantly scored the big one. A killer pass from Gavi from the byline was deflected by Ledesma into the area and De Jong scored an empty goal to make it 0-1 in the 55th minute.

Xavi did not undo the changes he had planned with the 0-0 and after the goal Lewandowski, Dembélé and Pedri entered for Memphis, Ferran and Gavi , the first two in search of the sentence and the third, in key rotation of the Sevillian for Munich.

The move went well for the Barça coach because in the 65th minute it was 0-2, the work, naturally, of Lewandowski , with opportunism in the mouth of the goal after a play by Raphinha on the right that Ledesma could not clear .

From then until the end, half an hour of Barça control football without rushing and avoiding risks, although with a final drama in the stands that clouded everything: a cardiac arrest of a fan in the stands that stopped the game for almost an hour. hour. The remaining 10 minutes resumed and Ansu and Dembélé scored two goals to complete the 0-4, Fati ‘s given by Lewandowski.

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