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25.01.2009 13:50

Everything comes to he who waits

Marc Guillén

Some games can’t be decided in the first half, they have to develop till the opponent leaves some gap, as was the case with Numancia. Josep Guardiola recognised yesterday that in these kinds of games, patience is a key element.

This season, Barça have won some games in the first half, and they have come back from behind in others. Other games are like yesterday’s, when it’s necessary to chip away during the first half, in order to win in the second.

Second half pay-back

QM3D0199.jpgDespite the strong winds on Saturday night, Barça enjoyed 75% ball possession. Through patience and good ball control, they slowly wore Numancia down in the first half to get their result in the second. Barça only had four chances at goal in the first half, but double that in the second, and their four goals came in the second half.

Tactical switch at half time

QM3D9931.jpgThe Barça coach made some tactical changes at half time in order to break down the Numancia defence. He asked his wingers to play in a more central role, leaving the wings more open.

The first goal came from a move by Alves on the wing. As usual, the Brazilian got in the most centres, with twelve. Eric Adibal was also playing further up than normal, and he made four centres, gaining Guardiola’s praise in the post-match press conference.
Everything comes to he who waits
The same XI as in Soria
With the exception of Marquez, who is injured, Guardiola played the same starting line-up as he had in Soria at the beginning of the season, when they lost 1-0. The coach said he wanted to exorcise any demons the players may have about the defeat. On that day, Barça were unable to open the wings, and they were lacking the patience that they showed last Saturday. In the pre-match pep talk, Guardiola revealed later in the post-match press conference that he had asked his players to be patient.

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