Mascherano - the boss is back in charge!
Wednesday night saw Javier Mascherano back to his best as he dominated the middle of the park, both in attack and defence, putting an end to the run of games in which he’d not yet won a game as a member of the starting 11 with Barça.
After having joined late in the summer, Mascherano has needed time to settle in, but Wednesday
night’s performance seemed to confirm that “the boss” as he’s known in
Argentina, was back!
The stats speak for themselves with Mascherano finishing the game as
the player who recovered most possession -13 tackles in a game in which he committed just a single
foul. He was not just a destroyer though, receiving the ball on 20 occasions and making 81
successful passes, just five behind Busquets on 86.
Praise from Guardiola
Boss Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Mascherano after the game,
claiming: “he’s a player who knows how to read the game when we are going forward and
use the long ball. As a human being, he’s a great guy. He’s won over the squad with his
attitude and we really like that kind of person. He’s the captain of Argentina and at his
age, that’s for a reason”.
End of a bad run
Javier Mascherano had started three games so far this season – against
Hèrcules, Rubin Kazan and Mallorca - and none of them ended in a win, a run he ended against
Copenhagen: “That’s not what matters” he insisted after the win. “what
counts is that we won the game and that take s us closer to qualifying for the next round”.