Still without the club captain and central defender Carles Puyol, Barcelona also had to cope without the star striker Lionel Messi at the other end, so it was a big test for the players chosen to take their place, Marc Bartra and Neymar. Both youngsters came through the game against Valladolid with flying colours, so they, the manager and the Barca fans will feel a lot better about the season to come going in to the international break.
It was poor defending that led to the visitors opening goal stunning the Nou Camp crowd, but you can’t blame Bartra, it was just a general failure to pick Guerra up from a corner. That was as good as it got for Valladolid though, because Barcelona were soon back on level terms . Alexis was excellent all night, and his first goal was a fantastic individual effort that he rifled into from long distance.
The next three goals were all about the Barca style, Xavi, Alexis and Neymar finishinmg them off. Barca also had three good penalty claims waved away, the second one being one of the most blatant penalties you will ever see, but in the end it didn’t matter, as Pique and Bartra were commanding at the back when necessary, while Neymar was excellent in the middle where Messi usually plays.
That makes it eight straight wins at the start of this La Liga season. That is a club record, and one more in the next game against Osasuna will equal the all-time record set by Real Madrid in 1968. The following game is El Clasico…..