Watch: A brilliant Barcelona goal featuring, of course, Leo Messi

Arturo Vidal's backward sole pass set up Lionel Messi for the gamewinner in a 1-0 Barcelona victory over Granada in the first game of the Quique Setien era. Messi also took part in the buildup -- after receiving the ball from Sergio Busquets, who got it from Antoine Griezmann after Ricard Puig sparked the sequence. Barcelona remains in first place thanks to goal difference ahead of Real Madrid.

7 comments about "Watch: A brilliant Barcelona goal featuring, of course, Leo Messi".
  1. frank schoon, January 20, 2020 at 10:28 a.m.

    The goal initself was nothing to write home about for it just simple act if anything the assist was nice. But to me it was Messi moving into an empty space in front of the goal between the two defenders. So many goals are scored because contemporary defensive are not man oriented but space oriented thus allowing attacker spaces to run into. All defenders watch the ball and not the man or unable to see their man and the ball at the same time...

    Note this team's defense all watch the ball giving away so much. 30-40 years there was no away a player like a Mess or other attacking players would be allowed so much space in on near the penalty area to operate. I can't imagine a Cruyff , a Eursebio ,a Pele, a Vialli so much space and time in front the goal. And if they do get the ball, the follow up action would have to be very fast, to avoid a tackle. 

    The attackers of yesteryear had to be more savvi and ingenious for they weren't given the space and time defenders today give them.

  2. beautiful game replied, January 20, 2020 at 4:12 p.m.

    Frank; beg to differ with your lengthy analysis.  The attacking players and the ball movement shifts defensive players and they must adjust. In this particular scenario you're not impressed. So don't blame defenders when they are packed inside the penalty area and try to focus on both ball and the opponent with the latter moving the ball at high speed. Your historical reminder has no perspective. 

  3. frank schoon replied, January 20, 2020 at 4:52 p.m.

    BG. it is all about time and space when it comes to soccer. Today's defense is zonal and not to man to man and worse you will see that a majority of goals scored today are scored when the defense even outnumber the attackers and that is because of zonal positioning. 

    The defender should  be focused on the ball and his man at the same time,  by simply positioning himself. Just like when in ball possession whereby the receiver has to position himself so that he can see the passer and the next he will be passing to...those are simple abc's  
    Never turn your back on your opponent which so often happens in games, and it occurs even when the defense  outnumbers the attackers in front of their own goal. The problem is that the backline always tends to move as a unit whether the attacker are outnumbered 4v1 or 4v2 for example, which forces the midfielder to likewise run back which is not necessary.

    Look at 4min 9sec in the video, a good example....5players basically in straight line covering nobody, except in the immediate penalty area. There 8immediate defenders with Barcelona players direct outside the penalty are who could be dangerous and they enough time and space, ESPECIALLY Messi of all people that you don't want to give time and space to. This whole defense was a joke....

  4. frank schoon replied, January 20, 2020 at 4:59 p.m.

    BG. as far historical perspective...Man to man and time and space is timeless. The more space you give a man the more time he has. The tighter you mark a man the less time and space ,especially when they are in front of your own goal ,you don't give them any space or time And add to that there is NO EXCUSE when you outnumber the attackers in front of your own there should be no time nor space given, period.

  5. frank schoon replied, January 20, 2020 at 5:06 p.m.

    BG, another thing is that you don't want to pack in your defense for it not only obstructs the goalie's view but also a shot can ricochet off a defender...Instead of packing it in they should move out and pickup any opponent postioned with the most time and space thereby nullifying any shots or attempt at goal.

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, January 21, 2020 at 12:50 a.m.

    I think defending zonally in or immediately in front of the penalty area is a dumb idea. Each attacker should be man marked. No attacker should be allowed any space in front of the goal. That should be obvious.

    As to Frank's point, the defense can fall back only so far before they obstruct the keeper. I thought that most people use the 18 (or a couple of yards in front of it) as the end to retreating. The proverbial "line drawn in the sand". Maybe the switch away from playing with sweepers has hurt the performance of the back lines.

  7. frank schoon replied, January 21, 2020 at 9:38 a.m.

    Bob, You said it, it is a dumb idea. You follow the axiom, the closer an attacker comes to the goal, the tighter you mark...this is not rocket science. But that is no longer the case because zonal marking, which is fine but it has its limitations, especially when a great attacker comes near the scoring range of the goal, then you leave zonal marking for man to man...

    You're so right what you say about lack of a sweeper has hurt performance of the back line.
    One, a sweeper was the leader who took care of business in organizing the defense, in other words we no longer have a prominant personality leading the backline. Two, the sweeper was also a good ballhandler, an former attacker type, who could read the opponent's attacking impulses ,individually as well as a group. Three, the sweeper also took part in the attack by moving forwards with the ball or without the ball as  he creates numerical superiority at midfield where upon the real attack began.

    Taking into account one, two, and three, we have lost those abilities to the game for the two centerbacks whose job it is basically to hang back in the center of the field. The consequences of this is we are sacrificing creation of numerical superiority at midfield in two ways, one, by #6 the midfielder to come back to get the ball, and two, none of the centerbacks move on attack. 

    As a result the game has suffered in two areas. One, technically the centerbacks chosen lack the technical ability for offense and two the attack is lessened due to the dimishing attacking technical capabilities of a centerback, and the dropping back of #6 to collect the ball, making the whole build up of attack so predictable.. This is why all the more reason any team I coach will have a dominant sweeper personality that can handle a ball, and organize the defense through anticipation any action... 

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