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No frills Barcelona keep it simple and get the job done again Real Sociedad

Nothing exciting on the night for Barcelona, but that’s OK.

After seeing Girona drop points against Alavés, a professional performance was needed, in a must-win game, to jump their regional rival in the standings.

Barcelona were the better team, and it showed in the box score where it mattered most. And it wasn’t an accident either.

They didn’t need to come out and dominate the ball, although they did have the majority of it against a very good attacking opponent. They didn’t need to entertain the Barcelona faithful on hand. They just needed, minimize mistakes, and win.


Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

And that’s exactly what happened. And that’s a lesson they should take with them going forward.

Compare that to the Girona match. Barcelona came out with a lot of energy, scored early, but then proceeded to concede the equalizer a minute later. They then took the lead again on a penalty right before halftime, only to squander it in spectacular fashion by giving up three goals in ten minutes in the second half.

No sense of the importance of the game. No appreciation for what it took to win against a talented opponent who deserved more respect. In the end, for the second time in one season, they were embarrassed by their little neighbor down the block.

Barcelona, too often, gets caught up in how they want to win, instead what outcome they are trying to achieve.

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - LaLiga EA Sports

Photo by Ion Alcoba Beitia/Getty Images

Against Real Sociedad, they looked steady throughout, and the win never seemed in doubt.

It’s the small details that matter.

Lamine Yamal took his chance after a great combination between the veterans, Robert Lewandowski and Ilkay Gundogan.

The midfield combination of Andreas Christensen, Pedri, and Gundogan were very tidy and in control of the match, knowing when to push, and when to keep control.

The defenders, who have had a rough go of it over the past month, took no risks.

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - LaLiga EA Sports

Photo by Ion Alcoba Beitia/Getty Images

That’s not to say La Real didn’t have chances. They did, and could have put one or two away.

But Barcelona created more, and for the most part, they forced their rivals from the Basque Country to earn everything.

That’s a recipe for success as the Blaugrana look to win their final three games of the season, and secure an important second place finish.

Barcelona will be the better team in all three matches. They won’t lose if they don’t beat themselves.

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - LaLiga EA Sports

Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Even against teams who may be better, this formula serves.

PSG, Real Madrid, and Girona were all the same story.

Barcelona’s overall failure of a season could be attributed to injuries, and to some extent, factors out of their control.

But in part, in large part in fact, it’s been because of a lack of discipline. The season before, in contrast, they had a winning mentality that put defense first, and kept the play on the field simple.

Personnel plays a role too. But consider that Joao Cancelo, who has been rightly criticized this season for his defensive deficiencies, had an excellent game on both sides of the ball against Real Sociedad.

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - LaLiga EA Sports

Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

It can be done.

Xavi, and the team, need a reset.

The summer will be a great opportunity to reinstill the right values and mentality across the squad.

But in the short term, they can’t drop their level.

It’s not the prize that any of us want, but there is still something important to play for.

No better time than the present to form healthy habits that serve now, and well into the future.

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