Why Barcelona owe their unbeaten start to Samuel Umtiti, defensive progress

Lionel Messi has gotten the attention for his start to the season in front of net, but the boys at the back haven’t gotten the accolades that they may deserve.

Since the Spanish Super Cup, the Barcelona defense has allowed just two goals, one against Getafe and one against Eibar. The fears after the Spanish Super Cup were that Barcelona would be potentially susceptible to the counter-attack, but the excellent play of Marc-Andre ter Stegen has so far proven to be enough to deal with the few chances that opponents have gotten when they have found a way past a combination of Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti and Javier Mascherano.

While having over 60% of the possession with the outside backs being heavily involved, one of Umtiti or Pique must have a terrific game to keep ter Stegen’s goal safe from the counter. Pique’s game against Espanyol could have been his best of the season, while Umtiti has certainly found his form in a string of stellar performances, most notably against Getafe and Sporting CP. Meanwhile, ter Stegen deserves more credit for his performance versus Juventus.

The Barcelona Podcast duo discussed the underappreciated defense in the latest edition of the ‘The Barcelona Podcast’ found here:

You can also listen to previous episodes of ‘The Barcelona Podcast’ on iTunes, LibsynStitcher, SoundCloud or via your preferred podcast app.

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