Memphis, Koeman’s ‘nine’, provides calm to Xavi

Barça was anguished, demanding the hour, shaking in Vila-Real with that 1-1 on the scoreboard when Ter Stegen, tired of the players wearing yellow invading his area, released an imposing shoe. He flew the ball through the sky of La Cerámica until it ran into an awkwardness from the defense team of Unai Emery, wisely harnessed by Memphis.

A striker brought in by Koeman saving Xavi in ​​a game as fun as it was maddened, where Barça started well, finished the first half badly, started well in the second, suffered later and, finally, scored two goals when he suffered the most, sighing then even for the tie. As simple as it is simple. The pass of Ter Stegen a Memphis, a cold-blooded prodigy.

And that the former Olympique de Lyon striker had failed, perhaps, the easiest occasion of his life. They did not take 20 minutes of the game and Frenkie de Jong left him alone before Rollers. But his shot with the right was so wide that he did not find a goal. It was like shooting a penalty. And threw it away. And Memphis failed.

He did not miss, however, at the crucial moment of the night. That shot from the German goal rescued the lost illusion. Memphis pushed for that ball. First he scratched it from that primitive pass (the goalkeeper passes to the center forward) and then he dodged the desperate exit of the Villarreal goalkeeper.

Amazing serenity

And there, when any player had an edge-of-nerves attack, he was amazingly calm. He oriented himself towards the left side of the Villarreal area, also having the necessary pause not to worry when Emery’s defense was cornered next to the post. He had only Coutinho, but Memphis understood that it was his goal. Yes or yes. And the ball, whimsical she, slipped between her legs and then celebrated the goal as if it were the most important of her career. Maybe it was.

“We are very happy for Memphis and that goal and the way Philippe entered the game”

Eric García, Barça defender

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He celebrated in style, knowing that he hadn’t used the candy Frenkie de Jong had given him before. Candies that the midfielder had taken down to the role. Two minutes from the end of the game, Memphis had the feast it had hoped for. “We are very happy for Memphis and that goal and because of the way Philippe entered the game, “said Eric García, who suffered a lot as a right-back, happy as he was because the nine was reunited with the goal. And Coutinho caused a penalty that he later scored.

Villarreal roared the penalty not whistled at Piqué. “It was very clear. No one has been called against Barça and none in favor of us. It was impossible,” said Pau Torres, his defense. But he forgot Parejo’s stomp on Busquets, which was red. What he will not forget is Ter Stegen’s kick to Memphis

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