Ferran Torres overshadowed on Barca debut by Benzema brilliance

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner Updated: 12 Jan 2022 22:47 CET 3 min read
Ferran Torres, Barcelona debut

Ferran Torres is Barcelona’s marquee January signing, but from his debut performance against Real Madrid, it is evident that the €65 million arrival from Manchester City will provide no quick fix.

Barca actually matched and even outplayed Madrid for long periods in their Wednesday Supercopa fixture but ultimately succumbed to their rivals in a 3-2 defeat that required extra-time to settle.

Fede Valverde proved to be Real Madrid’s matchwinner as he profited from Barcelona’s aggressive tactics to score from a four-on-two counter in the first additional period.

It was, however, Karim Benzema who was Los Blancos’ offensive star, netting their second after a brilliant five-minute period from a personal perspective with a predatory finish from six yards. Moments earlier, Marc-Andre ter Stegen did well to palm away a curling shot not long after the Frenchman had hit the post from the opposite side of the box.

He should have had an assist, too, but Rodrygo rolled a simple chance wide at the death.

Nevertheless, the former Lyon hitman provided Madrid with an offensive spark that only Ousmane Dembele came close to matching from their rivals.

Ferran Torres v Real Madrid

Fouls won0
Fouls conceded1

If Barcelona were looking for an instant impact from Ferran, they were to be left sorely disappointed. He departed the game after just 45 minutes, having touched the ball only 17 times. Moreover, he won only 1/6 duels and his only shot failed to find the target.

In short, it was a fleeting and forgettable debut from the man expected to pep up Barcelona’s failing attacking unit.

Of course, it would be wildly unfair to predict Ferran’s future Barcelona performance on the basis of just one tough fixture. The 21-year-old has not figured in a competitive match since October following a metatarsal fracture and will be seeking both fitness and sharpness for some weeks to come.

Barca, meanwhile, will have been encouraged by a bright performance from winger Dembele, who was the catalyst for their best moments. Electric in possession, he set up Luuk de Jong’s equaliser after Vini Junior had fired Madrid into a first-half lead.

If the outcome in this match was a stark fifth successive defeat for Barcelona against Real Madrid, at least the future is finally starting to look brighter for the Blaugrana, despite Ferran Torres’ quiet debut.