We learned a lot about what we can expect from the new-look Barça under Quique Setién in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat of Granada, and one of the standout stats was the 1,005 passes, the highest tally since 25 November 2012.
With Tito Vilanova as manager, Barça won 4-0 at Levante that day with goals from Leo Messi (2), Andrés Iniesta and Cesc Fábregas. Of the 1,035 passes, Xavi made 139, Fábregas 124 and Sergio Busquets 116. That was also the famous day when all eleven of the Barça team had come from La Masia.
It has taken seven years to break the 1,000 barrier again, and Setién did it in his first game, although four players actually started both matches (Piqué, Jordi Alba, Busquets and Messi).
And Busquets hasn’t lost his touch. He led the passing against Granada with 145, followed by Umtiti (105) and Piqué and Sergi Roberto (98 each).
And it may be no coincidence that was also a high presence La Masia graduates in action last night (Roberto, Piqué, Alba, Busquets, Ansu Fati, Messi, Riqui Puig and Carles Pérez).
The 82.6% possession on Sunday evening was also the highest in a long time, going all the way back to the 83.9% set in 2011, curiously enough in another game against Levante, this time with Pep Guardiola in charge.