El Centrocampista

MAN IN THE GROUND – Brentford 0 – 4 Osasuna

Having seen that Osasuna were in town for a pre-season friendly against Brentford, Will Bains wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to watch a Spanish side in action. Here, he gives us his thoughts on last night’s game which saw the Pamplona outfit triumph 4-0.

“This was ultimately a scoreline that flattered the Spanish side as there didn’t appear to be much to choose between the two teams for the majority of the match.

Brentford made numerous changes to their line-up in their previous friendly against OGC Nice on Saturday, whereas Osasuna made all of their changes at half time and fielded a completely different eleven for the second half.

Given that Osasuna’s campaign in Spain’s second tier kicks off two weeks after Brentford’s in England, I was expecting to see a marked difference in the fitness levels between the two sides. However, this was not something that was particularly evident during the match.

Indeed, it was Osasuna who appeared to be the livelier of the two teams. The Spanish side were passing the ball around effectively and moving quickly right from kick off, although seeing as each player was only on the pitch for a single half, they did not have to go through the rigours of a full 90 minutes.

Perhaps the most interesting thing to take from the match was that the style of play for both sides was very similar, somewhat dispelling the myth of the Spanish passing game and the long-ball of the English Championship. Both teams were keen pass the ball along the ground, and tried to utilise their wide players whenever possible;possession and well-executed incisive passes appeared to be the order of the day, which made for quite an interesting and entertaining game to watch.

All the goals came in the second half. Manu Onwu got the first two within 12 minutes of the restart and looked very lively up front throughout. The second of the goals came after some effective passing on the edge of the area, which was befitting of the game. Nino exploited some static defending to add the third, which was pretty harsh on Brentford who had been competitive throughout but ultimately lacked any clinical finishing up front. An excellent cross was finished with an equally good header from David Garcia late on to round off the scoring.

A mere £5 for a standing ticket behind the goal represented excellent value for a match that I really enjoyed watching. Brentford will be hoping that their much changed side for this match haven’t produced a result indicative of their coming season, although their style of play certainly looked encouraging.

Two Osasuna players who caught the eye were young midfielder Alex Berenguer in the first half with his attacking play and sharp passing, and Onwu in the second half. In addition to his two goals, Onwu was a constant threat up and caused the Brentford backline a whole host of problems.

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