Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez represent a throwback from a tactical perspective. And leave it to Antonio Conte to walk his own path at the expense of modernity and trends.
The result was important, but most of all, the play reflected a nostalgia and familiarity of past sides. Can Barcelona play like this against Napoli in the Champions League? That question is beside the main point, for now.
Barcelona managers must speak two languages, one of exterior results and the other of upholding an interior identity. Ernesto Valverde could never shake that ambivalent feeling, coming to embody the stasis of a club that had lost its academy-driven innovations within a possession-based framework.
The Barcelona board are a capricious, and, going by recent evidence, not particularly competent bunch. They belong to a uniquely sociopathic rich guy strain, one concerned only with revenue retrieval, status, and success.
Athletic feats aside, Adama Traore's potential is being actualized in real time. The mixtape dribbles and bursts of pace are turning into real assists and goals.