They were the story of the game. The libretto. Those who fabricated and sentenced. They were the wings of Barça, necessary to resume flight and rise from the ground. On the one hand, on the right, the greatest exponent of the house’s factory, Lamine Yamal. The ball sewn to his left boot like a magnet and a pass into the net. Of first. Without thinking twice. Without entertaining. Effectively and unappealable. The kid’s fifth goal in the League, seventh of the season, plus eight assists. At 16 years old because he doesn’t turn 17 until July. Nobody at his age in the entire history of the League can present those numbers.

On the other, on the left, Raphinha, who game by game, week by week, is increasing his performance. His activity and his will had never been discussed but his effectiveness and his quality had been. In the last two months the Brazilian is vindicating his ability and to his fight he has added greater conviction in his actions and, above all, a more accurate resolution of his actions.

In Barça’s changing script Lamine is the path, the roadmap and the model. And, surely, the best thing that Xavi will leave as an inheritance when he leaves the high-voltage position that he occupies. A Xavi chanted by the cheering crowd but timidly whistled by another part of the respectable crowd. This is how things are in Barcelona fans, and there is no one to clarify, between the president’s sentimental tears one day and oaths in Aramaic in the box another, depending on how the wind blows.

In a Barça where what is white today could be black tomorrow, as the former president of Espanyol, Daniel Sánchez Llibre, would say, the winger-child represents stability.

It is not surprising that the coaching staff wants to protect him like gold and they have negotiated that he only go to the Euro Cup and not also add the burden of the Olympic Games to his legs to avoid another case of saturation like Pedri’s, because he is installed in ownership for months now, which led Xavi to change Raphinha’s location and move him to the left side, where he is certainly working better, as demonstrated against the San Sebastian team. The Brazilian did not give up his efforts, he tried the shot on numerous occasions, he did not despair when he shot the post and he continued trying until he had the reward of converting the penalty, his sixth goal in the League.

Leading the Barcelona attack and amassing a lot of play, Yamal, voted best player of the match, is adding minutes and experience and establishing himself more and more as an essential piece. If the lifelong member, who has largely given up going to Montjuïc, answered a survey in these anxious times, he would probably say that the entire team should be put up for sale except for Lamine Yamal. Raphinha has always provoked more debate, a piece for which Barça can aspire a good pinch. In times of war economy, who knows?

The two were key to achieving a fundamental victory as Xavi recognized. “We played a good game in general terms and we are second again. Winning was very important.”