When Cadiz arrived at the Camp Nou on Sunday, they did so in the knowledge of having conceded 15 goals in their previous four fixtures and having only won one match since they turned Barcelona over in the reverse fixture back in December.
It was pretty obvious, therefore, that they would defend for their lives, and if by some miracle they were still in the game with 10 minutes to play, they’d look to pressure the hosts and get at least a point.
And it worked like a charm!Barcelona were by far the only team that wanted to play football, of that there’s no doubt.
They were dominant from minute one to minute 90, however, the fact remains that the only time they scored a goal that counted was from the penalty spot, and that’s a damning indictment on Ronald Koeman’s side.
Players that cost north of €100m in Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann are not passing muster in a lot of games and that’s just not good enough.
When teams set up to defend, Barcelona should always have more than enough about them to find a way through.
It’s true that they weren’t helped by the linesman’s flag on two occasions, but there can be no excuse not to win handsomely against a side in such poor form.
What’s just as galling is that the only time Cadiz decided that they wanted to play – from minute 84 onwards, they managed to engineer their chance just four minutes later.
What does that say about Barcelona’s defence?
Clement Lenglet had next to nothing to do for almost the entire game, and yet the one time he was called upon to utilise his defensive skills, he wasn’t up to it. Not anywhere close.
Allowing the attacker to get just ahead of him, rather than staying composed and trying to win the tussle, he kicked out and took the man rather than the ball.
Penalty scored, honours even. As simple as that.
What the draw showed in detail was just how many shortcomings Barca have at the moment.
Even with Messi, Pedri and Ronald Araujo, Sergino Dest and Ansu Fati et al to get excited about, there’s so much work to be done elsewhere in the squad that it’ll take a lot longer than this transitional season to sort out.
The mess just seems to be getting bigger, Barca’s problems more manifold.
Best of luck to the new president, who begins his tenure two weeks today.