What’s eating Barcelona?
Three games in and they have just four points, after being held to a draw at Osasuna over the weekend, despite the best efforts of Ansu Fati, the 16-year-old who scored their first goal in the game.
This followed the opening day defeat to Athletic Bilbao, results which have already left them five points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who are the only team to get through three games with a 100% record.
This is Barcelona’s worst start to a season since 2008, which was Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge. So history tells us this might turn out OK for them, right? On the Totally Football Show this week, our resident Spanish football expert Alvaro Romeo wasn’t so sure.
“Guardiola’s Barcelona was promising. There was a feeling that there was something new coming through then, but not now. Under Valverde it’s the opposite.”
Of course, Barca can point to the absence of Leo Messi, but Alvaro thinks there might be something deeper at play, and he thinks Liverpool might have dug it out.
“Barcelona are suffering against aggressive teams – Liverpool showed the way. If you sit back, allow them to have the possession and try to hit them on the counter-attack, they will probably beat you, often in the second-half, and usually because they have Messi.
“But if you’re aggressive, particularly at home against Barcelona, they suffer. We saw that against Athletic Bilbao, when their high press was enough to cut Barca’s supply in midfield, and against Osasuna it was the same. They couldn’t cope with the intensity and aggression.”
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