Explaining Barcelona’s unexpected and dramatic dip in form

Barcelona won LaLiga last season to end its relative drought in league titles. After three years without winning the domestic top flight, Barcelona bested Real Madrid by 10 points. The Catalan club was not perfect in Xavi’s first full season at the helm. It fell in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League again, and Real Madrid knocked out Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semifinals. Worse off, that came with a 4-0 loss at home.

Regardless of those two tournaments, Barcelona looked like it was ready to make a turn toward further success. It had a young core in the midfield of Pedri, Gavi and Frenkie de Jong to go along with Ronald Araujo in a breakout season. Robert Lewandowski, who won the Pichichi Award as the leading goal-scorer in LaLiga, would be back for a second season.

Despite all those positive signs, the first three months of the season have not been as smooth as fans would hope. Despite sitting third in the LaLiga table, Barcelona’s goal differential is the worst among the teams in the top four.

In Barcelona’s last five games in all competitions, it has three wins and two losses. The three wins came by one goal against inferior opposition in Shakhtar Donetsk, Real Sociedad and Alaves. Barcelona sweat out the win over Shakhtar and needed second-half heroics in the two league wins. The two losses were against Real Madrid in the league and Shakhtar Donetsk by one goal in Champions League play. Here is what has gone wrong with Barcelona.

The ongoing issues still plaguing the Catalans

It would be hard to blame the immediate struggles on the financial problems at Barcelona. Still, they play a role. Barcelona could only sign players at discount prices in the summer or on loan. Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo have been mainstays in the lineup, as have Ilkay Gundogan and Iñigo Martinez. Each provided depth, which has proven necessary.

The financial struggles of the last five years put more of an emphasis on La Masia for Barcelona. Young…

Source link : https://worldsoccertalk.com/news/explaining-barcelonas-unexpected-and-dramatic-dip-in-form-20231114-WST-469966.html

Author : Kyle Fansler

Publish date : 2023-11-14 22:47:54

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