Barcelona coach Ronaldo Koeman appeared before the press dejected and despondent. He was more disappointed by the draw against Cádiz (1-1, the visitors scoring late in the game with a penalty) than he was by the 1-4 rout by PSG. I understand him, because we all took it for granted that this Barcelona were going to struggle to go far in the Champions League this seasons, and PSG are a better side. And what’s more, Mbappé was on fire that night - and he’s a different class of player. But against Cádiz, Koeman had the right to expect a solid victory from his charges. The loss of five points in four days from Atlético gave Barcelona the chance to be back in the race. Yesterday Cádiz, Elche on Wednesday in a postponed game… it was reasonable to expect six points.
Barcelona fail to take advantage of Atleti's mistakes
Hence the disappointment at the slip up at a most unfortunate moment. He put out the same side that lost 1-4 to PSG, something open to a range of interpretations. Punishment? Opportunity for redemption with a sterling performance? In any event, the Barça players, with Messi at the head, were far better in terms of quality than the team they were facing. But, like Madrid the day before (with a lackadaisical 1-0 win) Barça didn’t seem to feel the urgency of making the most Atleti’s dropped points. Madrid just bagged their three points. Barcelona looked to be on course to do the same, when Lenglet made the big mistake of the day, giving away a penalty in a situation with little danger.
These shocking mistakes at the back, gifting rivals chances and goals, has affected Barcelona in LaLiga all season and it’s driving Koeman mad. They’ve dropped a lot of points because of it. Yesterday was just another example. The reality is that they reached the closing stages with a slender lead and one stupid mistake cost them two points. Cádiz played their game: tight at the back and see if anything fell their way. Something nearly did in the first half, when Sobrino, alone in front of goal, could only get his hip onto the ball. They got their moment at the end though. As Luis Suárez had previously said on the radio: “They all want to play the violin and that doesn’t get you an orchestra.” Koeman has his work cut out.