Lucas Perez celebrates with team mates after scoring his team’s first goal during the LaLiga match between FC Barcelona and Cadiz CF at Camp Nou on April 18, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
The loss sees Barcelona all but out of the league title race
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez was expecting some sort of response from his side following their 3-2 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League.
Instead, he got more of the same.
The Catalan side fell for the second time in five days — at home — against a Cadiz side battling relegation.
The lone goal was scored by Lucas Perez who took advantage of a shambolic Barcelona defense and a Marc-Andre ter Stegen who was once again left wanting.
Without Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo, the defense was comprised of Eric Garcia and Clement Lenglet. The former has had better games while the latter arguably had his worst game as a Barcelona player and further demonstrated why he is one of the defenders the club will try to move on during the summer.
The Blaugrana weren’t much better going forward.
Ousmane Dembele was a threat for about 60 minutes before he started faltering, which is more than can be said of Ferran Torres and Memphis Depay. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provided little when he was subbed on. Luuk de Jong had a header saved by the Cadiz goalkeeper but couldn’t provide his heroics this time around.
Frenkie de Jong had a poor game by his standards and Sergio Busquets had little influence as Cadiz surrounded him every time he had the ball, closing down the passing lanes. Gavi was energetic but not much else. It’s evident how different the midfield performs without Pedri.
It was yet another case where the opposition “wanted it more.” The Cadiz players fought every ball like it was their last, stifled Barcelona going forward and did what they had to when it came to eating up the clock, much to the annoyance of the Barcelona players and supporters.
“We are angry, the players first, because we missed a golden chance to separate ourselves from those in the fight for the Champions League places and also to [keep] fighting for LaLiga, which we’ve practically said goodbye to now,” Xavi conceded in a news conference.
“I am annoyed and we have to be self-critical, myself first, as the coach. We’re playing to be in the Champions League, that’s why I am so angry. There was a lack of desire and determination. It’s been a really bad week and we have to turn things around as soon as possible.”
If there was any doubt as to who was going to win the league, that doubt is gone following Barcelona’s loss and Real Madrid’s comeback against Sevilla. Barring a complete collapse from Carlo Ancelotti’s men, Madrid are going to win LaLiga.
The only objective Barcelona have left is finishing inside the top four and qualifying for the Champions League next season. That is no longer a certainty given the team’s performance the last couple of games.
“The players are pissed off, Xavi said. “I’ve tried to encourage them after the match, but we must compete better. We have to look at what we have done wrong in defense and attack. On Thursday we have another final against Real Sociedad.”
Source: Read more – Playing for 90