It was a night to forget for the blaugrana as once again Xavi and his boys were second best on the night and have now been eliminated from the Copa Del Rey.
Right from the very first second, Bilbao took the game to Barcelona, High pressing with intensity, they were stronger, faster and better.
Barcelona had more time to prepare, more time to rest but they looked fatigue and couldn’t compete with the Basque outfits.
What Went Wrong and Who to Blame
Xavi Hernandez is a club legend and arguably the greatest midfielder in history, he’s earned respect from both fans and critics alike but he’s long used up his honeymoon period as the coach of FC Barcelona.
The coach should shoulder some of the blames if not most.
When Barcelona played against Real and were knocked out few days ago, cules around the world were optimistic, they hadn’t seen this team play that good in a long while especially in an El Classico match.
They stretched an experienced Madrid side pass their limits with high pressing and pure intensity, it was anyone’s game and Barcelona were unlucky to have lost.
It was evident the kind of team Xavi was trying to build, the style he wants to impose but the game against Bilbao proved this team has a long way to go.
They’ve put in spectacular performances but they’ve also been too inconsistent.
The defence was nothing more than pathetic with Jordi Alba being unable to contend with the pace, skill and strength of Nico Williams Jr.
Araujo once again was the lifeline in that back four along with Dani Alves. Pique look lost, out of form and out of place.
He has been for a long time now. He’s lost the strength to remain at the top.
It wasn’t fun when fans launched a Twitter hash tag to have Xavi throw veteran Busquet on the bench after the loss against Madrid.
Busquet hasn’t been the player he once was and truth be told most of Barcelona conceded goals have come from the midfielder being dispossessed in critical areas of the pitch.
It’s simple, to score Barcelona, always press Busquet hard. Nevertheless he’s also had decent games, good interceptions, visions which was obvious in his assist to Ferran.
The Barcelona lacked creativity, they just pass the ball around not really creating much with it.
Xavi has said he’s been more than satisfied with the performances of both Busquet and Pique, its understandable, but maybe it’s time to try a different approach.
Only time will tell but this outing against Bilbao is a step back from the right direction.
Now sitting on 6th in LA liga and playing Napoli in the Europa league, Barcelona might’ve let slip their chances to win a silverware this season twice in less than a week.