Barcelona’s loss to Valencia is the club’s fourth defeat in 5 games. It has seen them be eliminated from the Champion’s League, lose the Clasico and squander a 9 point gap at the top of the table.
An own goal from Ivan Rakitic and a goal from Santi Mina gave Los Che a shock lead at half time.
But despite a spirited second half from Barcelona, some poor finishing and great goalkeeping prevented them from ever taking the lead. Lionel Messi’s 500th career goal failed to inspire the home side to make a comeback and the score stayed at 1-2, much to the delight of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
Reflecting On The Result
After his side’s loss today, manager Luis Enrique said “Three points for us today would have been fair, but this sport very capricious. We have to know how to lose when we lose.We put in a complete performance, but the dynamic is against us.”
Enrique insisted that his players were faultless. He believed it was just bad fortune after playing a good game. Enrique said that at the start of the game, there was a difficulty getting into the flow because of the uncharacteristic run they were on. He praised his team’s response, calling it ‘magnificent’. He went on to say “With our start we should have scored the opening goal, but Valencia had some luck, and then it was more difficult for us. We also played very well in the second half, maybe with more heart than head. We made plenty of clear chances, but it was not to be.”
Enrique was reported saying in his post match press conference that his team could win their last 5 games and end the season as champions. He said “Our credit has been used up and we have five games now. We know if we win them we will be champions.” Enrique reiterated that it would be a difficult challenge but now they must lift themselves up, adding “Tomorrow we will train, and prepare, we still depend on ourselves. We have a magnificent challenge which our team is up to. It is difficult.”
He maintained that if his side kept playing the their usual game, like they can, then they would come out of this slump. Looking to the next game he said, “We know it will be difficult to win in Depor, but we must play the same as we played today,” he said. “Our fans are proud of the players in how they played today. If any team can do this, it is this Barca side.”
Barcelona’s next match sees them face Deportivo La Coruna away on Wednesday, where they will look to try and set things straight with a typical comprehensive victory, or at least get their confidence back during the business end of the season.
Mere weeks ago, Barcelona looked set for a treble but now are in danger of missing out on all major trophies after this sudden slump. Fans will hope that the team can get back on track, with their remaining fixtures in the league all coming against teams placed in the bottom half of the table.
Their Madrid rivals will be eyeing the situation closely however, with only a point separating Real Madrid from Atletico and Barcelona, who are level on points.