Just four days after their historic European comeback against Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona’s title hopes were dealt a huge blow as they went down 2-1 against Deportivo at the Riazor.
Barca could have opened a four-point lead on title rivals Real Madrid at the top (albeit, having played two games more) but spurned the chance to put more pressure on Zinedine Zidane’s men.
And following their unlikely defeat to Deportivo, Sport360 selects five key points why Blaugrana slipped up against the Galician club.
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Luis Enrique’s men were clearly leggy from their remarkable Champions League exploits on Wednesday night and Sunday’s match was proof of that.
The win over PSG should have rejuvenated the club and boosted the confidence in the ranks, but it seemed to have the opposite effect.
TURAN IS NO REPLACEMENT FOR NEYMAR
With Neymar missing through a leg injury, Turkish star Arda Turan was employed in an attacking position on the flank but really struggled to make an impact on the game.
He was substituted for club legend Andres Iniesta in the 58th minute but Barca’s lack of forward options showed why Enrique’s squad can on occasions lack depth.
A side point, but the absence of Samuel Umtiti once again proved to make a difference. The club are a stronger side with the Cameroon star in their ranks.
ALEX BERGANTINOS JINX
The Depor match-winner netted his fourth goal in 112 La Liga matches – and get this – three of those goals have been against Barcelona!
The 31-year-old climbed highest and beat Jordi Alba in the air to head home the winning goal in the 74th minute.
However, Barcelona’s defending from the corner was very suspect and there was no man marking the post.
FAILURE TO DEAL WITH DEPORTIVO’S COUNTER ATTACK
Barcelona looked weary and struggled to deal with Pepe Mel’s counter-attacking style.
Although neither Depor goal came from an incisive breakaway, the hosts were able to run down the clock and keep possession with their meaningful attacks.
And if it wasn’t for the late heroics of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the scoreline would have looked much worse for Barcelona.
Mel’s men remain unbeaten during his four matches in charge at the helm.
NOT CLINICAL ENOUGH IN FRONT OF GOAL
It was the first time Barcelona lost a game in which Luis Suarez scored and the Catalan giants were guilty of not turning their superior possession (61%) into goals.
Barca had 16 attempts on goal but were only on target with five of those efforts.