FC Barcelona failed to return to their winning ways after sacking Ronald Koeman earlier this week. With Sergi Barjuan promoted from the second team to take over as caretaker boss, Barcelona only managed to win a point at home against relegation-threatened Alaves. It finished 1-1 at Camp Now, with just over 37k fans attending the game. That’s just 38% of Barca stadium’s capacity.
Barcelona’s board are still hoping to appoint Xavi as soon as possible, but talks with Al Sadd from Qatar, his current club, are not easy. Until a permanent manager is confirmed, Barcelona has to face yet more uncertainty that could cost important points moving forward.
President Joan Laporta said Barca’s objectives this season remain winning the Champions League and the two trophies available at home, the La Liga title and the Cup. No easy task.
After Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Alaves, Barcelona sit ninth in La Liga table, on 16 points, eight behind the leading trio that Real Madrid, Sevilla, and Real Sociedad are part of.
Depay, back on the scoresheet
Memphis Depay was out of goals in his three previous Barcelona games but managed to open the scoring against Alaves. In the 49th minute, Depay sent a beautifully curled shot from outside the box, beating Antonio Sivera’s spectacular jump. The Blaugrana joy didn’t last for long, though. In the 52nd minute, Luis Roja took the responsibility to cut through Barcelona’s defense all by himself, then used Joselu’s backheel to set himself up for the equalizer.
Alaves left Camp Nou with a point in the bag and hope to continue their escape mission. The Basques have won seven points from their last three games and are now two points in front of Cadiz, the first in the drop zone.
Interim manager Sergi will not have much time to analyze the reasons behind another dismal Barcelona outing. On Tuesday, his team play in Kyiv against Dynamo in the Champions League. Barca are desperate for a win that would confirm they are back in the qualification race, after losing the opening two matches in the group 3-0 to both Bayern Munich and Benfica Lisbon. Barcelona are now third in Group E, on three points, one behind second-placed Benfica, with three games played.
FC Barcelona are at -161 for a win in Kyiv, with the hosts at +550. A draw is at +330. Following Dynamo’s 1-0 defeat at Camp Nou two weeks ago, Mircea Lucescu, the manager of the Ukrainian side, said his team “must do everything to win the return leg because it’s in their power to do it”. It’s a clear indication that the veteran coach felt Barcelona were far from their best even when playing at home against the group’s outsiders.