Barcelona Shocked By Valencia; Continue Poor Play
Barcelona’s recent run of poor form continued Sunday as Barcelona shocked by Valencia, who sit 12th in the La Liga table. This latest defeat followed the exit from the Champions League at the hands of Atletico Madrid, who are now tied atop the league table with the Catalans at 76 points apiece.
After an amazing run of form that saw them unbeaten in 39 matches, just one shy of the European record, they have now lost three consecutive games and four of their last five. The final game of the unbeaten streak was an unexpected 2-2 draw with Villareal. This may have just been a minor bump in the road or this may very well have been a sign of things to come.
The following game, which saw the streak come to an end, was a loss Barca fans will lament. In El Classico, against hated rival Real Madrid, la Blaugrana had a number of chances they weren’t able to capitalize on and it was none other than Cristiano Ronaldo who provided the difference in this match. They seemed to rebound with a 2-1 Champions League win over league rival Atletico Madrid, but again took a step back in their next match.
April 9th saw Barcelona get shutout 1-0 against Real Sociedad, the 10th place team in La Liga. What’s more surprising than the loss was the clean sheet that Barca were held to.
The main component of their near 6 month unbeaten streak was the incredible form shown by the world’s greatest attacking trio MSN (Messi, Suarez, Neymar). Not for a lack of chances, but they have all of a sudden hit a cold streak that has seen Barcelona score a mere goal in its past three games.
Aside from the 2-0 loss to Atleti that eliminated them from the Champions League, the most surprising part of this recent run of poor form was the most recent loss suffered at the hands of Los Che of Valencia. Not only do they sit 12th in La Liga table, but Barcelona had beaten them 7-0 in February in the Spanish Super Cup.
This loss was particularly damning as they have seen their cushion atop the league table completely disappear. As it stands now, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid sit tied at 76 points, followed closely by Real Madrid with 75. Despite the pressure being applied by both clubs from the capital, Barca still control their own destiny. They hold the tie breaker over Atleti, so five wins in their final five club matches will result in a second consecutive Spanish Primera Division trophy.
The natives of Catalonia are hoping their team, especially MSN, can return to the form they’ve displayed throughout the majority of the season and keep the trophy for another year.
(Barcelona Shocked By Valencia)