As soon as Samuel Umtiti was announced in the line up, the omens were ominous.
That’s not a defeatist attitude, it’s based around the facts of the last few occasions that Umtiti has partnered Gerard Pique in defence.
Where once he was a shoo-in, the Frenchman now rightly has to fight for his place.
Whether he deserved a start is a moot point, but we only need look at his positioning throughout the encounter at Celta and his lack of desire to get back as the hosts scored their equaliser to know that he is a liability now.
For whatever reason, Balaidos has become a bogey ground for us, but at 2-1 up and time running out, we should’ve been able to see the game out.
A free-kick against Gerard Pique was unfortunate, but what on earth was the wall doing allowing that ball from Aspas to creep in around that side?
It was harsh on Marc-Andre ter Stegen and harsh on Barca’s front line who had been excellent for the most part.
A few misplaced balls notwithstanding, the strikers and attacking midfielders looked sharp, and on another day there could’ve been more goals scored with a bit of luck.
Luis Suarez fully justified his start with two goals to grace any game, and Messi, unusually off with his aim, at least busied himself for the most part.
Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig showed more than enough before both were subbed to open Setien’s eyes as to the possibilities.
Yes, there’s a lot to work to do but how refreshing to see young La Masia graduates snapping at the heels of the opposition, hustling and harrying and - praise the lord - consistently breaking forward.
No, this defeat isn’t on any of them.
It falls squarely on the shoulders of a back four that’s exposed for what it is in the main. An ageing defence that don’t play as a unit for large parts of games, that don’t step out together, that even run down blind alleys like headless chickens.
Well, those chickens have come home to roost now.
A word on Setien again too. More away points dropped... allowing Eder Sarabia to do his dirty work on the sidelines.
A manager without passion or, frankly, a clue what he should be doing. Yes, he’s only had a few months and many will say it’s far to early to judge. It isn’t.
The job is far too big for him and it’s about time he started talking to his cows again.