Barca get what they deserved
Barcelona hadn’t lost at home all season in La Liga before Thursday’s game at the Camp Nou, but there was something vaguely inevitable about their loss to 10-man Osasuna.
Quique Setien shuffled his pack but then watched his team play with the same problems that have afflicted them all season. They looked vulnerable at the back, struggled to create chances and were reliant on Lionel Messi for goals.
Osasuna knew exactly what to expect, organised themselves in right way and managed to take home a deserved three points even though they played the last quarter of an hour a man down.
The defeat will provoke plenty of doom and gloom from fans and rightly so, but it might also do the club a favor. Winning another La Liga title would have covered up many of their problems yet again but defeat has highlighted how big changes are needed and fast.
Messi makes his feelings known
Messi scored Barcelona’s only goal against Osasuna with another brilliant free-kick and his celebration was fairly telling. In fact he admitted after the game it was pure frustration at the way the game had been going.
Never seen Messi like this after scoring a goal! We are in some deep mess.pic.twitter.com/9VOt8uF2UT— Barça Times Media (@MediaBarcaTimes) July 17, 2020
The Argentine has been unusually vocal this season and was at it again after the match with a blunt assessment of the team’s season and hopes for the future which the club would be well to listen to.
He blasted the club for being a “very weak team, beaten for intensity, for motivation, people can score against us very easy” and also warned once again that Barca will not beat Napoli in the Champions League if they keep playing like they are.
Barcelona need to listen to their captain.
Setien’s future in doubt again
The result also brings fresh pressure on Quique Setien after only six months in the job, and he admitted after the match he “does not know” if he will be in charge of the club for their Champions League campaign.
There’s no doubt that Setien has had to cope with a lot since he took over and it’s been a difficult season for all sorts of reasons, but there’s also been no clear sign of what he’s trying to do with the team.
Thursday’s performance was lethargic at best and increased the feeling that there’s not much connection between the playing staff and the coach. Sacking Setien won’t fix Barca’s problems but it would not be a surprise if he left before the start of next season either.
Jose Arnaiz returns to haunt Barca
There’s been plenty of focus on some of the youngsters Barcelona have allowed to leave the club in recent seasons, and Jose Arnaiz was back to haunt the Catalans with the opening goal on Thursday.
The 25-year-old joined Barca in 2017 from Real Valladolid and had looked a promising talent, famously scoring with his first three shots on target for Barcelona. Yet injuries and competition for places saw him fail to make the breakthrough, and he left a year later for Leganes.
Arnaiz hasn’t actually managed a La Liga goal for Leganes yet and headed to Osasuna in January on loan. He scored his first goal last time out against Celta Vigo before following it up with another against his former side at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona running out of players
Barcelona finish their campaign on Sunday at Alaves but will be short of options with Gerard Pique, Ivan Rakitic and Junior Firpo all suspended for the tie.
Setien has a pretty shallow squad anyway but the trio’s suspension merely highlights the lack of strength in depth albeit for a now meaningless match.
The Barca boss didn’t help himself after the match by saying he wanted Riqui Puig, Ansu Fati and Ronald Araujo to stay with the first-team squad for Sunday’s match despite Barca B having their promotion play-off on the same day.
García Pimienta’s side are already without Alex Collado due to injury, and the loss of Ansu, Riqui and Araujo will really hurt their hopes of success.