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Barcelona’s Lewandowski blow softened by Spain shocker

It’s home time for La Roja

Morocco v Spain -World Cup Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

It’s been a tumultuous World Cup indeed in Qatar, and the shocks just keep on coming.

Who had Morocco down to send Spain tumbling out of the competition?! The result follows a pattern of the so-called fancied countries being put in their place by emerging and up and coming nations. Bravo I say.

Possession football of the type that both Barcelona and Spain play is all well and good, but how many times has it been said that there must be an end product.

On Tuesday night, La Roja had 75 percent of the ball across the 120 minutes and yet produced nothing meaningful against a team defending for their lives.

The eventual penalty win has to be, by a distance, the best day in Moroccan football history, and yet Spain weren’t awful for the most part.

Morocco v Spain: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

The performances of the Barca contingent were acceptable in the main, and if we’re looking for positives to come out of the game for Luis Enrique’s side, that’s arguably one.

What’s more, for the likes of Pedri, Gavi, Ansu Fati and Alejandro Balde, the experience may be a chastising one now, but it’ll stand them in good stead for the many future tournaments that they’ll undoubtedly feature in together.

Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are unlikely to be around at the next World Cup, and for Busi to end his international career in such a manner - if that turns out to be the case - is an absolute travesty for one of the best to have ever played the game.

Being a mid-season tournament means there’s no time for players to be feeling sorry for themselves, however. Head home, pick themselves up and get back on with club business.

FC Barcelona v UD Almeria - LaLiga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

In many respects, Spain going out as early as they have is fantastic news for Barca, particularly as there are no injuries to report.

With Robert Lewandowski having had a three-match ban recently confirmed, meaning he’ll miss the games against Espanyol, Atletico Madrid and Getafe, Xavi will have been grateful of any good news coming his way.

Getting a large part of his squad back unscathed can help soften the blow of losing his main man, and will also give Memphis Depay an unexpected opportunity to put himself in the shop window. He’s hardly the worst substitute striker in the world either.

Perhaps the only issue Xavi will need to contend with is the mental aspect of Spain’s loss on his charges.

Let that huge disappointment fire them up for the remainder of 2022/23!

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