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Was complacency to blame for Barcelona’s below-par showing?

All to play for in the Europa League

Barcelona v Galatasaray - UEFA Champions League Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Let’s be perfectly honest... no one gave Galatasaray anything more than a puncher’s chance against Barca, and yet they almost struck the Buster Douglas type blow.

The visitors to the Camp Nou were well worth their draw but that says more about the hosts than it does the Turkish giants.

On the night, arguably, the complacency that looked to have crept into Barca’s play early in the game has to have played a big part in why they weren’t able to kill off the opposition.

Not starting with the likes of Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets suggests that Xavi believed his squad had more than enough about them to despatch Gala with ease.

And therein lies some of the problem.

Once the low block from the visitors had shown itself to be successful and work well at nullifying the host’s attacks, the ‘damage’ as it were, was done.

Barcelona v Galatasaray - UEFA Champions League Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

As many teams have found out before now, it’s hugely difficult to change the mindset mid-game.

How else does one explain away the fact that, even with so much possession and so many half chances, Barca never really looked like scoring?

In some respects, the result probably does them a favour.

Gala will believe they have a genuine chance to go through next week, and in looking to qualify they will have to come out and play.

With El Clasico immediately following the second leg, Xavi has to get his selection exactly right too, though his side are likely to get more genuine chances to score in Turkey than they did at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona v Galatasaray - UEFA Champions League Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

That will be the minimum demand in any event.

Looking at the game with the glass half full rather than half empty, Marc-Andre ter Stegen kept a clean sheet and Barca kept their decent recent run going.

There’s certainly much more to be optimistic about these days, notwithstanding that just because ‘they are Barcelona,’ it doesn’t give the players a divine right to just turn up and expect to win.

That has to be earned and Thursday night’s performance needs to quickly be learned from. Both from an individual and team perspective.

It isn’t the moment to dig out certain players either, other than to say this team remain a work in progress and the only way in which to progress is indeed by the sheer fact that lessons need to be learned.

The tie is still there to be won...