Just like they used to say about those famous red London buses... you wait an age for one to come and then two or more arrive at once.
Before their ill-fated midweek trip to Old Trafford, Xavi’s Barcelona had been unbeaten in 18 games and seemed pretty comfortable in the vast majority of those, despite a number of them being slender single-goal margin victories.
An under-par showing in Manchester, whilst not necessarily expected, wasn’t a surprise either given the injuries and suspensions the Catalans had to contend with against a resurgent Red Devils side.
There can be no such excuse for the garbage that was served up in Almeria on Sunday though.
Frankly, it was a disgusting performance from a number of Barca players, and another poor showing from the coach.
Since when did the blaugranes spend their time pumping aimless ball after aimless ball into the box against a five-man (sometimes seven-man) defence?
That it took until the 81st minute for the visitors to have a meaningful effort on goal, and that coming from sub, Angel Alarcon, spoke volumes.
There genuinely didn’t appear to be any real game plan at all, and in a game which Barca should’ve won on paper, they were second best all over the pitch.
Xavi can’t be blamed for rotating his staff for this one, however, one could reasonably expect that the starting XI might still have something about them rather than meandering around for the best part of 90 minutes.
League titles are earned not given, and after a surprising slip-up from Real Madrid in the derby on Saturday night, the chance to take a double-digit lead over their nearest pursuers was there for Barca.
Perhaps the strength of conviction in Almeria’s play came as something as a surprise to a team that are coasting through some games. It’s the only possible explanation I can think of as to why the table-toppers were so far off the pace all game.
Barca are well used to European hangovers of course. Sunday wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last, and they’ve always struggled against teams that play a low block and pack the midfield and defence.
With such quality available at his disposal though, Xavi needs to find solutions to win all types of games.
He was badly let down by his players but by the same token he was hardly the model of decisiveness that he needs to be on the occasions when game plans must be changed or adapted.
That was about as far away from a typical Barca performance as it’s possible to be and that isn’t good enough. Not now, not ever.