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Barca’s hollow victory at Las Palmas leaves more questions than answers

Xavi out-foxed again

UD Las Palmas v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Where do you even start with that excuse for a performance?!

How about with ex-Barca B coach Garcia Pimienta outwitting Xavi in the tactical battle.

How about with Barcelona rejects, Munir El Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez running the back line ragged.

In Munir, Barca had a player that couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo whilst at Camp Nou but who was offered the freedom of the pitch to slide home the opener past Inaki Pena on Thursday night.

This despite there being six Barca players between him and Sandro, who crossed the ball into him.

Andreas Christensen’s introduction a minute prior for the injured Joao Cancelo can’t be offered up as an excuse.

No shots at goal in the first half summed up the opening 45 minutes and being offside 14 times in the game summed up the performance as a whole.

Las Palmas v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Seriously, what message is this team sending to its supporters and to a manager in Xavi who supposedly read his players the riot act before Christmas.

The majority of them showed that they’d learned absolutely nothing against a team who were quicker to the ball, more tenacious in the tackle and more dynamic in their forward play for the most part.

Mistakes and mis-steps were the order of the day and the win doesn’t change that.

On the night there were many below par showings.

Jules Kounde evidenced once again why he clearly doesn’t enjoy playing in the right-back slot, and Alejandro Balde confirmed that he’s not good enough to play on the opposite side.

Las Palmas v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Indeed, were this any coach other than Xavi, they would’ve certainly fallen on their sword after this. Can you even begin to imagine if it had been Ronald Koeman or Quique Setien sat on the bench?!

On one occasion, it took Las Palmas just two passes to cut open the Blaugranes and be in a position to mount an attack - precisely the opposite of what the visitors to the island were doing.

The win keeps the Catalans just about in touch with joint leaders Real Madrid and Girona, but Xavi really does need to grab the bull by the horns now and get a tune out of this bunch of underperforming stars.

The bare minimum that should be expected is Champions League qualification for next season, but on this evidence and so many more games besides, there’s a very real possibility that if the current malaise continues that will be just a pipe dream.

What a mess.

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