If anyone was expecting a reaction to Barca going out of the Europa League last week, they didn’t get it at Camp Nou where the real news was the protest from the club’s most vocal sets of fans.
No supporters in the lower tier behind the north goal certainly gave the acoustics a lopsided tone.
In any event, Xavi’s starting XI did nothing to unsettle their relegation-threatened opponents in this one. Indeed, it was the visitors who had the best chance in the first half. How Lucas Perez missed the target only he knows.
It was a flat performance from a home side that look like they’re running out of steam with the finishing post in sight. Running through treacle might be an apt metaphor at this point.
Of those who began the match, Sergino Dest will surely now know that he doesn’t have any real prospect of a future with the Blaugranes.
It was his error that led to Lucas’ golden chance, and his lack of meaningful association with his team-mates has to count against him.
It’s been reported recently that Xavi wants a right-back in the summer and it’s easy to understand why on that performance.
Dani Alves would surely have got the nod if fully fit, and that’s a damning indictment on Dest’s ability, or lack of it.
Memphis is another who was given the perfect opportunity to give his coach some food for thought. Unfortunately, he too flattered to deceive.
He huffed and puffed but did little of note to get supporters off their seats.
Perhaps that’s not a pre-requisite for this Barca side, but for someone of supposed international class, it just isn’t good enough.
What was Eric Garcia doing - again - for the opener? His idea of defensive duties is certainly open to interpretation.
There’s a school of thought that says critics shouldn’t be too hard on the young centre-back, who is still learning his craft.
That is a legitimate claim of course, however, standing still and watching the ball at this level isn’t acceptable.
The final member of an incredibly underperforming quartet on the night was Frenkie de Jong.
A risible 70+ minutes from the Dutchman who can thank his lucky stars that Barca don’t have sufficient enough quality to do without him.
For all of the great results Barca have had under Xavi, the cracks are starting to appear and it’s on the coach’s shoulders to turn the tide, both in results terms and in public opinion.
This isn’t a game that anyone connected with the club can look back on with any sense of positivity or pride.
Very, very disappointing…