Unhappy Barca fans make feelings known
Barcelona fans were on a high less than a month ago after seeing their team thrash Real Madrid 4-0 but were busy venting their frustrations at the club at the Camp Nou on Monday.
Supporters protested against president Joan Laporta outside the game before kick-off, annoyed at the ticketing shambles against Eintracht Frankfurt, while the Grada d’Animacio stayed away from the game completely.
A group of Barcelona supporters are protesting the match after more than 30,000 Frankfurt fans made their way inside the Camp Nou during their midweek clash in the Europa League. pic.twitter.com/naBQzelAiB— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 18, 2022
All of which was not really a surprise but certainly didn’t help the team against Cadiz either with the game played out in a curious atmosphere and in front of just 57, 495 supporters.
Eintracht Frankfurt fans weren’t the reason Barca lost in the Europa League but certainly created an incredible atmosphere that helped inspire their team. How the Catalans could have done with support like that against Cadiz on Monday.
Barca really missing injured stars
Cadiz may have been missing players for the trip to the Camp Nou but Barca were also without a host of key stars and it really showed.
Xavi lined his team up with Eric Garcia and Clement Lenglet in central defense, which always looked a worry, even though the stats before kick-off suggested otherwise.
3 - Barcelona have not lost any of their three games with Eric Garcia and Clément Lenglet in the starting XI this season in all competitions (W2 D1). Confidence. pic.twitter.com/tDkyWMEVsK— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 18, 2022
Unsurprisingly, Barca looked fragile at the back and could have conceded a few more than just Lucas Perez’s winner. Ronald Araujo will be back for the trip to Real Sociedad on Thursday and Barca will be hoping Gerard Pique returns too.
Further forward Barca missed Pedri’s ingenuity and never really looked like scoring. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started on the bench but offered little when he arrived, while Ousmane Dembele looked a threat all night but struggled to pick out his team-mates.
Indeed it was something of a surprise that Xavi waited so long to bring on Luuk de Jong. The Dutchman almost scored with his first touch but couldn’t conjure an equalizer in the 13 minutes he was given.
Meanwhile, Ansu Fati was spotted watching on from the stands. Barca are clearly taking no risks at all with the youngster, and rightly so, but this was another game that showed how badly he is missed.
No Pedri, no party for Barca
Xavi had insisted after the win over Levante last time out in La Liga that Barcelona are not dependent on Pedri after the teenager came off the bench to score and help inspire the win.
Those claims were looking a little hollow as Barca toiled against Cadiz. Gavi came into the starting XI in place of Pedri but simply doesn’t offer the same threat. The 17-year-old’s tenacity and drive are to be admired but he also still has a lot to learn about the game.
Yet Xavi needs to find a way for Barca to cope without Pedri, with the youngster expected to miss the rest of the season, starting against Real Sociedad on Thursday at Anoeta.
The Barca coach needs more from Frenkie de Jong who seemed to struggle without Pedri in the team and has some big decisions ahead of Thursday’s game.
Xavi does have options, such as Nico or Riqui, if he wants to make change to his midfield but certainly needs a vast improvement if his side are to get back to winning ways.
Memphis edging closer to Barca exit?
Xavi is also likely to make changes in attack after seeing his side fail to find the back of the net in La Liga since defeat to Real Betis at the start of December 2021.
Memphis Depay was handed just his second start of 2022 but failed to seize the opportunity and it may be a while until he’s given another start.
The Dutchman had 39 touches during his 61 minutes on the pitch, managed one shot off target, lost possession 13 times and ended with a pass accuracy of 81%.
Xavi replaced Memphis with Aubameyang, who is also going through a tough spell right now and also struggled against Cadiz, but looks more likely to start against La Real.
There are already rumors that Memphis will leave in the summer after just one season at the Camp Nou, and you suspect there might be a few more after this performance.
Barca must be getting sick of Cadiz
Monday’s match secured a piece of history for Cadiz as the Andalusians secured a first ever away win against Barcelona at the 14th time of asking. The victory also takes Sergio’s side out of the bottom three.
Cadiz’s shock victory also means the race for second place in La Liga is hotting up with Barca level on points with Atletico and Sevilla, albeit with a game in hand, and also means Real Madrid can even win the title on Sunday if results go in their favor.
Barcelona 0-1 Cádiz: A first-ever away win at Barcelona for Cádiz in a shock victory for the La Liga strugglers. A massive three points in the battle to avoid relegation. pic.twitter.com/LYGPeW1czs— The Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) April 19, 2022
All of which adds up to a very tough night for Barcelona, and the thought of Cadiz staying up is unlikely to be one the Catalans cherish with the Pirates fast becoming something of a bogey team.
Barca have not beaten Cadiz since they returned to La Liga in 2020 after a 14-year absence from the Spanish top flight. Cadiz have won 2-1 and drawn 0-0 at home against Barca and drawn 1-1 and now won 1-0 at the Camp Nou.
Xavi admitted he was angry and annoyed after the match and also admitted the players were “pissed off” for missing a “golden chance” to keep in touch with Real Madrid and put some distance between Atletico and Sevilla.
The coach also made it clear what his players need to do now, “We have to look ourselves in the eye and have more desire because we cannot lose at home to Cadiz. This is Barca and we have to do more.”