BARCELONA (Jordi Blanco, correspondent) – Barcelona suffered a nightmare Sunday at the worst moment. Five days after being overwhelmed by PSG in Europe, he gave up a terrible, terrifying draw in the League, against a Cádiz that arrived at the Camp Nou with four defeats in tow, forced more than ever to respond to Atlético de Madrid’s stumble and that led to a draw that shows, with all the rawness, the null confidence it offers.
On a penalty he was going to win a bland game and on a penalty, at the last gasp, he left it on the road. He did not know, he did not reach, to resolve the game after Messi achieved 1-0 after half an hour and ended up sunk when Cádiz, with nothing to lose, sought a tie in the final stretch. A ridiculous penalty from Lenglet allowed Aléx Fernandez’s goal and brought Barça down.
Koeman’s team could get six points away from Atlético and three from Real Madrid (this one with one more game) after a weekend in which the biggest news was the result of the Metropolitano. To the mattress KO, Madrid responded with a lackluster victory in Valladolid and Barça did not know how to do it. Regrettable.
A ridiculous without palliative, a huge ridiculous of a team without rhythm, without game and without ambition, which seemed to have enough to win in a dark way and paid for its poor performance with the final draw. One step back, another, who knows what consequences it will have because sometimes it is not enough to finish up to 24 times on goal, but you must play football. And playing is more than just tapping and tapping.
Koeman gave confidence to the same eleven that on Tuesday was devastated by PSG. Repeating the line-up could be interpreted as a sign of confidence or as a warning that the players themselves should be the ones to change the European image. And since Cádiz is nothing like PSG, any conclusion will have to be left for another time.
The Andalusian team formed a Numantine defense ahead of Ledesma, busy keeping order very close behind and looking, if possible, for a counter with which to scare Ter Stegen, but the slow pace, the shallow depth and the lesser Barça daring , who barely used the bands in attack, turned the first half into a bland monologue.
Up to ten times Barça shot on goal before Messi’s goal and nine of them went through the roof, the Argentine goal saving a shot from the captain with a great intervention. All this until half an hour, when Pedri, the most unruly among the
Boredom, he snuck into the area and was clearly blocked by Iza. Leo’s soft launch fooled Ledesma. Goal.
The 1-0 barely changed the football scene beyond the immediate fright that Barça suffered, with a habitual misalignment in defense that allowed a center from Salvi that Sobrino, gaining the position of all, finished off in an unlikely way without finding a door.
From there to rest hardly anything. Then a little more … Two goals disallowed by Pedri and De Jong, a magnificent pass from Busquets to Messi who shot wide, the Argentine’s shot that saved the goal, the penalty and the chance for Sobrino. There the first half would be summarized, waiting for a second that, it was understood, should change the face of Cádiz. And also from Barça.
But it took some time to see any hint of change. Until Álvaro Cervera got his hands on his team with three substitutions and a timid step forward, at game time, the game maintained that tiresome, slow and boring rhythm that, in the end, played the leading role throughout the morning.
Dembélé rebelled looking for the band, De Jong approached the area again and Pedri reappeared on stage, looking for the quick combination with Messi or Griezmann to unravel the game at once, which with the 1-0 gave the feeling of being able to provoke a scare at any time, even if the arrivals from Cádiz were minimal.
And Koeman, who had already given Busquets a rest, on the day that he completed his 400 league games, and Griezmann, replacing them with Pjanic and Braithwaite, resolved by taking Pedri off the scene to give Trincao minutes in the last quarter of an hour, perhaps seeking greater depth but losing combination.
And Barça fell like a house of cards. It allowed Cádiz to stay alive and the Andalusian team, without having to shoot even once between the three sticks, found himself with a penalty in the 88th minute that gave him the draw and caused despair to a Barça in a spin.