Barcelona struggled against Shakhtar, sending only one shot on goal for the entire match. Xavi replaced four players in the 60th minute, but there was no significant effect. The score, which Danylo Sikan scored with a precise header in the 40th minute, was not equalized by the favorite. “The reaction was not enough,” felt the team’s chief strategist around the shooter Robert Lewandowski, who, by the way, has been waiting for a goal since September 23. Just to add: he missed three out of nine competitive games this season due to injury.
But it is one of the parts that fits into the discomfort of the famous club. Barcelona happily beat Real Sociedad away in the league at the weekend, before falling to Real Madrid at home. “We are angry with each other, such a result cannot happen to us. We still have the feeling that we lost a match that we should have won,” Barcelona goalkeeper and captain Marc-André ter Stegen told Movistar+ TV cameras.
“The feelings are not good. We have two games behind us which we played very badly. Against Real Madrid, we played well for the first seventy minutes, but then our performance dropped and we lost. We didn’t play a good game against Real Sociedad, we didn’t deserve to win, even though we managed to win in the end. And here we didn’t play well enough to get three points either. We have to congratulate Shakhtar, because they deserved the win,” explained defender Joao Cancelo in recent days.
Barcelona has thus far not secured a place in the round of 16 of the Champions League, after the fourth round it has nine points like FC Porto. Shakhtar got six points, Antwerp none. The Spanish media is currently bombarding Xavi’s team with harsh criticism.
The web version of the Marca newspaper notes in its commentary that the best in the whole situation for Barcelona are the results, i.e. the leadership in the Champions League group and the third place in the domestic league with a two-point loss to the second Real Madrid and four points to the first Girona. “Barcelona’s main problem is football. There are too many matches in which he does not play well at all. Duels in Porto or at home with Shakhtar already brought warnings. Either a lot of things will change or Barca will have a hard time winning anything this season,” writes Marca.
The Spanish Sport shares a similar idea. “There remains a feeling of helplessness. With a game like this, Barcelona cannot think about winning the Spanish league, let alone the Champions League,” Sport mentions.
It also points to Xaxi promising before Tuesday’s game that people will see a different Barcelona. “We don’t know how the players listen to their coach, but none of it had an effect. It’s obvious that Barca won’t win anything and won’t get anywhere with such a game,” says the Spanish Sport. He agrees with Xavi that this was a step back.