If they are not in crisis mode, Barcelona are not far off it. After all but sealing their elimination from the Champions League in midweek, the Blaugrana relinquished the lead in La Liga following a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in El Clasico.
It looked as if Barcelona might get back into things late on after Ferran Torres made it 2-1 with ten minutes to go, but a late penalty from Rodrygo Goes sentenced the match.
Speaking after the match, Xavi Hernandez defended his side.
“We didn’t deserve to lose,” Diario AS quoted.
“In the first half we weren’t bad, but in the second half they dominated us. With the changes, we were more aggressive. We have to change the mentality and the dynamic because in order to compete in these matches, you have to be more aggressive.”
“We have to compete better. We were against a more mature team that knew how to take advantage of our moments. We are in a bad dynamic and we have to change it.”
Over the course of the match, Barcelona narrowly edged the xG (1.470-1.67), but there was a distinct sense that Real Madrid were enjoying a sense of control in the match.
Xavi Hernandez will no doubt come under serious pressure to get results in the coming weeks. Barcelona had started the season well but in recent weeks have exhibited some familiar faults of recent seasons. Barcelona next face Villarreal on Thursday night, with the task of reducing what could be a six point gap to Real Madrid at that point.