3 reasons why Barcelona won't win the treble this season
Gerard Pique's 82nd minute equalizer against Espanyol saved the blushes for the league leaders. FC Barcelona are having a prodigious season this winter. They sit at the helm of La Liga with a massive nine-point lead. Adding to their joy is the deplorable season of their fierce rivals, Real Madrid.
The Catalans are looking at a glorious season ahead in terms of lifting trophies. But lately, it appears that the Spanish side would be unable to do so, as the fixtures groove in thick and fast.
The upcoming couple of weeks could be decisive for the Cules. Here, we take a look at the hindrances standing between Barca and their second treble in three years.
#1 Over-reliance on Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has been Barcelona's talisman this year netting 27 goals and providing 14 assists so far. He appears to be aging like an old wine and is enjoying life under Valverde. Messi's form is good news for the Spanish giants as they look to challenge for every major silverware. However, Barca have been over-reliant on the 30-year-old. Valverde's men have struggled for creativity and goals in Messi's absence.
Barcelona's dependence on their no. 10 was evident during their visit to Espanyol. The star forward was rested alongside Sergi Roberto, Ivan Rakitic and Jordi Alba. The Catalans were struggling on a wet turf and saw themselves trailing until the Argentine was subbed on. It was Messi's assist for Pique's header which salvaged a late point for Barca.
Messi was also rested against Juventus in the Champions League and the Cules managed to register only one shot on target. FC Barcelona gravely need their players to ease the pressure off their starlet to keep him fresh ahead of the crucial UCL knock-outs.