Barcelona failed to make the most of Atletico Madrid's defeat and slumped to a disconsolate 1-1 draw against Cadiz at the Camp Nou earlier today. The Catalan giants now find themselves eight points behind the league leaders and will need a miraculous turn of events to win silverware this season.
The Catalans created a flurry of chances in the second half but were unable to seize the initiative at the Camp Nou. Defensive blunders have been a highlight of Barcelona's season under Ronald Koeman and Clement Lenglet lived up to the billing by conceding a late penalty to offer Cadiz a lifeline.
Barcelona dominated the ball in the opening stages of the game but found it difficult to breach Cadiz's rigid defensive lines. The away side was well aware of its recent defensive mishaps in La Liga and seemed intent on thwarting Barcelona''s attacking endeavours.
The Catalan giants were relentless with their attacking pressure and their efforts paid off as Pedri won a penalty for his side at the half-hour mark. Lionel Messi stepped up to send the Cadiz shot-stopper the wrong way and scored Barcelona's opening goal of the game.
Cadiz had an excellent opportunity to hit back immediately as Sobrino reached the end of a dangerous cross but failed to hit the target. Barcelona had two disallowed goals towards the end of the first half and put in a dominant performance.
Barcelona started the second half with positive intent as Cadiz were pinned back in their own half. Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi dominated the ball for Barcelona and Antoine Griezmann nearly took advantage of the Argentine's unselfishness at the hour-mark.
Barcelona created several chances in the second half but were unable to double their lead. Cadiz were on the back foot for most of the game but the Catalans' cutting edge deserted them at crucial points in the match.
Cadiz were handed a lifeline at the stroke of full-time as yet another brain-fade by Clement Lenglet gave the away side a penalty. Barcelona were unable to find another goal in stoppage-time and dropped two important points at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona Player Ratings
Marc-Andre ter Stegen - 6.5/10
Marc-Andre ter Stegen had very little to do for Barcelona and was denied his clean sheet today by yet another defensive blunder. The German was effective with his distribution but could do nothing about Cadiz's late penalty.
Gerard Pique - 6/10
Gerard Pique had a comfortable outing against Cadiz but was let down by his defensive counterpart in the second half. The Barcelona veteran ventured forward in search of the winner and wore his heart on his sleeve.
Clement Lenglet - 2/10
Barcelona fans have been screaming for Clement Lenglet's blood in recent weeks and the Frenchman did himself no favours today. The Catalans were cruising to a victory before Lenglet committed his umpteenth error of the campaign and gave away a needless penalty towards the end of the game.
Jordi Alba - 6/10
Jordi Alba was a constant presence in the attacking half of the pitch but did not have much of an impact on the proceedings. The adventurous full-back was not tested defensively and had a positive outing.
Sergino Dest - 7/10
Sergino Dest seemed determined to make amends for his poor mid-week performance and consistently made his way into the penalty area against Cadiz. The American full-back was replaced by Oscar Mingueza in the second half and is likely to keep his place in the side.
Sergio Busquets - 6.5/10
Sergio Busquets was far more comfortable against Cadiz than he was against Paris Saint-Germain and threaded several balls into the paths of Barcelona's forward. The Catalan veteran did misplace a few passes but managed to put in a distinguished performance.
Frenkie de Jong - 6/10
Frenkie de Jong had a point to prove after his miserable performance in the Champions League and was more influential against Cadiz. The Dutch midfielder helped Barcelona dominate the midfield but was unable to create concrete chances in the final third.
Pedri - 8/10
Pedri had a visible spring in his step against Cadiz and won a penalty for Barcelona in the first half. The teenage prodigy had a goal disallowed before half-time and was arguably one of the best players on the pitch.
Ousmane Dembele - 6/10
Ousmane Dembele endured a dismal first half and switch to the left flank after half-time. The French winger completed some mesmerising dribbles but was unable to provide Barcelona with a final product.
Antoine Griezmann - 4/10
Antoine Griezmann endured a frustrating first half and came in a way of Frenkie de Jong's shot at the stroke of half-time. The Barcelona striker should have scored at the hour-mark tame close-range effort was parried away by the Cadiz goalkeeper.
Lionel Messi - 6.5/10
Lionel Messi was one of the most influential players on the pitch against Cadiz and pulled the strings in the final third for Barcelona. The Argentine talisman was unable to add to his tally after a first-half penalty however, and will need to do more to win silverware with Barcelona this season.
Martin Braithwaite - 5/10
Martin Braithwaite made yet another disappointing cameo appearance for Barcelona and was needlessly caught offside on several occasions. The Danish striker seemed on a different wavelength against Cadiz and cannot afford another string of mediocre performances.
Miralem Pjanic - 6/10
Miralem Pjanic did catch the eye with some impressive turns and touches in the midfield but was unable to create chances of note for Barcelona.
Riqui Puig - 6.5/10
Riqui Puig was unlucky not to start the game against Cadiz but chipped in with a positive substitute appearance. The Catalan youngster nearly found the back of the net with an excellent effort and crafted an exquisite pass to a marginally-offside Gerard Pique.
Francisco Trincao - 5.5/10
Francisco Trincao replaced Pedri in the second half and saw plenty of the ball in the final third. The Portuguese winger could have given Barcelona the winner but was let down by his first touch.
Oscar Mingueza - 6/10
Oscar Mingueza was a late substitute against Cadiz and did not have enough time to make an impact.