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Barcelona’s La Liga hopes further diminish after defeat to Atletico Madrid

Barcelona lost 1-0 to Atletico Madrid in La Liga
Barcelona lost 1-0 to Atletico Madrid in La Liga
ANALYST
Modified 22 Nov 2020, 14:27 IST
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When a manager approaches his post-match press conference with a critical tone, it tells the level of performance his team has put up.

The above scenario is not far from what Ronald Koeman exhibited following Barcelona’s disappointing 1-0 loss against Diego Simeone’s high-flying Atletico Madrid.

"We played well in the first half, but a team like Barcelona cannot concede a goal in the 47th minute like we did," Koeman said in the aftermath of the game, as quoted by Marca.
“Then we had two very clear chances to equalise. It's always difficult, we know that Atletico defend very well. The goal [we conceded] was our fault; it's not good and it can't happen."

The Blaugrana went into Saturday’s La Liga game against Atletico Madrid with the chance to break into the top four. However, they currently find themselves in 10th position following their loss.

Barcelona's title hopes fading

While they were supposed to be challenging at the top of the table with the likes of Real Madrid, Atletico and Villarreal, the Catalan giants are rather in the company of Elche, Real Betis and Getafe at the moment.

Barcelona have endured a miserable run in La Liga this season so far. Koeman and his side have won just one of their last six league games, culminating in 11 points from a possible 24.

For a club like Barcelona, this is just not good enough. Saturday’s game against Atletico Madrid was just too easy for the Rojiblancos. Simeone had a clear game plan and he set his side up to frustrate Barca.

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Atletico’s goal came through fortuitous circumstances, as the usually reliable Marc-Andre ter Stegen committed a mistake which led to Yannick Carrasco taking advantage.

However, Barcelona were too passive and often reactive instead of being proactive. As Simeone’s side sat deep and opted for a conservative approach, the Blaugrana made it too easy for them as every attacking move seemed predictable.

Barcelina already lagging behind La Liga rivals

This is a defeat that could prove damaging at the end of the season, especially with Barcelona aiming to win La Liga. They are currently six points behind Real Madrid and nine below Atletico Madrid.

Even worse, the club is facing an injury crisis. Talented teenager Ansu Fati has been ruled out for four months, while Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto are also currently facing spells on the sidelines.

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"I'm worried like any coach. There are a lot of injuries these days because of the schedule we have. I will wait until tomorrow to see how the two players [Pique and Sergi Roberto] are doing; I don't know if they will be out for a while. I haven't spoken to the doctor yet,” a deflated Koeman said.

Nothing seems to be going right for Barcelona at the moment and their latest loss to Atletico Madrid further dashes their hopes of recapturing the La Liga title from Real Madrid.

Published 22 Nov 2020, 14:27 IST
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