La Liga 2016-17: Deportivo 2 - 1 Barcelona: 5 Talking Points
Leo Messi and Luis Suarez went missing as an inspired Deportivo side handed Barcelona a body blow in La Liga title chase.
Deportivo La Coruna walked away from Riazor with a rather deserving 2-1 win over a lacklustre Barcelona team who looked completely drained from all their exertions of mid-week. But any team serious of competing at multiple fronts should have it in their reserves to draw something special when it matters but it seems that the Catalan’s depleted their season’s worth of magic at the Camp Nou. They still top La Liga, but Real Madrid are just a point behind and now have TWO games in hand (including tonight’s match against Betis) Pepe Mel’s magic meanwhile has seen Deportivo rise from the relegation-threatened quagmire to a much more comfortable 15th place.
Here’s what we learned from a brilliant match at the Riazor:
1. Barcelona’s second string simply not good enough
Arda Turan, Denis Suarez, Andre Gomes – three players you don’t generally see starting for Barcelona, and today showed why. The three were ineffectual as they sought to replace the likes of Neymar, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic and really had no impact on the end result. While Luis Enrique gets a lot of brickbats for his experiments with formation (and he deserved some today, that 3-4-3 with a midfield of Denis, Roberto, Busquets and Gomes was just disastrous), it must be said that the bench strength at Barca is nothing like what they used to have and that has had as much of an impact on domestic results this season as the coach’s strategies or lack thereof.
Barcelona will need to spend well (not much, but smartly) in the summer to ensure they are better prepared next season.