The Blaugrana have improved in recent weeks, but their inability to remain consistent is still a major concern at the Camp Nou. Ronald Koeman’s side went into the game against Eibar with a chance to move into the top four.
A win would have seen Barcelona rise to third place in the league table, but they contrived to draw in a game where they missed several clear-cut chances. Eibar were there for the taking, but with Lionel Messi missing, the Blaugrana lacked attacking potency.
Chance after chance came, but Martin Braithwaite, Ousmane Dembele and Trincao were all responsible for some unacceptable wastefulness when put through on goal. Braithwaite even missed a penalty in the first half.
Eibar punish profligate Barcelona
In football, when you fail to take your chances, it usually comes back to haunt you, and that was exactly what Eibar did. After soaking the pressure from Barcelona in the first half, the minnows took the lead after the restart following a defensive blunder by Ronald Araujo.
The young defender was caught napping on the ball, allowing Kiki to steal it from his feet before running across 30 yards to score past the onrushing Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Koeman was honest in his post-match press conference when he said that it would be difficult for Barcelona to win the La Liga this season. The Blaugrana have dominated the Spanish top flight in the last decade, but they now risk going two straight seasons without a league title.
"I am realistic; it will be very difficult to be champions," the Barcelona manager said, as quoted by Goal. Nothing is impossible, but you have to acknowledge the gap. Atletico look very good to me, very strong; they don't concede many goals."
Barcelona risk missing out on the La Liga title again
Many Barcelona fans will shy away from looking at the league table, as the Blaugrana are currently seven points behind joint league leaders Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid after 16 games.
Atletico, though, have two games in hand and could potentially move 13 points clear of Barcelona.
Games against clubs like Eibar are a must-win for any side that wants to win the league, and Barcelona may rue dropping these points at the end of the La Liga season.Published 31 Dec 2020, 07:46 IST