UEFA Champions League | Barcelona 0-0 Slavia Prague: 3 Talking Points
Fresh off their 3-1 defeat away to Levante in LaLiga over the weekend, Barcelona returned to action in the Champions League when they hosted Slavia Prague and would have sought to get back to winning ways against the Czech champions.
The Catalans came into the fixture holding a three point advantage in the group and a victory here would have all but guaranteed their progress to the next round, but that failed to happen, as a resilient Slavia Prague put up a good fight to keep the Catalans at bay and leave Camp Nou with a point.
The draw means that Barcelona have eight points after four matches and while not entirely disastrous; with matches against Dortmund and Inter Milan to come, they would have their work cut out to ensure progression to the knockout rounds.
In this piece, we shall be highlighting three talking points from the fixture.
#3 Pressure mounts on Ernesto Valverde
After impressing with his work in the dugout with Athletic Bilbao, Ernesto Valverde was announced as the replacement for Luis Enrique as Barcelona's manager.
However, despite winning the double in his first season and the league in each of his first two seasons at the helm of Barcelona, the overwhelming consensus is that the 55-year-old has not performed up to expectation.
The driving factor behind this school of thought is that Barcelona have failed to translate their domestic successes onto the continent, with their embarrassing eliminations from the last two Champions League campaigns serving as a sore thumb.
During the off-season, the Blaugrana splashed the cash in the transfer market, spending in excess of €250m to bring in Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong, and Junior Firpo to the Camp Nou and it was expected that Valverde would successfully blend in the new recruits to make Barcelona more competitive.
However, it has been a less than ideal start for the Catalans and they have so far lost three LaLiga games from just 11 rounds of matches which is disappointing to say the least.
Coming up against a side with next to no European pedigree like Slavia Prague at Camp Nou, the home side were expected to stroll their way to victory but the fact that they could only post a tepid draw would do little to ease the pressure on Valverde.