Barcelona must find their way back into Europe’s biggest tournament and right now they are on a completely different track. As their manager, Xavi Hernandez, mentioned before, it is not that the club is lacking in players, but it is the mindset and psychology of the players which is stopping them from achieving what they should be. Barca went into the match against Osasuna as the favorites and with the home team sitting with only 15 goals to their name, it should have been an easy win for the Catalans. Yes, morale was low after the Bayern Munich defeat however, Barca should still be winning the easy games, as they are still one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
However, that was not the case and even though the Blaugrana started the match brilliantly, their shaky defense and questionable goalkeeping put Osasuna back in the match in a matter of a few minutes. A beautiful pass from Gavi in the 12th minute found youngster Nico Gonzalez who looked as cool as a cucumber and easily tucked the ball at the back of the net. That was the high point for the Catalans as it was a beautiful pass followed by an excellent finish. However, instead of keeping up the pressure, the team became complacent and allowed a sloppy header from a set piece.
Barcelona was lucky to get a second goal and get back their lead however, they could not manage to see out the game. The Catalan’s goal could have been easily revoked due to a handball by Sergio Busquets in the build-up, however, the goal was given and Barca seemed to be in the drivers’ seat again. This time the Catalans had to defend with all their might and Osasuna kept applying pressure. Things were looking good for the Copa del Rey Champions however, a sloppy clearance in the box meant that Chimy Ávila had a free shot and it was a beautifully taken shot that avoided everyone in the box and ended up in the back of the net.
This was supposed to be a Barca win without any questions and the Catalans made a lively start to the game as well. However, after their first goal, their flaws were being picked up in the midfield and Barca committed sixteen fouls in the game. Their defense needs to tighten up and set-piece defending needs to improve massively. Xavi is trying to sort out the attack first but the defense is the foundation of the team and without a solid backline, the whole team will crumble.
What should Barca do to fix their defensive flaws?