It's no longer news that Barca lost a match. But it's news when they get bamboozled by a team many expect to be the underdog. On a cold Tuesday night in Catalunya, Mbappe and co routed one of the most respected side in football, exposing their defensive lapses and scoring 4 goals.
So we ask, what went wrong for Barca?
1. No team spirit
There was no power, no intensity, no togetherness, no unity in play. They had 11 players, but they were not just compact and they did not work as a team. There was no connection between the back 4, the midfield, and the front 3. The result was that they were easily overrun by the pace of Mbappe. It is not exclusively Koeman's fault, it's just that the bunch of players in the team are just not good enough.
2. Messi is part of the problem
Overreliance on a player who is fast aging, is one reason Barca has not been as effective as they used to. No team is built around a single player. Messi frankly is one of the greatest player ever, and he can do practically everything: shoot, dribble, pass, feign, and all. But in this game, he was just disinterested, just like he was in the Bayern game. He simply did not have that fighting spirit, he did not trackback to help in defense, and for someone who is the leader doing this, frankly, he was part of the problem.
3. Barca needs an overhaul
Players like Pique and Busquets, seem to have lost their mojo. This team with the likes of Busquets, Pique, Alba, and Messi used to be the best in the world. They dominated games from start to finish and nobody could actually play against them. But as it happens in football, maybe age, maybe fatigue, or maybe just a lack of attitude. They can't keep possession, they can't dominate games, they can't subdue opposition. The team just needs to rebuild. They lack character and hunger. Barca can't just play at the level of Bayern, PSG, Juventus, or even Liverpool.
4. Barca bought players who were not the right fit for the club.
The club spent big money on Dembele and Griezman with little to show. For a club with a philosophy of creativity, a lot of players are just not the kind of players that will play a first-team match in the days of Iniesta, Fabregas, and Xavi. Barca are going to have to sell some players to raise some money, and buy what they really need. The youngsters like Pedri, Trincao are great, but they are having to do too much.
But as is always the case is in football, it is not over until it is over. There is still a 2nd leg to play. Recall that in the 2016/17 season, PSG beat Barca 4-0 in the first leg, and then when the 2nd leg was played in Spain, Barca won 6-1! Of course Barca qualified. So the fact is anything can still happen.
That is why you need to bet on the next game taking place in just two weeks' time. Will Barca comeback or Will PSG hold on or even cause more embarrassment for Barca?
Place your wagers now!