Luis Enrique’s team go 2-0 up through Messi and Ivan Rakitic – but then blow their lead and Deportivo claim their second successive 2-2 draw at Camp Nou.
Here are the talking points from the game.
1) Defense needs immediate improvement
Barca look to be losing their winning momentum as they have now given up their lead in all three of their last matches, drawing all of them. Enrique’s substitution of bringing in Jeremy Mathieu in place of Jordi Alba was welcomed by a goal as Lucas Perez scored the goal that brought back life in La Coruna’s fans. It was carelessness in defence again as Busquets gave the ball away for Deportivo’s equaliser.
2) Barca took the match lightly
Luis Enrique should take this draw as a wake up call as Barca have now given up the 6 points lead over their arch rivals Real Madrid and the Spanish Capital outfit now trail the Blaugranas by only 2 points.
And given the numerous passing mistakes the Catalans committed in the game, it didn’t look like much of a surprise that they managed to come out with only a point.
3) Mathieu needs to be on the bench
The purchase of French International Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia was questioned by fans all around the world, but his goal against Madrid in the Classico did silence most of his critics. Although, the defender now looks set to have regained his old form as he was at a major fault for the Catalans conceding the 1st goal which opened the doors for the Deportivo comeback.
Substituting Jordi Alba for Mathieu was a big gamble that Lucho played and it didn’t work out. Barca should now look at the massively talented La Masia youngster Grimaldo who can act as an able deputy for Jordi alba at the left back position which would yield better results than playing Mathieu in an unnatural position.
4) Deportivo deserved the single point.
Late 2nd half goals from Alex Bergantinos and Lucas Perez gave the lifeline to the men in blue and white as it was the least they should have got after giving an impressive display on the Camp Nou pitch.
Their players ran and chased the ball for the whole 90 minutes which eventually gave them results as Barca, in the midst of resting players for the Club world cup in Japan, made inexplicable substitutions which cost them 2 points and a chance of starting at 3rd spot in the round of 17 of the Spanish League.
5) Lionel Messi’s best game since his comeback
Messi played the best game after coming back from his 2 months layoff due to his injury as he had more than 120 touches and completed 11 dribbles out of the attempted 14 and his brilliant free kick from distance opened the scoring for the Catalans. His form will be vital as Barca will now travel to Japan to contest for their 5th trophy of the season and Neymar reportedly will not be fit for the semifinal.
Lucho needs to use this draw as a wake-up call or else it wouldn’t take much time for the treble winners to see a major transition in their form and the league standings scenario.