Lionel Messi in a FC Barcelona jersey
File photo of Lionel Messi

Barcelona had another disappointing outing on Tuesday night as they were held by Slavia Prague in the UEFA Champions League for a Goalless draw.

After a disappointing 3-1 loss at the weekend to Levante, many expected Barcelona to bounce back strongly in the Champions League clash, but it was not to be.

Barcelona dominated the possession stats and created a quite a few chances, but weren’t able to go past Slavia Prague goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar. Barcelona came closest to scoring in the 35th minute when Lionel Messi hit the post.

Barcelona might have extended their unbeaten home record to 34 games, but the draw on Tuesday was disappointing and certainly adds to the pressure on manager after an up and down start to the season.

“The process of unpicking them cost us more than it should have – we needed to draw their players out and then cut through with sharp, well-timed passing. Semedo got through a couple of times but I think we should have achieved that more often,” Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde said after the match.

“We didn’t take the chances we made sufficiently well, Slavia always felt like they carried danger. They played a remarkably high line and we had to be much more efficient, more effective in finding the right pass through. The timing had to be perfect.

“The match before this we lost at Levante and we’re not unaware that the last two performances haven’t been our best. They’ve been incomplete. We know there’s loads of pressure on us and now we must respond.”

 

During the course of the match Gerard Pique got his ninth yellow card of the season. Talking after the match, he asked the fans to be patient and wait for the good things.

“I would ask for a little patience,” he said. “I know the fans want more, we understand that, but we’re working hard to find the solutions. Not so much in terms of results, but in terms of how we’re playing.”

“There have been times when we’ve not looked good in the past and we’ve ended up winning trophies. With Luis Enrique it looked like things weren’t working for the first six months and then we won the treble.”

As for the other result in their group, Borrusia Dortmund, whom Barcelona will play next, came back to beat Inter Milan 3-2. With two more games to go, Barcelona sit on the top of the group, but it is still not as straight forward for them, with games against Dortmund and Inter Milan to go.