It was another tense night for Barcelona as for what feels like the millionth time this season, they were faced with real adversity – and this time, it came on the pitch instead of off it. They went head to head with Valencia and within just a matter of minutes, they found themselves 1-0 down at the Nou Camp.
They eventually managed to turn the game on its head and came away with a 3-1 result that actually flattered them when you take a look at the overall state of play.
Barca dig deep
Going 1-0 down in any circumstance is always going to serve as a stressful start to any game but somehow, Barca were able to fight back and pick up a win that somewhat eases the tension currently surrounding the club. It wasn’t a masterclass by any stretch but they definitely played a lot better than they have done in most of their league games this season, marking a potential “turning of the tide” – but then again, there’s so much to unpack about the state of the club that its kind of hard to tell.
Valencia fight hard
When Barcelona went 2-1 up it seemed as if they could kick on and score even more, and while they eventually did, Valencia were relentless in how they knocked at the door and refused to let Barcelona settle. That, in a way, is a testament to the defensive strength of Barca and how they pushed their opponents back whenever they entered the final third – but there’s also an element of luck involved that they just didn’t possess earlier on in the campaign. Whether or not it’s a catalyst for change remains to be seen but Valencia can definitely take a bit of heart from the loss.
Not enough for Koeman?
Ronald Koeman’s position as manager has felt fairly untenable for a long time and we just don’t picture a scenario in which he survives until the end of the month, let alone the end of the season. The January transfer window is going to see a lot of comings and goings around Europe and Barcelona will want to do something to steady the ship. Ronald Koeman just isn’t the man to do that and it makes more sense for Barca to cut their losses and move on – because if they stick with Koeman, things are simply bound to get worse before they get better.