Barcelona Loss to Ajax
FC Barcelona suffered its first defeat of the season, fallin to Ajax 2-1 in UEFA Champions League competition.
The loss would not have been so disturbing had it not been for the overall poor performance of the team during the match, particularly an apparent “lack of hunger” that seemed to characterized the players on the field. So bad was the performance that Ajax lost one player and even with a man advantage the team headed by Tata Martino could not beat a dutch team that averaged 22 years of age. Some news reports indicate that Barcelona players ran some 5 kilometers less than they usually do during a match.
During the first post-game practice, Tata Martino addressed the team and chastized the players for the dismal performance, pointing out the need to avoid a repeat of the lackluster effort shown in Amsterdam.
According to a Sport report, there are at least 10 “sins” committed by Barcelona in Amsterdam:
1. No shots on goal, no goals. Barcelona only had 3 shots on goal during the game.
2. No ball circulation.
3. An absence of the asphixiating pressing that used to characterize FC Barcelona.
4. Excessive fouls and yellow cards.
5. Barcelona ran less than Ajax – 114 to 119 kilometers.
6. Tata Martino did not make necessary corrections. There were no tactical modifications, despite losing 2-0 at halftime.
7. The defensive wings hardly created any plays.
8. Poor performance by the midfield. Xavi and Andres Iniesta had one of the worst games in recent memory.
9. Unclear in attacking mode.
10. An undefined playing style.
Some of these issues have been raised before by analysts examining the evolution of Barcelona under Tata Martino. However, the FC Barcelona loss to Ajax put these ideas in new context because all became clearly evident in Amsterdam. Fortunately, there is more than enough time to make the necessary adjustments for the remainder of the season in La Liga and in UEFA Champions League.
Would FC Barcelona had played differently with a healthy Lionel Messi on the pitch. Most likely that would have been the case due to Messi’s proven ability to carry the team on his shoulders and defeat opponents in the blink of an eye.
Below are additional analyses of the FC Barcelona loss to Ajax published in the international press.
http://news.google.com Wed, 27 Nov 2013 20:07:22 GMT
National Post’A lack of hunger’: Barcelona’s lackluster Champions League performance raises …National PostBARCELONA, Spain Barcelona’s first defeat of the season has raised doubts about the team’s hunger for victory, with the lacklustre performance against Ajax prompting criticism by players and coach Gerardo Martino.
http://news.google.com Wed, 27 Nov 2013 12:31:40 GMT
The GuardianBarcelona’s Gerardo Martino demands higher intensity after Ajax defeatThe GuardianThat is not the image of FC Barcelona.” Barça’s next match is at La Liga rivals Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, when they will be seeking a 14th win in 15 matches but will again be without the striker Lionel Messi and the goalkeeper Víctor Valdés, who are …
http://news.google.com Wed, 27 Nov 2013 14:31:11 GMT
Barcelona’s Gerardo Martino and Carles Puyol want more intensity after Ajax lossMirror.co.uk… his first defeat as Barca manager at Ajax. David Ramos. Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino and captain Carles Puyol have demanded more intensity from their side after seeing them slump to defeat against Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
http://news.google.com Wed, 27 Nov 2013 16:06:21 GMT
Barcelona Loses Without Messi, Still Makes Champions League Round Of 16Fox News LatinoAt least Leo Messi’s thigh injury won’t cost Barça a spot in the Champions League Round of 16. In Group H action yesterday, Barcelona lost to Ajax, 2-1, in Amsterdam and it was really a tale of two halves. Ajax dominated the first half, going up 2-0 on …
http://news.google.com Wed, 27 Nov 2013 19:01:22 GMT
The GuardianAjax 2 Barcelona 1 Champions LeagueThe GuardianThulani Serero and Danny Hoesen scored to give Ajax a surprise half-time lead, but straight after the interval the defender Joel Veltman was sent off for a tackle on Neymar and Xavi Hernández pulled a goal back for Barcelona from the penalty spot.Ajax stun Barcelona in spite of red cardSydney Morning HeraldAjax stuns Barcelona in Champions LeagueSI.comFull Time Match ends, Ajax 2, Barcelona 1.BBC SportHuffington Postﾠ-National Postﾠ-Tele …
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