A seed of doubt has been sown in the minds of these Barcelona players. You could see it start to take root during their 2-0 loss away to AC Milan in the Champions League, and Tuesday’s 3-1 Copa del Rey humiliation at the hands of archrivals Real Madrid will only come as added fertilizer.
Madrid, meanwhile, couldn’t have expected a better performance ahead of kickoff. Level at a goal apiece coming into the second leg, they had conceded at home and were facing a difficult task at Camp Nou, knowing they had to win outright or record a high-scoring draw in order to progress.
Well, examination passed.
Once again Cristiano Ronaldo came up big on the big stage, and manager Jose Mourinho’s aggressive man-marking frustrated Barcelona no end, especially in the first half when the tie still rested on a knife’s edge.
And if Lionel Messi was a shadow of his usual self against Milan, he was completely invisible in this match.
The following slides reveal six things we learned following the second leg of this Copa del Rey semifinal. Not surprisingly, none of them reflect all that well on Barcelona.