Barcelona, who still lead Madrid by 13 points at the top of the table, will no doubt regain their title this season. However, what is also undisputed is that the Camp Nou club are currently in the midst of a mini-crisis.
This was confirmed by Victor Valdes’ post-match red card, and this could soon turn into a full-blown predicament.
Not only was Saturday’s loss their third in their last four matches, but Barca have also now won just five times in their previous 12 fixtures, a run that has coincided with head coach Tito Vilanova’s departure to New York for further treatment on his throat cancer. The Spaniard is not expected back until the end of the month.
By that time, the Catalans will already have faced their make-or-break Champions League return encounter with Milan. After Saturday’s loss at the Bernabeu, you wonder if Roura and his coaching staff are capable of fixing the problems currently afflicting the team.
To put it bluntly, Barcelona have major issues in both their defence and attack.
Barca have not kept a clean sheet for 13 consecutive games, with many of those goals coming from headers via set pieces. They have also now conceded first in each of their previous five games.
Perhaps most worrying of all is that the Catalans have still dominated the possession stats during this poor recent run, but they are barely troubling the opposition keeper. In fact, in the past two Clasico matches, Barcelona have barely registered a shot on target, at least by their lofty standards.
And, while it may be sacrilegious to say, the visitors looked toothless in attack for large parts of Saturday’s encounter. They were too one-dimensional and predictable at times with no Plan B when it was really needed.