The second match was during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) quarter-finals. The results of both matches were ties, with the opposing teams scoring within the last minutes.
While Barcelona occupies first place in the current La Liga table, its UCL status is uncertain. Tito Vilanova recently returned from treatment in New York and has to make some decisions concerning Barca.
It is not expected to be an easy task to address them, but the current La Liga season is almost over. La Blaugrana needs to advance in the UEFA Champions League if it wants to win the trophy.
What are the areas that Vilanova must address this season? How could he address them for the present time?
The defense is plagued with multiple injuries, such as those experienced by Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano and Adriano Correia. Javier Mascherano recently suffered a tear in the right knee ligament which will leave him out for one month.
Adriano is expected to be resting during approximately the same time. While Alves offered to substitute for Mascherano, Correia and Puyol, he is injury-prone.
ESPN-FC reported that Alves suffered an injury to his hamstring on November 2012. Villanova can address the problem on defense with younger players such as Marc Muniesa, Marc Bartra and Martin Montoya.
Marc Bartra is praised by Barcelona for his ability to control the ball and his strong defense. Montoya is considered an expert by Barca for his techniques related to passing and crossing.
Bartra and Montoya participated in matches including La Blaugrana vs. Mallorca in 2012.
While Pinto and Valdes are great in their field, the last two matches were not great for them. It appears that age is catching up with them, with Pinto bring 38 and Valdes 31.
Vilanova might want to continue alternating the two goalkeepers, as he has within the last two matches. He may eventually want to phase in the newer generation, such as Miguel Angel Banuz and Oier Olazabal.
This would have to be done during the remaining 2012-13 La Liga season and continue in the future. Banuz and Olazabal received praise for their work as goalkeepers.
Olazabal recently renewed his contract with Barcelona until the end of the 2014-15 season. Olazabal expressed in an interview with Barca that he is looking forward to advancing up the ranks of La Blaugrana.
Xavi Hernandez is a Barca midfielder who is prone to injuries, with his most recent one in mid-March. Vilanova might want to phase in Gustavo Ledes Evangelista, Sergi Roberto or Thiago Alcantara within the present and future seasons.
Thaigo's role in Barca's match against Deportivo La Coruna was praised by Goal.com. Thiago was able to maintain momentum during the match and can do the same in the future.
Pedro Rodriguez and Alexis Sanchez are forwards who suffered injuries. Pedro recently suffered a tear in the left calf during the World Cup Qualifier between Spain and France.
Alexis Sanchez damaged his right foot last November during a match between Chile and Serbia. Vilanova must make gradual changes by adding Rafael Alcantara as a forward.
Rafael Alcantara (as reported by FC Barcelona) is strong in attack and defense. He could be a gradual replacement for either Pedro or Alexis Sanchez.
While Vilanova could phase in a newer generation of players, this is not always a solution. Since Pedro Rodriguez and Alexis Sanchez were injured in international competitions, Vilanova must address this problem.
Vilanova must find a way to balance the compromises the players have with their individual and national team. This would be difficult especially in the preparations for the World Cup.
While Lionel Messi is undoubtedly one of the best footballers this century, he is only human. La Blaugrana appear at times to be centered on Messi, since he delivers most of the results.
The recent result was Messi becoming the first player to score 30 goals within 19 consecutive La Liga matches. There is always the danger of injury or sickness in any player, and Messi is not an exception.
Messi suffered an injury during the UCL match against PSG. He will not play in the match against Mallorca.
It remains to be seen if Messi will be with La Blaugrana in the second leg against PSG. Dani Alves stated in an interview with FC Barcelona that matches without Messi would be a challenge.
Vilanova has to find a way to maintain Barca in present shape without Messi. If Vilanova can make Barca function without Messi, critics like Wenger would be silenced.
My thanks to the B/R readers for their time in viewing this slideshow. I want to wish you the best this weekend and always.