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Football Reporting

Barcelona

FC Barcelona – La Liga: This Barcelona team can’t compete with the elite, unlike Real Madrid


Ronald Koeman has received some deserved plaudits for his work with Barcelona in what was always going to be a difficult season of transition, but what has become clear is that this current Blaugrana outfit can’t compete with elite opposition, whereas Real Madrid, who have their own problems, seem to be able to turn up for the biggest occasions.

Real Madrid have goalscoring problems and are a way off the side that Zinedine Zidane was able to steer to three successive Champions League titles, but they have won all of their major matches this term.

When the pressure has been on, Los Blancos have delivered against Barcelona (home and away), Inter (home and away), Atletico Madrid (home), Atalanta (home and away), Sevilla (away) and Liverpool (home).

The only big match they have failed to win was at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, where they drew to cross-city rivals Atletico.

Barcelona have had good moments, including a 19-match unbeaten run, but they can’t shake their nerves in the big matches.

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When the moment of truth arrives, the real acid tests, Los Cules have faltered this season, and it’s something which stretches back to Ernesto Valverde‘s time at the club.

Nobody can ever forget the cataclysmic collapses against both Roma and Liverpool, and those results have left what can only be describe as a scar on the Catalan club.

There appears to be nerves ahead of big matches now, something which wasn’t helped by the 8-2 drubbing they received at the hands of Bayern Munich last season.

Despite all the positives of Koeman‘s reign, Barcelona still give the impression that when they approach a match against elite opposition, they expect something bad to happen.

Barcelona have lost both Clasicos this season, have failed to take a point from Atletico and were dumped out of the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain.

In the last-gasp moments of the Supercopa de Espana final, Barcelona fell to defeat against Athletic Club, and there was also the 3-0 defeat to Juventus which cost the Catalan club top spot in the group, which facilitated their aforementioned defeat to PSG.

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