What has happened to Barcelona?

By 90Min
September 23, 2019

Just months on from clinching a second successive La Liga title, Barcelona find themselves at one of the lowest ebbs in their recent illustrious history. 

An inconsistent start to the domestic campaign sees them already sit four points behind crisis-hit Real Madrid, with Saturday's defeat in Granada - already their second of the league season - piling the pressure on Ernesto Valverde. 

But while seven points from a possible 15 to start the La Liga campaign is bad enough on the face of it, their struggles largely stem from an underlying issue that stretches back into last season - their away form. 

The sobering defeat in Andalusia means they have now gone seven on the bounce in all competitions without a victory, their last away win coming at Deportivo Alaves back in April. 

The spiral started with defeat at Celta Vigo and then famously at Liverpool, and fast-forward to today, it seems they can't buy a win away from Camp Nou.

To put it into context, it's the first time since 2001 they have gone as many games away from home without picking up a victory. They finished fourth under Carles Rexanch that season, going on to finish sixth in the following campaign - a long way from the side that would later come and conquer under Pep Guardiola. 

None of this is to say Barca won't recover and retain La Liga - they have the talent within their ranks to do so, especially in a season when neither of the Madrid sides look particularly formidable. Oh, and Lionel Messi hasn't started a game this season. 

The historical context, however, suggests they will need to up their game on the road, or risk a season that will live long in the memory for all the wrong reasons. 

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