Barcelona’s problems away from home is a well-documented issue with the Catalan club.
The La Liga champions have not won on their last six trips away from home in all competitions – a run which includes their capitulation against Liverpool at Anfield.
Their away form leaves a lot to be desired especially now when it seems like some decisions are not being made correctly.
Against Osasuna, they had all the possession but could do nothing with it.
They had 75% and 8 shots compared to Osasuna’s impressive 15 shots from 25% possession.
The team seemed to lack in cohesion at different areas of the pitch, especially on Barcelona’s left.
Frankie De Jong and Jordi Alba got in each other’s way at times when attacking. The cohesion and partnership was not there yet between the two players and it was clear for all to see.
Rafinha and De Jong also had problems in midfield as well. They tend to occupy the same space on the pitch when De Jong came inside. It didn’t really work out.
Antoine Griezmann had a really quiet game. He touched the ball 30 times against Osasuna, the fewest touches he has made in a game since 2015.
His performance levels dropped off considerably and even statistically.
Above is his heat map against Betis
His heat map against Osasuna
His pass map against Real Betis
His pass map against Osasuna
These stats provided by Whoscored shows how ineffective he was. He took no shots in the game and was walking for most of it.
It was disappointing from the Frenchman after such a scintillating performance the week before.
Something needs to change. Though the squad is depleted, the lineup can still be better than it is.
Ivan Rakitic spent another full game on the bench and Arthur Melo scored for Barcelona when he came off the bench. These two players or at least the former should be starting in the team.
Another problem they have is that De Jong is not playing his ideal position. Playing in wider areas takes away his dynamism and effectiveness.
He sometimes came very deep to get the ball during the game because he is not used to the role he is asked to play.
The international break wouldn’t have come at a better time for Ernest Valverde as it will give him time to rethink his tactics and come up with a way to get consistent performance away from home as well as good results.