by Oh-Barcelona.com . Barcelona have come in for a fair amount of criticism in recent weeks, mainly due to successive defeats in La Liga. However, they sit second in the league, in good shape in Europe and with all to play for when the domestic season resumes after the international break. So is the gloom justified?
Luis Suarez made his debut in El Clasico as Real Madrid beat Barca 3-1, who followed that with a surprise 1-0 defeat at home to Celta Vigo. The home side dominated at the CampNou, hitting the woodwork four times but were unable to get on the scoresheet and could be left ruing that defeat at the end of the season.
Barcelona also trailed in their last game, to Almeria before Suarez came off the bench to inspire his new side to victory, setting up goals for Neymar and Jordi Alba to consolidate the team’s second place in La Liga, two points behind leaders Real Madrid.
The attacking potency that Luis Enrique has at his disposal unsurprisingly receives the most media attention. Any team containing the likes of Neymar, Suarez and Lionel Messi will always be capable of scoring goals. That was why going goalless against Celta Vigo was a shock.
In their first 11 games of the La Liga season they have scored 25 goals. Though that is over two goals a game it is well behind Real Madrid who have already scored 42. It is in defence though where Barcelona are stronger, having conceded just five goals in 11 games.
The next two La Liga games see tough fixtures against Sevilla and Valencia, fifth and third in the table respectively and Barcelona need to get to the turn of the year still in contention to have hopes of overturning Real Madrid’s lead and claim their fifth league title in seven years. Barcelona’s great rivals may be favourites with experts such as those at bluesq.com at this present time, but there is a long way to go in the La Liga season.
Barca are also well in contention in Europe, sitting in second place in their Champions League group. They have already qualified for the knockout stages though the aim will be to go much further in a competition last won in 2011.
So, Barcelona may have come in for some criticism so far this season but, with second place in La Liga and a near-certain place in the Champions League round of 16, there is plenty to play for in the rest of the campaign.