Barcelona were left frustrated on the pitch on Saturday as a late equalizer from Iago Aspas saw the Catalan giants drop two points in a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo.
The team’s frustration at the result, which has hurt their hopes of retaining their La Liga title, also spilled over into the locker room after the game at Balaidos.
Some of the players confronted manager Quique Setien after the final whistle and blamed him for the dropped points, according to Joan Poqui at Mundo Deportivo. The players were not happy with his substitutions during the match and are disappointed with their coach.
Indeed there is “no harmony between the players and coaching staff” at the moment, according to Marca. The players “disagree with some of the coach’s methods” and believe they will not win trophies under the 61-year-old.
Suarez Frustrated At Final Whistle
Striker Luis Suarez’s frustration at the final whistle on Saturday was obvious. The Uruguay international scored both of Barcelona’s goals during the game but spoke of his bitterness at the result in his post-match interview.
“It was a vital match to fight for the title, we had a good first half, creating chances, but in the second half it looked different, with Celta wanting to be more of a protagonist. The sensation is bitter, of sadness and frustration, because we have lost two points.”
The 33-year-old was also curt when asked about why Barcelona continue to drop points away from home. The team has now won just two of their last eight on the road in La Liga.
“That’s what the coaches are for, to analyze why we lose important points away from home, something that did not happen to us in other seasons. Rivals must also be valued. Celta have high-quality players, they are a team that fights for salvation under the circumstances, but Iago Aspas’s free-kick shows the kind of players they have.”
Setien made changes to his team after they had gone 2-1 up. He brought on Martin Braithwaite for teenager Ansu Fati and then made a double change with Antoine Griezmann and Junior Firpo replacing Suarez and Jordi Alba. Setien’s final substitution came with five minutes to go when Arthur came on for Riqui Puig.
Pressure on Setien
Barcelona’s fierce rivals Real Madrid have the chance to move two points clear at the top of the table on Sunday when they take on bottom side Espanyol. Victory for Los Blancos, coupled with Barcelona’s draw, will pile the pressure on Setien ahead of the final six games of the season.
There was plenty of optimism when Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde in January. The coach was renowned for his attractive, attacking style of football and willingness to trust in youth.
Yet his team has so far failed to consistently impress and have seen their lead at the top of the table disappear. Setien needs to get his players back on side and the team performing again, starting with Tuesday’s game against Atletico Madrid.