Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman admitted he was “worried” about his new team after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with 10-man Alaves at Mendizorroza, and the stats show he is right to be concerned.
The disappointing result means Barca has now gone four games without a win in La Liga in 2020-21 and has picked up just two points from the last 12 on offer.
Koeman’s side is left with just eight points from their opening six matches in 2020-21, equalling their worst ever start to a season since La Liga reverted to three points for a win.
Barca also opened up with eight points in 2002-03 under Dutchman Louis van Gaal. Rather worryingly the team went on to finish the campaign down in sixth place, a massive 22 points behind eventual champions Real Madrid.
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Koeman Talks Barca Worries
Koeman spoke about his Barcelona worries after seeing his side fail to beat Alaves despite playing the last 30 minutes with a man advantage after Jota had been sent off for a second bookable offense.
The visitors created plenty of chances but could not find a way past Fernando Pacheco in the Alaves goal and had to settle for a point. Koeman offered his thoughts after the match, as reported by Goal.
I’m worried by our performance in attack. It’s not an attitude problem, nor concentration, but it’s a question of being more assured in front of goal. It happened to us against Juventus and today as well. Furthermore, we gifted Alaves their goal. But if we create that many chances, we can’t miss so many. If you create chances and you only score one, it’s not good.
Of course I’m worried that we’ve only picked up two points from the last 12 [available]. I think the play has been, in general, very satisfactory. I’d be more worried if we weren’t creating chances. We have to perform better in front of goal. The final pass, the final shot. We can’t miss so many [chances]. We’re missing too many.
There’s no doubt Barca’s attack is struggling for goals. Antoine Griezmann’s strike was his first of the season for Barca, while Lionel Messi has not scored from open play yet in 2020-21. Teenage striker Ansu Fati is the team’s top scorer with five goals from eight appearances.
Messi’s Free-Kick Woes
Messi’s only goals this season have come from the penalty spot, and the Argentina international is also struggling to score from free-kicks. The 33-year-old is known for his brilliance from set-pieces but there’s no doubt he’s hit a dry patch.
The captain is also having to contend with teams going to great lengths to defend his free-kicks. Saturday’s match was another example with Alaves ensuring every player was behind the ball when Messi had a set-piece near the penalty area.
Koeman needs to get his forwards firing quickly if he is to improve his team’s results and move up the table. Next up is a visit from Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League before a visit from Real Betis in La Liga.