The reasons for Pique's pessimism

The reasons for Pique's pessimism

Gerard Pique surprised everyone when he said after Barcelona's 0-0 draw at Sevilla that the Catalan club would not win LaLiga Santander this season.

This was an immediate reaction after the match, which perhaps shows a better reflection of the situation Barcelona are currently going through.

The centre-back wanted to point towards Real Madrid with some of his comments due to the perceived favouritism Los Blancos have received from referees since LaLiga Santander got back underway, but the reality is that the Blaugrana have also benefitted from refereeing decisions, too.

Lionel Messi already said a few months back that Barcelona could not win the Champions League playing as they were.

Everyone thus expected a change in the team that would see them take advantage of having had more time to train, improve their play and further understand Quique Setien's demands.

Barcelona's first two matches saw them pick up six points from six but without having played at their best.

Away at Real Mallorca, the game was conditioned by Arturo Vidal's early goal, but it's important not to forget that the Balearic Islanders had opportunities against the Blaugrana.

Then, at home to Leganes on Tuesday, Barcelona won 2-0, yet the game was in the balance until Juan Martinez Munuera generously awarded a penalty, which Messi converted.

And if it was not for Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Leganes would have gone ahead in the first few minutes of the match. It was by no means a vintage Barcelona performance.

On Friday, Setien's side did not start badly at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

They had a good first half hour in which they had some positive elements to their play, such as their pressing and control of the ball. The problem was that they could not grab an opening goal to reflect their good play.

Not only because they didn't score, but because they were unable to create a clear-cut chance.

Instead, Barcelona were restricted to shots from distance and had to hope Lionel Messi conjured up some magic from a free-kick, which he was unable to do.

In fact, over the course of the 90 minutes, there was only one golden opportunity and that fell the way of Luis Suarez, who was unable to find the back of the net.

The result is that, for the fourth time with Setien on the bench, Barcelona have once again failed to score away from home, something they are typically not used to. The Catalans were unable to score at Sevilla, Valencia, Athletic Club and Real Madrid.

It is clear that when they come up against a team of a certain level, they fail. This is why there is pessimism amongst the Barcelona squad, which Pique once again brought to the fore on Friday night.

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