Barcelona seemingly paid for their Paris Saint-Germain comeback as Deportivo La Coruna struck a blow on their title hopes, winning 2-1 on Sunday.
Barca reverted to a 4-3-3 formation, with Denis Suarez and Arda Turan replacing Rafinha and Neymar. Depor, meanwhile, were rejuvenated after having picked up five points in three games under new boss Pepe Mel.
The last time both sides met at Riazor saw Barca destroy Depor 8-0, but they looked passive and jaded at the best of times on this occasion, most likely due to their miraculous turnaround of just a few days ago.
Nonetheless, the first real chance fell to Sergi Roberto, who evaded a challenge and broke into the Depor box, but his cutback was pushed away by German Lux.
However, Marc-Andre ter Stegen could only parry Javier Mascherano’s outstretched leg from a corner straight to Joselu, who blasted the ball home at the near post.
Yet inside the first minute of the second half, the ball dropped straight to Luis Suarez, who smashed a first-time finish low and hard into Lux’s bottom-right corner.
Faycal Fajr then shifted past Denis at the far post from a whipped cross, but his shot was deflected just over by the Barca midfielder.
Staying with Denis, the former Villarreal man checked back onto his right foot and curled a shot on target in the Depor box, but it was batted away by Lux.
Suddenly the post denied the Galicians from regaining their lead, but it didn’t stop Alex Bergantinos from subsequently tucking a header into the bottom right of Ter Stegen’s net.
Barca should’ve equalised through Suarez, who was unmarked when Sergi’s low cross came in, but Lux got his body behind the No 9’s point-blank shot.
In a near-carbon copy of his dramatic goal at the death against PSG, the right-back take on a clipped ball over the top of Depor’s backline, but he could only knee his finish over.
Fajr was away in the clear with only Ter Stegen to beat as the final whistle approached, but the midfielder’s shot was saved by the goalkeeper, before the rebound was cleared off the line.
Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 Barcelona
Joselu 40, Bergantinos 74 (D) Suarez 46 (B)
Deportivo La Coruna: Lux; Juanfran, Albentosa, Arribas, Navarro; Bergantinos, Borges; Gama (Kakuta 71), Fajr, Gil (Emre 62); Joselu
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Gomes (Rakitic 58), Busquets, Denis (Alcacer 77); Messi, Suarez, Arda (Iniesta 58)
Referee: Fernandez Borbalan