The fall out from last night’s Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt was bound to be sizeable in Barcelona.
After having gone on a 15-game unbeaten run and looked like the best side in La Liga for much of 2022, the optimism was tangible around Camp Nou. Add in a 4-0 defeat of Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu and most Barcelona fans were as content as they had been in some time.
Yet the manner of their defeat, which was 0-3 until stoppage time, definitely burst the Blaugrana bubble. Speaking after the match in the mix zone, defender Eric Garcia admitted that the team never settled properly.
“I don’t think we felt comfortable, they had a medium block, retracted, we went outside a lot but without creating danger. They defended well. In the second half, playing with our heart a little more, the spaces appeared. Now we have to focus on the league and we have important matches.”
Sport recorded his comments, in which he was asked whether it was a failure. Garcia conceded that it was a bit of a shock.
“[It’s] a bit of a failure and a disappointment. Seeing how we started the season, it seemed impossible that we could do anything in the Europa League. We made a big change, we were confident that we could do something great, we weren’t at the level required from both matches.”
That was in contrast to his manager Xavi Hernandez, who was keen to avoid the use of the word failure. Barcelona will also have to face the rest of their season without Pedri, after he ruptured his hamstring last night.