Almeria beat Barcelona 1-0 on Sunday night to inject the La Liga title race with plenty of energy, and further tighten up matters at the bottom of the table. few sides have shut the Blaugrana out so effectively this season.
Perhaps the most significant factor is that few sides have even shut Barcelona out. As per MD, it is the first time since October that Barcelona have not scored, dating back to a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich. It is also just one of five occasions Barcelona have been kept out this season, and just the second time it has happened in Spain.
Across the match, Barcelona did manage 13 shots, but could only get one of them on target. Those 13 shots do not even seem like that many, given they had 72% of the ball. The desperation and lack of ideas from Xavi Hernandez’s outfit was most evident in their crossing numbers though – the Blaugrana played 47 crosses, but only managed to connect with 9 of them, a measly 19%.
Lo del Barça en Almería:
Centros realizados: 47
Centros rematados: 9
— Albert Ortega (@AlbertOrtegaES1) February 26, 2023
Ronald Araujo ended up as a makeshift forward, in hope that he could at least inspire some aerial threat too.
As much as the creativity and the lack of invention was a major problem, as was the atittude, so was the quality of crossing. Although Ferran Torres put in a few wicked balls, the vast majority of the crosses came from similar, easy to defend areas in from of the box. There was little width and very little depth in where the crosses were coming from.