Bad season for Barcelona despite domestic double
May 22, 2018
Barcelona might have won the 2017/2018 La Liga title along with the Copa Del Rey but their shock exit to Roma in the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League was a huge disappointment for Ernesto Valverde’s side after heading into the second leg with a somewhat comfortable 4-1 advantage. The last day of the season was also one to forget for Barca as they saw themselves trailing 5-1 away to Levante after just 56 minutes. They managed to pull the game back to 5-4 but were unable to find that final goal which would have seen them go the entire season without defeat in la Liga. As the 2017/2018 football season comes to an end in the Spanish la Liga, we take a look at Barcelona’s overall performance.
Ernesto Velverde was appointed the manager of Barcelona after the departure of Luiz Enrique last summer. The former Bilbao boss immediately sprung into action in the summer transfer market with the acquisition of a handful of top players. Barcelona eventually lost Neymar to PSG but were able to acquire the services of Ousman Dembele, Pualinho and Semedo. Barcelona, unlike their rivals Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid, were able to make huge statement with their signings. Real Madrid didn’t make any big money transfers as Zindane decided to give his young players a chance this season. Athletico on the other hand, were placed on a transfer ban, leaving Diego Simeone to use what he had. This meant that Barcelona had a stronger team than their rivals going into the 17/18 campaign and this showed during the first half of the season. Barcelona’s performance and consistency encouraged a lot of football lovers into taking advantage of the free bets available from Big Freebet and using matched betting techniques to extract profits from these and generate more income.
Where Barcelona enjoyed a dominant spell in both domestic and continental competitions, their rivals struggled. Real Madrid struggled with injury problems, fatigue and lack of firepower which limited the side in their domestic challenge. Athletico also lacked firepower and had to rely heavily on intense defending to grind out results. Where the tactic worked in the league, it lead to their exit from UEFA Champions League after picking up just one win in six games and scoring just five goals.
Barcelona’s January acquisition of Philippe Coutinho was almost perceived to be a final act to seal a glorious season of domestic and continental dominance as the Blaugrana side were unbeaten and remained in all competitions. Barcelona’s season looked to be going well after the securing a final in the Copa del Rey as well as a 1-0 victory over Athletico Madrid in a title-deciding clash at Camp Nou. When Barca were seeded to play Roma in the Champions League quarter-finals, many sports analysts deemed it a walk-over. Barcelona’s treble dreams intensified after the first-leg 4-1 victory but all it took was 90 minutes in the reverse fixture in Stadio Olimpico for their hope of a treble to come to an end. Roma progressed on the away goal rule after a stunning 3-0 victory in the second leg. Heartbroken Barcelona focused on the cup and to see off the unbeaten domestic run as a consolation after missing out on the Champions League. After avoiding defeat to Celta vigo, Villareal and Real Madrid, it was looking likely Barca would remain unbeaten domestically for the entire season. However, Levante were to end their dreams in the last game of the season with a surprise 5-4 victory which not many would have predicted.
Barcelona, given their huge transfer statement in recent transfer windows, as well as the consistency shown for a large period this season were close to completing an epic season with the treble at their fingertips along with a season unbeaten. However, it wasn’t meant to be and you can’t take anything away from Roma and Levante who put in excellent performances to bring an end to those dreams. The Catalonia outfit might have won Copa del Rey which is synonymous with them lately, but they’ll be bitterly disappointed with their missed opportunities in the Champions League and unbeaten run in La Liga. Athletico have already lifted the Europa league after a comfortable win over Marseille, while Real Madrid have a chance to win the UEFA Champions League when they play Liverpool in Kiev on Saturday. Barcelona would have carried their unbeaten run as a consolation prize but now the will see off the season just as local champions.