As confirmed by Luis Enrique, Barcelona played the best in the first 40 minutes of the game at the Etihad Stadium but began to backslide both as a team and individually. Although the lost game does not come with a serious consequence, Barcelona must however not overlook the defeat.
According to Sport, here are the top area in which Luis Enrique must work on in order to avoid defeat like this.
- Barca lost the ball in serious situations: According to statistics, the Catalans lost more balls (66–78) than Man City and recovered less balls (49–43). To add to that, some losses were fatal like the loss of ball. Sergi Roberto lost pass that led to the first goal of the Man City and Sergio Busquet’s loss of ball that made him foul his opponent and led to the second goal.
- Ter Stegen failed for the De Bruyne free kick goal: The goalkeeper could have done better to prevent De Bruyne free kick goal. After the game, the Belgian said to the press that he thought the Barca goalkeeper would stop the goal.
- Little presence of Digne and Sergi Roberto: As left and right back of Barcelona, they were expected to be a little on the offensive side on the flanks than just wholly focus on defense. This fault from them allowed the high pressure from City.
- Lack of idea of play: The absence of Gerard Pique and Andre Iniesta was obvious when the midfielders as well as central defenders did not know what to do with the ball. even though Barca dominated in ball possession (40–60).
- Barca couldn’t seal off the game in first half: The Catalans were far better in most part of the first half but could not score more than one goal. While Andre Gomes had two clear chances with one of them hitting the woodwork, Luis Suarez and Neymar also had chances but could not put the ball behind the net.
- Disappearance of MSN in second half: After the half time break, the attacking trio of Barcelona just couldn’t be seen. There was a big disconnect between the MSN and other Barca players in second half.
- Less response to tactical changes: Pep Guardiola won the battle against Luis Enrique in terms of tactical changes. Luis Enrique did not react to the change in position of David Silva and De Bruyne in which Guardiola supervised.
- Conceded goals at crucial times: Against an opponent like Guardiola’s side, there’s no room for falling on your back. Barca paid dearly for ack of concentration both at the end of first half and beginning of second half.