Everything has to be redone: the heavy defeat of FC Barcelona in the clasico against Real Madrid (3-1) on Saturday reminded us that the festival in the Champions League against Ferencvaros (5-1) on Tuesday was only an enchanted parenthesis for a club entangled in an endless crisis.
For his first clasico as Barça coach, Ronald Koeman was not spoiled.
In front of the 99,000 empty seats at Camp Nou, a first in the long history of the rivalry between the two ogres of Spanish football, his team conceded a second loss in a row in La Liga, after losing 1-0 in Getafe on 17 October.
This is the first time in more than four years that the Catalan club has recorded two consecutive losses in the league: at the time, in April 2016 under Luis Enrique, FC Barcelona had lost three in a row against Valencia, Real Sociedad and ... Real Madrid.
Koeman, called to the rescue two months ago to succeed Quique Setién, has yet made risky bets that have worked for a long time, and Barca have offered one of their best matches for several weeks.
The Dutch technician dared to put the French world champion Antoine Griezmann on the bench to start a 17-year-old prospect, Pedri, on the right wing.
He trusted 19-year-old rookie Sergino Dest (first American to start in a clasico) to cover the right-back position, and Jordi Alba, back after a right thigh injury, as left side.
- Messi replaced -
He especially made the bet to position the young prodigy Ansu Fati (18 years old on October 31), Barça's only scorer on Saturday and best director of the Catalan club since the start of the season (5 goals in 6 matches), as a center forward, in place of the legendary captain Lionel Messi, placed in a more remote but more interventionist role of N.10.
Despite some flaws to be corrected (a double-pivot Sergio Busquets - Frenkie De Jong less present, too late changes after the 80th), Koeman managed to breathe color into Barça, who was on a par with Zinédine Zidane's Real , before the KO struck by Sergio Ramos from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute.
For the first time in a long time, Barça has found solutions thanks to combinations of passes in small spaces, which is its DNA.
If the balance sheet is worrying with seven points in five matches, synonymous with 12th provisional place before Sunday's meetings, it is not on the ground that the difficulties of the Blaugrana club are felt the most.
This defeat reminds supporters and leaders that their club has been experiencing an almost permanent crisis since January 2020.
"In the blink of an eye, the Bernabeu crisis was transferred to Camp Nou," summed up Marca, Spain's best-selling newspaper, in its Sunday edition, referring to the shadow of the sacking that s 'is away from Zinédine Zidane at Real Madrid after the convincing success of his team.
- Summit meeting Monday -
On Monday, according to the Catalan press, President Josep Maria Bartomeu will convene his executive committee to decide whether they should continue to resist until the vote of censure weighs on them, or if they submit their resignation beforehand.
The motion of censure launched in August by opponents and future candidates for the club's presidency has accumulated a sufficient number of signatures from socios (supporters-shareholders), and its aim is to remove Bartomeu and the current management before the March elections. 2021 and the end of their mandate, normally scheduled for the summer of 2021.
Koeman's rant on Saturday night at a post-match press conference against the penalty whistled for Ramos against Clément Lenglet for a time diverted the attention of analysts and Catalan supporters.
But Barça does not really have time to breathe: he faces Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus Turin on Tuesday in the Champions League, a new ordeal by fire for a club that is slow to rebuild itself.
© 2020 AFP