Barcelona have lost too many points this season: 18 in just 20 games. Those are figures which reveal the team's problems. Especially painful have been the nine points which have been dropped at Camp Nou.
There are differenct factors which have left Barça in this difficult situation, four points behind Real Madrid, who have a game in hand away at Valencia. The most serious of factors, without doubt, is the team's poor form combined with Luis Enrique's exaggerated rotation system in some games. But referees also take a share of the blame, costing the Blaugrana at least six points.
We analyse, one by one, the eight games which have cost Barcelona this season.
JORNADA 3 (10-9-2016). FC BARCELONA-ALAVÉS, 1-2 (-3 points)
-- Rotations by Luis Enrique after the international break
-- Jordi Alba, Iniesta, Messi and Luis Suarez all left out the side
-- Barça had just two shots on target all game
-- Messi (60) and Iniesta (64) came on too late.
JORNADA 5 (21-9-2016). FC BARCELONA-ATLÉTICO, 1-1 (-2 points)
-- The injury to Messi (59) affected the team mentally and in terms of their playing style.
-- Until he went off, Barça were winning 1-0.
-- Neymar and Suarez played poorly, not knowing how to step up when Messi went off
JORNADA 7 (2-10-2016). CELTA-FC BARCELONA, 4-3 (-3 points)
-- Once again strange rotations from Luis Enrique. He 'reserved' Iniesta so that he could play for Spain. Also left Rakitic out of the side.
-- Their replacements, Arda Turan and Andre Gomes played poorly.
-- Serious errors from Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal.
-- Celta were 3-0 up in 33 minutes.
-- The Blaugrana tried to come back in the second half, but at 3-2 the referee did not give a penalty for a clear foul on Neymar.
JORNADA 12 (19-11-2016). FC BARCELONA-MÁLAGA, 0-0 (-2 points)
-- Luis Enrique left our Jordi Alba and Rakitic, the injured Iniesta and saw Messi pull out with a bug at the last minute. Suarez was also suspended.
-- Barça were affected by the FIFA virus after the international break.
-- Barça didn't know how to break down Malaga's 4-5-1 formation.
-- Kameni was in top form, stopping everything.
-- The referee, Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea, ruled out a Gerard Pique goal and didn't give two penalties on Arda Turan and Pique.
JORNADA 13 (27-11-2016). REAL SOCIEDAD-FC BARCELONA, 1-1 (-2 points)
-- The Anoeta curse continued.
-- La Real were far better than Barcelona.
-- Messi saved a point in the 59th minute.
-- A fortunate draw.
JORNADA 14 (3-12-2016). FC BARCELONA-REAL MADRID, 1-1 (-2 points)
-- Poor first half from Barcelona
-- Barça improved in the second half when Iniesta came on, back from an injury
-- Suarez scored the first goal, but an error from Arda Turan, giving a foul away, allowed Ramos to score in the final minute.
JORNADA 17 (3-1-2017). VILLARREAL-FC BARCELONA, 1-1 (-2 points)
-- Referee Igesias Villanueva refused to give Barcelona two penalties for handballs by Bruno Soriano in the area (minutes 72 and 78).
-- Messi saved a point with a stunning free-kick in the 90th minute.
-- Barça played well and deserved more from the game.
JORNADA 20 (29-1-2017). BETIS-FC BARCELONA, 1-1 (-2 points)
-- Ghost goal which Hernández Hernández did not give, despite the ball being 57cm over the line.
-- Poor game from Barça, who only reacted once they were behind.
-- Too many rotations in midfield and defence: a total of six changes.
-- Suarez saved a point in the 90th minute.