Barcelona lost a meaningless game which at times seemed more like an August party than a La Liga match. Most notable, though, was Ousmane Dembele getting injured again, at a critical moment, who the team might need him most.
If that happens once it could be bad luck. Twice, it could be really bad luck. But when it happens four times in a periodic way, it means there’s a concrete cause that Barca don’t know how to tackle. Dembele broke down in seconds at Balaidos, creating doubts over his warm-up before the game or some structural failing in his physical preparation.
We don’t know if it’s to do with how he rests, his diet or his way of training. But it’s clear that Dembele, an extraordinary talent, is far from adequately prepared for a team as physically demanding as Barca and the club are not doing enough to help him.
On the plus side, Riqui Puig and Alena shone in midfield, and Collado came on and did well too. Wague deserves a special mention for his performance from right back.
The worst was without doubt Kevin Prince Boateng, who plays like he’s an ex-footballer. It’s hard to believe there is anyone who believes he could stand in for Luis Suarez for a single minute. Signing him was a grave error, adding to the list of needless players who have played at Barcelona. The good news is that he cost little and he will leave as quickly as he came.