‘What Barcelona is this?’: Spanish papers lament ‘appalling’ performance from Ronald Koeman’s men in home draw against Granada… as they are accused of ‘giving up’ on their famous possession-based style
- Barcelona rescued a point against Granada thanks to Ronald Araujo’s header
- The Uruguayan equalised in the 90th minute after Domingos Duarte’s opener
- Boss Ronald Koeman was forced to defend Catalan side’s direct style of play
- But the Spain papers have criticised the approach and display on Monday night
The Spanish press have slammed Barcelona’s ‘appalling’ performance in their draw against Granada at Camp Nou, which increased the pressure on under-fire boss Ronald Koeman.
The Catalan giants needed a 90th-minute equaliser from defender Ronaldo Araujo to rescue a point on home soil after Domingos Duarte had given the Andalusian side the lead inside two minutes.
The result was not the only aspect of Barcelona’s performance that faced criticism, with Koeman having to defend his side’s direct style of play which saw centre-back Gerard Pique playing up front alongside Luuk de Jong.
The Spanish press have slammed Barcelona’s ‘appalling’ display in their draw against Granada
The Catalan giants required a 90th-minute header from Ronald Araujo to rescue a point
‘What Barcelona is this?’: MARCA slam Barcelona’s ‘appalling’ performance at Camp Nou
It was a marked difference from the possession-based style that has been associated with the club, and MARCA in particular were left dumbfounded by the tactics employed by under-fire boss Koeman.
MARCA ran with the headline: ‘What Barcelona is this?’, labelling their display ‘appalling’.
They also add that Barcelona ‘gave up’ on their traditional possession-based dominant playing style.
Catalan-based newspaper SPORT went with a slightly more positive headline, praising the performance of centre-back Araujo, labelling him as a ‘hero’ and as ‘the key man on the night’.
‘Hero Araujo’: SPORT praise defender after he equalised to save his side from a defeat
The Uruguayan nodded home 17-year-old midfielder Gavi’s cross to save the Catalan side from an ’embarrassing’ defeat, but they also lamented Koeman admitting ‘their days of tiki-taka are over’.
Equally worrying was the fact Barcelona once again ‘demonstrated their impotence and lack of resources’ against Granada.
The Dutchman however is under growing pressure as manager, with the likes of former midfielder Xavi, Andrea Pirlo, Antonio Conte and ex-Derby boss Phillip Cocu being linked with the job by reports in Spain.
But asked how he thought the result might affect his prospects of staying in the job Koeman said: ‘I am not going to talk any more about my future.’
He also suggested that with the players he has it is impossible to play any other way than the more direct approach they adopted on Monday evening.
The draw increased the pressure on Ronald Koeman, who defended his side’s direct style
‘If you see the squad list today do you really think we can play tiki-taki (sic)?’ he told reporters.
‘Barca right now is not the Barca of eight years ago. We play the Barca way but we don’t have the speed in wide areas because we have [Philippe] Coutinho who cuts inside and [Yusuf] Demir who doesn’t reach the byline much.
‘When Ansu Fati and [Ousmane] Dembele come back then we will be different but they are not fit so we have to find alternatives.’
Barcelona now sit seventh in LaLiga, two points off Real Sociedad in fourth and five behind leaders Real Madrid.
Koeman’s men will now be looking for their first win since beating Getafe at the end of last month when they visit Cadiz next on Thursday.
Barcelona now sit seventh in LaLiga after their disappointing draw against the Andalusians