Going into to the Champions League as the favourites, Barcelona had no worries. There were only a few problems with the defence.
At the beginning of the season, these problems were very well contained but as the season progressed, the small problems suddenly became a whole lot bigger.
They escalated to that level after the January window had closed - when none of the issues discovered could be corrected by bringing players in.
Puyol couldn't keep up any longer, able persons to play in defence were scarce and the other teams had figured out how to stop Barca from scoring.
And to top it off, the entire organisation had to be worrying constantly about the health of their manager, Tito Vilanova as he was diagnosed with and being treated for cancer.
The first match up where these problems were evident was in the round of 16 where they faced AC Milan away. A game which they lost 2-0.
After some reflection, they came back to win 4-0 (4-2 on aggregate) to advance to the quarter finals.
They were then drawn to play against PSG. They drew 2-2 away and 1-1 at home, making their way to the next round on away goals.
At this moment, the clouds were beginning to darken over this otherwise perfect affair because although they were able to score, they couldn't stop the other teams from doing the same.
Finally, their last match was against the Bavarian giants. Throughout both matches, the Catalans were obviously outplayed as they were thrashed with a 7-0 aggregate defeat.
So the question is, can they be able to find their previous form and assert their dominance in a usual fashion?
Yes, I believe they can and they will. Remember that this is Barcelona that we're talking about.
For the 2013-2014 season, they will have some very integral additions that will see them do better.
Firstly, they have acquired Neymar, one of the best signings a team can ever make. The question of if he can adapt to Barca's style of play is a foolish one. Of course he can. Brazil and Barcelona has similar styles of play and he has been very successful with Brazil, what will stop him from partnering with Messi to create the greatest attacking duo in football history?
There has been a lot of names being thrown about pertaining to the improvement of the defence and each person is more than a good candidate with the likes of David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Julio Cesar, Pepe Reina, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Mats Hummels.
If any of those mentioned players should find their way to the Nou Camp then I believe that Barca will bounce back.
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