Ernesto Valverde's tactics were worse than ever in Barcelona vs Slavia Prague


Barcelona were under pressure to get back on track against Slavia Prague.

After the weekend's 3-1 defeat to Levante, Ernesto Valverde's men were lacking in inspiration again as they slumped to a goalless draw in Group F. 

Lionel Messi almost created a goal out of nothing with another moment of individual brilliance in the first half. 

The Argentine could only rattle the crossbar - and that was about as good as it got. 

Ousmane Dembele struggled and at the other end, the visitors actually had plenty of opportunities to inflict an embarrassing home defeat on last season's semi-finalists. 

The Blaugrana did have the lion's share of possession and naturally, they created more chances and shots on target than their Czech opponents.

These are small consolations in a must-win game. It was not so much must-win in the context of their Champions League group, but because of the continued pressure on Ernesto Valverde. 

The Spanish coach might have lost his job at the end of last season following another European failure and the collapse against Liverpool in the last four. 

And while his side are top of La Liga, they have already lost three games and drawn one of 11. 

All that might be forgivable if Barcelona were playing in the way to which we are all accustomed. 

It is the 55-year-old's cautious nature and his often bewildering tactics, even against - with the greatest respect - teams who should easily be put to the sword. 

On Tuesday night, it was summed up by a screenshot which was being shared by plenty of Barcelona fans online - what formation would you call this, exactly? 

When an attack of Messi, Dembele, Antoine Griezmann is struggling to make a breakthrough, you know something's wrong. 

There are continued calls for Valverde to be sacked.

This is, after all, the club of Cruyff, of Guardiola, of so many great architects of the beautiful game. 

Many eyes will be on Valverde against Celta Vigo. 

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