On Wednesday, Barça once again had to overcome the annual ‘Cup scare’. The first round of the cup is always tricky, but thankfully Xavi’s players avoided the massive embarrassment of losing to a 3rd league team. However, the alarm bells are already there, and the team needs to get back to the good form. And fast. And to get that winning mentality, the best way to do that is to have that win in a ‘big’ game.
On Sunday, Barça will have that opportunity, facing Atletico in Madrid. Winning at the Wanda Metropolitano is always tough. But doing it without Robert Lewandowski would be even more challenging, given the fact that he scored more goals than all the other forwards combined this season.
Last season, since the arrival of Xavi, we finally started to win in those Big game nights. This is something that we missed during the Ronald Koeman era. And considering the weaker side that we had last season, I think that it’s fair to say that we expected the same thing this season. However, so far that wasn’t the case.
Losing in Munich, Madrid, Milan
Yes, we did win in big stadiums this season. We managed to beat the big obstacles of Real Sociedad, Sevilla and Valencia at their home. But I’m not sure that we can call these games ‘Big’. However, Barça lost the major tests in Munich, Milan and in El Clasico.
In order to achieve the goal of winning titles in 2023, the team has to be able to win any big game they face along the way. And it starts this Sunday.
Atletico are not at their best form this season, and on paper Barça has a better attack, defense and a spot at the table. But football is more complex, and we need to be at our absolute best.
In the next week Xavi will lead the team vs Atletico and then in the Super Copa. This makes the next week vital for the rest of the season. Good results and we can aim big this season. Bad results and it might create a ripple effect that might ruin our season.