RUN ENDS

Barcelona’s run of unbeaten matches came to an end finally after suffering a 2-1 defeat against Ajax in the Champions League. This defeat was a demoralising loss for the Spanish club considering that it was against 10 men after Ajax had lost Veltman to a red card in the 48th minute. After the match, midfielder Cesc Fabregas said that this was just one of those days when everything that the opposition did went in. This defeat does not have any consequences on their position in the group because they have already qualified for the knockout stages.

Fabregas was part of the team that lost in the match, which will undoubtedly increase criticism of manager Gerardo Martino. Even though the team has been winning quite easily under the regime of the new manager, they have not been playing the same style of football that has been so successful in recent years. It has also become the trademark of Barcelona, but that has been missing this year. Serero opened the scoring after just 19 minutes before Hoesen doubled their advantage just before half-time.

“We did plenty of running, it was not a question of the wrong attitude or a lack of commitment – it just didn’t work out. During half time there was no panic, we spoke a lot about our positioning and how we could improve it, but we still weren’t able to turn the game round in the second half. We have no excuses – the level of performance was simply not high enough for Barcelona,” said Fabregas to UEFA.com after the match.

Xavi’s penalty pulled one back for Barcelona, but they never managed to at least draw the match. The last defeat suffered by Barcelona in all competitions was back in May 2013 when they were defeated 3-0 by Bayern Munich.