Goals are something that FC Barcelona have never exactly lacked in their arsenal. The Catalan giants have been home to some of the greatest attacking talents across different time periods and these stars have delivered when it mattered most. However, it seems that times have now changed.
Once idealized for their potent attacking quality, the Barcelona of today is rather different. Most of their recent wins, and even those of last season’s La Liga triumph, come through tight victories. Margins that mainly hover around a singular goal’s advantage have helped Barça win most games in recent times.
However, this fact is hardly a knock on the team’s creative output. In fact, it seems that Barcelona generate a great deal of chances and opportunities for its forwards even now. The depth and quality of their midfield is undoubtedly strong, and some manage to showcase it much better than others.
A midfield comprised of the likes of Frenkie De Jong, Ilkay Gundogan, and Pedri is undeniably full of star power, and that was at full display against Atletico Madrid. However, as a recent statistical observation by WhoScored showcases, Barcelona is incredibly poor at converting their chances.
In terms of an exact value, Barcelona have missed 34 big chances this season already. As per the report, this tally is the highest across the top five European leagues. This number is hardly flattering, and goes to show how incapable Barcelona can be in front of goal.
As an example, even the last game against Atletico Madrid can be taken into account. Several great chances were wasted by the Barcelona forwards despite it seeming that elite attackers should be able to finish off such opportunities.
This lack of goals has even been reflected in Barcelona’s goals this season. From amongst the top five placed teams in La Liga currently, Barcelona has scored the least amount of goals. Barça only has 28 goals to their name, whereas Real Madrid (33), Girona (34), Atletico Madrid (30) and Athletic Bilbao (30) have all scored more.
Robert Lewandowski’s tally for this season is also indicative of this. With 7 goals to his name in La Liga, and only one in the UEFA Champions League, it is clear that the Polish striker is not having the best of seasons. Moreover, two of his goals in La Liga came from the penalty spot.
Barcelona have generated 42 total big chances this season, and have missed 34 of them. This showcases that almost 81% of those big chances have been wasted by the Catalan club this season.
A really poor end product given that they continue to generate the most chances in La Liga, yet are fifth in terms of total goals scored.
Moving forward, Barcelona will undoubtedly need to switch up fast. The season is still long, but complacency and squandering chances are something that Xavi’s men can not afford to do.
Getting fortunate against Atletico with only one goal was lucky enough, but other top rivals will not be so forgiving.