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Barcelona too soft against Viktoria Plzen as Champions League campaign ends with sloppy win over minnows

22:12 GMT 01/11/2022
Viktoria Plzen Barcelona 2022-23
Barcelona were sloppy in defence during a 4-2 win over a Viktoria Plzen team they were expected to throttle on Tuesday.
  • Barca out of UCL despite victory
  • Conceded twice in second half
  • Allowed eight shots on target

WHAT HAPPENED? Even with some second-choice players rotated into the starting line-up, Barcelona manager Xavi likely wanted far more out of his players in the narrow win. They made repeated mistakes after a strong start that saw Marcos Alonso score in the sixth minute.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Blaugrana were already eliminated from knockout stage contention, so Tuesday was all about improving morale before dropping into the Europa League. Regardless of the win, they won't see the performance as particularly encouraging, especially as Franck Kessie suffered an apparent hamstring injury in the second half.

ALL EYES ON: Ferran Torres has struggled to break into Xavi's plans, but he took advantage of a rare start and scored twice as one of Barcelona's bright spots. The former Manchester City star can use his brace as a confidence builder for the rest of the season.

MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? Viktoria Plzen registered 3.04 expected goals to Barcelona's 2.34, suggesting they were unlucky to lose.

THE VERDICT:

Ferran Torres loves facing Viktoria Plzen!

But Xavi's defence was ... not good.

In fairness, the Blaugrana did field a very young side.

Why can't Barca fans have nice things?

WHAT NEXT FOR BARCELONA? The club have Almeria and Osasuna on their schedule in La Liga before the World Cup break.