Pep Guardiola just can’t win at the Estadio Camp Nou. Can you think of a more funny statement in world football?

I say it’s funny because this is the same guy who led Futbol Club Barcelona to a stunning 14 championship wins in the four years that he was in charge as manager. Now it seems like he can’t even manage to get a respectable scoreline at the home of his former employers, never mind winning – he has had to endure big defeats on each of his first two visits as manager of the opposition.

Wednesday, 19 October, was to be the day he and his Manchester City team got humbled by a fierce Barça attack in a 4-0 bludgeoning in the UEFA Champions League group stages. Not that the result was all too surprising, given that a trip to the Camp Nou is a nightmare for, I dare say, any team in world football.

What I found interesting, though, was that that match was a stern reminder about how invincible Barça can be in matches where the opposition tries to match them toe-to-toe. It also proved that Guardiola’s new outfit still has some way to go before they can reach a level where they execute the famous ‘tiki-taka’ well enough to be a European powerhouse.

Interestingly, Barça’s less-than-impeccable performance in that match still got them a big win against top opposition, which, I think, sends an ominous message to the rest of the participants in this year’s competition.

If not a Barça fan, I advise you to pray that their manager, Luis Enrique, doesn’t utter the word: “Abracadabra,” because otherwise it could mean that wasn’t the last embarrassing drubbing we’ll witness this season.


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