Thomas Tuchel laments Chelsea's lack of rhythm in loss to Juventus
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Barcelona have endured a miserable start to the season as they struggle to assert their dominance both domestically and in Europe. Ronald Koeman’s side have lost their opening two Champions League games and face an uphill struggle to qualify for the knockout stages.
On Wednesday night they were humbled 3-0 by Benfica after already losing to Bayern Munich by the same scoreline.
And it has now been revealed that Koeman apparently caused chaos in the Barca dressing room ahead of this week’s defeat by changing his side’s formation without any prior warning.
Koeman had opted for a back four for most of Barca’s games this season but changed to a back three as they went in search of victory in Portugal.
But, according to Spanish publication SPORT, Koeman only decided on the change hours before the match and had not prepared his team for that system during any of the training sessions in the build-up to the match.
Days earlier, Eric Garcia had started Barcelona’s league match against Levante alongside Gerard Pique at the heart of a back four and the side had kept a clean sheet.
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But the two became three in Portugal as Ronald Araujo was named in the line-up. It clearly threw off the side’s defensive stability and the trio struggled all night against Benfica.
The Catalonians were 1-0 down after just three minutes as Darwin Nunez opened the scoring at Estadio da Luz.
Barcelona struggled to build any momentum in the match and, in their search for an equaliser, they went further behind courtesy of a Rafa Silva strike before Nunez added his second and Benfica’s third of the night.
And Barca’s misery was compounded just before the end when Garcia was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
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Barca remained unbeaten in La Liga heading into Saturday night’s trip to Atletico Madrid but had dropped to eighth after only managing three wins from their opening six games.
And Koeman admitted his future was up in the air after Wednesday’s defeat.
“As I’ve said just the other day, regarding my future I can’t say anything,” Koeman said.
“Because I don’t know what the club is thinking in this respect and I don’t want to answer any more questions on this because it is not in my hands. We’ll see.
“There’s no point in comparing this with Barcelona teams of years gone by. That’s as clear as water.
“I can only give you my opinion of my work at the club – I feel backed by my players and their attitude.
“Where you have to win is with the players that we have, by playing our way, to have the ball and create opportunities and this we did.
“But if you don’t score, you don’t win the game.”
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