By Barca's high standards this year's CL performance has been shocking. A bare four points and tied with Dynamo Kyiv and Rubin Kazan at the half way mark in the group stage is not what Pep Guardiola and Xavi had in mind.
Xavi sounded a bit defensive, when he said that all the talk of an end of a cycle was nonsense and that the defeat against Rubin Kazan was unexpected. Leo Messi's performance also came for comment.
There has been a drop off in their goal scoring. Against a dogged Almeria, whose man to man marking made goalscoring almost impossible, it was Pedro who rescued them. Valencia resulted in a desultory draw. Andres Iniesta returned from injury but now Dani Alves is out for three weeks.
Barca face Zaragoza at home on Sunday and they will look to getting back on track.