Barcelona suffered their first home defeat since April 2012 after a 3-2 loss at the hands of Valencia. This was despite the home team taking the lead very early on in the match. The setback has also been followed by the news that Barcelona have dropped to second in the table due to Atletico Madrid winning their match in hand.
Real Madrid have also closed the gap to Barcelona to just goal difference. This has increased pressure on manager Gerardo Martino, who has stated that Barcelona will return to winning ways in the Copa del Rey match against Real Sociedad.
This cup match could not have come at a better time for the club, as they have won just two matches in the last five. They had a commanding lead over Real a few weeks ago, but it has been completely wiped out. Martino has come under criticism for the style of football, but he says that Barcelona will be able to put behind their recent troubles and win against Real Sociedad.
Martino has accepted that there is always place for crisis within football, but it is up to him to stop it before it becomes too large to handle. There were rumours that didier drogba signed on transfer deadline day to help steady the ship.
Martino has recalled important players like Carlos Puyol to the squad for this match. Summer signing Neymar has also returned to training after missing the last few matches due to injury.
“It is true that crises always have a beginning so it is up to us to cut it short. We have it within our power to ensure this does not go any further. Forty-five minutes of bad play is not enough to rule out Barca. I think ruling us out would be hasty,” said Martino ahead of the Copa del Rey semi-final clash. The first leg will be at the Camp Nou.