Barcelona’s unbeaten run brought to an end: Talking points from Madrid CFF 2-1 Barcelona Femeni

Madrid CFF vs FC Barcelona Femeni

Barcelona Femeni played their last league game of the 2022/2023 Liga F against Madrid CFF on Matchday 31. The game saw Barcelona lose 2-1 away to the Madrid side, thus ending their run of unbeaten games in the league that lasted for almost two years. Since losing 4-3 against Atletico in June 2021, Barcelona did not lose any of their matches played in the league until the last day of the season, when they dramatically lost to Madrid CFF.

We took a comprehensive look at the game, and here are the things we learned:

1. The unbeaten run has ended

Barcelona Femeni hasn’t failed to win a league game since losing 4-3 to Atletico in June 2021. A run that saw them complete a 100% winning record in Liga F last season. The team won all 30 games played and amassed all 90 points that were up for grabs.

Prior to their game against Sevilla, the team had won all 27 games played up to this point, setting them up for another season of perfection in the league. However, their dreams were thwarted by a Sevilla side that, although they failed to get a win, seemed happy to share the spoils.

Then, on the last day of the season, Barcelona finally lost a league game in 23 months. The Spanish champions suffered a 2-1 defeat away at Madrid CFF and lost the chance to finish the league unbeaten for the second season in a row. 

It is a fact that while it lasted, the unbeaten run was undeniably beautiful. However, all good things come to an end. 

2. There is a sense of complacency within the team

Prior to being crowned Liga F champions, Barcelona Femeni were simply unplayable both at home and abroad. Their only loss of the season was a 3-0 defeat away to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. 

However, in the domestic league, the Catalans just couldn’t be matched. Their scariest moment came in the first fixture against Real Sociedad. A game in which the champions came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory in the dying minutes of the game. Besides that, Barcelona was simply an impregnable fortress.

When they were crowned champions of Liga F, all that changed. The intensity with which the game was played, their attacking prowess, and their defensive stability that made them champions with four games to spare was suddenly lacking.

With a Champions League final game to prepare for, Barcelona threw caution to the wind in the domestic league. After all, they’ve already won it; the title was already theirs, and nothing is going to change that.

First, it was against Sevilla, where they fought hard to get a 1-1 draw. Then they conceded two goals against Real Sociedad, making it three goals conceded in two games. This a stat that is not so impressive for a team that had only conceded five goals up to that point all season.

The game against Madrid CFF put the final nail in the coffin. It became more than obvious that Barcelona’s only concern was the UWCL title. When they conceded two goals in a similar fashion in the first half. Needless to mention, Barcelona thrashed the same Madrid side 7-0 in the reverse fixture in October 2022.

However, if complacency truly was what caused the loss against Madrid CFF, the team has rightfully earned the right to be complacent. They’ve given their best throughout the season, they’ve secured the title, and they’ve got a greater goal ahead.

We all know that firing on all cylinders and giving your very best every single matchday to stay alive in all competitions is no easy task. This team has been doing it for two consecutive years now, and it’s about time the whole team takes a break and recharges for the final in Eindhoven.

Putting that into consideration, taking a moment to step back and recharge to fully prepare themselves for the next challenge might just be what the doctor ordered. 

3. The UWCL title is all that matters now

Riding on the back of being European winners in 2021, the Catalan giants blazed their way through the European competition again in 2022 and got to the final. However, their dream of winning a second consecutive UWCL title was crushed by 8 times winners, Olympique Lyonnais, who were also responsible for their previous loss in the final of the competition in 2018.

The objective for this season as always at a club like Barcelona, was to win every competition the club participated in. Although their run ended rather abruptly in the Copa de la Reina when the Catalans were disqualified from the competition for fielding an ineligible player in a 9-0 win over Osasuna.

With that objective destroyed and irredeemable, Barcelona surged on in search of glory in the Spanish domestic league, Liga F, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League, UWCL.

And in the same week they were confirmed as finalists for the Champions League, Barcelona secured their Liga F title. One objective has been achieved, and we are one step away from achieving the other.

With the league title already secured, the only thing that matters now is winning the Champions League. And a slip-up in Liga F wouldn’t do much damage, as either a loss or a draw could no longer cost them the title.

4. The injury list is piling up for the FC Barcelona Femeni

Barcelona was forced into an early substitution against Madrid CFF when their top scorer, Asisat Oshoala, was brought off after she stayed down holding her hamstring in the 20th minute of the game. 

Although the Blaugrana would be hoping that the injury isn’t too serious, the list of injured players is starting to pile up. And with Wolfsburg lurking in the Champions League final, injuries to key players are not the news Barcelona wants to hear.

Oshoala joins Lucy Bronze (knee) and Fridolina Rolfo (knee), who missed the game against Madrid CFF, on the list of injured players for the Spanish champions.

5. Impact of the loss on team morale

The loss against Madrid CFF on the final day of the league season would definitely have an effect on the team’s morale and mentality. A loss like this after a long time of being invincible could serve as either a moment of disappointment or a wake-up call.

However, for Barcelona, it should serve as the latter. The team is an eight-time Liga F champion and a four times UEFA Women’s Champions League finalist. With another final coming up in 13 days, Barcelona needs to wake up from their slumber, call themselves to order, and figure out what they need to do in order to win the title in Eindhoven.

The team is filled with serial winners, and they have what it takes to be European champions. A temporary moment of weakness should not be allowed to ruin their chances at a second European title. 

This loss should serve as a motivation for Barcelona. A reminder that they are not invincible and that they need to push themselves beyond their limits one last time to be crowned European champions again.

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