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De Jong sent off in 5/10 performance as Barca bereft of ideas

Barcelona‘s winless run stretched to three games in all competitions as they were held to a goalless draw by Cadiz at the Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla on Thursday.

Frenkie de Jong was sent off as Barca drew for the second time in a week in LaLiga to further increase the pressure on coach Ronald Koeman, who was also given a red card in stoppage time. Memphis Depay could have won it for Barca in the 94th minute, but fired wide after good work from Gerard Pique, just minutes after Marc-Andre ter Stegen had made an important save from Salvi Sanchez at the other end.

Positives

Positives are few and far between for Barca at the moment, but there were some in Cadiz. They picked up their first clean sheet of the season and midfielder Gavi, 17, did well on his full debut. Koeman’s side are also unbeaten in five league games this season, although they’ve drawn three of them.

Negatives

De Jong’s red card means he won’t be available against Levante on Sunday. Given the Netherlands international’s importance to Barca’s midfield, plus the injury problems they have elsewhere, that is not ideal. Koeman, if he stays in the job until then, won’t be able to sit on the bench, either.

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After this draw against Cadiz, Barca are already seven points behind leaders Real Madrid, albeit with a game in hand. But if they’re struggling to beat Granada and Cadiz, what chance do they have against better sides? Bayern Munich have already taken them apart. It may still get worse before it gets better.

Manager rating out of 10

4 — Koeman’s been left with very few options when it comes to team selection, but he should still be able to come up with a plan to beat Granada and Cadiz. Barca have looked bereft of ideas in their two games this week and that reflects badly on the coaching. The Dutchman must be feeling the heat, with speculation about his future rife, and his frustration boiled over in stoppage time when he was sent off for something he said.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 8 — Made two big saves in the second half to earn Barca a point, the first from Alvaro Negredo and the second from Salvi.

DF Oscar Mingueza, 6 — The youngster did OK at right-back, where he provides defensive stability if not attacking prowess.

DF Gerard Pique, 6 — Wasn’t overly troubled in defence and found himself in the final third in the 94th minute to set up a glorious chance for Memphis to win it.

DF Ronald Araujo, 7 — Strong in the challenge and quick across the ground, Araujo is now one of the first names on Barca’s team sheet.

DF Sergino Dest, 6 — Blows hot and cold throughout games. Does some good things but cancels them out by switching off at key moments. Needs to find more consistency, even if he is playing on the left instead of the right.

MF Sergio Busquets, 5 — Gave the ball away too many times and was booked late on for kicking a second ball into play as Cadiz attacked.

MF Frenkie de Jong, 5 — Unlucky to be sent off for two bookings in four minutes having made no fouls until then. He even won the ball in the challenge that earned him his red card, but the referee deemed it reckless. A poor first touch had forced him to lunge in.

MF Gavi, 7 — Like Araujo, one of the few bright points to emerge from Barca’s start to the season. Doesn’t stop moving, keeps it simple and rarely loses the ball. Belies his 17 years.

FW Yusuf Demir, 5 — The Austrian displayed a couple of nice touches but was on the fringes of the game too much. Taken off at half-time.

FW Luuk de Jong, 5 — Invisible in the first half but had a couple of good moments after the break, including one good cross to create a great chance for Memphis. Lasted 68 minutes.

FW Memphis Depay, 5 — Squandered a great opportunity early in the second half and then brought a good save from Jeremias Ledesma minutes later with a decent strike from 20 yards. Then missed a super chance to steal the three points late on. Has lost a little bit of the spark he had at the start of the season.

Substitutes

MF Sergi Roberto, 6 — Came on at half-time and helped Barca improve until De Jong’s dismissal.

MF Philippe Coutinho, 5 — Wasted a couple of free kicks in good areas, although one wasn’t far off target.

MF Nico Gonzalez, N/R — Replaced Gavi for the final 15 minutes but wasn’t really involved.

MF Riqui Puig, N/R — Came on for 10 minutes but struggled to do anything right, giving the ball away immediately after replacing Dest.

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