It was the image that defined the night, and the whole season – Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo yawning in the stands as the team were beaten by humble Osasuna, surrendering the title to Real Madrid, going down without a decent fight, without their dignity.
While, back in May, Real Madrid were busy preparing for the mother and father of all run-ins – their aim was always to win all 11 of their remaining matches and they have 10 wins from 10 games so far, Barcelona were hawking their players in the transfer market so as to close the financial year without a hole in the accounts.
Various players were manoeuvred towards the exit, and in the end it was Arthur who reluctantly went through the door to Juventus in a cash-exchange deal with Miralem Pjanic.
Barcelona relinquished their LaLiga title with a humiliating defeat to Osasuna at home
An image of Arthur Melo yawning in the stands speaks volumes of the dire state of affairs
He then came back to rejoin the club he had just left and ‘help’ them try to win the league. Last night he was a spectator as the domestic season fizzled out. Barcelona beaten, and Arthur yawning, pure farce.
The disunity and disarray at the club has been stark and in total contrast to the unity at Real Madrid where not everyone is a happy camper – just ask Gareth Bale – but no one was panic-sold to balance the books with the title still up for grabs.
Barcelona’s biggest problem now as they try to salvage something from the wreckage of a lost season is that they are all at sea. They have left behind the golden age of winning everything, first under Pep Guardiola, later under Luis Enrique, and then finally, Champions League excluded, under Ernesto Valverde.
The Catalan giants put up a meagre fight and showed no dignity in the title race this season
And while there is a bright new horizon ahead of them with a new president – possibly returning Joan Laporta – and a new coach, their charismatic all-time most-appearance-maker and former captain Xavi, they are still a long way from shore.
There are no elections planned until 2021 and Xavi does not want to come back before there is a new president in place. So they are left drifting, too many cracks in the hull, too many holes in the sails, a mutiny perhaps afoot.
Diario AS match reporter Santi Gimenez summed up last night’s sorry defeat to Osasuna saying: ‘Barcelona had one bullet left in the chamber and they used it to shoot themselves’.
Real Madrid’s victory over Villarreal meant that whatever Barcelona did in their final home game of the season it was not going to be enough. But, all the same, there is going down with dignity and there’s going down in disgrace.
Spanish reports said that ‘Barcelona had one bullet left and they used it to shoot themselves’
The abysmal defeat signalled the end of the trophy-laden era sparked by Pep Guardiola
Lionel Messi’s post-match comments were the best thing that happened all night if you are a Barcelona…