Vanguard (Lagos)

27 February 2013

Nigeria: Barcelona Defeat - Is It Diminishing Return?

No king will reign forever, so goes a saying. This can be likened to what the world acclaimed best team is experiencing now. 'No club can reign forever'. Has Barcelona reached its peak?

Following FC Barcelona's lacklustre performance in recent matches, many soccer followers have begun to ponder whether the recent development could mark the end of Barcelona's reign in world football.

In Tuesday's El- Clasico encounter, Cristiano Ronaldo got the better of Lionel Messi, scoring twice to lead Real Madrid to a 3-1 win at Barcelona and a spot in the Copa del Rey final.

After the first leg of their semifinal ended 1-1, Madrid neutralized Barcelona's passing game and counter-attacked to perfection at the Camp Nou to hand its arch rival its first home loss in any competition since last April.

It was also a second straight cup setback for the Catalan club, which is running away with the Spanish league but lost 2-0 at AC Milan in the first leg of its Champions League last-16.

For Barcelona, it was their worst defeat to Madrid since losing 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2008.

Barcelona suffered the same problems it had against Milan, unable to convert its better share of possession into goals, while its defense again proved brittle as it allowed goals for the 12th straight match. The team has had five wins, three draws and three losses since mid-January.

And the question is: could this be the end of Barcelona's reign in world football? So what is your take on this, do you see Barcelona bouncing back and be on top of their game again?

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