As Cadiz took another huge scalp with a 2-1 victory on Saturday, Barcelona’s miserable away run continued.
The Blaugrana, their worst such run since May 2008, are now winless in four on the road in LaLiga and a dismal defensive mix-up gifted all three points to Cadiz’s surprise kit.
With only eight minutes played, Alvaro Gimenez scored a scrappy, controversial opener, but the promoted side, who enjoyed a spectacular win away at Real Madrid earlier this season, were pegged back before the hour mark by Pedro Alcala’s own goal.
Cadiz rallied again instead of defending their point and were rewarded when veteran substitute Alvaro Negredo stole Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s possession to regain the home advantage 44 seconds after his introduction.
Barca had 82 percent of control, but the spirited hosts, who moved fifth as the side of Ronald Koeman dropped 12 points off the pace set by Atletico Madrid, were unable to break down.
Early in October, Cadiz had peppered the Madrid goal to shock the champions, taking the lead within 16 minutes with their seventh attempt, but their sole first-half shot proved enough to be in front this time at the interval.
In a tussle with Marcos Mauro from a corner, Oscar Mingueza went to the ground and recovered only to direct a header into his own goal, with Ter Stegen’s save dropping kindly on the goal line for Gimenez to smash into the net.
Barca appealed for a foul in vain but replied strongly and Lionel Messi began pulling the strings. Before feeding Martin Braithwaite for a low shot which was diverted away by the boot of goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma, he set in motion a move that saw Philippe Coutinho fire over from an acute angle.
At half-time, with Pedri and Ousmane Dembele added, Mingueza and Coutinho were substituted, but Barca still needed a slice of fortune to draw level as Jordi Alba’s low cross clipped Alcala – on in place of Mauro – and Ledesma at his near post wrongfooted.
4 – Barcelona's top-scorers in LaLiga 2020/21:
4 – Lionel Messi 🇦🇷
4 – Ansu Fati 🇪🇸
3 – OWN GOALS
3 – Antone Griezmann 🇫🇷
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) December 5, 2020
The hard work of Blaugrana was swiftly undone. A routine throw-in on the left was not handled by Clement Lenglet and instead the ball ran for Ter Stegen, who Negredo charged down before evading the desperate challenge of Frenkie de Jong to tap into the net.
As Barca again poured on the heat, Sergino Dest scuffed wide from a promising spot, while Ivan Alejo and Bobby Adekanye both passed up late chances to expand the margin of victory.