The Barcelona players were involved in an altercation in the locker room with manager under fire Quique Setien after their 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo on Saturday.
The Catalan club lost twice to Celta who are at risk of relegation, allowing Real Madrid to push them to the top of the La Liga table after beating Espanyol on Sunday night.
Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who scored twice in a disappointing draw, told reporters after the match that the club’s coaches were to blame for the poor form outside Barcelona, which allowed them to only win two of their last six road games.
Barcelona players involved in locker room burst after 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo
Players have expressed disapproval of manager Quique Setien’s tactical decisions in the game
But, according to Spanish media Marca, frustration has spread to the locker room, with some Barcelona players criticizing Setien’s tactical decisions throughout the match.
The game team’s most notable complaint was Setien’s decision to hire Antoine Griezmann for two-goal hero Suarez with just under ten minutes to play.
In addition, Setien brought back young promising Riqui Puig for Juventus-linked Arthur Melo with four minutes to go, which upset some of the Barcelona players.
Marca reports that this is not the first time that Barcelona players have faced Setien on issues surrounding tactical decisions, leading to a growing lack of harmony between the manager and the team.
Reports say there is an obvious lack of harmony between the players and the club coach
One of the complaints was the choice to use Antoine Griezmann (right) for Luis Suarez
Barcelona took the lead in the first period with Suarez’s strike in the 20th minute, but were pushed back five minutes after the break from equalizer by Russian Fyodor Smolov.
Suarez restored the Catalans’ lead just over 15 minutes later with a clever turn and finish, but a late free kick leveler from former Liverpool man Iago Aspas in the 88th minute meant that the points were split .
After the match, Suarez was quick to point the finger at those responsible for betraying the two leads.
Suarez (before) twice gave Barcelona the lead against Celta Vigo on Saturday afternoon
But a late leveler from Iago Aspas (right) drew Celta a draw and propelled Barça out of first place
When asked why Barcelona still lost points away from home, he said, “I think that’s why the coaches are there to analyze these situations. We are here to do our best on the ground.
“Out of our home, we are losing important points that we didn’t used to lose in other seasons.
One of the reasons why Setien’s predecessor, Ernesto Valverde, was sacked in January was due to poor form and the inability to keep clean sheets on the road.
Meanwhile, a shot from Casemiro in the first half saw Real Madrid replace Barcelona at the top of the Spanish standings with six games left.
Barcelona will then host Atletico Madrid to Camp Nou as they seek to close the two-point gap between them and their fierce rivals, Real.