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Barca in turmoil

Barcelona players were involved in a dressing room bust-up with under-fire manager Quique Setien following their 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo on Saturday.

The Catalan club twice surrendered leads away at relegation-threatened Celta which allowed Real Madrid to leapfrog them to the top of the La Liga table after they edged past Espanyol on Sunday night.

Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez, who scored twice in the disappointing draw, told reporters after the game that the club’s coaches were to blame for Barcelona’s poor away form, which has seen them pick up just two wins.

 The frustration spilled into the changing rooms, with some of Barcelona’s playing staff criticising Setien’s tactical decisions throughout the match.

The most notable area of complaint from the playing staff was Setien’s decision to bring on Antoine Griezmann for two-goal hero Suarez with less than ten minutes to play.

In addition, Setien brought off promising youngster Riqui Puig for Juventus-bound Arthur Melo with four minutes left which further angered some of the Barcelona players.

This is not the first time the Barcelona players have clashed with Setien on matters surrounding tactical decisions, leading to a growing lack of harmony between manager and squad.

Barcelona took a first-half lead through Suarez’s 20th minute strike, but was pegged back five minutes after the break through Russian Fyodor Smolov’s equaliser. 

Suarez re-established the Catalan side’s lead a little over 15 minutes later with a smart turn and finish, but a late free-kick leveler by former Liverpool man Iago Aspas in the 88th minute meant the points were shared. 

After the match, Suarez was quick to point the finger at those responsible for giving away the two leads.  

When asked why Barcelona had dropped points again away from home, he said: ‘I think that’s why coaches are there, to analyse those situations. We’re there to do our best on the pitch. 

‘Away from home, we’re dropping important points that we didn’t usually drop in other seasons.’  

One of the reasons why Setien’s predecessor, Ernesto Valverde, was sacked in January was due to a poor away form and the inability to keep clean sheets on the road. 

On Sunday, defender Gerard Pique issued a rallying cry on Twitter, insisting that he and his team-mates would not give up on retaining their LaLiga title.

The Spain star wrote: ‘Remember one thing, we are Barca and that is not over yet. Fighting to the end is part of our DNA. Head high and on Tuesday [against Atletico Madrid], we’ll all go!’

That tweet was posted hours before a first-half strike from Casemiro saw Real Madrid replace Barcelona at the top of the table with six games to play.

The Brazilian scored the only goal as Zinedine Zidane’s men beat Espanyol 1-0 away from home to climb two points above their fierce rivals. 

Barcelona will host Atletico at the Nou Camp next as they look to make up the gap and put the pressure back on Karim Benzema and Co. –Mailonline

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