For an awful long time, humbling experiences at the Nou Camp were rare in the extreme for Pep Guardiola. Now he receives one every time he visits.
Guardiola’s Manchester City were demolished 4-0 by his former Barcelona charges, whose vaunted brilliance is owed largely to the work the Catalonia native did during his time in charge.
The Spaniard lost a remarkable 21 of his 247 games at the Blaugrana helm, which quite rightly cemented his status as one of Planet Earth’s greatest soccer coaches.
The legacy he left in Catalonia helped Barcelona to win three La Liga crowns, as many Copa del Reys and a Champions League in the seasons since his departure too, but if the club feel any gratitude to Guardiola, they show it in a strange way.
Luis Enrique’s men hammered three goals past the Citizens after Claudio Bravo, himself a former Barca star, was sent off in the 4-0 Champions League win this week.
This after Guardiola’s Bayern Munich were beaten 3-0 in the first leg of the 2014/15 Champions League semi-final, which Barca eventually won 5-3 on aggregate.
Focusing on present-day events, the latest setback in the Nou Camp meant Man City have now gone four games without a win in all competitions.
It’s a run of form that has seen City’s lead at the top of the Premier League cut down to goal difference and left them five points off the summit in Champions League Group C. It’s also equalled the second longest winless streak of Guardiola’s career.
He failed to prevail in a congested fortnight in the spring of his sophomore season at Bayern Munich, losing a German Cup semi-final to Borussia Dortmund on penalties, before surrendering the next three to nil against Bayer Leverkusen, Barcelona and Augsburg.
Should the Citizens fail to beat Southampton this weekend – they’re 1/2 to take all three points with Ladbrokes – Guardiola will go five matches without victory for the first time since 2008/09, his first term in senior management.
In that particular sequence defeats to Espanyol and Atletico Madrid punctuated draws with Real Betis, Lyon and Mallorca during February and March of that campaign, which ended with Barcelona going on to win the treble.
All odds and markets accurate as of time of publishing