FC Barcelona took a somewhat disappointing 1-1 home on Tuesday against Napoli in the first leg of the Round of 16 Champions League matchup against the Italian side.
After the game, midfielder Sergio Busquets didn’t hold back in criticizing the planning of the team that has led Barcelona to be short on impact players during the second half of the season.
In addition to Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez, who are expected to miss the rest of the season, Barcelona went into the game missing recent signing Martin Braithwaite (who is ineligible to play in the Champions League this season), as well as full-backs Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba, who were suspended for the game.
Barcelona only has 20 first-team players this season, meaning that four of the spots on the bench for last night’s game against Napoli were covered by B-team players.
For the second leg matchup against Napoli, Barcelona will recover Alba and Roberto, but will be without Arturo Vidal and Busquets after being booked on Tuesday.
Busquets made it clear that Barcelona’s sporting directors hold some blame for the shallow squad after the game, saying “We don’t have a deep squad because, unfortunately, that’s how it was planned.”
Barcelona must now hope that they have enough depth to get past Napoli in the second leg and advance to the quarter-finals of the competition.