Barcelona have seen their lead at the top of LaLiga reduced by four points to seven over Atletico Madrid following back-to-back draws and there are some clear reasons for why they have stalled.
The Catalan side still have a significant advantage but they cannot afford to relax ahead of some important upcoming games.
A packed calendar
This is the main reason as has been explained by Ernesto Valverde and Sergio Busquets with 12 games played in six weeks.
Messi and Suarez
Barcelona’s attacking play is based around the South American pair but neither has scored in the last two games and it is the first time this season.
Paulinho and other scorers
The Brazilian option has worked well for Valverde but not of late. Paulinho is the third highest scorer but has now gone eight games without scoring.
During this season the team has won their games generally in the second half of games where they have gradually worn down the opposition but this has not happened recently. Against Espanyol the most that they could do was get a late equaliser through Pique.
New signings needing to find their feet
Coutinho and Dembele still are not up to speed. While the former did score against Valencia his overall performance still needs to improve while Dembele has a long way to go.