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Barcelona wither in front of goal: Lots of chances, very few converted

  /  autty

Barcelona spurned the chance to gain ground on Atletico Madrid in the LaLiga Santander title race as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Cadiz on Sunday.

Lionel Messi's penalty gave the hosts the lead at the Camp Nou, but they were punished for their missed opportunities by Alex Fernandez's late penalty.

This isn't the first time a lack of efficiency in front of goal has cost Ronald Koeman's side. It's difficult to believe they are LaLiga Santander's top scorers with 50 goals.

However, the key is that 37 of those goals have come in just 10 matches, leaving an average of 0.5 goals per game in the other 13 fixtures.

The strange thing is that this Barcelona side aren't shot shy. In fact, no Blaugrana team has averaged more shots per game since Pep Guardiola's first campaign in charge.

This season, Koeman's side have averaged 16.92 shots per game, compared to Guardiola's 18.16 in 2008/09. In the 12 seasons in between, the average has been lower than 16.92.

As a result, Barcelona's shot conversion rate this season is the worst since Guardiola's first year in charge. There are various reasons for this.

Firstly, Lionel Messi isn't what he used to be in terms of goalscoring. Furthermore, Barcelona don't boast a poacher like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Villa or Luis Suarez.

The latter of those departed for Atletico Madrid in the summer, with Barcelona's remaining forwards unable to fill the void.

Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Francisco Trincao and Martin Braithwaite have managed 13 goals between them in LaLiga Santander this season. Suarez has 16 on his own.

The only player responding to the goalscoring expectations at the Camp Nou was Ansu Fati, who had scored six goals in 14 matches before his injury.