Arsene Wenger: 'Loss of Eric Abidal was crucial'

Eric Abidal
© PA Photos
Arsene Wenger believes that Barcelona have suffered without Eric Abidal.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has cited the loss of Eric Abidal as the key reason for Barcelona's poor run of form.

Wenger believes that there are several factors responsible for Barcelona's downturn in form which has seen them dumped out of the Champions League and effectively lose the La Liga title to Real Madrid, but stresses the importance of the departure of Abidal for a liver transplant operation.

"I believe as well that they could not afford to lose two players - one Messi and two, Abidal. When they lost Abidal... when you watch the game when we won 2-1 he saved three goals - he made three desperate saves," Wenger told Arsenal's official website.

"Against Chelsea the other night, the bad luck was they lost Pique early in the game. They played with one defender - Puyol - in the whole game.

"Mascherano is a midfielder and Alves is a... something more than a defender. Basically they played the whole game with one defender. But they are still the best team."

Barcelona, who sit second in La Liga, were hit with the news on Friday that manager Pep Guardiola will leave the club at the end of the season.

Vicente Del Bosque
Read Next:
Del Bosque: 'Guardiola must be respected'
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid11003033
2Barcelona11002023
3Real Sociedad11003213
4EibarEibar11001013
5Leganes11001013
6Levante11001013
7Valencia11001013
8Atletico MadridAtletico10102201
9GironaGirona10102201
10Espanyol10101101
11Sevilla10101101
12Athletic Bilbao10100001
13Getafe10100001
14Celta Vigo100123-10
15AlavesAlaves100101-10
16Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10
17Malaga100101-10
18Villarreal100101-10
19Real Betis100102-20
20Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo100103-30