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Barcelona’s team was full of mavericks the last time they conceded five league goals

The last time Barcelona conceded five goals was December 2003 under Frank Rijkaard

If you’re going to blow your invincible season, blow it in style.

Step forward Barcelona, who spoiled their perfect season by conceding five goals against Levante.

Emmanuel Boateng helped himself to a hat-trick, scoring 50% of his goals for the season in the process.

But we’ve been here before.


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On 3 December 2003 Frank Rijkaard took his Barcelona side to Malaga.

Now, when you hear Malaga you might think back to the halcyon days of Isco, Santi Cazorla and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

But the Qatari cash hadn’t arrived in Andalusia yet.

Malaga’s defence was propped up by Josemi, who would go on to play 21 games for Liverpool before being swapped for the equally forgettable Jan Kromkamp.

If Carlsberg did football kits

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If Carlsberg did football kits

Barcelona’s squad was littered with world-class but under-performing players, propping up fifth place in La Liga heading into the game.

Rijkaard was without the talents of Ronaldinho but the Dutchman could still call upon Patrick Kluivert, Javier Saviola, Ricardo Quaresma, Luis Garcia and Xavi.

Marc Overmars, Rafael Marquez, Michael Reiziger and Luis Enrique had to make do with a place on the bench, so Rijkaard wasn’t struggling for options.

Just as against Levante, Barcelona were a goal down inside ten minutes.

For Boateng read Salva Ballesta, who Bolton fans might remember from a six-game goalless spell in 2003.

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Ballesta scored his second and third goals of the game before Diego Alonso and Fernando Sanz added a fourth and fifth.

Kluivert and co found themselves five goals down with 77 minutes on the clock. You could see Victor Valdes tearing up through his long, flowing locks.

Even when Barcelona pulled one back it was through an own goal.

Barcelona slipped to eighth in the table before a 2-1 loss to Real Madrid at the Camp Nou saw them plummet to 11th.

Crisis.

What do you do when you’re in a crisis? Sign Edgar Davids.

The man who made Pitbulls famous before Mr. Worldwide arrived on the scene joined Barcelona on 17 January 2004 and sparked a revolution.

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Barcelona finished the season as runners-up with Davids winning 14 of the 19 games he played.

Rijkaard would go on to win back to back La Liga titles before making way for Pep Guardiola.

Every cloud, and all that.


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