Intractable in the domestic scene, FC Barcelona played again in Europe on Tuesday falling in the worst way against Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals, wasting a three-goal lead in a game that left the Barça team and several of their players.
“Right now we are touched”, coach Ernesto Valverde acknowledged after the match, after being eliminated with another impossible comeback.
If the defeat in Rome last year in the quarterfinals was painful, after losing 3-0 after going to the Italian capital with a 3-1 in favor, this fall has been worse losing 4-0 going to Anfield with a 3-0 income.
“Sonrojo”, “the greatest ridicule in history”, “historical failure”, the Spanish press did not walk with hot cloths on Wednesday to the owner what happened in Liverpool.
Although still with chances of repeating League-Cup double, Barca sees how another “beautiful cup” of Europe escapes him another year, which Leo Messi wanted to return to the Camp Nou this season, four years after his triumph in 2015.
The Argentine dreamed of winning his fifth Champions, but it seems he will have to wait for next year, while this defeat is a stumble in his impeccable career to the Golden Ball this season. The Argentine, best goal scorer of the Champions this year with 12 goals, was infected by the gray image of his team and barely appeared on Tuesday in a match, which leaves the Brazilian Coutinho very pointed.
“It is usual in recent months that his contribution to the team is zero. Yesterday was no exception, “says the newspaper Marca .
“Valverde could win his second consecutive double (League-Cup) and yet the feeling that remains is of great disappointment, because another year has not been able to build a competitive team for the Champions.”
The onerous Brazilian midfielder reached Barça for 160 million variables included has not had his best season at Barca, where he has not managed to connect with the public and, no doubt, his game on Tuesday will not help raise his credit.
“His match was of an indolence unbefitting a player of his level,” says the newspaper AS , for which “his only escape is to find a way out this summer.” “He has talent, but not character to lead a big team.” Coutinho was the reflection of a team that seemed to disconnect in his big appointment of the season, victim of errors of packages like the fourth goal, in a corner kick that caught all the back barcelonistas.
“In the fourth goal we looked young,” said Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez , a former Liverpool player, who lost his pardon after the game.
The 3-0 of the first leg had been somewhat deceptive, as Liverpool had dominated in many phases of the match, and in the return, an English team with faith in their chances achieved the feat without the coach Ernesto Valverde hit with the key to stop the cyclone network.
The coach, although recently renewed, seems to be on the line now, after falling for the second year in a resounding manner in which was the great goal of the Catalan club.
“Valverde could win his second consecutive double (League-Cup) and yet the feeling that remains is of great disappointment, because another year has not been able to build a competitive team for the Champions”, writes in his column the editor of the newspaper Sport , Ernest Folch .
Although Valverde recently renewed with the Catalan club, the debacle in Anfield could take its toll and he himself did not dare to make predictions about his future.
“I do not know (what will happen),” the Barça manager responded to the media after the match.
The blow has been hard, but the president of Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu , does not want to make hasty decisions.
“We are now very hot because of the elimination. Now you have to lift the mood all, because there is a final of the Copa del Rey to play, “said the Barca president after the meeting asked by the coach.
Barça now points to the Copa del Rey final against Valencia on May 25, but it is difficult for this title to erase the bad taste of mouth left by Anfield.