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Atlético Madrid 2-0 Barcelona, 2016 Champions League: 3 Things We Learned

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Barcelona have been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League after a 2-0 loss to Atlético Madrid in the return leg of the quarterfinals at Vicente Calderón, ending the Blaugranes' dream of a second straight Treble. Here is a few takeaways from a painful night at the Spanish capital.

1. Simeone is a true genius

What El Cholo has been able to do since he took over is one of those things that deserve a book. He took a traditional team in struggling times and completely rebuilt it, year after year, with new stars being created in his style again and again. It is not always pretty or exciting to watch, but it works, and his players have a blind trust and commitment to the man in charge. His tactical knowledge of how to game plan a defense against any opponent is unmatched in world football, and his passion for each game is a thing to behold. He has deservedly reached another semifinal with the Colchoneros and should go on and win it to finish the sensational five-year work he has done.

There are very few coaches who are the star of a football team. Simeone is definitely on the list.

2. Barça are a complete mess

Wednesday was painful to watch, especially when you see a team so organized like Atlético. Ever since the streak ended, the team is completely lost. Luis Enrique doesn't seem to have an idea of what to do with his setup to face each situation. Is it a wide 4-3-3 with Messi and Neymar on the wings, or a diamond where Messi has to create everything while all other players behind him run like crazy to cover ground in potential counter-attacks? Where has the beautiful movement gone? Why are the passes so slow and inaccurate? Where is the smart positioning and the awareness to avoid counters?

Along with the tactical mess comes a horrible run of form for almost every player on the team apart from the two center-backs. Sergio Busquets is wasting passes and botching assignments, Rakitic is doing I don't know what, the full-backs have zero idea what to do other than running, and the three 'MSN' members have decided to play horribly at the same time. This is seriously worrying. It is not one or two bad games. It's five in a row, after 39 without losing. There is a lot wrong, and the improvement has to come soon.

3. Losing the league is no longer an option

Even after building a 10-point lead, I was still fine with Barça eventually losing the title if that meant a second straight Champions League title, which no one has done in 26 years. Now the Champions League is over, the Liga lead is very small, the Copa del Rey Final is a month away and the team cannot keep playing badly until then. A double is a necessity more than an accomplishment at this point. This is the standard these players have set, and they have to live up to it. Sure, maybe we as fans think everything is easy, but I've seen this team make things look easy not too long ago.

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