It was a real shock result with Barcelona leading 4-1 from the first leg, but Ernesto Valverde’s side can have no complaints as they were deservedly beaten.
There were clues in the first leg, Barcelona needed two own goals to help them to victory but it was Edin Dzeko’s away goal that was to prove crucial.
Barcelona still seemed to be favourites to progress, they’re unbeaten in La Liga after all, but if you look at their record in Europe it’s really not that impressive.
Away from home in the competition this season Barcelona have only won once at Sporting and that was thanks to a Sebastián Coates own goal. They drew at Juventus, Olympiakos and Chelsea.
In fact as Opta tell us, they’ve managed just one win in their last (now) seven away games, not really the kind of form that is going to see you lift the trophy.
Barcelona may have beaten Juventus 3-0 in the competition this season at the Camp Nou, but they were held 0-0 in Turin and seem to find trips to Italy particularly tough.
6 - Barca haven’t won any of their last six CL games away against Italian sides (D4 L2), since a 3-2 win against Milan in November 2011. Challenge. pic.twitter.com/ZwlsJF0VOl— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 10, 2018
It’s all in stark contrast to their home form which is simply excellent but Barca must find answers to their travel sickness. They haven’t won the trophy since 2015 and will have to watch on again this year as another team lifts the European Cup, potentially Real Madrid yet again.
Valverde may well finish the season with a Liga title and the Copa del Rey, which most of us would have signed up for at the start of the season, but will be under huge pressure to improve their record in Europe next season.
Barcelona have now gone out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage for the third consecutive season and for a club of their standing, and for the money they have spent, it’s just not good enough.