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Five things we learned from Barcelona’s Champions League exit

AS Roma v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg Two

Valverde the tactician… not enough?

In a game where Barcelona needed a set-up that allowed them to counter-attack when necessary and prevent Roma from scoring three goals, Ernesto Valverde seemingly ignored that. Barcelona played their poorest game of the season on their biggest stage. At one point in the second half, Barcelona’s best strategy seemed kicking long balls toward Lionel Messi, something that has never worked.

Where was Ousmane Dembele?

For Barcelona to progress, one away goal would have certainly put the tie out of hand. In the last couple of games and in the last five minutes of the game, Ousmane Dembele put the front foot forward and was driving at the defense. In a game where counter-attacking speed was a necessity, Valverde failed again.

Not enough from Messi and Suarez

Barcelona fans are quick to rave about Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, especially when they are scoring and succeeding. In this case, they must be held culpable as well. At a time when Barcelona needed their leaders, they failed to show up. Throughout the entire game, the player who possessed the ball the most was Gerard Pique.

No treble, so now what?

Moving forward, there is no treble. Fortunately, Barcelona can finish the season with two trophies still. With an 11 point lead over Atletico Madrid and a place in the final of the Copa del Rey booked, finishing with a possible two trophies when many expected zero is still a great accomplishment.

Thank you and goodbye to Iniesta?

There is a strong possibility that we have seen the last of the Illusionista in the Champions League, with Iniesta even saying that there was a possibility of it. If it is, it was the worst game to end his Champions League career on. Barcelona are usually the maestros of amazing comebacks, but yesterday were on the receiving end of a comeback. Even so, Iniesta, we thank you.

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