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Champions League: Messi, Valverde attacked for losing 3-0 Roma

12 April 2018

Notwithstanding the historic occasion, the veteran pair were unable to mark the day with progression to the semi finals, surrendering a 4-1 lead from the first leg with Roma at the Nou Camp by letting in three goals without reply at the Stadio Olimpico.

"A failure without excuses", said their front cover, with an editorial adding: "Valverde's fear leaves Barca without another Champions League in the era of Messi". "You had the sensation that they could get the third goal at any time and in the end, they did".

"Valverde's conservatism took its toll", claimed paper Marca, criticizing the trainer not fluent his team at league games despite using the Spanish name nearly wrapped up, leading to his players experiencing overexertion. They had it very clear in their minds where to attack us. We had hopes of winning the Champions League and they've been dashed.

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Barcelona-based newspaper Mundo Deportivo called the defeat "a historic debacle" and also took aim at the former Athletic Bilbao coach.

Barca, who meet Sevilla in the King's Cup final on April 21, need 10 points from their seven remaining games to clinch their 25th league title.

"But we have to focus on the competitions we have left".

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Looking ahead to the future, Hunter identified Barcelona's transfer strategy as the possible flaw in their system whereas Real Madrid have thrived in their dealings.

"Roma were better", he said. Roma dominated the game, they believed in themselves.

"It's painful because no one expected this after the advantage we had but you realise what the reality of the Champions League is like when you do things badly, when you make lots of errors, when you don't adapt to the game", a visibly distraught Iniesta told reporters.

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"I feel bad because we wanted to reach the semifinal, but we didn't deserve it today". You've got to weather the storm and there will be tough days, but we have to try to win the two competitions.