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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

Valverde makes no excuses for Barcelona collapse

The La Liga champions were beaten 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde
Image: Shaun Botterill

AN APOLOGETIC ERNESTO Valverde offered no excuses after Barcelona’s stunning Champions League semi-final loss to Liverpool on Tuesday.

The La Liga champions suffered an incredible 4-0 loss at Anfield, bowing out 4-3 on aggregate after conceding three goals in the second half.

Valverde, whose team gave up a 4-1 first-leg lead against Roma in the quarter-finals last season, refused to make excuses after the extraordinary exit.

“They started very aggressive, very high – what we expected. They made the first goal but we managed to settle in,” he told a news conference.

“In the first half, we had options to score. The second goal hurt us because the third one followed.

“Well, very aggressive and we don’t change the possibilities. The score is huge, but if you lose 4-0 there are no excuses. They were better and you have to accept it.”

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Braces from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum saw a Liverpool side missing injured pair Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino to their win.

Valverde is sure to come under fire after another European failure despite leading the club to back-to-back league titles.

Asked for his message to the fans, he said: “We are very sorry.

“Everything we do and everything we play is always to please the fans, so that they are proud of the players.

“In this football, what happens is that everyone expects to win always and there are times when we lose.

“When we lose, we have had to do it painfully. We have not lost until now and we are out. In this story, we are all together.”

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