Considering Blaugranas recent performance in the second leg of any tournament some people may have already predicted the outcome. Back in the day Barcelonas second-leg performances were never particularly strong to put it mildly.
Barcelona was defeated by AS Roma in the quarterfinal round of the UEFA Champions League back in April 2018. Every Barcelona supporter still hears Peter Drurys legendary analysis during Kostas Manolas game-winning goal through numbed ears.
This time Steve Hunter spoke the legendary phrase “Corner taken quickly” and Liverpool overcame a 3-0 deficit to win the game 4-3 overall in the second leg.
But they lost to Eintracht Frankfurt in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League Quarterfinals last year to Manchester United in the second leg of the elimination playoffs this year and they faced another second-leg defeat last night.
Despite a potential improvement, it appears that the present club is still plagued by the ghosts of the past.
Barcelona has been eliminated from cup events this season in large part due to injuries.
For instance consider the UEFA Champions League. Barcelona needed a victory against Inter Milan on Matchday 4 of the Champions League group stage but the absence of Ronald Araujo Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen contributed to the games 3-3 draw.
If Barcelona had a stronger midfield would the result of the game have been different? Maybe so. The moment has come for Barcelona to “focus on the league” as Xavi remarked following the game.
Barcelona had a lot more possession but still struggled to dominate the momentum of the game. Multiple participants in such situations need to be held responsible. Raphinhas initial experience was a complete disaster.
The Brazilian international was later replaced by Ferran Torres who could not do any better because he just could not outperform Eduardo Camavinga.
This ultimately comes back to the absence of top-tier players who can give that sense of control and composure in the center such as Pedri and de Jong. Overall it was a communal failure for which no single person can be blamed. Everyone concerned must accept responsibility and move forward.
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