- Barca players have expressed their displeasure towards their coach over their disappointing ouster from the UEFA Champions League
- The Catalans took a 4-1 lead to Italy but failed to consolidate on it as they crashed out on 4-4 aggregate with Roma going through on away goals rule
- Valverde's men are hoping to go through this league season without losing a league match while they are chasing a double this season
Barcelona players have questioned the tactics of their manager Ernesto Valverde following their disappointing ouster from this year’s UEFA Champions League.
The Catalans were stunned by AS Roma as the Italian side claimed a 3-0 victory over their visitors in the second leg of their quarterfinal clash at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday, April 10.
Barca’s 4-1 lead in the reverse fixture at the Camp Nou a week before, proved useless as the Spanish side failed to progress on 4-4 aggregate, as Roma progressed on away goal rule.
And the players say the coach should take responsibility for the defeat following his inability to prepare them for their opponent’s physicality.
Goals Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Konstantinos Manolas ended the Blaugrana’s dream of winning a treble this season, as they reach the last four stage in the tourney for the first time in their career.
While going into the match, Valverde made few tactical changes to his Barca team which was bullied by Roma’s man Edin Dzeko.
After the game, one Barcelona player according to Spanish newspaper, Sport, told the manager the game was extremely physical and was supposed to have featured those players that could absorb the pressure.
“Boss, this was a game for physical players.”
The players are said to doubt Valverde's tactical nous, even while admiring his man-management abilities, as the manager is claimed to be a listening coach, but doesn’t give immediate answers.
Losing to the Italian side has placed a dent on Barca’s reputation this season as they are yet to lose a single game in the domestic league.
They have gone 40 league matches unbeaten - and could become the first invincible side in Spanish league history, as they eye a domestic double this term.
Valverde’s men will face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final on May 6.
He succeeded Luis Enrique, who stepped down from his position as the team’s manager last summer, and he is on the verge of winning his first Spanish League title.
The 54-year-old also led Olympiacos to three straight Greek Super League titles between 2009 and 2012, with two Greek Cup during his reign at the club.
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