September 13, 2019 | News | No Comments
The Catalans saw their European dreams extinguished following a remarkable capitulation on Merseyside, to add to their dismal recent last four record
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Barcelona’s dreams of a treble are in tatters after their hopes of reaching the Champions League final went up in smoke once again after they were stunned 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield.
The Blaugrana failed to find the back of the net on Merseyside, with their continental exploits curtailed shy of the last round once again by another humiliating loss for Ernesto Valverde’s side.
Having swept their visitors away at Camp Nou last week with a 3-0 victory – thanks in no small part to Lionel Messi’s talismanic skill – the Catalan club were heavy favourites to reach the final at Wanda Metropolitano this season.
However, the Argentine and his fellow playmakers found their creative power stymied by a brilliant, high-intensity performance from Jurgen Klopp’s injury-blighted Reds, who still mustered the vital number of goals to win on aggregate despite missing Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino through injury.
As such, the club suffered their heaviest ever defeat at the hands of an English opponent in all European competitions.
Furthermore, Barca became the first team to be on the receiving end of multiple Champions League knockout tie exits after holding a three-plus goal lead from the first leg, having been eliminated by Roma last season in similar circumstances.
It was only the fourth time any team has overturned such a deficit to reach the next stage of the competition.
The result means that they have now been eliminated at the penultimate stage in three of their last four Champions League semi-final ties.
Save for the 2014-15 campaign, where they beat Bayern Munich to reach the final and subsequently down Juventus, Barca have failed to progress beyond the final four on their last trio of visits to this stage.
In 2011-12, they were sunk by a second leg injury-time winner from Fernando Torres as Chelsea came from behind at Camp Nou to snatch a 2-2 draw and win 3-2 on aggregate.
The following year, they were foiled again at the same mark by Bayern Munich, who delivered a 4-0 battering in Bavaria before following it up with a 3-0 romp in Barcelona for a 7-0 victory on aggregate.
Indeed, in the latter campaign, Barca won only one knockout stage game, against Milan in the second leg of the round-of-16.
They lost the first tie 2-0 before clocking up four goals in the reverse for a 4-2 aggregate win, and then required a superior away goal count to see them through in a 3-3 aggregate draw with Paris Saint-Germain.
Barcelona can at the very least console themselves with their La Liga title win, though their wait for European success will now stretch for at least another season.