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Barca coach tells players to forget Roma collapse

Barcelona (AFP) – Barcelona need to put their painful Champions League exit to Roma behind them and concentrate on winning the Spanish league, their coach Ernesto Valverde said on Friday.

Lionel Messi and his teammates were dumped out of Europe after Roma beat them 3-0 Tuesday, but the Catalan giants remain 11 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid in La Liga.

“Looking back is useless,” said Valverde.

“We need to get things back up and running and get the fans behind us and try and get the two titles still open to us this season that we have not yet won either,” said Valverde, who must pick up his players ahead of their Liga tie with Valencia Saturday.

“It was a major disappointment,” he said of the upset at Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

“We’ve all been affected and we need to get the ball rolling again,” said the Barcelona boss, who took up his post last summer.

Valverde said he felt he still had the backing of the club management despite the upset, compounded by the sight of bitter rivals Real Madrid edging towards a third straight Champions League title. 

“I would like the repercussions to be positive, as it was in the pre-season when it seemed the world would fall in (after Neymar left for Paris Saint-Germain),” said Valverde.

“We put new batteries in and got on with the job.”

“We need ten more points to win the title and we can’t stay at home crying because we lost one match. We need to win tomorrow so that we only need seven more points to be champions.”

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  1. Tom

    April 13, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Graham Hunter, a journalist living in Barcelona, has a podcast covering Barca and he believes that the club was always focused on La Liga and Copa this year. UCL was not a priority.
    I thought he had good points about lack of planning, like buying Coutinho who was ineligible for UCL and Dembele, a raw talent but not a player who could play well in UCL. Hunter thinks it could be a long time before Barca is a force again.

  2. JOHN

    April 13, 2018 at 11:35 am


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