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The last four editions of the Champions League have been an ordeal for Barça. Since the 2016-17 season, the Catalans have been invariably humiliated in the top European competition. The 2-8 that Bayern endorsed in Da Luz is the most bulky result. But, perhaps, not the most painful. Falling in the quarterfinals against Roma and, above all, against Liverpool, after apparently closing the tie with a resounding result at the Camp Nou, possibly brings an even more bitter taste. The Germans, at the end of the day, practically left everything closed in the first 45 minutes and took the steamroller out again when the Barça fans seemed willing to grab a burning nail with the 2-4 scored by Luis Suárez.
Unai Emery's PSG gave the first big warning. A 4-0 in Paris that, football things, was followed by the mirage of the great comeback of the Catalans at the Camp Nou with a 6-1 that had in Neymar and in the agonizing goal of Sergi Roberto its main protagonists. That was in the round of 16. The Juventus in the quarter, did not lead to surprises. For the Italians, with Berlin's 3-1 still very much in mind, it was enough with an exhibition and a double from Dybala , completed by a goal from Chiellini (3-0), in the first leg and tie in defense in the second leg ( 0-0) to leave in a mere anecdote that heroism carried out in the previous round by those of Luis Enrique.
The following season, with Ernesto Valverde already on the bench, the Catalans seemed to have taken good note of their past sins. Against Roma, in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the 2017-18 campaign, they took a 4-1, with goals for the Catalans of De Rossi , Manolas , both own goal, Piqué and Luis Suárez who seemed to leave everything sentenced to get into the semifinals, despite Dzeko saving the Italian honor. In Italy, however, the excess of precautions took its toll. The Giallorosso team won 3-0 and Manolas, with a goal in minute 82, became the hero who put the Italians in the next round and left the Catalans back in the ditch.
Origi scores Liverpool's fourth goal at Anfield 2019.REUTERS
Everyone, the following year, in the 2018-19 season, seemed to have learned their lesson. So they did not tire of repeating it when visiting Anfield to defend a 3-0 against Liverpool at the Camp Nou, a result that had in a stratospheric goal from Messi, from a direct free kick, which seemed to be the final highlight. Ernesto Valverde's team, despite everything, again stumbled on the same stone from Rome. The team of Jürgen Klopp was not only able to match the tie relatively soon, but humbled himself directly behind Barcelona all with a quick corner kick that would eventually become the final 4-0. That was a tremendous blow. Very hard. Barça, who dreamed of the option of adding what could be the third triplet in their history, had to settle in the end with only adding to their record that season a League that, luckily for their interests, had known how to work with care. The Copa del Rey, still under the shock of Liverpool, would end up going to the showcases of Valencia.
This year, with Valverde struck down after losing the Spanish Super Cup and Quique Setién on the bench, the Catalans seemed willing not to make the same mistakes. The Cantabrian coach, however, at the moment of truth, was more cautious than the Cruyffist postulates. For this reason, for sure, he opted to play against Bayern practically renouncing to be a protagonist in attack and well wrapped in the center of the field. And the Germans made him pay dearly by making good the warning that Leo Messi launched a few months ago : "So it's difficult for him to give us for the Champions League."
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See links of interest
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