Valverde to be SACKED because of Liverpool loss? Barcelona president drops hint

Ernesto Valverde

ERNESTO VALVERDE’s future as Barcelona boss may well be in major doubt if Josep Maria Bartomeu’s comments in the wake of their defeat to Liverpool are anything to go by.

Barcelona took a three-goal lead to Anfield for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final contest and were huge favourites to progress to the final in Madrid on June 1.

But Lionel Messi and co. blew a commanding advantage for the second successive season as they lost 4-0 to Liverpool on Merseyside.

Barca were only 1-0 down at half-time despite conceding on seven minutes to Divock Origi but a quick-fire brace from half-time substitute Gini Wijnaldum put the Reds level on aggregate by the hour mark.

And Origi fired in from a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner after Barca’s defence suffered a lapse of concentration in the game’s final stages as Liverpool secured one of the competition’s all-time famous triumphs.

Valverde and Barca were hoping to end a five-year wait to win the Champions League having watched Real Madrid lift the trophy in the last three successive years.

Captain Messi himself had spoken of his desire to win the tournament a fifth time in his career in pre-season.

But the Spanish coach’s future may now be in doubt, although Barca have wrapped up another La Liga title and will be favourites to beat Valencia in the Copa del Rey final later this month.

Under Valverde, Barca threw away a 4-1 first-leg lead in the quarter finals in Europe last year to Roma, losing 3-0 in Italy.

And president of the Spanish heavyweights, Bartomeu, reflected his disappointment in a post-match interview with Spanish network Movistar Plus.

“Another blow, we had one last year against Roma. I feel bad for the fans, the socios, and I congratulate Liverpool because they had a great game. It’s difficult to explain,” he said.

“Today they stuck in four goals past us and we're out.

"We're in the heat of the moment after the loss, I prefer not to give explanations now. Now we have to get pick everyone up and get back on track because we still have a Copa del Rey final to play.

"There are going to be some difficult days, but we have to go again.

“There will be time to reflect on what went wrong and explain things. There's a cup final to play in three weeks.

“The same happened in Rome last year. It's tough to explain. We will do it internally.

"The board will make a profound reflection over what has happened here."

Valverde himself admitted: “"I think that we conceded two goals [in the second half] and then they really kind of got on top of us after those two quick concessions.

“We haven't managed to get on the scoresheet tonight. They scored two in two and they kind of rolled us over, really.

"They have been really strong, they played really well. We've got to congratulate them on the performance they put up in the tie as a whole.

"It is a terrible result for our fans and for ourselves. We didn't expect a situation like this. This is what has happened to us. It is really, really unfortunate but credit is due to Liverpool.

“When you have a battle like tonight, you're going to go through some really tough few days, like all our fans as well. You're going to suffer, the fans will suffer as well. That's what it is like.

"We've got the cup still to fight for and we've got to really finish the season well on a high after this. But at the moment we're blown away, it's terrible."

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