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Barcelona News: Owen blames Messi for Barca’s Champions League exit!
- Updated: April 11, 2018
Barcelona and Lionel Messi were sent packing from the Champions League after they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the hand of AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The Catalans, in the process threw away a 4-1 lead after beating the Italians handsomely at Camp Nou.
Strieks from Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas sealed the deal for the Giallorossi as both the players as well as their fans celebrated long into the night.
Barcelona, meanwhile, will be left to contemplate what might have been as an uncharacteristic complacent performance led to an unceremonious exit after dominating the first leg in their own backyard.
Who to blame?
Barca coach Ernesto Valverde took full responsibility for the defeat.
'When you lose like this it's always hard but it's simple to say that our opponents were very strong from the first minute to the last,' he was quoted as saying by Goal after the match.
'They applied high pressure throughout and that made it hard to play our game. We couldn't overcome their pressing. They won the second ball, the timing of their goals was important.
'This was a bad day for us. The truth is that they were very good and we weren’t.”
Michael Owen blames two stars
Former Liverpool and Real Madrid forward Michale Owen, who was analysing the game for BT Sport, however, pinned the blame on two of Barcelona’s biggest stars. And as per reports from the Daily Mail the former England international didn’t mince any words – putting a large portion of the blame on Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
“It is incredible,” the former England international said. “When we look at the stats and everything that it tells us it is incredible, but your eyes don't lie.
“We looked at the game in the first leg… we've watched Barcelona for a number of months now and I'm not sure — even though they haven't conceded many — I'm not sure you cannot concede when you've got two strikers that don't put anything into defending.'
Lack of effort in defence
Owen added: “They are basically defending with eight outfield players against eleven and I'm not sure you can do that at the highest level.
“You could argue that Roma aren't at the highest level. There are teams that will exploit that even more. But no more, because Barca are out.”
Owen was on point to suggest that both Messi and Suarez were poor on the night as both the forward flattered to deceive on a night they needed their talismans.
However, to be fair none of the Barcelona players (maybe except Marc Andre Ter-Stegen) came out of the game with any sort of pride left.