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Ernesto Valverde offers no excuses for Barcelona’s collapse

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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde gave no excuses after his side blew a three-goal aggregate lead to lose their Champions League semi-final tie to Liverpool 4-3.

Following a comfortable first-leg victory last week, Barcelona headed into the return leg at Anfield on Tuesday night as strong favourites to reach the final.

Aiding their prospects was the loss of Liverpool star forwards Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino to injury.

But the Reds proved to be too much to handle for Barcelona, with Divock Origi taking just seven minutes to score and begin an unlikely comeback.

Substitute Georginio Wijnaldum’s brace inside 122 seconds during the second half left Barcelona rattled before Origi scored the decisive fourth goal to secure Liverpool a 4-0 second leg victory.

Valverde, who saw Barcelona surrender a 4-1 aggregate lead against AS Roma in the quarter-finals last season, admits Liverpool were simply the better team.

“They started very aggressive, very high – what we expected. They made the first goal but we managed to settle in,” said Valverde, according to the42.

“In the first half, we had options to score. The second goal hurt us because the third one followed.

“Well, very aggressive and we don’t change the possibilities. The score is huge, but if you lose 4-0 there are no excuses. They were better and you have to accept it.”

To the Barcelona supporters, Valverde said: “We are very sorry.

“Everything we do and everything we play is always to please the fans, so that they are proud of the players.

“In this football, what happens is that everyone expects to win always and there are times when we lose.

“When we lose, we have had to do it painfully. We have not lost until now and we are out. In this story, we are all together.”

Barcelona will next host Getafe on Sunday at Camp Nou for their penultimate La Liga game.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MAY 07: Lionel Messi of Barcelona looks dejected as the scoreboard reads ‘4-0’ during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Liverpool and Barcelona at Anfield on May 07, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)