Barcelona’s defeat to Roma still more difficult to understand

Ernesto Valverde went into the Copa del Rey final with pressure on his shoulders after the Roma debacle but the way that the team performed makes it even more difficult to understand what happened in the Champions League return clash.

Ahead of Saturday’s game there had been a leak from the Barcelona board where Valverde had been seen as the guilty party, the players felt that the coach’s tactics were wrong and then there was the headline from Mundo Deportivo which said ‘this is not the time for blame, this is down to all of us’.

When asked about the blame that had been apportioned to him by the board, Valverde responded by saying that failures in big clubs cause big repercussions, before the cup final and afterwards he preferred to hold his tongue but his serious expression said everything.

The display in the 5-0 crushing of Sevilla will ease the criticism on Valverde and give time for sporting directors Pep Segura and Robert Fernandez.

However, how was it possible that they did fail to get past Roma with the only player unavailable for that game being Philippe Coutinho.