All I can do is say sorry to our supporters: Sergio Busquets
Midfielder says Barca struggled to cope with Liverpool's high press
Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets apologised to his club's fans after his side were sent tumbling out of the Champions League in the semi-finals yesterday morning (Singapore time), losing 4-0 to a rampant Liverpool side for a remarkable 4-3 aggregate defeat.
It is the second year in a row Barca have thrown away a three-goal lead from the first leg to exit the competition, having been knocked out in the quarter-finals by AS Roma last season, following a 3-0 surrender in the Italian capital.
"They were better than us. They went all out to win the game from the start and we really struggled with their pressure, especially at the start of both halves," a despondent Busquets was quoted by Reuters as saying.
"I can't say anything else, all I can do is say sorry to our supporters because, after last year in Rome, to go out like this after such a good result in the first leg is very tough.
"There's little else to say...
"When you face a team like this which presses you very high up the pitch and you don't make the most of second balls, they just keep pushing farther forward and, with this atmosphere, it was very difficult."
Teammate Luis Suarez, meanwhile, said Barca "looked like schoolboys" as Divock Origi scored his second and Liverpool's fourth via a cleverly taken corner. Georginio Wijnaldum scored the Reds' two other goals.
Said former Liverpool striker Suarez: "We have to be ready for all the criticism that is going to rain down on us now.
"We are very sad, we are in a lot of pain. For their fourth goal, we looked like schoolboys."
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, meanwhile, called the loss "simply unacceptable".
He said: "They started aggressively, as we expected, but to lose like this is inexcusable.
"To begin the game with a 3-0 lead and lose 4-0 is simply unacceptable.
"This has happened to us for the second year in a row, and this is especially painful."
Things could get more painful for Valverde with reports that the result could cost him his job.
"The biggest embarrassment of all time," said the front cover of Barcelona-based newspaper Sport while Madrid-based Marca dubbed the result "A historic failure".
Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu ominously said: "The board will make a profound reflection over what has happened here."
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