Champions League: Lionel Messi Should Be Kept Quiet, AS Roma Coach Says

Emmett Rice
April 12, 2018

Barcelona surrendered a 4-1 first leg advantage to lose 3-0 in Rome and crash out on away goals, but as well as blaming Valverde's tactics, fingers were pointed at an off-colour Messi. "You had the sensation that they could get the third goal at any time and in the end, they did".

But with such a significant lead, Valverde wants to make sure his side play with the same intensity as they did in the first leg to ensure progression to the semi-finals.

"The coach is the one who has to take responsibility, as the visible head of the team, and that is what it is".

"We are here and we deserved it and I am really happy about that".

If they avoid defeat they will break the Liga record for the longest-ever unbeaten streak, having drawn level with Real Sociedad's 38-game mark, set in 1980, against Leganes last weekend.

Overall, both players have lifted the trophy four times, and are now the top two goalscorers in the competition.

"I know he will take my place some day and that is not something I would be afraid of, or try to put him off, because it is important to help the future and Scott is definitely that".

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The defeat means that Real Madrid are now the favourites to win the competition which will come as a crushing blow to the Argentinian as it would put rival Cristiano Ronaldo in a great position to overtake him as the record Ballon d'Or victor. "We will give our best for two competitions that remain".

"All we can do is apologize to our fans for the way we lost", Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets said.

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, meanwhile, admitted that Roma deserved to progress, apologising to the club's supporters in the process.

Ouch. It may not be Messi and Suarez's job to to defend from deep, but it is their job to defend from the front and they didn't do that well enough against Roma.

"When you do things badly, you commit lots of mistakes and we didn't adapt to the game".

"I feel bad because we wanted to reach the semifinal, but we didn't deserve it today".

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