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What we learned from the Champions League semi final second leg

This is the second time Barcelona have let a 3 goal caution slip in the Champions League. (Agency Photos)

1. Barcelona did not learn from Roma exit

Barcelona suffered a second successive humiliating exit from the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night. After leading 3-0 from the first leg against Liverpool, Ernesto Valverde’s side lost 4-0 at Anfield to bow out 3-4 on aggregate.

This is the second consecutive season that Barca have let-slip a huge first leg advantage to exit Europe’s premier club competition.

Over a year ago, they suffered the same fate as they let a 4-1 quarter final first leg advantage slip against Roma and exited on away goals after losing 3-0 in the second leg.

This just proves how the Bulgranas have failed to learn from their previous short-comings. Valverde will carry the biggest bunch of the blame but the players too have had a part to play in both loses.

Despite winning two successive league crowns, Valverde will always be remembered as the Barca manager who oversaw two humiliating exits from the Champions League.

2. Anfield is the most intimidating stadium in Europe

Anfield is one of the most vocal Stadiums in the world.

Not in your wildest of dreams, would you have imagined how the second leg semifinal between Liverpool and Barcelona would unfold. At a Stadium that is known for its vocals during a league game, a classic if any, had a perfect ground set for it.

Those that have played in it will attest that if you are playing for the opposition, you rarely enjoy the game as the crowd won’t let you and those donning Liverpool shirts claim it is the most motivating arena during a football match.

Tuesday was the perfect setting for a come-back as the fans, like they so often do, pushed the Reds-on from the moment the first whistle was blown and whoever visits Anfield in future will know how intimidating a stadium, it is. Or ask Lionel Messi and company!

3. Lucas Moura still has ball in him

Moura scored only 46 goals for PSG before Joining Spurs.

The PSG reject who sent Tottenham Hotspurs into their first ever Champions League final. That is the perfect way to address Lucas Moura, years from today.

In 2018, Moura was transferred to Spurs from PSG after 5 years in which he had failed to live up to the hype. Scoring only 46 goals in 230 games, the Brazilian was deemed surplus to requirements in Paris and not so many sides were willing to take a gamble on him.

Two seasons later, Moura scored three goals as Tottenham over turned a first leg home defeat to eliminate Ajax Amsterdam and storm the 2019 Champions League season. He may not have scored so many goals for Spurs, in the build up to the famous night at the Johan Cuiyff Arena but for the North London side, the three will be the most important he will ever score in their shirt.

At 26, may be the Brazilian still has loads of football in him and who would say no at the moment.

4. Not all Fairy-tales end in joy

Ajax led 3-0 at some point in their semi final against Spurs.

Everyone fell in love with Ajax and wished their fairy-tale would end in joy but it was not to be as Tottenham Hotspurs had other ideas.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, the Erik Ten Hag lead Dutch side raced into a 2-0 first first half lead in the second to lead the tie 3-0 on aggregate. It was in the second half that everything fall apart as somehow, Ajax conceded three goals to bow out on away goals.

Most neutrals must have been praying to see this young, fearless and adventurous side, in the finals but it was not to be, like most fairy tales in football tend not to end in joy.

However, the likes of Captain Matthijas De Ligt, Donny Van de Beek, David Neres, Hakim Ziyech and Frankie de Jong, have made a name for themselves and it is just a matter of time and the Big sides come calling.

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