Ernesto Valverde has begun the process of trying to pick Barcelona up off the floor after their morale-destroying exit from the Champions League semi-finals at Liverpool.
Only four times in Champions League history has a side overturned a first-leg deficit of three goals or more to progress from a knockout tie.
Barca were on the wrong end of one of those spectacular comebacks at Roma last year and tasted another shock defeat at Anfield on Tuesday.
Divock Origi goals either side of a brace from substitute Georginio Wijnaldum sealed Liverpool a memorable 4-0 win, putting them through to the Madrid final 4-3 on aggregate as Barcelona were left reeling.
Valverde says Barca struggled with the Reds’ high press and intensity, while the fourth goal from a quick Trent Alexander-Arnold corner caught them napping.
The head coach apologised to their fans as the dust settled on their defeat and claims he must raise his troops as they look to at least complete the domestic double with victory in the Copa del Rey final.
“When you have a battle like we did, you’re going to go through some really tough few days, like all our fans as well,” Valverde said after earlier admitting Liverpool had simply blown his players away.
“You’re going to suffer, the fans will suffer as well. That’s what it is like.
“You have to go through this penitence and we’ve not got long to go until the end of the league season.
“We’ve got the cup still to fight for and we’ve got to really finish the season well on a high after this.
“But at the moment we’re blown away, it’s terrible.”
Busquets offers thoughs on crushing Liverpool defeat
Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets believes that his side were simply outplayed by Liverpool, and cut a whimsical figure as he reflected on their elimination.
“They were better than us,” he conceded.
“They attacked the game, and even though we had chances, it was not to be.”
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