Valverde should take blame for Barcelona’s Copa del Rey humiliation

SEVILLE, Spain — Barcelona missed the possibility to finish the season with the double as they went right down to a shock 2-1 defeat in opposition to Valencia within the Copa del Rey closing on Saturday on the Benito Villamarin. The end result will result in extra questions on Ernesto Valverde’s future, regardless of the backing he acquired from Lionel Messi and different gamers forward of this sport.

Valencia raced right into a two-goal lead within the first half via strikes from Kevin Gameiro and Rodrigo, whereas Barca rallied after the break and pulled a objective again via Messi however have been unable to finish the comeback as they missed out on the possibility to win the cup for a historic fifth successive yr. Valencia, as a substitute, win their first trophy since 2008.

Positives

There weren’t many. Malcom’s affect off the bench was one. Some can also recommend dropping was a constructive: there’s an argument that Messi’s brilliance has papered over the cracks for too lengthy now. This loss, which comes so quickly after the humiliating Champions League collapse at Liverpool, may properly result in a summer time shake up.

Negatives

The primary-half efficiency was horrid. Messi mentioned on Friday that it isn’t acceptable for this Barca group to fail to compete with their opponent however that is precisely what occurred right here. There was an extended listing of dangerous performances: Semedo, Arthur, Ivan Rakitic, Philippe Coutinho. Not many gamers will escape criticism after this.

Supervisor Score out of 10

four — Valverde acquired it incorrect along with his preliminary lineup as soon as once more, as he did in Rome final yr and at Anfield earlier this month. He left Messi remoted in assault and there was no tempo. He did react at half-time but it surely was too late. Questions will now flood in surrounding his future.

Participant rankings (1-10; 10=greatest. Gamers launched after 70 minutes get no score)

GK Jasper Cillessen, 6 — Might do little about both of the Valencia objectives however merely would not supply the presence again there that Marc-Andre ter Stegen does. This may increasingly properly have been Cillessen’s final sport for the membership forward of a summer time transfer.

DF Nelson Semedo, four — Recovered from a knock to the pinnacle final weekend however solely lasted the primary half. The opening objective got here down his flank and he did not do sufficient to trace Rodrigo’s run for Valencia’s second. Paid the value by being eliminated by Valverde at half-time.

DF Gerard Pique, 6 — One of many few Barca gamers that did appear to play with actual coronary heart. Made a superb goal-line clearance from Rodrigo and a few different key interventions on the again. Additionally seemed to drive ahead with the ball every time attainable.

DF Clement Lenglet, 5 — A second successive cup closing defeat after forming a part of the Sevilla aspect which was drubbed by Barca final season. Began the night with a misplaced go, was spared a Valencia objective by Pique, however struggled to seek out his greatest soccer from then on.

DF Jordi Alba, 5 — The left-back made his 300th look for the Catalans but it surely was a milestone to neglect. For some purpose, he insisted on crossing the ball regardless of Barca’s lack of presence within the field. Was additionally roasted for tempo by Soler for the second Valencia objective.

Mixed with Barca’s Champions League exit, the Copa del Rey loss could have the vultures circling for Ernesto Valverde.¬†Getty

MF Sergio Busquets, 6 — The decide of the Barca midfield, which hasn’t occurred usually this season. Made some key interceptions and began some respectable strikes. Was booked for a late problem on Rodrigo simply outdoors the field.

MF Ivan Rakitic, 5 — Kicked some water bottles when he was taken off within the second half out of frustration at being unable to ship on the pitch. Save a unfastened shot straight at Jaume simply earlier than the break, he didn’t supply sufficient going ahead.

MF Arthur Melo, four — Did not do sufficient to justify his choice forward of Arturo Vidal. Was too gradual and predictable within the closing third having simply returned from an damage and was substituted after 45 minutes.

FW Sergi Roberto, 5 — Did not supply sufficient safety for Semedo within the first half earlier than dropping again to right-back within the second half, the place he gave the ball away and struggled to maintain his place.

FW Lionel Messi, 7 — Utterly let down by his teammates. Was a menace each time he acquired the ball however Valencia have been usually in a position to deal to him as a result of lack of a presence elsewhere in assault. Regardless of that, nonetheless compelled Jaume into a number of saves, hit the publish with after a tremendous solo run and strike, after which acquired the objective which gave Barca life contained in the final 20 minutes.

FW Philippe Coutinho, four — One other limp efficiency in assault. A few efforts have been both deflected or simply saved as he failed to finish a disappointing season on a excessive.

Substitutes

FW Malcom, 7 — Made constructive affect off the bench on the break. Ran at Valencia, received free kicks in harmful areas and arrange probabilities for Pique and Messi. Hasn’t had sufficient probabilities this season.

MF Arturo Vidal, 6 — Did not supply his greatest efficiency however added one thing Barca had been missing: a presence within the field. Was a prepared runner between the traces however missed the most effective likelihood which fell his method.

MF Carles Alena, NR — Got here on for the ultimate 15 minutes instead of Rakitic to supply a extra attacking menace from midfield.

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