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Coach Valverde Faces Fans' Ire as Barcelona Stumble in Copa del Rey Final vs Valencia

Ernesto Valverde was heavily criticised by fans on social media as Barcelona lost to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final.

News18 Sports

Updated:May 26, 2019, 9:22 AM IST
Coach Valverde Faces Fans' Ire as Barcelona Stumble in Copa del Rey Final vs Valencia
Ernesto Valverde was defended by Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Till May 8, 2019, Barcelona were having a fabulous season. They had won the La Liga and had their sight on another treble with the Champions League and Copa del Rey very much in control. Things have crumbled quite spectacularly since then though.

Liverpool stunned Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final with a 4-0 win at Anfield on May 8 despite the Catalans leading 3-0 in the tie after the Camp Nou leg.

Still dealing with the shocker, Barcelona needed the Copa del Rey final victory to soothe some pain. However, Valencia crushed their dreams and induced a disastrous end to their campaign.

Lionel Messi had scored in the Champions League semi-final first leg. He found the back of the net once in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday as well but nothing could salvage Barcelona's campaign.

Now with only the La Liga trophy, Barcelona's season will be considered somewhat a failure with their inability to win at least a second trophy.

On Saturday eve after Barcelona lost the Copa del Rey final to Valencia, the Catalan fans made their displeasure with club manager Ernesto Valverde known.

Fans were extremely unhappy with the tactics that Valverde used against Valencia and blamed him for the club's loss.

Winger Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveira was the major point of discussion as he started on the bench while defensive midfielder Sergi Roberto was made to play on the wings.

Barcelona did not have the services of Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele with both of them out injured but Valverde, instead of throwing Malcom in the mix, chose to play Roberto out of his normal position.

Apart from the Malcom situation, even attacking midfielder Arturo Vidal did not make it to the starting line-up while Croatian playmaker Ivan Rakitic had an off-colour day.

The team harmony suffered and Valencia made the most of it early on by scoring two goals. It was a difficult road back for Barcelona from there and even though Messi found the back of the net once in the 73rd minute, Barcelona could stage a comeback.

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