‘Game has tainted the season’ – Messi admits he’s still hugely frustrated with Barcelona loss at Liverpool

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Despite having the chance to secure back-to-back domestic doubles this weekend, Lionel Messi has conceded he’s still hurt by Barcelona’s loss at Liverpool.

The Catalan giants were seemingly in a commanding position as they took a 3-0 lead to Anfield in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie earlier this month.

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However, having failed to learn the lessons from their capitulation against Roma last season, they collapsed again on Merseyside as a 4-0 defeat sent them crashing out of the competition.

Naturally, that is going to be an experience and a disappointment which will be difficult to overcome, and even on the eve of the Copa del Rey final against Valencia, Messi was still thinking about that loss.

“I had a great first season as captain, apart from the Liverpool game. Regrettably, that game has tainted the season,” he is quoted as telling the media by Sky Sports.

“We reacted well, then they [Liverpool] scored the second goal and we didn’t compete, the worst thing is that we didn’t compete. We let them walk all over us.

“We were all thinking about being champions and we were all very disappointed, first for the elimination, second for the manner, third for the fact it happened again.

“Now we have a final, a chance for a trophy, we have the chance to do a double and finish the year well, we have to win it like every final we play in.”

Meanwhile, the Barcelona talisman added that coach Ernesto Valverde wasn’t to blame for the blow, as he placed the responsibility on the players for allowing the same thing to happen again.

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if the Barca hierarchy agree with him when they assess the campaign, as ultimately domestic success is the minimum expectation at the Nou Camp, and the manner in which they have exited the Champions League in consecutive seasons is surely not going to reflect well on the man in charge either.

For now though, the focus has to be on ending the season on a positive note, with Messi looking to add to his sensational tallies of 50 goals and 22 assists in 49 appearances this year having enjoyed another stellar campaign on a personal level.

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