Messi, Valverde under attack in Spain

Reflecting afterwards, Spain worldwide midfielder Busquets told reporters: "Probably [the worst defeat of my career] because the way it was, and the result we had in the first game, with a good season we are having".

"That is a possibility and for that reason it hurts even more", the 33-year-old midfielder told Marca.

"Without a doubt it's a painful defeat, we have ended up getting knocked out but we have to keep going".

The Spaniards were simply outplayed and overpowered by a determined Roma side, with goals from Edin Dzeko (a constant thorn in the side of Gerard Pique) and Daniele De Rossi preceding Kostas Manolas' dramatic victor in the 82nd minute. With all due respect to them, we gave Barcelona a lesson in tactics.

"We still have important objectives ahead of us, but to win any trophy is hard", Valverde said.

Athletic Club have conceded just nine goals at San Mames all season, where Saturday evening's visitors Deportivo La Coruña must score for a first time in six away trips if they are to get the three points they require in their battle against the drop.

"The coach is the one who has to take responsibility", he added.

'We looked at the game in the first leg... we've watched Barcelona for a number of months now and I'm not sure - even though they haven't conceded many - I'm not sure you cannot concede when you've got two strikers that don't put anything into defending. "[The coach] chooses the team, the changes, he plans the game, the season.so I am absolutely responsible for everything".

Ernesto Valverde's side then travel to Celta Vigo in midweek as they look to wrap up the title, and play Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final on April 21.

"But we have to focus on the competitions we have left". "I feel bad for the fans".

Looking ahead to the future, Hunter identified Barcelona's transfer strategy as the possible flaw in their system whereas Real Madrid have thrived in their dealings. "We played perfectly and performed right from the start to the last minute".

"Everyone is now affected by this but we need to bounce back because we have two competitions that we want to win".

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