Roma vs Barcelona: Owen blames Messi, Suarez for Champions League exit

"A week ago we scored four goals with the same line-up", Valverde said.

"This is because people are not jumping; they are dancing". But then his research group started to notice some interesting features that prompted genuine inquiry.

"You could argue that Roma aren't at the highest level".

Barca were 4-0 down from the first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie.

Perhaps that is too strong.

What made I Giallorossi's victory even more notable was the fact that the Blaugrana, famed for their 'tiki-taka', were forced into playing a direct style of football, as the desperation to break down the Serie A side became evident as the game progressed in the second-half.

But Roma's triumph, ensuring Barca's third straight quarter-final exit in Europe, should at least serve as a wake-up call, reinforcing the need for changes in the summer. He would need to be replaced or, more likely, properly succeeded by Philippe Coutinho'.

Valverde bore the brunt of criticism in the media.

Samuel Umtiti's future needs to be resolved, as stalling contract talks have affected his form, and there is room for improvement at right back, where Sergi Roberto has not convinced.

But Valverde must also acknowledge a lack of flexibility, born largely out of his own tactics.

"They played their game and we did not know how to react", Busquets said.

However, Roma had other ideas and produced a tactical masterclass to create one of the most historic Champions League evenings in Italian history. Barca are on the cusp of breaking Real Sociedad's 1980 record of 38 unbeaten league games, set in a run that stretched across two seasons. "One is to do with engineering, knowing things about how structures and buildings vibrate due to different movements of people".

"You have to endure the pain - there will be some tough days", Valverde said.

  • Ricardo Clara