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BARCELONA

Coutinho, Busquets and Jordi Alba, singled out after Barça debacle

Coutinho, Busquets and Jordi Alba, singled out after Barça debacle

It appears that the Brazilian player's brief time at Barcelona has come to an end with the midfielder being singled out as one of the main reasons for the Anfield loss.

Now that the dust has settled on Barcelona's Champions League exit at Anfield, the initial players being singled out as being instrumental in the defeat by many observers are Coutinho, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets. The Brazilian has, for some time now been under the microscope and recently incurred the wrath of the Camp Nou faithful after his cupped-ear goal celebration as part of the 3-0 win over Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-final. Last night's performance from Coutinho was unacceptable for a club competing in the Champions League semi-final with the Brazilian player touching the ball just 18 times and being virtually anonymous in the 60' minutes he was on the Anfield pitch. He was whistled upon being substituted for Semedo on the hour mark and if there was any doubt surrounding his future at the club, his abject display on Tuesday will surely have been the final nail in the coffin. Barça now face an arduos task of finding a buyer for the player who cost the Catalan club 120 million euro (plus 40 in variables).

Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho

Onslaught

There were other players in the Barça shirt on the Anfield pitch who have also been singled out for the dismal display with the normally reliable Sergio Busquets delivering a disappointing shift in midfield. The blistering pace of the game seemed to overwhelm 30-year-old who is normally ably assisted by Rakitic and Vidal to cover the ground that the Sabadell born player can no longer reach and the Liverpool midfield surged by the hapless Busquets on at least six occasions. The Spanish international has been one of the Catalan sides most consistently solid performers over the past decade but as time moves on, the inability of Busquets to stem the onslaught of red shirts last night will weigh on his shoulders for time to come.

Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second LegLIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Fabinho of Liverpool celebrates to the crowd after his team mate Divock Origi has scored the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Liverpool and Barcelona at Anfield on May 07, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Concentration

If Busquets reflects the passing of time at Barça, Jordi Alba's performance epitomised a serious lack of concentration coupled with poor decision making. The defender was at fault in both of Liverpool's opening two goals on a night where Shaqiri tormented the Spanish international. Alba has been excellent for Barcelona this season and his surges forward always a sources of danger for any opponent but what was noticeable at Anfield was his lack of precision with his distribution, normally such a pivotal department of his game.