'Nightmare at the Camp Nou': Spanish press react to Barcelona elimination at hands of Chelsea

 

The Spanish press were this morning reflecting on Barcelona's shock exit from the Champions League against Chelsea, pointing out the Catalans' bad luck and the "three darkest days" of coach Pep Guardiola's four-year reign.

The holders looked to be on course to overturn their 1-0 semi-final first-leg deficit when they took a 2-0 lead on the night through Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta, and found themselves playing against 10 men for over 50 minutes following the dismissal of Blues captain John Terry for kneeing Alexis Sanchez.

But Roberto Di Matteo's side grabbed a crucial away goal on the stroke of half-time through Ramires and then, after Barca talisman Lionel Messi had crashed a penalty against the bar and another shot against the post, ensured their progress as Fernando Torres' stoppage-time strike earned the visitors a stunning 3-2 aggregate win.

Madrid-based Marca revelled in Barca's failure, declaring: 'Nightmare at the Camp Nou'. Their editorial elaborated with: 'CHAMPION is eliminated by 10 MEN OF CHELSEA', and 'Barcelona is out of La Liga and the Champions League after the three darkest days of the Guardiola era'.

Real Madrid's 2-1 victory at the home of their arch rivals on Saturday night moved Jose Mourinho's side seven points clear the Primera Division summit with four games remaining.

El Mundo labelled last night's result: 'Mortal blow at the Camp Nou' and questioned: 'Is this the end of the victorious cycle?'

Barcelona-based Sport took a more sympathetic view, headlining: 'Football punishes Barca'.

It read: 'Unjust, cruel, horrible, unmerited. Any adjective is not enough to define the incredible elimination of Barca at the hands of Chelsea. Few times has a team done so much to deserve to reach the Champions League final as that of Guardiola's. And rarely has a rival, with so little, gained that very prize. The fact is that the Blues scored three goals from three chances in 180 minutes. And they advanced to Munich.'

AS went with simply: 'Adios Barcelona'.

It continued: 'An ultra-defensive Chelsea eliminated Barcelona to reach the final in Munich. The English team played with 10 men for 52 minutes. Fernando Torres made it 2-2 on the night. Messi missed a penalty and struck the post.'

The Madrid-based daily also pondered the future of Guardiola, who has guided the club to 13 trophies since taking charge in summer 2008 but has not yet committed himself beyond the end of the campaign as he prefers one-year contracts.

'Pep to speak with the president about the future,' it said, before quoting the 41-year-old's post-match thoughts: "We did not score at the opportune times and we have paid for that. Now, we're thinking about next year. I looked at what we have done wrong to tell the players, and cannot find anything."

Barcelona have won two of the last three Champions League crowns, but El Mundo Deportivo looked back on their other unexpected defeats.

'FC Barcelona lose to Chelsea, as in Bern [1961 final against Benfica] and against Inter [2010 semi-final],' it read.

'HISTORICAL Barca has fallen in the semi-final against Chelsea in a game full of bad luck, in which Messi missed a penalty and hit the post while the English team took advantage of their two chances.'

It also spoke of Guardiola's contract situation alongside a pained-looking image of the coach on the touchline, saying: 'Now turn to take a decision'. It added: 'Pep Guardiola, who lamented the bad luck throughout the tie, has assured that in the coming hours the president will deal with his and [assistant] Tito Vilanova's renewals.'

Madrid's El Pais went with the headline: 'The most tragic monologue of Barcelona', and followed up with 'Barca crash against the Chelsea wall on a fateful night for Messi'.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003