It’s hard not to think that Barcelona’s 4-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League three years ago has contributed somewhat to their demise.
Of course, the club’s management of their finances has been the biggest problem. It’s what led to the departure of Lionel Messi last year, after all.
But that night at Anfield – May 7, 2019 – was always going to be difficult to recover from, and so it’s proved.
Barcelona were 90 minutes away from a final against Tottenham Hotspur that they would have expected to win. They collected four points against the Premier League side in the group stage, after all.
But a collapse of truly historic proportions paved the way for a lengthy period of heartache in the city.
Liverpool overturned 3-0 deficit
Barcelona entered the return leg of their semi-final meeting against Liverpool with a 3-0 advantage.
Divock Origi scored an early goal for the Reds but knowing that Liverpool’s chances would be significantly harmed with just one goal, Barcelona still would have felt comfortable.
However, three more goals, ending with Origi’s strike from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner in the 79th minute, would go on to stun Messi and co. and knock them out of the competition.
“Corner taken quickly… Origi!”
Was this moment the beginning of the end for Valverde at Barcelona? 📉pic.twitter.com/guZf2yQKP0
— GOAL (@goal) January 14, 2020
Footage inside Barca’s dressing room
Unfortunately for Barcelona’s players – and to the benefit of everyone else – the club were participating in a documentary that followed them throughout the 2018/19 campaign.
It meant there were cameras inside the dressing room at full-time of the Liverpool defeat, and the footage was remarkable.
Silence fills the room as the players sit shellshocked at what’s just happened.
Footage from Barcelona’s dressing room at Anfield after they let a 3-0 lead slip in the Champions League against Liverpool! pic.twitter.com/Wd428HhCzG
— Football Stands (@TheFootyStands) November 30, 2019
Valverde: We paid for our weakness
Months after the defeat, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde spoke about the impact that it had on his players.
“At Anfield, we had chances but they scored early on and psychologically we started worrying that what happened in Rome might happen again,” he said, per Marca.
“There was a moment of weakness and we paid for it. It was one of the toughest moments of the year.”