The former Barcelona assistant manager to Ernesto Valverde, Jon Aspiazu, has admitted that the Spanish outfit was a little fearful going into the second leg of the Champions League tie with Liverpool in 2019.
The Reds famously recovered from a 3-0 loss at the Camp Nou to dismantle the Catalans in an iconic 4-0 thrashing at Anfield, which took Jurgen Klopp’s men to a second UCL final in a row.
❗️Jon Aspiazu who was Enersto Valverde’s assistant manager during the time he was managing Barcelona has admitted that when coming to Anfield for the second leg in the CL the technical staff was afraid of many things, while their players showed a bit of arrogance. [@SERCatalunya] pic.twitter.com/XOmGKOlNvB
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) January 14, 2021
It’s a stark revelation from the Spaniard, though not entirely surprising considering the consequences of such a humbling, with Barcelona’s players reportedly struggling to come to terms with the result.
A club the size of the La Liga giant does of course arguably warrant some level of arrogance, though it was apparent that Valverde’s men were totally caught unawares by a dominant Liverpool display in the European semi-final two seasons ago.
The Champions League comeback was a particularly glaring reminder for football’s biggest sides that prior successes mean nothing going forward – a fact of life the Reds have had to experience after back-to-back trophy wins.
Klopp faces a difficult task ahead, as he hopes to help the club retain their Premier League title, and we’d imagine that the German won’t let Liverpool approach the European campaign with the same arrogance that cost Barcelona dearly in 2019.
Having got used to trophies again, we’d love to see the side recover their title-winning form as we head into the second-half of the season.