WHILE the British press was unanimous in its praise for Chelsea’s heroics in Barcelona, Spanish media swung from bemoaning the holders’ bad luck to pondering whether coach Pep Guardiola’s time might be up.
The Catalan press mixed wailing with defiance, with Sport calling the Blues’ 3-2 aggregate victory “unjust, cruel, horrible, unmerited”, adding: “Any adjective is not enough to define Barca’s incredible elimination at the hands of Chelsea.”
Barcelona-based El Mundo Deportivo’s front page featured an incongruously triumphant picture of Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez and Andres Iniesta and a headline that proclaimed: “Being a Barca fan is the best there is”.
Inevitably, there was little sympathy from the Madrid press, with the best-selling Marca, whose editorial trumpeted “CHAMPIONS are eliminated by 10 MEN OF CHELSEA” and reflected on “the three darkest days of the Guardiola era”.
AS portrayed Barca as architects of their own downfall, writing: “The main culprit is not chance, but the lack of inspiration, freshness and the magic needed to get glory. Everything depended on the success of the Argentine [Messi], who has become tired of luck towards the end of the season.”