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Gbenga Okunowo: Barcelona must bounce back after Champions League exit

19:35 EAT 11/04/2018
Lionel Messi Roma Barcelona Champions League
The former Blaugrana defender says Ernesto Valverde’s side must forget about their collapse to AS Roma and should react positively

Former Barcelona defender Gbenga Okunowo has called on the Blaugrana to show their mettle after Tuesday’s Champions League debacle.

After a 4-1 win at Camp Nou, Ernesto Valverde’s men had one foot in the semi-final, but bowed in Rome as strikes from Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas dumped them out of the tournament.

Barcelona are now fighting for two trophies this season, with Sevilla awaiting them in the Copa del Rey final and the former Nigeria international insists that the Catalans must show a positive reaction.

“I’m still worried about how Barcelona conceded three goals and crashed out of the Champions League. That’s still very surprising to me,” Okunowo told Goal.

“I don’t want to think they underrated AS Roma or were too relaxed. They are professionals and knew what was at stake but I think the result is one of those things in football.

“Yesterday is history and everyone should move on from the defeat and plot solution on how to prevent a future occurrence.

“[Lionel] Messi and his teammates must forget about the disappointment and look forward to the league and several games ahead.

“Most of these guys will play in the Fifa World Cup and dwelling on their Champions League ouster is not good for them psychologically.

“No doubt it’s a painful defeat but Barcelona must move on if they hope to bounce back strongly.”

Barca would be hoping to return to winning ways when they face third-placed Valencia in Saturday’s LaLiga clash.