Barcelona's European failure sparks talk of demise

By Paul Logothetis

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, April 25 2012 6:01 a.m. MDT

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, second right, Andres Iniesta, right, Alexis Sanchez from Chile, second left, and Sergio Busquets, left, gesture during a Champions League second leg semifinal soccer match against Chelsea at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Chelsea drew 2-2 with Barcelona to win the match 3-2 on aggregate.

Andres Kudacki, Associated Press

BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona awoke Wednesday to questions of whether the demise of one of football's all-time greatest clubs had begun.

After winning two of the last three Champions League titles, defending champion Barcelona was eliminated from the competition Tuesday following a 2-2 draw with 10-man Chelsea in the second leg of the semifinals.

While Barcelona's best attributes of possession, quick-touch passing and overall shots were on show, the club failed to score enough goals to reach yet another European Cup final.

And maybe worse, the exit comes only four days after losing to Real Madrid and essentially dropping out of contention for the Spanish league title.

With coach Pep Guardiola's future to be determined in the coming days, newspaper La Vanguard summed up the mood in the Catalan capital with its headline "Funeral at the Camp Nou."

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