LIONEL MESSI’s poor performance against Roma was the reason Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League.
That’s according to John Barnes who saw Roma overturn a 4-1 deficit to go through to the last four on away goals.
Goals from Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas secured a 3-0 win for the Serie A side to send Barca tumbling out of the competition.
It means the La Liga leaders wait to get their hands back on the trophy continues having last tasted success in 2015.
And former Liverpool player Barnes believes Messi has such an impact on Barcelona that when the Argentinian doesn’t perform, neither can his team mates.
“The problem Barcelona have is when you have a player like Messi who dominates so much, if he doesn’t perform the others don’t show their worth,” Barnes told beIN Sports.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if when Messi doesn’t play then you can see the other players coming to the fore.
“When Messi plays, he completely dominates. But when he doesn’t perform the rest of the players, who are very good, they also don’t perform.”
Lionel Messi found the net six times in the Champions League this season but failed to score in either leg against Roma.
It’s a different story in La Liga where the 30-year-old has 29 goals as well as 12 assists.
And while Barnes pointed the finger at Messi, the Argentinian had another view on reason for the defeat.
Spanish outlet Diario Gol say Messi was fuming at Manchester United target Samuel Umtiti at half time and believed his mind was not on the Roma match.
Instead, he supposedly berated Umtiti for lacking focus on the biggest night of their season.