AS Roma were powerless to stop Barcelona in their 6-1 drubbing on Tuesday, coach Rudi Garcia said as he contemplated a second painful lesson against one of Europe's elite sides in two seasons.
Roma get that sinking feeling again after Barcelona drubbing
"I can't blame the players for anything, aside from not using the ball better and scoring a few goals in the opening 45. Winning tonight was an impossible task."
Garcia has led his side to two successive second-placed finishes in Serie A but had already discovered in last season's 7-1 defeat at home to Bayern Munich how far there is to go between them and Europe's best.
Brutally honest, the Frenchman admitted his team were powerless to stop the rampant Catalans.
"We needed a miracle to win and we didn't get one," he told reporters. "A team that beats Real Madrid 4-0 and is playing at top form is an unbeatable machine. They are out of this world and you can't play against them right now."
"Barcelona have fantastic players and scored some great goals. (Luis) Suarez's strike is a good example - you can't do anything about that.
"I'm not worried at all, obviously we don't like to lose in this fashion, but tonight's defeat has nothing to do with the game against Bayern Munich last year.
"We arrived in Barcelona fully aware of the task facing us. Even if Edin Dzeko had taken that chance in the first half, we still would have lost."
Garcia had said on the eve of the game that "nobody is invincible" but was forced to change his tune after seeing his team hopelessly outplayed.
"Perhaps we could have scored early on and been a bit tighter, but we tried everything," he mused.
"We tried to press them quickly and that led to Dzeko's chance after the corner. Then we tried to shut up shop, but even though we had 11 men behind the ball we still conceded exactly the same kind of goal.
"Once again, even if Edin had scored, we would have lost all the same. We could have made better use of the ball in the first half and we gave it away too softly.
The only good news for Garcia came before kickoff when rivals Bayer Leverkusen were held to a draw at BATE Borisov, meaning that a win at home to BATE in their final game will see Roma to the last sixteen.
"Ultimately we need to concentrate on winning against Atalanta in Serie A and then against Borisov to qualify in the Champions League," he said.
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