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5 most disappointing individual performances in the quarterfinals of the Champions League 2017-18

AS Roma v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg
Barcelona got a taste of their own medicine in Rome

What an unbelievable last couple of days in European football history!

The first leg was immensely intriguing with a number of results going the way almost everyone had expected. We had a few special moments: that goal from Ronaldo in Turin or the dismantling of England's champions' elect at the hands of a resurgent Liverpool.

All that action meant that we could go on and write up the best performers in the first leg of the quarters, pipping them to be the show-stealers for the reverse fixtures.

Little did we know that the second leg would end up being one of the most memorable for some time, and for some time to come.

Here, we take a look at five performances that failed to live up to the billing or the build-up surrounding the players and, as a result, dearly cost their sides' chances at winning the most elite competition in Europe.


#5 Jesus Navas

Sevilla FC v Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One
The Sevilla man was unfortunate to see an own-goal go down against his name

The former Manchester City man has settled down back where he always belonged - Seville.

The home crowd has taken to him like they did when was with them initially, and appreciates the work that the winger does for the side.

In the tie against Bayern though, the Spaniard had somewhat of a forgettable outing in the first leg as he put one past his own keeper to get Bayern level on the night and hand them an all-important away goal.

Sevilla were by far the more dominant side on the night and failed to put away some really presentable opportunities which might've altered the complexion of the game. Jesus Navas along with Sarabia and Muriel, the guilty party.

After doing a job on Jose's United in the previous round, Jesus Navas will be left kicking himself for his, rather unfortunate, contribution to the tie.

He would've been expected to affect the offensive side of things but was more scrutinised for what he did in helping Bayern go through, on the basis of their performance in Seville.

#4 Luis Suarez

FC Barcelona v AS Roma - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One
Where is that golden goal-scoring touch Luis?

The Uruguayan had finally managed to break his duck in the competition in the first leg at the Camp Nou and that is far as his tally for the campaign in Europe is going to increase as his side were dealt a heart-breaking exit at the hands of the Italians on away goals.

The talisman striker was completely sidelined by the heroics of his former Premier League rival - Edin Dzeko. Not only did he score the all-important away goal in Spain, but also got the riveting comeback victory for his side underway with the opener.

Barcelona never really recovered from the initial blow in the second leg and then went on to lose the match and the tie, as well as a shot at the unbeaten treble that had become the talk in all of Europe.

Hardly ever do we come away from a game celebrating a striker form the opposition when Suarez is involved. This, however, is a hard-hitting fact of life now for the goal-scorer and all of Barcelona.

Suarez can finally bring to an end one of the most disappointing campaigns in Europe for the Uruguayan.

#3 Kevin De Bruyne

Liverpool v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg One
The midfielder was terribly overshadowed in the two legs against Liverpool

The Belgian has been in imperious form for almost the entirety of the campaign but has slowly faded away in past month or so - due to the fixture congestion as alleged by the Belgian himself.

De Bruyne raced to the top of the assist charts in Europe after providing around 10 assists in the first half of the campaign. In the league, he was comfortably in the lead after the blistering start to the campaign but has failed to really make his advantage tell ever since.

The City maestro had one of the worst weeks in his short City spell, after losing out on winning the league against United and then getting humiliated at the hands of Liverpool.

To be fair to the Belgian, he did miss out on the match against United in the League but failed to affect proceedings - to the level he is now expected to - against Liverpool as well.

Failing to add to their opening goal in the early exchanges, he along with the rest of his team was then picked apart by Liverpool at the Etihad as well as the Cityzens went down 1-5 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.

#2 Medhi Benatia

The mom
The moment that is likely to haunt the defender for some time...

The former Bayern man had arguably the worst time of all in the quarter-final second leg, as he single-handedly managed to ruin all the good work, on the night and in the competition, by rushing into a rather awkward-looking challenge from behind on Lucas Vazquez.

The referee, Michael Oliver, pointed to the spot and, despite all the pandemonium that followed, it is extremely hard to fault the referee for blowing his whistle in the dying embers of the game.

As much as it would've hurt the rest of the team, the pain will be most felt by the defender who has been religiously taught to reserve all his hatred for the rivals on the night - Real Madrid.

Unfortunately for the Moroccan, it was his fateful error of judgement on the night that cost his current side Juventus and put Real Madrid in the final four of the competition.

#1 Lionel Messi

AS Roma v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg Two
Ballon d'Or all but out of reach now?

How utterly disingenuous the side that has taken Europe by storm this season looked on the green pitch at the Stadio Olimpico.

All that energy spent to try and remain invincible in Europe and the League proved to be too overwhelming for even the superstars in the Barca strip.

Chief among those who were completely decapitated on the night was Barcelona's tormentor-in-chief Lionel Messi.

The horrible run of luck in this particular stage of the competition for the Argentine continued, after he had also failed to score in the 4-1 win in the first leg over Roma. Meanwhile, Ronaldo has scored 15 at the same stage that Messi has struggled to get even one.

A comfortable three-goal lead from the home leg wasn't enough to keep Roma at bay, and the level of appreciation that the superstar commands inherently means that if at any point he fails to deliver then the criticism that is dished out is appropriated accordingly.

Even more so when it comes at such an important juncture of the competition.

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Edited by Raunak J
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