Barcelona supporters would rather face Real Madrid in Champions League semi-finals than final

Barcelona are heading back into the Champions League semi-finals and their supporters have one thing very clear – if they are going to face Real Madrid, then let it be over two legs rather than in Kiev on May 26 in the final.

Still inherently pessimistic, despite winning four European Cups in the last 12 years, Barca fans have all had the dark visions of a Ukraine final in which Real Madrid make it a hat-trick of Champions Leagues at their expense.

They don’t want to run the risk – much better over two legs, where they believe their quality would tell.

Looking at his tired players on Wednesday night Ernesto Valverde might not agree.

The Barca coach admitted to Sportsmail after the game that there were players in his squad who would benefit from a rest but that ‘rotation was not an option’ at this stage of the season.

Sergio Busquets came back from a fractured foot and needed pain-killing injections to play the game. He asked to come off just after the hour mark.

Gerard Pique has been troubled by a knee problem and missed training sessions with a virus during international week.