Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool – Messi the difference as reds face uphill battle

Champions League Semi Final 1st Leg
Wednesday 01 May 2019 - 8:00 pm
Nou Camp
Show Match Events
24'↔️ Keïta off, Henderson on
⚽️ Suárez26'
Coutinho off, Semedo on ↔️60'
⚽️ Messi75'
79'↔️ Wijnaldum off, Firmino on
81' Fabinho
⚽️ Messi82'
85'↔️ Milner off, Origi on
Roberto off, Aleñá on ↔️90'
Suárez off, Dembélé on ↔️90'
Possession %
Total Shots
Shots on Target
Shots Blocked
Hide Match Events

Barcelona were clinical in front of goal while Liverpool were not.  Two high quality sides played out the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at the Nou Camp.

The reds suffered an early injury to Naby Keita forcing a reshuffle after a strong start.

And for long periods of the game the reds looked confident and fluid and arguably playing the better football.

With Firmino only fit enough for a place on the bench, Klopp started with Wijnaldum in his place.

Joe Gomez returned to the starting line up in place of Trent Alexander-Arnold - his first start since the end of last year.

The reds started well, with Mane and Robertson in particular causing the Catalans problems.

But midway through the half Luis Suarez scored his first Champions League goal of the season when a great ball was whipped in by Jordi Alba.

As it happened: Barca 3-0 LFC

Liverpool should have responded almost immediately - Jordan Henderson floating the ball through to Sadio Mane who put the ball over on a one on one with the keeper.

It set the tone for the game.

Barcelona enjoyed a brief spell of dominance after Naby Keita went off injured (Henderson on to replace him) but the reds slowly found their feet again and from the second half whistle upper their performance levels.

Second half

The reds saw most of the ball from the whistle.

Milner had a clutch of opportunities including one driving run after a great pass from Salah and dummy by Wijnaldum.

Barcelona were under the cosh and replaced Coutinho with a defender as they switched to a 4-4-2.

Their tactic of hitting the reds on the counter however led to the sucker punch when a ball bounced off Luis Suarez's thigh, on to the crossbar and rebounded perfectly for Messi to bundle over the line.

The Barcelona captain then scored his 600th goal for the Spanish side when he powered in a free kick from 30 yards into the tightest spot in the top corner of the goal.  Unsaveable.

Liverpool are not the first and will not be the last to suffer at the hands of arguably the world's greatest footballer.

The reds couldn't get the vital away goal that would have really given them incentive for the second leg.

Barcelona have taken a huge step towards reaching the final.  Liverpool need to draw on their reserves of the miraculous.

2 comments on
Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool – Messi the difference as reds face uphill battle

  1. To be honest, our players were tense. To compare the performance of Mané against Bayern and yesterday…a chasm. The Messi phenomenon hypnotised our players. It sucked all their abilities and confidence. On the three goals we conceded, Liverpool allowed the ‘don’ts’ you must not permit against Barça. First goal: Suarez alone in the box. 2nd goal: Messi get in the box. 3rd goal: Give a free-kick (By the way, the first one since the beginning). Finally, playing the level we play in the PL is not enough to win the CL, especially against Spanish teams.

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