Barca struggles, Henderson’s “captain’s performance” & great respect shown – The post-match view from Barcelona

8 May 2019

Liverpool produced one of their all-time great victories in dispatching of Barcelona, but where did it all go wrong for the visitors?


The Reds were sensational at Anfield, reaching consecutive Champions League finals after a stunning 4-0 win over Ernesto Valvede’s side.

They overturned a 3-0 deficit from the first leg in style, with Divock Origi and Gini Wijnaldum both scoring twice on a balmy evening on Merseyside.

It was a result that very few saw coming, but in truth, Liverpool deserved to progress over the two sets of 90 minutes.

After the game, we spoke to Jason Pettigrove (@jasonpettigrove), Content Editor for Barcelona, to get to the bottom of what exactly took place at Anfield.

 

Well, what did you make of that? Are you as speechless as all of us?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 7, 2019: Liverpool's Divock Origi celebrates scoring the fourth goal with team-mates during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There’s not really a lot I can say about that Barcelona performance!

From a supporter perspective, a few of us felt that Ousmane Dembele’s miss in the first leg might come back to haunt us, but with the greatest respect, we shouldn’t be losing 4-0 when two of your best attackers are out.

Full credit to Liverpool, though, they did everything right on the night.

 

Where do you think the game was won by Liverpool? And where did Barcelona under-perform most?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 7, 2019: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum (L) celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Collectively, Barca were poor.

Once the first goal went in you could sense a nervousness about the defence and it was exposed in the second half.

Liverpool won the game in midfield, in my opinion.

Jordan Henderson was excellent, producing a real captain’s performance. He was often the conduit between defence and attack, and drove Liverpool forward at every opportunity.

 

Who stood out as your Man of the Match?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 7, 2019: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates after the 4-0 victory (4-3 on aggregate) over FC Barcelona after the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As above.

I know the likes of Virgil van Dijk will get credit for keeping Lionel Messi quiet, and Divock Origi will also for proving a handful, but Henderson was head and shoulders above everyone for me.

 

This was your first Anfield visit in 20 years – how was the experience as a whole?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 7, 2019: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson leads his team out before the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As expected – brilliant (apart from the result).

Liverpudlians are some of the nicest, most genuine people you could meet, with a real passion for their football.

I loved mingling and chatting with everyone before and after the game – it was great to share that mutual respect with no hint of trouble.

 

And how has the city changed since you were last here?

Like a lot of cities… more built up, a lot more people, but a bit more modern than I recall.

 

Tell us about the atmosphere at Anfield, particularly at full-time…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 7, 2019: Liverpool players celebrate after the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0 (4-3 on aggregate). Mohamed Salah, manager Jürgen Klopp, Virgil van Dijk, James Milner. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In the Barca end it was pretty funereal and utter bedlam in your Main Stand.

I’m glad we had the good grace to give Liverpool players and fans the round of applause they deserved – it’s important to lose gracefully and admit you lost to the better team on the night.

The two-mile walk back into the centre was long but there was no hint of animosity. Lots of supporters were shaking my hand and wishing Barca luck for the future.

That’s football as it should be.

 

Finally, will Liverpool go on and win the Champions League now?

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (left), manager Jurgen Klopp (centre) and Virgil van Dijk celebrate after the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, second leg match at Anfield, Liverpool.

I think they will take some stopping, especially with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino returning.

Should you lose the Premier League title race, the Champions League would be a fine consolation prize.

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