Liverpool lost 3-0 away to Barcelona on Wednesday night, and while the performance was actually good for large periods, individuals struggled at times.
The Reds faced one of their biggest tests of the season in the Champions League semi-final first leg and it proved to be a galling evening in Catalonia.
A promising start was ruined when former Reds striker Luis Suarez fired the hosts in front, only for Jurgen Klopp‘s side to dominate early in the second half.
Lionel Messi then decided to show why he is regarded as the best footballer in history, with the Argentine scoring a quickfire brace including an outrageous free-kick.
Liverpool could actually have conceded more late on as they grew tired, but poor finishing let them down badly at the other end.
It was a bitterly disappointing night, leaving the Reds on the verge of elimination, with their greatest-ever Anfield European night required next Tuesday.
Klopp made a huge call with his starting lineup, once it was decided Roberto Firmino was only fit enough for the substitutes’ bench.
Gini Wijnaldum (5.2) led the line as a ‘false nine’ in a 4-3-3 formation, but he was Liverpool’s lowest-rated player at Camp Nou.
This is Anfield’s Joel Rabinowitz felt the Dutchman “neither possessed the speed or natural attacking instinct to cause Barcelona’s defence any real problems.”
Meanwhile, Sam Dean from the Telegraph thought Wijnaldum “never seemed fully comfortable” with the job he was being asked to do.
The youngster struggled, however, and the Echo‘s Ian Doyle noted that he was “exposed at times” up against Jordi Alba and ex-Liverpool man Philippe Coutinho.
The Cameroonian received great praise for his display, with the Mirror‘s David Maddock declaring that he “did little wrong all night.”
Robertson barely ever produces a poor showing and he outlined why he is one of the best in Europe in his position, holding his own in comparison to the equally excellent Alba at left-back for Barca.
Doyle praised the Scot for being “so important at both ends of the pitch” and FotMob revealed that he won five duels, made five ball recoveries and was successful in all four of his tackles.
Next up for Liverpool is a trip to Newcastle on Saturday night, as the Reds come up against former manager Rafa Benitez.
Only a win will do for Klopp’s men, taking them back ahead of Man City by two points, ahead of the champions’ visit of Leicester on Monday evening.