A harsh 3-0 defeat at the hands of Barcelona left Liverpool’s European dreams on the ropes, and fans had mixed emotions at full-time.
Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool
Champions League Semi-Final First Leg, Nou Camp
May 1, 2019
Goals: Suarez 26′, Messi 75′, 82′
The Reds’ European campaign continued with a trip to Barcelona on Wednesday, and despite performing admirably Liverpool were punished for their missed chances in front of goal.
Jurgen Klopp‘s men were not without opportunities to hit the scoreboard in the first half, but it was ex-Red Luis Suarez who nudged his side into the lead with a clinical finish.
The Reds returned from the interval the dominant side but were again left to lament a lack of ruthlessness in the final third as a Lionel Messi double established a comfortable buffer for the Spanish outfit.
The result leaves Liverpool with a three goal deficit to overturn at Anfield.
Wijnaldum’s surprise inclusion up front left a lot to be desired…
Gini Wijnaldum's flexibility is remarkable. He started off as a centre-back at 7. At Under-11, he was playing as a right-back before being shifted into midfield. Then operated as a winger, before becoming a No. 10. Has been a No.8 and the holder for #LFC – and a false 9 today!
— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) May 1, 2019
Wijnaldum experiment not really working in attack, and Liverpool midfield have struggled since Keita's exit.
— James Nalton (@JDNalton) May 1, 2019
If we had Suarez playing as our 9 rather than Wijnaldum starting in that position we definitely win this game. Huge miss not having Bobby available to start.
— Taintless Red (@TaintlessRed) May 1, 2019
“Wijnaldum looks lost in this formation to be honest.”
– Deadlock on the forums.
Not convinced Wijnaldum is a striker…
— Jack Lusby (@jacklusby_) May 1, 2019
Gini at CF hasn't exactly been a revelation.
— Liverpool Offside (@LFCOffside) May 1, 2019
Plenty bemoaned the Reds’ lack of a clinical edge in the final third…
Liverpool getting a taste of what it’s like to face an absolutely ruthless side – a change from being that ruthless side for large parts of the season. Salah wasn’t ruthless with that last attempt, should have scored.
— Jim Boardman (@JimBoardman) May 1, 2019
We’ve missed three sitters. Can’t do that.
— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) May 1, 2019
This is a bit annoying for #LFC. They are playing well, they're happy to take the game to Barcelona, the home side clearly are wary of the threat on the break and pace of Klopp's side, but the final pass and finish is lacking.
— Ian Doyle (@IanDoyleSport) May 1, 2019
Well that was infuriating. Largely fine up until anywhere close to the penalty box. Doing really well at 1-0 down, yet could have ended up at 4-0.
Big difference: LFC should have scored 2, scored 0. FCB had two good chances, scored 3.
— Karl Matchett (@karlmatchett) May 1, 2019
“We are not as clinical as them in front of goal. We just struggled to make all the chances we worked hard to open up count.”
– lfc.eddie on the forums.
No need to over analyse that. Never took our chances, played seriously well in parts without getting any reward. Gutted. Big, big ask now.
— the unbearables (@UTFR92) May 1, 2019
Clinical vs Wasteful tonight. Barcelona absolutely impeccable in front of goal despite limited chances. Liverpool dominant in stages but Mane’s first-half miss and Salah’s in the second-half proving fatal. Had to capitalise when they were on top.
— Leanne Prescott (@_lfcleanne) May 1, 2019
Matip’s standout performance, however, drew praise from fans…
Matip has quietly become imperious.
— Erin Mc (@ErinNYC75) May 1, 2019
Matip has been outstanding.
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) May 1, 2019
Joel Matip having the game of his life in the Nou Camp
— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) May 1, 2019
“Matip completely shut Suarez down. Beautiful play.”
– Neukolln on the forums.
Joel Matip is having one hell of a game.
— Joanna Durkan (@JoannaDurkan_) May 1, 2019
But, in the end it was Messi’s brilliance which left many in awe…
That's Messi for you.
— D E E P D A S T A R D L Y (@srijandeep) May 1, 2019
And that’s the end of that chapter.
What a goal though, bloody hell.
— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) May 1, 2019
— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) May 1, 2019
Sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do. Football is a cruel, cruel game.
Imagine thinking there’s been anyone better than that bloke.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) May 1, 2019
“Messi is the best player in the history of the game by a country mile. He’s created everything they have done tonight. There’s no way to stop him, not even a superb team as ours.”
– trygve76 on the forums.
Well I always wondered what it would be like to be personally victimized by Leo Messi.
Answer: Not fun.
— Scott Stewart (@ImScottStewart) May 1, 2019
Where to even begin but talking about Lionel Messi. I don’t know what to say anymore, he’s impossible to describe, we’ve run out of things to say about his greatness as a footballer long ago.
— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) May 1, 2019
Most annoying part is, Liverpool didn’t play badly. Chances weren’t taken, but several were made. Messi was nullified in periods, but the freekick was out of this world. There won’t be another of his kind that good in this lifetime.. and that’s what you’re up against. #LFC #FCB
— Danny Gallagher (@Danny7Gallagher) May 1, 2019
Despite the result, there remains some optimism of a turnaround at Anfield…
Odds against us but you know what they were in Istanbul
Hit them hard first half who knows
Roma away last year will be in their minds if we can score early
— Sean Rogers (@Sean_Rogers) May 1, 2019
Champions League feels like it’s been a free hit this season. Next Tuesday is a total free hit. Let’s go full on heavy metal at Anfield and if we get trounced so be it. Get to 2-0 it gets tasty. Nothing to lose and #LFC do love the odds stacked against them.
— Si Steers (@sisteers) May 1, 2019
“Shame, but we’ll destroy them at home.”
– ptt on the forums.
After playing well LFC all over the place at the end trying to chase an away goal. Back to Anfield with a mountain to climb. A performance that deserved more but that’s football. Messi ????
— keith costigan (@KeithCostigan) May 1, 2019
“Still, let’s not forget that Barcelona threw away a three-goal first leg lead against Roma last year.
We are a better side than Roma.
We can still win this.
We are Liverpool.”
– cynicaloldgit on the forums.
One of the hardest results I’ve had to take for a long time.
Liverpool the better side for long periods. Genuinely proud of the performance yet we lose 0-3.
— Jamie Holme (@JamieHolme) May 1, 2019