Barcelona vs Liverpool: Key takeaways from the Champions League encounter
Barcelona showed why they are a step ahead of the rest in Europe after decimating a spirited Liverpool 3-0 in the semi-finals first leg of the UEFA Champions League 2018-19.
Liverpool have work to do now.
Here are the key takeaways.
Messi on another level as he determines the tie
Prior to the match, Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk had stated that his side will defend as a team to stop Messi rather than the one versus one tactic.
But Messi being the GOAT, was too smart for Liverpool's defense.
His instincts allowed him to net the first goal after the ball deflected off the bar.
A 25-yard stunner then breached past Alisson.
A much improved show from Barcelona's defensive line
Barca were resolute at the back after being disjointed at times against Manchester United.
Ernesto Valverde was tactically more sound.
It was always going to be a test against a dazzling Liverpool front three, but credit to Barcelona's defense for standing tall and absorbing the pressure.
Jordi Alba's perfect cross for Luis Suarez for the opener also showed the threat Barca's full-backs carry.
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Liverpool fail to capitalize on their moments
Liverpool had their moments in this pulsating tie, but they failed to take them.
That's where the difference lied between Barca and the Reds.
Liverpool's finest moments came after the first half, where Ter Stegen produced two excellent saves to deny James Milner and Mohamed Salah.
Besides that, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Salah missed clear-cut chances.
They will be absolutely gutted.
Champions League 2018-19
UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League 2018-19
Captain Lionel Messi
Virgil van Dijk
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