Barcelona slumped to a catastrophic 4-0 defeat in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final at Anfield as Liverpool advance to the final at Madrid.
The home side capitalised on their fiery start to the game through an early goal from Divock Origi. The Belgian forward tucked home the rebound from ter Stegen’s weak parry off Jordan Henderson’s effort. Although the Reds failed to extend their lead in the first-half, their incredible work-ethic and fighting spirit left the Barcelona defence completely rattled.
It was evident in Barcelona’s nervy start to the second half, with Gerard Pique almost gifting Sadio Mane the second goal. But, a remarkable cameo from substitute Georginio Wijnaldum levelled the aggregate score within the hour-mark. The Dutchman scored twice in quick succession before Divock Origi’s 79th-minute strike gave Liverpool the lead in the overall fixture.
It was a nervy last ten minutes for both the teams. But Barcelona’s lack of attacking endeavours led to their demise. Here is how Ernesto Valverde’s men fared in their catastrophic defeat to Barcelona.
Marc Andre ter Stegen 6.5
Made some crucial saves throughout the first-half to prevent Liverpool from extending their lead. Could have done a little better in stopping Wijnaldum’s first goal. Lacked the awareness for the fourth goal and failed to impose his presence in between the sticks.
Sergi Roberto 5
Looked nervy throughout the game despite making a crucial last-man tackle. Offered very little going forward after shifting into a more attacking role in the second half.
Gerard Pique 4
Was perhaps the most alert Barcelona in the first half. But, had a nightmarish second-half, looking entirely out of pace and rattled by Liverpool’s dynamic attack. Failed to marshal the Barcelona defence.
Clement Lenglet 3
Struggled to keep up with Origi for most of the game, coupled with some sloppy passes. The Frenchman also failed to get in front of the attackers every time Liverpool supplied a long ball into the middle.
Jordi Alba 2
Culpable for Liverpool’s opener as Sadio Mane quickly intercepted his weak headed pass back to Lenglet. Lost the ball in midfield, which led to the counter-attack that led to Liverpool’s second goal of the evening. A disastrous performance from the Spanish international.
Sergio Busquets 6
Looked somewhat confident in possession in the first half. But an improved performance from Liverpool was enough to rattle the experienced midfielder. The Spaniard struggled to instil any stability into the Barcelona midfield.
Ivan Rakitic 5
A mediocre performance from the Croatian as he struggled to ease Barcelona’s transition from defence to attack. Delivered a lot of poor passes into the final third while his combination play was equally terrible.
Arturo Vidal 6
Made some excellent tackles and won back possession very well, at times. But somehow, the Chilean was never in control of the game and made way for Arthur Melo in the 75th minute.
Lionel Messi 6.5
Looked menacing whenever he had the ball. But, a smart leeway-oriented pressing scheme from Liverpool restricted the Argentine from finding any teammates nor any freedom in the final third. By far the best Barcelona attacker, however.
Luis Suarez 5
Lacked proper supply from his teammates in the final third, amassing only 31 touches on the ball. He was closely watched by Virgil van Dijk and was involved in some rough tackles in the first-half. A quiet game, overall.
Philipe Coutinho 4.5
Failed to make an impact on the proceedings, thanks to some diligent defending from Trent-Alexander Arnold. Nelson Semedo around the hour-mark rightly replaced him.
Nelson Semedo 6
Occupied the right-back role after replacing Coutinho in the 60th minute. However, the Portuguese also struggled to cope with the menacing Liverpool attackers. Although he did produce a couple of good crosses during the final stage of the game.
Arthur Melo 4
Offered absolutely nothing after coming on Vidal in the 75th minute.
Ineffective against the well-disciplined Liverpool defence, much like most of his teammates this evening.
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