Player Ratings: Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool – Clinical Catalans seize the initiative in first leg tie

By Lewis Rooke – @LV_Rooke

Liverpool have a mountain to climb if they are to progress to the Champions League final as a clinical Barcelona took a three goal advantage in the semi-final first leg.

Goals from former striker Luis Suarez and some typical brilliance from Lionel Messi have put clear daylight between the sides as the second leg awaits at Anfield.

Here’s how they rated…

Starting XI

Alisson: 7 – Felt awful for the Brazilian tonight, there’s really not much you can do when Barcelona are in this kind of form. No keeper in the world would have got anywhere near Messi’s free kick.

Andy Robertson: 6.5 – Terrific defending to stop Lionel Messi in the first 15 minutes, however in the ongoing battle between the two you have to say the Argentine got the better of the Scot. That’s no shame on Robertson’s part though, he didn’t have a bad game all round.

Virgil van Dijk: 7 – The newly crowned PFA Player of the Year had arguably his biggest test in Liverpool red tonight up against the ever-brilliant Lionel Messi, and whilst the Dutchman stood firm for the majority, Barcelona were as clinical as they could have been.

Joel Matip: 8 – Like van Dijk, the Cameroonian stood firm but all Barcelona needed were a few moments to capitalise and capitalise they did. I don’t think the score was representative of the performance tonight.

Joe Gomez: 6 – After such a long period of time out, Gomez was drafted in in place of Trent Alexander-Arnold and he did have a tough night against the Barcelona attack. Once his fitness fully returns it’ll be a major plus for Jurgen Klopp.

Fabinho: 7 – Did okay in the middle of the park cutting out many developing dangerous attacks, either via tactical fouls or well-timed challenges. PIcked up a booking late on as well for his troubles.

Naby Keita: N/A – Felt for the in form Guinean who had to leave the field early on due to a groin injury.

James Milner: 7 – Had a brace of opportunities in the second half which could have levelled the score for Liverpool, but it wasn’t to be. In the first 20 minutes he controlled the tempo of the game to the point where Barca were camped on the edge of their box.

Gini Wijnaldum: 5.5 – Started in a rather unorthodox for himself as he deputised for the not 100% fit Roberto Firmino. As expected, he didn’t have anywhere near the impact of a Roberto Firmino but did what he could do.

Sadio Mane: 8 – Sergi Roberto certainly didn’t enjoy his battle with the Senegalese tonight. Threatened on the left hand side and will be disappointed not to come away with anything to show for it.

Mohamed Salah: 8 – Gave Clement Lenglet serious problems throughout, and was extremely unlucky to hit the post late on in the quest for an all-important away goal. Hopefully in the return leg he can have a more productive game.

Subs

Jordan Henderson: 7 – Felt he did well, you know. Controlled the game for large portions but again, Barca only needed a moment to put their chances away.

Roberto Firmino: N/A

Divock Origi: N/A

Editorial

By Reds, for Reds. We are The Kopite.

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