The positives of Liverpool’s performance on Wednesday at the Camp Nou are all in spirit and statistics, but several negatives remain for the Reds following a 3-0 UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg loss to Barcelona.
[ KLOPP: Goal was “unsaveable” ]
The three-goal deficit was bad. No away goals scored = also bad. And the fact that it’s Barcelona on the other side of the field falls into a similar category.
Additionally, Barca manager Ernesto Valverde reiterated what anyone with a pulse would’ve acknowledged: The Blaugranas‘ come-from-ahead loss to AS Roma last season has them awake to all possibilities ahead of the second leg at Anfield.
That said, Ousmane Dembele butchered a stunning chance to make the score line 4-0 in stoppage time. That is a positive, and none other than Lionel Messi admitted a finish would’ve all but put Liverpool away. From Marca:
“Four would’ve been better than three but it’s still a very good result,” Messi added. “3-0 is a very good result. The tie is not decided because we are going to a historical stadium and it will demand a lot, but we are very satisfied.”
Still, Barca is just one goal away from demanding a five-star performance from the Reds at Anfield, one that would require a four-goal advantage on the day.
One other thing that don’t go well for Barcelona, and it’s likely to occur in a different manner come next week: Ex-Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho continues to hear it from his home crowd, and Messi says it’s not doing anything for the club at this pivotal point in the season.
As for that free kick? Messi admits he struck it sweetly.
“It went in spectacularly well; I saw the spot and luckily enough, that’s where it went,” said Messi.