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Barcelona, 01-05-19, CL Semi final (A)

In my opinion the Lge is gone now, spurs and manu were our only hope of city dropping points i feel, fairplay to burnley they tried and so nearly got a draw but it wasn't to be, ah well, we still have the CL to go for.

We can beat barca over two legs, their not the barca of old, they have messi on fire right now but keep him quiet and we can beat barca no worries. Firmino looks like a doubt so i won't put him in so it looks like Origi could get his place, certainly not sturridge who looks like he's already at his next club, totally spent at LFC and has been for years. 

                                                                     Alisson

                                                       Arnold    Matip   VVD   Robbo

                                                          Hendo   Fabinho   Keita

                                                            Salah    Origi    Mane

That's just about the best team we can put out right now in my opinion. I'll state the obvious, an away goal or two would be fantastic and i think we'll get them, of course shutting them out is the important bit and with the like of suarez, coutinho and messi in their ranks it won't be easy but we can do this, it's messi i'm most worried about, nullify the supply to him and their weakened big time, easier said than done i know. Best of luck RedMen.

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  • One thing learnt from this game is that serious competition is required to complement the front three as there is no proper backup or competition for places if one of them is injured or needs a rest or is having an off day
  • We missed two glorious chances to bring the game with a 3-2 defeat, Mane missing his shot and Salah's shot that hit the post which it was unbelievable. Barcelona used dirty tactics and Suarez was being a punk towards to some of our players. The first two goals they scored seems like they were offside especially the first one but I will look at the highlights again. Nothing I can say or make excuses from Messi's free kick which was amazing.

    It was bad luck for us tonight and we made it difficult for them despite the 3-0 score-line which makes it flattering for their result. I think we were the better team tonight on performance and it didn't go our way.

    Remember Istanbul when we were 3-0 and we got back into the game in 45 mins of the second half, so therefore we have 90 mins to turn it around in the second leg. So, this tie is far from over and hopefully we can turn this around at Anfield.
    • Love your optimisim Lanno but i can't share it, istanbul was a one off mate never to be repeated and imo occassions like that should stay a one off, how could we possibly live through one of those nights again, hahaha.
    • I wouldn't use the referee as an excuse for the result but in the first half alone I think there were at least four instances where Barcelona players would have been booked in the PL but didn't in this match, they were given an awful lot of leeway. Van Dijk probably should've stuck closer to Suarez for the first goal but, to be honest, it was an excellent finish which owes more to Suarez's talent than to Van Dijk's mistake. I think the central defenders are more culpable for the second goal as they didn't pick up Messi but I don't think anyone could've done much about the third. The frustration with Barcelona is they know they only have to create half a dozen chances because they will score from a high number of them. Liverpool, on the other hand, often create many more chances but score a lower percentage. This game required Liverpool to score from a lower amount of chances than they would normally create in the PL and they couldn't quite do it. I'm not sure how Klopp can resolve that by the return leg, perhaps the atmosphere will help. My big worry, though, is that this result will spill over into the game against Newcastle, we just can't afford to be distracted right now.
      • I actually think we'll be fine against newcastle and wolves despite going out of the CL which we no doubt will now, barca offer far better quality than either of those teams.
        It's very very disappointing, especially not getting an away goal which would have given us some hope but no way barca will allow a 3 goal lead slip, got to fancy them to score at anfield which will end the tie for sure but for me it's already over even though i do expect us to score at home, it won't be enough unfortunately.
        • If we could've held out at 0-1, as it looked like we might at one stage, it would've been a result we could've worked with back at Anfield. Conceding the next two and not getting the away goal has made it very unlikely that we'll progress to the final now but we had a miraculous turnaround against Dortmund at Anfield a couple of seasons ago so I wouldn't write us off completely just yet, even if it is a long shot admittedly.
          • Barca lost 3 goal lead to Roma last season but the difference was that Roma had an away goal. Its not beyond us to turn it around but its highly unlikely. I agree with Simply Red that the front line needs high quality alternatives to avoid a loss of quality when one of the usual 3 is absent. Preferably this would be both a wide player and a central striker. Maybe Brewster could fill the latter in time but that is unlikely for next season.
            • I've read reports that Keita will only make it back in time for the CL final, which we're unlikely to reach anyway. I find it a bit bemusing why Klopp didn't use either Keita or Shaqiri in the left wide attacking position and move Mane into the centre position, it seemed a more natural fit than putting Wijnaldum there. I'm sure Klopp had his reasons but if he had doubts about using Sturridge or Origi in the middle I would've thought Mane would be the next best option, he's proved he can play there. What I'm trying to say is that even if Klopp didn't have the greatest back-up options for the front line on the bench maybe he could've used the squad options he did have available a bit more effectively. Of course, without knowing Klopp's reasoning for what he did it's all just speculation but I did find some of his decisions a little strange, to be honest.
              • Starting Gomez ahead of Arnold had me scratching my head i must say.
                • I might be able to help you with this one, the reason was quite subtle and could easily be missed. When Liverpool weren't in possession of the ball Gomez quietly moved infield and Milner dropped into his position, basically to make a back five. Depending on which side had the ball the wide right defender would be switching from a full back to a centre back and vice versa. Because Gomez is the stronger centre back that's probably why he got the nod over Trent. The problem was when Keita went off Milner had to switch to the left midfield to allow Henderson to play on the right and I couldn't quite work out what was going on with regards to a back five because the two midfielders seemed to spend more time in attacking positions. The Keita substitution seemed to have a big impact on our plans and was probably a bigger hindrance than we realise.
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