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Barcelona, 07-05-19, CL Semi final (H)

Back to the Champions League and this is the second leg. We have put ourselves in a difficult situation and the solution to this that we have to win by four clear goals in order to progress. It's a huge mountain to climb but it's not impossible to reach the summit with the result. The task is difficult but it's there for the taking. Now we are missing three players, Keita, Salah and Firminio from injuries. A very sensible decision to leave Salah out. The first eleven that the Gaffer will put out are:

Alisson

TAA     Gomez (Matip)     VVD     Robertson

Henderson     Fabinho     Wijnaldum (Milner)

Origi     Sturridge (Wijnaldum/Shaqiri)     Mane

Or leave both Milner and Sturridge on the bench. Retain Wijnaldum in Midfield and insert Shaqiri as the false nine. Gomez and Matip selection is a tricky one and Matip is a great passer of the ball. Despite what team the Gaffer puts out and the home support has their duty to do as the 12th man to help us. Best of luck Redmen.

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  • We play Tottenham in Madrid on June 1
    • I was hoping we'd get Ajax, to be honest, we never seem to play comfortably against Spurs and they will feel as uplifted as we do after coming back to win. I suppose Klopp will know exactly what he's up against as we've already played Spurs this season, but then so will Pochettino. We can at least put to bed the idea that English football is the inferior relative of continental football.
      • And to think there could be an all English Europa Lge final as well, think its obvious that the prem Lge is the best in Europe right now.
        After looking at that game tonight i think it's fair to say that either team would have been a big test for us in the final but we now know it's spurs. I still would have slightly favoured spurs but they know our game as much as we know there's, should make for a cracking final, lets hope they can replicate the semi's.
  • We may have a "lightweight" squad but by gosh do they all perform when needed!! Nobody shall take a jibe at the term "Fortress Anfield" again!! Wijnnie, Trent & Origi especially seem to rise to the occasion when it counts, not forgetting Divock's last minute winner at Goodison! :D
  • I heard on the radio a reporter interviewing supporters leaving the ground and asking at what stage they started to believe. If they had asked me I would have replied " about 5 minutes after the final whistle". Even at 4-0 I was just waiting for Messi to perform some magic and conjure up an away goal. Scoring 4 times against Barca was outstanding but the nil at the other end was even more impressive. What impressed me most was the maturity of the performance. It would have been easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and over-commit or to do something rash but the players got the balance between attack and defence just right. There were too many heros to mention individuals but I'm going to make an exception of young Trent not just for his assists but also for his defending which is slowly improving. That was surely his best game for Liverpool. Whoever we play in the Final I will be confident that number 6 is on its way.
  • I watched the highlights again this morning (to make sure I wasn't dreaming) and there's so much worth commenting on. As the goal tally starts mounting it's noticeable how some of the Barcelona players just seem to freeze rather than respond, something I certainly didn't expect. Milner deserves a mention for how seamlessly he switched roles (and didn't seem to tire), Alisson proved he was truly first class and I thought Henderson did a proper captain's job in maintaining the tempo to make sure we got all four goals within the 90 minutes. The back line and Fabinho did such a thorough job in neutralising Messi and Suarez, something that was probably more difficult than getting the goals. One of the best all-round performances by a team I can remember.
  • With the drive, determination and the desire helped us with this fantastic turnaround from the lads and all four goals were amazingly taken. VVD as usual was the stand out player with his leadership and held the line together for us when it was needed. Alisson was immense with so many important saves. If I was going to hand out MOTM Award and as you (Uncle) have said earlier that each player got 8 out of 10 but it would be a very narrow decision for me to make and I would hand the award to Origi for his intelligence and determination.

    The fourth goal was one of the worst set pieces I have seen in a long time from a team like Barcelona that they were caught sleeping or off guard. TAA and Origi must have been on the same wavelength before the fourth goal was scored and that to me shows a sign of intelligence and vision from these two young men. It was a very cheeky set piece.

    On the sarcasm side, I think Luis Suarez won the game for us after he deliberately took out Robertson and this duel between has been brewing since the first leg and the bust up at the half-time in Camp Nou tunnel. Robertson was unable to continue on the second half and was replaced by Wijnaldum which started the riot with the next two goals. I hope Robertson will be fit for the next game. This is another chapter written into the European Nights at Anfield Folklore for future generations of LFC Supporters to discover.
    • In fact, I said no player deserves below 8 out of 10, I think there were some performances that should get a 9 or even a 10. I would give a 10 to Origi and Trent because what those two young players produced against all the odds was just astounding, they looked like seasoned professionals. I'd also give a 10 to Wijnaldum because he did exactly what you want an impact sub to do. Matip was easily worth a 9, he pushed himself to a level I didn't even think he had. Shaqiri was probably our worst player but I'd even give him an 8 because although he gave away the ball a few times in the first half (probably due to his lack of game time) he came out in the second half and was much more productive. The rest of the team were easily 8's or 9's too. Considering what this Liverpool side has overcome, with all the injuries and limited recovery time, against one of the top four sides in the world you'd have to be harsh to give any of those players a low mark.
      • I have misread a part of your post I was thinking each player got 8 out of 10 and yes most were in the 9's and 10's. The bottom line is that we were the better team against Barcelona over the two legs, it's just we had to make things right for the second leg and we have succeeded.
  • It takes a lot to shut me up but I am absolutely gobsmacked. I wouldn't have believed it was possible against Barcelona. I don't think a single player of ours deserves anything below an 8 out of 10, it was one of the best team performances I think I've seen from any Liverpool side. All the players who were brought in to replace injured players responded and that's all you can ask. We're going to the final - I can't believe I've just said that.
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