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Barcelona v Liverpool: Do you agree with our player ratings?

Many of Klopp’s players were very good…but Messi will get you eventually.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen

7Our Rating

 

Made two terrific saves early in the second half from Milner and Salah, when it mattered.

6

Sergi Roberto

6Our Rating

 

Struggled when isolated against Mane, but his flying forward had a telling impact on the second goal.

6

Gerard Pique

7Our Rating

 

Struggled to get to grips with Mane initially, but grew in stature and defended well when Liverpool laid siege. He remains integral to Barca.

6

Clement Lenglet

7Our Rating

 

Engaged in a fascinating tussle with Salah, and although he was booked in the first-half, he ultimately won the war.

6

Jordi Alba

8Our Rating

 

Made the most of the space in front of him, and was a reliable outlet for Barca on the left-wing whenever play wneded right to serve Messi. He created the first-goal with a stunning, quicksilver cross that even caught van Dijk on the hop. Defensively strong, too.

6

Sergio Busquets

7Our Rating

 

Utterly regal at the back of midfield. Is there a more gegenpress-proof player on the planet?

6

Ivan Rakitic

6Our Rating

 

Few notable contributions on the ball, but snapped around Liverpool’s midfield effectively in the first-half to disrupt play.

6

Arturo Vidal

6Our Rating

 

Snarling, dynamic, fiery, clumsy, committed, tetchy and ultimately inconsistent. If you want to sum up how much has changed since Pep left, it’s that Vidal plays where Xavi once did.

6

Philippe Coutinho

5Our Rating

 

Liverpool may remember Coutinho but tonight they weren’t reminded of him: he was anonymous and was hooked for Semedo on the hour mark. He left to ambient jeers and whistles...the nightmare continues.

6

Luis Suarez

8Our Rating

 

Quintessential Suarez, and a belated experience for Liverpool of what he did so unrelentingly to their domestic opponents. He spent much of the game needling Robertson, van Dijk and Alisson...and then broke free of them all to take his goal superbly. Unsurprisingly had no issue celebrating it, either.

6

Lionel Messi

9Our Rating

 

Ah,what’s to say that hasn’t already been said...the greatest. Ever. And he was pretty quiet tonight!

6

Alisson

6Our Rating

 

Made a single save - the gimme from Dembele in the last second - and made fewer mistakes. And he still coinceded thrice.

6

Joe Gomez

5Our Rating

 

Given this was his first start since December, he unsurprisingly looked unsurprisingly rusty. Offered nothing attacking-wise, and given the space he had, Alexander-Arnold’s absence was curious.

6

Joel Matip

8Our Rating

 

A fine night for Matip to turn in arguably his best-ever Liverpool performance. Although he was frequently isolated against Suarez and Messi, he dealt well with every single incident.

6

Virgil van Dijk

6Our Rating

 

Surprisingly static on the first goal: he should have tracked Suarez’ run and thrown himself into a challenge. Stood watching Messi prod in the second, although perhaps harsh to criticise given the ball hit the crossbar. For all of his physical qualities...his mind doesn't move as quickly as Messi's.

6

Andy Robertson

8Our Rating

 

A fine performance by Robertson, with the only element of his game that evaded him was his crossing, which was oddly poor. That said, he single-handedly foiled a couple of Barcelona counters at 3-0.

6

Fabinho

6Our Rating

 

Fabinho had kept Liverpool held together pretty well until the second goal, at which point his tackle on Messi fell perfectly for Suarez, which then found Messi via the crossbar. Lost Messi from then on, and hacked him down for the free-kick the latest to learn the quintessential rule that regardless of how well you play, Messi will get you at some stage.

6

James Milner

6Our Rating

 

Having started well, he grew very, very ragged as the first-half went on, the turning point seemed to be the late barge/nutmeg revenge on Messi. Very fortunate to escape huge regret for a late back-pass to Suarez. Better in the second half, but spurned a great chance to score in the hour mark.

6

Naby Keita

 

Left after just 20 minutes through injury, sustained in a challenge with Rakitic. The latest injury in a fitful, frustrating season. He was a big loss to Liverpool: they lost possession in midfield a lot more often after he left. No rating.

6

Jordan Henderson

7Our Rating

Keita's replacement, and he was really good: a divine cross for Mane should have ended in a goal, and his use of the ball was clever in the second-half. 

6

Mohamed Salah

7Our Rating

 

Generally played well and brought the best from Lenglet...but what a miss late on. He had to score. Had to.

6

Georginio Wijnaldum

4Our Rating

 

This was a game to prove how well Roberto Firmino does the false 9 role for Liverpool: Wijnaldum was pressed into that role for the first time in this game, and was utterly anonymous. A punt by Klopp...that didn’t work at all.

6

Sadio Mane

7Our Rating

 

Liverpool’s most dangerous attacker, running at Pique so often that the defender probably heard his joints creak as he left for half-time. Spurned a glorious chance in spooning over Henderson’s wonderful cross, mind.

6

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About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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