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Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool – PLAYER RATINGS: Lionel Messi steals the show

Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool – PLAYER RATINGS: Lionel Messi steals the show while Georginio Wijnaldum looks out of place high up the pitch

Lionel Messi showed why he is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time with two vital goals – including a scintillating free-kick – to put Barcelona in complete control of their Champions League semi-final tie with Liverpool.

Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the first half before Messi stole the show to ensure the Catalans will take a three-goal advantage to take to Anfield.

Despite late Liverpool pressure Jurgen Klopp’s side couldn’t find a crucial away goal, meaning they have it all to do next week on Merseyside.

Here, Sportsmail’s PETE JENSON runs the rule over both sets of players at the Nou Camp… 

Lionel Messi stole the show with two second half goals to put Barcelona in control of the tie

BARCELONA (4-3-3)

MARC ANDRE TER STEGEN – Vital saves throughout second period that kept Liverpool at bay. 8

SERGIO ROBERTO – Will have feared the worst when Liverpool lined up at kick-off with half the team poised to attack down his right flank. Struggled. 6.5

GERARD PIQUE – Immense challenge on Mane early on. Bossed the defence when they were under pressure. 7.5 

CLEMENT LENGLET – Nervous in possession and struggled with Salah when he ran inside. Gave away free-kick with rash challenge. 6

JORDI ALBA – Big question over whether he would still get forward while dealing with Salah. He answered with cross for Suarez goal. 8

Jordi Alba fired a delightful cross to set up Luis Suarez for the opening goal in the Nou Camp

Jordi Alba fired a delightful cross to set up Luis Suarez for the opening goal in the Nou Camp

ARTURO VIDAL – Picked over Arthur for his greater physical presence but didn’t offer enough protection to his full-back. Great saving challenge in last minute. 7 

IVAN RAKITIC – Suicidal header back towards his own goal. Not able to dominate midfield first half but came good at the end. 7 

SERGIO BUSQUETS – Lost possession high up pitch late in first half. Looked ragged at times as game fizzed around him. 5.5

PHILIPPE COUTINHO – Game was too quick for him at times. Spoken to by Suarez for dozing in possession. 5

Luis Suarez's first half strike against his former club set the Catalans on their way

Luis Suarez’s first half strike against his former club set the Catalans on their way

LIONEL MESSI – Ran, harried, robbed possession in first half. Then came the goals in the second half. Sensational. 9

LUIS SUAREZ – All the old intensity from his Liverpool days was there. Brilliant run and finish for the goal. 8.5

ERNESTO VALVERDE  – Too slow to take off Coutinho. Cautious in second half not throwing Dembele on early. It paid off thanks to Messi. 6.5

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3) 

ALISSON BECKER – Could do nothing to stop Suarez’ goal. Faced fewer shots that he would have expected. 6.5

JOE GOMEZ – Understandable tactical tweak from Klopp but never shone defensively and couldn’t deliver quality going forward. 6.5

JOEL MATIP – Lucky not to concede penalty palming the ball away in area. 6.5

VIRGIL VAN DIJK – Held things together when Barcelona were on top. Titanic battle with Suarez. Good distribution too. 7.5

Virgil van Dijk held things together when Barcelona were on top before Messi took control

Virgil van Dijk held things together when Barcelona were on top before Messi took control

ANDY ROBERTSON – Forward forays were limited because Messi attacked his flank. Still provided quality going forward. 7

JAMES MILNER – All action performance. There was a ruck with Messi, and a shot straight at Ter Stegen in second half. 7

FABINHO – All energy performance in deep midfield. Patrolled in front of defence to limit the space for Messi to exploit. 7.5

GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM – Looked out of place playing so high up the pitch between Salah and Mane. 6

Liverpool were relatively dominant but didn't take their chances when they mattered

Liverpool were relatively dominant but didn’t take their chances when they mattered

MOHAMED SALAH – Tormented Barcelona running between Lenglet and Jordi Alba. Always dangerous. Missed easy chance late on. 7.5

SADIO MANE – No wonder Zidane wants him at Madrid. Terrorized Sergio Roberto down the left. Blazed one first chance over. 8.5

JURGEN KLOPP – Targeted the Barcelona weakness well with Sergio Roberto swamped early on. Was hamstrung by Firmino’s fitness preventing him starting. 6.5

Jurgen Klopp will be very disappointed with the result but not necessarily the performance

Jurgen Klopp will be very disappointed with the result but not necessarily the performance



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