Player Ratings: Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool
FC Barcelona have one foot in the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League football following their 3-0 thrashing of English Premier League giants Liverpool in the first leg of their semi-final at the Camp Nou this evening.
Luis Suárez opened the scoring midway through the first half before Lionel Messi scored a brace in the final quarter-of-an-hour, the second a sublime 30-yard free kick.
Liverpool failed to score an away goal on Spanish soil to give them a chance in next Tuesday’s return leg at Anfield.
Here are how the Barcelona players fared:
Marc-André ter Stegen 7 – Forced into a few routine saves and a smart save to deny Mohamed Salah early in the second half. Marc-André ter Stegen showed his authority between the posts to help keep out Liverpool’s fearsome front three.
Sergi Roberto 6 – Found it difficult up against Sadio Mané’s pace and Andrew Robertson on the overlap. Got help in the second half following the introduction of Nélson Semedo.
Gerard Piqué 8 – The Liverpool attack failed to produce any real clear-cut chances with Gerard Piqué standing in their way. The experienced centre-back was notably good in the air this evening.
Clement Lenglet 7 – Required a couple of last ditch blocks to prevent Mohamed Salah from scoring in an uncomfortable performance against the Egyptian. Clement Lenglet also picked up a yellow card for a foul on the Liverpool forward, but the clean sheet was most important.
Jordi Alba 8 – Sublime cross for Barcelona’s opener. Was missing in defence on occasion but escaped any punishment by way of a goal.
Sergio Busquets 8 – Broke up a number of Liverpool attacks in an important showing from Sergio Busquets. The holding midfielder was tidy in possession also.
Arturo Vidal 8 – Made a couple of crunching tackles and some key forward passes to start attacks too.
Ivan Rakitić 7 – Looked a threat early on but later dried out. Ivan Rakitić made an important goalline clearance to deny Roberto Firmino.
Lionel Messi 9 – Another outstanding performance from the magician as his two goals in the final quarter-of-an-hour looked to have settled this tie before the second leg. Lionel Messi was unplayable at times.
Luis Suárez 8 – Scored an important opener in what was his first Champions League goal this season. Luis Suárez’s effort that hit the crossbar gifted Messi his first goal.
Philippe Coutinho 5 – Looked a threat at times early on before fading badly and being substituted in the second half.
Nélson Semedo (31 mins) 7 – Supported Sergi Roberto very well defensively down the right.
Ousmane Dembélé (1 min) N/A – Stoppage time substitution Ousmane Dembélé missed a one-on-one in the dying seconds.
Carles Aleñá (1 min) N/A – A very late run out for the youngster.