Player Ratings: Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool
So close, yet so far.
That phrase is beginning to grate on us now, don't know about any of you out there? It's becoming the story of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp.
Fine margins are a thing for a reason and, tonight, it was those same fine margins that cost us. Whether it was the brilliance of Messi, ruthlessness of Suarez or the profligacy of our players in front of goal. It didn't help that the subs came too late (once again) either.
We have it all to do now in the second leg but, if we're honest, it's highly unlikely we're going through next week.
There's always hope but all eyes now turn to Saturday night and hoping our shot-conversion rate can improve away at Newcastle.
Alisson - Let's be honest, he had next to nothing to do but pick the ball out of his net three time. Could do nothing for the first two, and that Messi free-kick was only being saved it Alisson was a foot taller. 6
Joe Gomez - Going to absolve Joe of much criticism he may be due tonight because this is the first of a few calls that are on Klopp's shoulders tonight. Why start a lad that has played about 35 minutes of football - across a few games too - since December last year in the biggest game since last year's final. At right-back. Made no sense when Trent was on the bench. Went as well as expected. Poor delivery, looked nervy and rusty. As expected. 4
Joel Matip - Thankfully, Matip was superb early on when Barcelona had more possession. Intercepted loads and had the measure of Messi. Second half, rarely troubled and started to lope out of defence regularly. Not to blame for any of the bad stuff and is starting to out-do Van Dijk lately. Speaking of which.. 8 Man of the Match
Virgil Van Dijk - So, so poor. Considering how good he's been since last January, anything other than amazing is poor for Virg, but he was pants tonight. Looked rattled from early on and stood off Messi far too many times. Had to be bailed out by Matip on too many occasions. One moment, when he almost butted Matip by jumping for a header that was clearly the Cameroonian's summed his night up. He then went and bollocked Matip. 5
Andy Robertson - This is a hard rating to give, because we spent most of the night screaming at the TV to switch the play to Robbo who was totally ignored by both sets of players. Having said that, when he did have the ball his crossing was uncharacteristically poor. Was still our biggest outlet in attack, besides Salah and Mane, though. 6
Fabinho - Like Matip, he came to the rescue of his teammates more than once. His long legs snaked the ball away from Messi and Suarez on more than one occasion. Suarez, in particular, was clearly unhappy about that and hence the diving commenced. 7
James Milner - Another massive night, another start for James Milner. His experience is undeniable, but his selection in games like this has started to become questionable. Constantly gave away niggly fouls that weren't really fouls. But if you play a La Liga side, you have to be clever. Milner wasn't. His delivery was also poor but he worked hard and helped to recover possession a few times.. 6
Naby Keita - Had a good start but went off holding his groin. A worry if he's not available for next week now. NA
Sadio Mane - Pique was terrified of him, as was Roberto. Why, oh why, he was put central mid-way through the first half is baffling. Had the beating of any defender he faced but scuffed out best chance of the first half. Badly. 7
Mo Salah - Had Alba and Lenglet in pieces at times but failed to find a real chance in the first half. Had a lot more joy in the second, with one good shot after 15 minutes. Had the chance to pull a goal back at 3-nil but somehow - some how - hit the bleeding post. 7
Gini Wijnaldum - You can't slate Gini for that, although some already are. Why was he starting as the 'false-9'. The 3-5-2 somebody suggested prior to kick-off made more sense. Had it worked, we'd be hailing Klopp as a tactical genius. It was clear it wasn't working after 45 minutes though. Weird, weird decision to start him there, nevermind not change it for 79 minutes. 6
Jordan Henderson - A good elongated cameo from the captain. Strange that he didn't start, as his physicality had Barca players bouncing off of him. Should start he second leg. 7
Roberto Firmino - It's one of those - if he wasn't fit, why was he on the bench? If it was fit for the bench, he should've come on earlier than the 79th minute. Things might've been so different had he come on at 1-nil when we had them bent over a barrel. NA
Divock Origi - Like Firmino, maybe should've come on sooner. Had little time to make an impact really. NA