UEFA Champions League match report FC Barcelona v Liverpool 01 May 2019

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Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez
A second-half brace from Lionel Messi inspired FC Barcelona to a 3-0 first-leg victory over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday evening.
 
Fresh from adding a 28th LaLiga title over the weekend, Barca made one change from the quarterfinal victory over Manchester United in Arturo Vidal, while Liverpool brought in Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, and Fabinho.
 
The Reds showed the early promise with Mohamed Salah’s darting runs although in the same sequence Barca forced Alisson Becker into a few low-key saves.
 
Liverpool were forced in to an early change after Naby Keita pulled up injured on 24 minutes, allowing Jordan Henderson to come in.
 
The change destabilised the Reds, as Barca pounced two minutes later through a tap-in from Luis Suarez after the defence went to sleep.
 
Liverpool’s first chance came 10 minutes to halftime when Sadio Mane hoofed over the top from close-range after being picked out by Henderson.
 
In the second half, Barca looked rattled as Salah picked off a loose ball for a low shot which Ter Stegen pushed for a corner, which prompted Ernesto Valverde to withdraw Coutinho for defender Nelson Semedo.
 
The Catalans nailed the second on 75 minutes after Messi barged into the area to finish into a gaping net after Suarez saw his effort strike cannon off the crossbar.
 
In vain, Jurgen Klopp went on to the attack with the arrival of Roberto Firmino for Wijnaldum though their situation worsened.
 
However, Messi sent the stadium into euphoria on 82 minutes with a stunning 30-yard free-kick that gave Alisson no chance.
 
Liverpool came close to snatching an away goal two minutes later, but Firmino’s effort from inside the area was cleared off the line with the follow-up from Salah striking the crossbar as the encounter ended 3-0 in favour of the Spanish champions.