A brace by Lionel Messi made light work of Liverpool at the Camp Nou, home to about a 100,000 Catalan fans with the Argentine notching his 600th goal for the club exactly fourteen years away from when he had his first Barcelona goal.
It might suffice to say that the game would have turned out a little differently if Liverpool had not been extremely wasteful in front of goal, but in the clutch Barcelona had their top players come into the picture and parry the game away with Lionel Messi king amongst them.
Liverpool started on the front foot with efforts to pin the Blaugranas deep and they did offer some threat in the 2nd minute when Mohammed Salah peeled away after a Jordi Alba turnover but Barca’s defence were on hand to recover the ball.
The Catalans then had a chance of their own when Messi combined with Rakitic with the latter opting to make a wide open pass to Vidal at the middle rather than taking a direct shot at goal which was cleared away anyways.
Liverpool continued to buzz in the Barcelona defence with Barca trying to calm the game down with possession play as they were struggling to cope with the quickness and pace of the Reds’ front three.
This back and forth movement continued till the breakthrough came for the Catalans only few minutes before the half-hour mark. Some beautiful combinations ended up on the feet of Jordi Alba before the left back surveyed the area and sent a diagonal through pass to Suarez to slide into the net for his first Champions League goal this campaign.
The Reds went pinning down Barcelona in the second half till Semedo was brought in for Coutinho, pushing up Sergio Roberto into the midfield and improving their hold of the ball.
This was must have birthed the second goal as Messi scored a rebound from a Suarez shot which had come off the bar.
Messi was at it again and scored the third of the night and his 600th Barcelona goal in stunning fashion. It was from a free-kick position this time out, exactly 30 yards away, from where he plunged the ball into the left corner of Allison’s goal and we got treated to this celebration.
The Argentine has been wonderful this season and this was no different. He’s outrage and a kaleidoscope, remarkable in brain and feet, just a delight to watch and he made the difference on this night.
Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool it ended.