Sports

Barcelona bottlers? The cringeworthy Champions League semi-final stats haunting Messi & Co

Barcelona bottlers? The cringeworthy Champions League semi-final stats haunting Messi & Co

Even with Salah and Firmino, turning around a three goal deficit to arguably the best side in Europe was always going to be a hard task, one which would become monumental should Barcelona score in the fixture, but given the pair are missing, it would take something herculean for the Reds to make it through to the final now.

Daniel Sturridge has started in Firmino's absence and Divock Origi came off the bench to score a vital victor against Newcastle United.

That made it 4-0 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate as Liverpool completed a truly stunning second leg comeback.

Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino being out is a big blow for Liverpool - and I feel for them on a personal level, missing a game of this magnitude will be devastating - but they have players to fill their shoes and Klopp knows how to inspire his troops.

Liverpool have staged one of the great second leg Champions League comebacks as they knocked Barcelona out 4-3 on aggregate.

Barca had openings in the first half but when Messi twice got space around the box he fired wide of the target and when Jordi Alba burst goalwards just before halftime, Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker was out quickly to nullify the danger.

The Liverpool boss said his players should take the game step by step and that "nobody should think about scoring in the first 10 minutes, the last five minutes are enough to score three goals".

More news: Manchester United need long-term view after roller-coaster season

He's also overseen them win in England, having reffed their 2-0 win against Arsenal at the Emirates in 2016.

But for the second season in a row, Liverpool advance to the Champions League final where they will face either Ajax or Tottenham.

However, the Reds' chances were decreased after Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were ruled out through injury.

Lionel Messi scored his 599th and 600th goals for Barcelona to subdue a Liverpool lineup that had outplayed the hosts for long stretches at Camp Nou last week.

Manchester City beating Leicester on Monday night all but ended Liverpool's title ambitions - maybe it's time to start planning for next season?

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Mohamed Salah can not play against Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT).

"Two of the world's best strikers are not available tomorrow night and we have to score four goals against Barcelona to go through after 90 minutes".


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