Barcelona put one foot in the Champions League semi-finals with an eventually commanding if fortuitous 4-1 win at home against Roma.
Two own goals, from Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas put Ernesto Valverde’s side 2-0 up and Gerard Pique made it 3-0. Edin Dzeko netted an away goal for the Giallorossi, but Luis Suarez’s late fourth put the game – and probably the tie – to bed.
Here, we take a look at the player ratings for both sides:
Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 6: Made a couple of excellent saves – one of his own making after an awful clearance – but could do nothing to keep out Dzeko’s goal. Occasionally struggled with his distribution as Roma harried him well.
Nelson Semedo – 7: Bright attacking outlet down the right and just about did enough defensively despite not always looking convincing. This was his first start since February but he should get some more soon.
Gerard Pique – 9: Manned the fort defensively with commendable control and discipline, and found time to stride forward and tap home the third goal. Also made a couple of key blocks inside his area in an outstanding display.
Samuel Umtiti – 5: Conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box with an ill-timed challenge, and was lucky to be unpunished after day-dreaming with a cross in the second half. Well below his usual standards.
Jordi Alba – 6: Gave his team plenty of attacking thrust with overlapping runs, even though he couldn’t find his usual connection with Messi.
Sergi Roberto – 6: Energetic display in midfield, regularly injecting a sense of urgency with his direct running but often lacking control in distribution, and always on the mark defensively. Replaced by Gomes near the end.
Ivan Rakitic – 8: Struck the post with a sharp cross-shot and had another effort deflected over. Always prominent in midfield, regularly anticipating well to gain possession, and delivered a fantastic low cross for the second goal.
Sergio Busquets – 6: Didn’t exert his usual impact in the first half, seemingly struggling for full fitness after his recent injury. Replaced 20 minutes into the second half by Paulinho.
Andres Iniesta – 7: Played an integral role with the opener, ‘assisting’ De Rossi’s own goal, and produced some velvet touches and changes of pace to open up the visiting defence before being replaced near the end.
Lionel Messi – 6: Uncharacteristically sloppy in the first half, regularly being caught in possession, although he did test Alisson with a fierce drive. Sent a pair of second-half right-footed efforts too close to the keeper and skied another shot too high.
Luis Suarez – 7: Had an early strike rightly disallowed for offside, another shot deflected wide and forced a good low save from Alisson. Often clumsy in possession, but played a role in the third goal and netted the fourth well.
Paulinho – 6: Came into midfield to add some physicality and filled that task well, but often slowed down his team’s possessions by taking too much touches on the ball.
Andre Gomes – N/A: Entered with less than ten minutes remaining and worked hard on the right of midfield.
Denis Suarez – N/A: Came on for the last few minutes and showed some silky touches, including the cross for the fourth goal.
A disastrous evening for Pep Guardiola‘s City saw the Premier League champions-elect succumb to a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of a rampant Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.
All of his sublimely talented squad put in sub-par performances in the first half when they were hassled out of the game by Jurgen Klopp’s superbly executed “gegen-pressing”. So poor were City they failed to get one shot on target in the entire 90 minutes.
Here are our playing ratings:
Ederson – 6: Not at fault for either of the three goals but nor did he pull off the de Gea like heroics that may have saved City.
Kyle Walker – 5: Surprisingly kept quiet by Andy Robertson in the first half, at fault for first goal. Came into the game more in the second half.
Nicolas Otamendi – 5: At fault for Liverpool’s first and third goals but tried hard to redeem himself pushing forward regularly without the accuracy that was required.
Vincent Kompany – 6: Seemed off the pace and shellshocked in the first half. More solid in the second half with Salah gone but not his best night.
Aymeric Laporte – 4: A superb tackle on Oxlade-Chamberlain kept the score at 3-0 and he was a calm presence in the City backline the whole night.
Ilkay Gundogan – 4: Played out of position on the left and was anonymous in the first period as Liverpool ran riot. Substituted on 56 mins for Sterling.
Fernandinho – 5: Lost Sadio Mane for the third goal and was smothered in the midfield, not his usual self either in terms of distribution or presence.
David Silva – 6: Worked hard during the night without getting that magic touch or assist and missed a great chance late on.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6: Tackled out of the match in the first half by Milner but started to exert some influence in the second period.
Gabriel Jesus – 5: Unseen in the first half but came into more in the second half. Frustrated much of the night and inaccurate in front of goal.
Leroy Sane – 4: A sloppy start with missed chances and a loose pass leading to Liverpool’s first goal. More ball in the second half without much improvement.
Raheem Sterling – 8: Booed relentlessly but was dangerous down the right and created headaches for Robertson. Among City’s best.
Manchester City dominated the first ten minutes but the next twenty belonged to Liverpool as they went 3-0 up on 31 minutes – and held on for a famous victory in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.
City were off-color most of the night with their usual precision in attack sadly a miss. So poor were they, the Cityzens did not register a single shot on goal all night. Flabbergasting from the team who has scored 85 goals in the Premier League this season.
Liverpool took their chances superbly and with Man of the Match James Milner breaking up attack after attack, as well as playing a big part in all three goals, the Reds were deserved winners and now take a defendable lead to the Etihad.
Here are our playing ratings.
Lorus Karius – 7: Very little to do before half time and just a little more in the second half. Handled what he needed to handle comfortably.
Andy Robertson – 7: Surging runs down the left kept Kyle Walker busy in the first stanza. Given a bigger test by Sterling after the break.
Virgil van Dijk – 7: Still exerting a cool head in the middle of the Reds defence but some slack passes early in second half put his side under needless pressure.
Dejan Lovren – 7: A relatively assured performance without the usual blooper Reds fans have become used to. Surprisingly untested by a tame city attack.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8: Over-shadowed Sane in the first half and won some good challenges in the second. Came up with some key intercepts after the break.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7: A stunning strike to put the Reds 2-0 up and some nice touches in the first half. Not so prominent after the break.
James Milner – 9: Played a huge part in all three first half goals and was everywhere in the first half. Faded a little in the second half but still a worthy Man of the Match
Jordan Henderson – 8: Worked hard in the first half and kept it up in the second period working hard in defence and winning some key challenges.
Sadio Mane – 8: Drifted in the first half before popping up for the third goal, worked hard in the second half as he played out the full 90.
Robert Firmino – 7: Showed superb balance to set up Salah’s opener and worked hard all night. Surprisingly removed on 70 minutes for Dominic Solanke
Mohamed Salah – 7: Not at his completely dominant best but took the first goal well. Replaced on 55 minutes taking much of the sting out of the Reds attack.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 6: Came on early in second half and made a positive impact.
Dominic Solanke – 5: Brought on by Klopp to be a target man for last twenty minutes. Put in a shift.
Alberto Moreno- NA: Very late sub, didn’t make any mistakes.