Georginio Wijnaldum leads all-star cast as Liverpool stun Barcelona to reach Champions League final

Andy West 8/05/2019
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Divock Origi was the hero with the first and last goals as Liverpool stunned Barcelona to advance to the Champions League Final with a stunning 4-0 victory.

The Reds were full of heroes all over the pitch, while Barcelona delivered a calamitous display which will surely carry consequences.

Check out our full player ratings here.

LIVERPOOL

Alisson 9. Made a batch of excellent saves, twice denying Messi and a key stop from Suarez just after the break.

Alexander-Arnold 8. His cross led to the second goal, and then a quickly taken corner forced the winner. Solid in defence.

Matip 8. Commanding and powerful in defence, regularly striding forward to develop play. Always in control.

Van Dijk 8. Came close from a corner early in the second half, rarely flustered as he marshalled the back four.

Robertson 8. Strong at the back and great coming forward, a real shame he was forced off at half-time through injury.

Henderson 9. Made a brilliant start, with his shot leading to the opener, and continued to boss the midfield.

Fabinho 7. Solid and disciplined in the centre of the pitch, helping his back four subdue the threat of Suarez.

Milner 8. Powerful and purposeful in midfield, before moving to left-back at half-time. Very solid there too.

Shaqiri 7. Always trying to create danger with probing passing into the box and delivered a great cross for the third goal.

Origi 9. Slotted home the opener and the incredible winner. Led the line well, showing good mobility and movement.

Mane 8. Real livewire, involved in the build up to opener and continuing to threaten with his pace throughout.

SUBS

Wijnaldum 8. Introduced at the interval and scored twice within ten minutes, giving an energetic and dynamic display.

Gomez N/A Late sub to shore things up in defence, and did that job fine.

Sturridge N/A. A time-wasting sub in the last minute, chased down well.

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Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona: Analysis as Divock Origi produces the performance of his life

Alex Rea 8/05/2019
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Liverpool hero Divock Origi

Divock Origi was the unlikely hero as Liverpool pulled off the greatest semi-final comeback in Champions League history with a 4-0 second-leg victory to complete a stunning 4-3 aggregate triumph.

The odds were stacked heavily against Liverpool after both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were ruled out with injury following a 3-0 first-leg defeat last week in Spain.

But Origi gave Liverpool hope with a seventh-minute goal at Anfield before Georginio Wijnaldum scored two quick second-half goals to level the tie, setting the stage for the Belgian to strike the decisive goal 11 minutes from time.

Liverpool will face Ajax or Tottenham in the final in Madrid on June 1 but here, we analyse the performance of the Origi.

STATISTICS

Goals – 2

Assists – 0

Shots – 2

Shots on target – 2

Touches – 30

Aerials won – 1

Crosses – 3

Dribbles – 3

30-SECOND REPORT

Origi wheels after scoring the winner

Origi wheels after scoring the winner

Genuinely, and this sentence will seem facetious but it’s not, the Belgian was better than Lionel Messi for 90 minutes.

He poached the early goal, displaying the typical striker trait of being in the right place at the right time to tap in after Marc-Andre ter Stegen had parried Jordan Henderson’s shot.

A first Champions League goal for the forward injected the crowd and himself with confidence. From there, he twisted and turned, galloped into space plus held the ball up superbly.

His second, was a sharply-taken strike as Alexander-Arnold’s genius corner bounced into his path.

GOT RIGHT

The Belgian opens the scoring for Liverpool

The Belgian opens the scoring for Liverpool

Physicality – Not just simply in the initial application of it, but the ability to bully his way into position to take a high ball then maneuver himself to retain possession. Liverpool were far more direct in this leg and Origi was able to deeply trouble Barca through this approach.

Energy – The absence of Roberto Firmino meant Liverpool lost a vital cog in their pressing machine. Origi filled the void with pure determination, incredible commitment, leaving every sinew of muscle fibre out on the Anfield pitch.

VERDICT

Jurgen Klopp spoke in the build-up about a potential beautiful failure, but through Origi’s pace, poise and aggression, they enjoyed a beautiful success. This was performance of his career.

RATING: 9/10

All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com

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Harry Redknapp hails Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk's leadership qualities

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Virgil van Dijk

English coach Harry Redknapp hailed Virgil van Dijk for his impact on the team’s mentality this season.

The Englishman praised the leader in Van Dijk and claimed that he has single-handedly sorted out the issues at the back for Liverpool.

Speaking about the commanding influence of the Dutchman, Redknapp told the Daily Mail: “There was one moment during Liverpool’s victory over Newcastle that captured the impact Virgil van Dijk has had on Jurgen Klopp’s team.

“With Xherdan Shaqiri and Trent Alexander-Arnold standing over a free-kick, Van Dijk urged the Swiss midfielder to take it.

“The result? Shaqiri crossed for Divock Origi to head in the winner that keeps Liverpool’s title bid alive.

“Some argued that it would take more than one player to sort out Liverpool’s defence. Not only has Van Dijk done that but he has completely transformed this team.

“He is a leader, an organiser and a calming presence rolled into one.

“I cannot think of another player who has had a greater impact on a Premier League team.”

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