Liverpool FC has released the following ticket details for the Champions League fixture with FC Barcelona at Camp Nou on Wednesday May 1.
The game will kick off at 9pm local time.
The club has received an allocation of 4,620 tickets for supporters to purchase.
The club also received a further allocation of 243 top-category seats that, in line with UEFA guidelines, will be used as part of the players’ allocation and staff, travelling club staff and VIPs.
Important: FC Barcelona have instructed us to write the name of each supporter attending on the ticket purchased.
Supporters are advised to take ID to the match as checks will be carried out at the turnstiles when accessing the stadium and checked against the name on the ticket.
Please do not attempt to remove the name from the ticket as you may be refused entry.
All seats within the visitor section of the stadium are either numbered odd or evenly. For example, if you purchase seats numbered 2, 4 and 6, or 1, 3 and 5, you will be seated together.
Ticket collection process
The club will continue to implement a ticket collection process for this fixture. Around 600 supporters will be selected to collect their ticket from a designated location in Barcelona. Bookings will be selected at random and all supporters within that booking will be required to collect their ticket.
Further collection details can be found below.
FC Barcelona have priced their tickets for visiting supporters at €119 (£103). LFC will subsidise the price of each ticket by €31 (£27), therefore our travelling supporters will be charged €88 (£76) per ticket.
Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand executive box holders, premium level and centenary club members should contact the hospitality department on 0151 264 2222, option two.
Wheelchair-disabled supporters should register their interest no later than midday on Friday April 19.
All other supporters
The below sales will take place online only and you may have to queue at times.
Tickets will be available to season ticket holders, Members and fan card holders based on attendance at FC Porto (April 17, 2019) Bayern Munich (March 13, 2019), Paris Saint-Germain (November 28, 2018), Red Star Belgrade (November 6, 2018), SSC Napoli (October 3, 2018), AS Roma (May 2, 2018), Manchester City (April 10, 2018), FC Porto (February 14, 2018), Sevilla (November 21, 2017), Maribor (October 17, 2017), Spartak Moscow (September 26, 2017).
Attendance at two or more games: from 8.15am on Saturday April 20 until 10.30am on Tuesday April 23.
Supporters are guaranteed a ticket during this sale and can purchase one ticket per person, up to a maximum of 10 tickets per transaction.
Attendance at one or more games: from 11am on Tuesday April 23.
The above sale will take place on a first come, first served basis and supporters can purchase one ticket per person up to a maximum of four tickets per transaction.
The number of qualifying supporters will far exceed the number of tickets available during this sale and therefore no guarantee can be given that tickets will be available to all who apply.
Details to be provided at time of booking
Every supporter attending the game must provide the following information.
If someone else is attending using your season ticket, Member card or fan card, their details must be provided on the form when making the booking.
The correct details must be provided for the following reasons.
Delivery/collection of tickets
The ballot to select the 600 supporters who must collect their ticket in Barcelona will take place after the main sales have ended.
Therefore, all supporters must select one of the following fulfilment methods during the booking.
Tickets will be sent special delivery to the registered address of the person making the booking, at a charge of £5.65. Royal Mail will send a tracking number to the email address registered on our ticketing system.
Tickets will be sent via DHL to the registered address of the person making the booking, at a charge of £12.46.
Please note: the fulfilment method chosen will be disregarded for those supporters selected to collect their ticket in Barcelona.
Ticket collection process in Barcelona
Every supporter selected to collect their ticket in Barcelona will be sent an email and SMS on Tuesday April 23 to confirm they have been selected.
A further email and SMS will be sent on Thursday April 25.
EMAIL will include:
Supporters will be required to show this email when collecting their ticket.
SMS will include:
A full list of Q&As can be viewed here.
Following the game, should your ticket remain uncollected, the purchase will be cancelled from the record the ticket was registered to with no refund given.
There will be no duplicate tickets for this fixture.
We would also like to remind supporters that important safety information for supporters travelling to Barcelona will be provided in the lead-up to the game.
The information provided is in conjunction with Spanish authorities and LFC club officials, and we strongly advise that you follow all the information and instructions given.
We urge supporters not to travel without a ticket.
For a step-by-step guide to purchasing tickets online, click here.
For away support information, click here.
For general information, click here.
Football Expert & Columnist @PaulMerseWatch The Run In live on Sky Sports Premier League
Last Updated: 18/04/19 8:30pmWho will the Magic Man go for this weekend?
Paul Merson is back with his Premier League predictions ahead of a potentially defining round of fixtures in the race for the title and battle at the bottom. Here's what the Magic Man is expecting this weekend...
The weekend gets off to a blockbuster of a start as Manchester City and Tottenham meet once again, live on Sky Sports, just days after their pulsating Champions League encounter on the same ground, with league points very much the priority now for title-chasing City, as well as Spurs in their pursuit of a top-four finish.
Everton's clash with a Manchester United side who have won just two of their last seven in all competitions gets Super Sunday up and running, before The Run In continues as Liverpool travel to relegation-embattled Cardiff, knowing victory will keep the pressure on City with every point so vital. Cardiff's crucial win over Brighton in midweek has seen them back in with a chance of staying up, too.
But who is Merson going for this weekend? Read on to find out...Man City vs Tottenham
April 20, 2019, 11:30am
Live onMan City vs Tottenham - Saturday, live from 11.30am on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 12.30pm
I can't seen anything other than a Man City win. Spurs don't have the biggest squad in the world and the other night will have taken a lot out of them. I think both teams changing things up will still result in a City win. It is not a matter of revenge. It is a strange one because if you would have asked them last week City would rather have won the Champions League and Liverpool the league. Now it could be the other way around.
Tottenham could easily rest players for this game and then just make sure they beat Brighton. With their injuries, they need to start prioritising their games now, and look at what games they will win and which they are less likely to win. It is not every day they get to a Champions League semi-final. They will rest players after such a quick turnaround.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0Everton vs Man Utd
April 21, 2019, 12:30pm
Live onEverton vs Manchester United - Renault Super Sunday from 12.30pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 1.30pm.
Could you get anymore different with Everton? One minute they are ripping apart Arsenal and beating West Ham away, then all of a sudden, against a Fulham side that have not scored two goals in a game since day one, and they cannot keep a clean sheet against them. It is a bad attitude there - you cannot look at the manager, you have to look at the players.
Man United are a million miles off. They need to win the game or they are out of the Champions League, but I don't think they will get it - they are well short at the moment. Some of their results have been very fortunate. For me, the unbeaten run was covering over the cracks.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1Cardiff vs Liverpool
April 21, 2019, 3:30pm
Live onCardiff vs Liverpool - Renault Super Sunday from 3.30pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 4pm
This will be a battle for Liverpool, make no mistake about it. That was a huge football match for Cardiff to win the other night at Brighton, and they will now be fighting for every single minute. It didn't look like they were going to get there, but they have done so well to get to this point. Liverpool, though, are on fire. They will take some stopping and just have too much quality for Cardiff. Should Cardiff score it will make things interesting, but I just cannot see it happening.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-2Chelsea vs Burnley
April 22, 2019, 7:30pm
Live onChelsea vs Burnley - Monday Night Football from 7pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 8pm
It sounds like a walk in the park for Chelsea this but it will be hard. I just don't see how you stop [Eden] Hazard in the form he is in. Someone has to tell Maurizio Sarri that they cannot play with a false nine, and I don't think he will against a Burnley side that are unlikely to come to Stamford Bridge and really have a go at Chelsea. Their hard work is done this season.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-02:47 Highlights from Liverpool's win over Chelsea in the Premier League Highlights from Liverpool's win over Chelsea in the Premier League Bournemouth vs Fulham - Saturday 3pm
Both had great results last weekend with Fulham beating Everton and Bournemouth destroying Brighton. It will be an open game in the sunshine, and I expect both teams to really go for it, with little riding on it. Bournemouth have found their goalscoring touch once again so I expect them to come out on top.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-14:14 Highlights from Bournemouth's win over Brighton in the Premier League Highlights from Bournemouth's win over Brighton in the Premier League Huddersfield vs Watford - Saturday 3pm
I thought Watford did well the other night after Troy Deeney was sent off against Arsenal. For long periods in that match you could not tell it was 10 vs 11. I expect Watford to win. Huddersfield continue to struggle and are just not good enough. Watford are still going for seventh, and they will not want to take a chance. They will want to finish as high as they can and this is a game they should be winning.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-2Premier League questions
Can Manchester City get a psychological edge over Liverpool? Will Cardiff spring an almighty upset? All the key questions ahead of a crunch Premier League weekend.West Ham vs Leicester - Saturday 3pm
It is very tight up there competing for seventh. If Leicester are serious about snatching seventh spot they really have to win this game. They have a lot of difficult games coming up. West Ham will have to come out and have a go at Leicester and that is not what you really want to be doing. You look at Leicester's results, when teams come out and have a go at them, they can then hurt their opponents on the counter with [Jamie] Vardy, [James] Maddison, [Demarai] Gray. If teams come and sit back like Newcastle did, they just find it too difficult to break teams down. West Ham, though, will have a go.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-33:00 Highlights from Newcastle's 1-0 win against Leicester in the Premier League Highlights from Newcastle's 1-0 win against Leicester in the Premier League Wolves vs Brighton - Saturday 3pm
Confidence is a funny thing. This Brighton team is no different to the team that went on to beat Crystal Palace. It is all about confidence, which has completely and utterly gone. When that goes it is a hard thing. I don't see anything other than a Wolves win, with them fighting for the top seven. They continue to impress everyone, and will have too much for a team that are really struggling.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-02:19 Highlights from Cardiff's 2-0 win at Brighton in the Premier League Highlights from Cardiff's 2-0 win at Brighton in the Premier League Newcastle vs Southampton - Saturday 5.30pm
Both teams are safe, and there should be goals. Nobody is under pressure, they are both safe. Why not go out and express yourselves? The problem is there is still plenty to play for in terms of money for the club - moving up three positions can bring in millions of pounds. Winning this game can really help for that push. The players though, will not feel that pressure.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-22:58 Highlights of Arsenal's 1-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road on Monday night Highlights of Arsenal's 1-0 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road on Monday night Arsenal vs Crystal Palace - Sunday 4pm
Arsenal need to win this, they have to. The top four is in their hands still. Palace are a funny team - they have flattered to deceive and should not be where they are. They can turn in a performance, but not this time. Arsenal will be able to start strongly at home and be too much for Palace.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1
Liverpool Football Club can confirm that an allocation of 4,620 away tickets has been provided for the Champions League semi-final clash with FC Barcelona on Wednesday May 1 at Camp Nou.
All away tickets are priced at €119, which is in line with FC Barcelona’s pricing structure for the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League.
As a result, LFC will charge Barcelona supporters a reciprocal ticket price of €119 in the return leg at Anfield on Tuesday May 7. The additional revenue from this higher ticket pricing will be used to subsidise Liverpool supporters for their tickets, reducing the price by €31 to €88.
The club believes parity of pricing is the most logical approach and remains committed to working with UEFA, ECA (European Club Association) and other member clubs with a view to introducing a more structured ticket pricing process for Champions League matches.
Full ticket sales details will be published in due course on Liverpoolfc.com.
The Reds unveiled the home kit they will be wearing next season on Thursday morning, recalling the trophy-laden 1980s and honouring the legendary Bob Paisley.
Liverpool are already set to tour the United States in the summer, but further friendlies can be expected both in England and, possibly, elsewhere in Europe.
With Anfield hosting a series of gigs over the off-season, the decision has been made to forego a showcase friendly like last August’s clash with Torino and instead head to the capital.
Their opposition this time is likely to be Napoli, and the meeting is pencilled in for July 28, just under two weeks before the start of the Premier League season.
“From Spurs’ perspective, the arrangement could also make financial sense,” writes Chris Bascombe.
“The London club may be willing to host games to assist their repayments on the stadium so may be receptive to the idea, peculiar as it seems for a rival to make such a request.”
The two sides then met twice in the Champions League group stage, each winning once, with the scoreline 1-0 both times.
We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Thursday, following the Reds’ 4-1 victory over Porto.
According to Marca, via Sport Witness, Liverpool are monitoring the progress of Ajax left-back Noussair Mazraoui.
The 21-year-old has been a key performer for the Dutch side this season on their way to the Champions League semi-finals, making 35 starts in all competitions.
There will be endless narratives flying around in the lead-up to Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final with Barcelona, not least the prospect of Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez returning to Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp has given his opinion on the pair, saying his Reds side will be coming up two legends at Anfield.
“For them, for these two boys, it’s very special. For us, it’s special,” Klopp told Viasport.
“They are both Liverpool legends, that’s brilliant.
“But I think it will not be a friendly game so we have to fight, we have to work, they will do it as well.
“It’s so wonderful that you play with Liverpool against Barcelona in a European semi-final, that itself is a wonderful message and now let’s try to do the best and we’ll see what happens.”
The anticipation is already unbearable—if only there was a Premier League title race to focus on instead!Reds to Bid for Chiesa?
Gazetta dello Sport claim that Liverpool have stepped up their interest in Federico Chiesa.
The highly rated Fiorentina youngster has been loosely linked with the Reds in the past, following a standout season in Serie A.
The report states that Juventus are still favourites to sign the 21-year-old, but Liverpool have not given up hope at all, with “those who are well informed” claiming they have made an enquiry.
Chiesa seems likely to remain in his homeland for the time being, but his vast potential means he would be a hugely exciting purchase should that change.Bobby Nominated for Yet Another Award
That’s how good he is!
The Brazilian was superb in his second-half cameo at the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday, scoring a header and impressing in all facets of his game.
Also up for the award are Ajax prodigy Matthijs de Ligt, some bloke called Lionel Messi and Tottenham talisman Son Heung-min.
You can vote for Firmino here, which would see him take the prize for the second week running.Allan Wants Fluminense Stay
Liverpool loanee Allan Rodrigues de Souza wants to remain at Fluminense for the foreseeable future, which should come as no great surprise.
The Brazilian is on a short-term spell in Rio de Janeiro, but he looks unlikely to have a future at Anfield due to UK work permit issues.
He has spoken of his desire to stay in Brazil, where he seems to be enjoying his football currently:
“For me, I would be here for two or three years. But it does not depend on me alone.
“I want to stay and show my football. I hope you have an agreement with Fluminense to stay a little longer.
“I like the club, the city, and I want to stay here.”Heartwarming Grabara Message
There is more positive news to report, however, with an Aarhus fan taking to Reddit to laud the impact of the young Pole:
“I follow my local team AGF who is playing in the Danish Superliga.
“Last transfer window we rented ‘keeper Kamil Grabara from you.
“He has been absolutely immense and has a big share in us already securing a stay in the Superliga.
“I know you have one of the best in Alisson, and have no worries in this position for some years, [but] just wanted to tell you he has been very important for us.
“So a big thank you and good luck with the rest of the season.”
It’s brilliant to see that Grabara has bounced back and is thriving at his current club—he is a ‘keeper of huge potential.Ox Showcases Presenting Skills
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a huge character in Liverpool’s dressing room and his personality has been highlighted during the Reds’ kit launch.
It is clear to see why Oxlade-Chamberlain is so popular and it would be great to see him back on the pitch this season.
If not, we will have to wait until he dons the new strip in 2019/20.
Liverpool’s home kit for the 2019-20 season was officially unveiled on Thursday - and we’ve picked out four things we love about New Balance’s fresh design…
Tributes to Liverpool’s quiet genius
In recognition of the fact 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Bob Paisley’s birth, the strip includes a couple of nods to the club’s most successful manager.
Perhaps its most eye-catching detail is the return of pinstripes, a feature first used in the early 1980s.
Indeed, its primary inspiration comes from the kit worn by the Reds as they won a league and League Cup double in 1982-83 - the final campaign of Paisley’s glorious reign.
Additionally, the inside-neck of each jersey includes an inscription of the great man’s signature and the shirt’s swing tag highlights his monumental achievements.
Current captain Jordan Henderson certainly approves.
“This year’s home kit is incredibly strong… It’s also a really fitting tribute to one of our greatest managers, Bob Paisley, and is a fantastic way to remember all his success,” is the skipper’s assessment.
Back to black
Just as striking is the home kit Alisson Becker and his fellow goalkeepers will wear next season.
Mirroring the design of the outfield version, the understated all-black number embossed with gold detailing will see Liverpool’s stoppers return to a colourway last used in 2017-18.
It was also revealed on Thursday that Alisson will assume the Reds’ No.1 jersey at the start of the new campaign - and the Brazilian likes what he sees when it comes to the new strip.
“I’m incredibly impressed by the style of this season’s goalkeeper jersey,” he said. “It will really stand out on the pitch and will look great alongside the home kit.”
A popular theme continues
First introduced to honour the club’s 125th anniversary in 2017, the deeper shade of red adopted by New Balance for Liverpool’s home kit is retained for a third successive season.
This subtle shift, which has proven popular among supporters, now feels like a cornerstone of the design and will once again ensure the Reds are decked out stylishly at Anfield and beyond.
Furthermore, the unique name and numbering font - created with iconic characteristics of Anfield and the surrounding area in mind - seen in European and cup competitions this term will also feature again.
Names and numbers will come in white on the outfield shirt and gold on the goalkeeper’s jersey.
Ox's behind-the-scenes tour of LFC's 2019-20 kit shoot
Rewarding your loyalty
Pre-ordering the 2019-20 home kit now not only guarantees delivery on launch day, Thursday May 9.
Every adult or junior shirt, baby or mini kit bought directly from the club will also come with a £10 LFC Retail voucher to spend between June 1 and 30, as well as an exclusive certificate of authenticity.
And if you're a season ticket holder or Member, you're eligible for a 10 per cent discount on your purchase, too.
Liverpool set up a semi-final date with Messi and company next month by winning 4-1 in Porto on Wednesday for a comfortable 6-1 aggregate success.
Barcelona booked their semi-final spot by beating Manchester United 4-0 on aggregate, Messi scoring twice in Tuesday’s 3-0 home win to extend his incredible goals tally to 45 in 42 games this season.
“It’s going to be very hard [to stop Messi],” Van Dijk told the club’s official website.
“I think he’s the best player in the world but we’ll see. It’s going to be a great match-up for all of us.
“It’s about doing it all together, it’s never one-v-one, it’s never just me against a particular striker.
“It’s always us against everyone and I think that’s the only way we can defend well.”
Liverpool’s comprehensive win in Portugal marked the return of Van Dijk’s fellow centre-back Joe Gomez.
The 21-year-old England international made his first senior appearance since December following a leg fracture when he came on as a second-half substitute.
“We haven’t really thought about it [the Barcelona tie] until now,” Gomez said.
“It’ll be a difficult game. They’re one of the best in the world, clearly, and they’ve probably got the best player in the world and many others around him.
“So it’s going to be a difficult game, but that’s what the Champions League is about.
“You don’t get this far to have easy games and we know you have to earn your place in the next round.”
“We had to be prepared for them to come out strong and it was difficult in the first 30 minutes,” Gomez said.
“But we managed to get a goal and then the boys saw it out and it was a good result in the end.
“In our eyes it was 0-0 and we couldn’t come into the game thinking ‘let’s just see it out and try and not let them score and see it out as a 0-0’.
“We knew we had to treat this as a separate game and play as we do.”
Liverpool will travel to Barcelona for the first leg of the semi-final on May 1, with the return at Anfield six days later.
Liverpool and FC Barcelona's successes this week over FC Porto and Manchester United respectively confirmed the two will meet in the semi-finals of this season's Champions League.
With 10 European Cup triumphs and 16 final appearances between them, the Reds and the Blaugrana are two of the biggest names in the tournament’s history.
Their forthcoming meetings on May 1 and May 7 will be the latest instalments in a rivalry dating back 43 years and spanning eight official fixtures.
And it’s a history that provides plenty of encouragement for Liverpool, as far as results are concerned…
UEFA Cup semi-final (1975-76)
One of the true landmarks in their evolution into a continental superpower, Liverpool’s first encounter with Barcelona came on an ill-tempered night at Camp Nou in the spring of 1976.
Bob Paisley’s first European campaign as Reds manager had ended with second-round elimination from the Cup Winners’ Cup at the hands of Ferencvaros, but the following season his team stormed past Hibernian, Real Sociedad, Slask Wroclaw and Dynamo Dresden to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. Lying in wait was a Barcelona side coached by Hennes Weisweiler but whose true leader was the magisterial Johan Cruyff.
The first leg saw Paisley boldly change tact and play Kevin Keegan as an out-and-out striker and not an attacking midfielder, as was standard practice in European competition, and the gambit paid off in the 13th minute when John Toshack flicked a long ball on to Keegan, collected the return pass and buried a finish in the bottom corner.
Barcelona were unable to summon up a meaningful reply, leading to a famous comic moment when the frustrated home fans threw cushions onto the pitch and Welsh defender Joey Jones began to throw them back, only to be reprimanded by Paisley.
“We thought Barcelona were a bit suspect at the back, so we decided to have a dip at them,” was the tactician’s typically understated analysis.
“Let’s face it, Liverpool must get through now,” lamented Cruyff, and so it proved, although the second leg at Anfield wasn’t all plain sailing, Barca’s Carles Rexach immediately replying to Phil Thompson’s strike early in the second half to leave the outcome in doubt right up until the end.
The significance of that triumph was clear to see as time moved on, Paisley’s Reds defeating Club Brugge 4-3 on aggregate in the final to secure the first of three successive major European trophies in as many seasons.
UEFA Cup semi-final (2000-01)
A quarter of a century would pass before the next collision, at the exact same stage of the same competition.
2000-01 was, of course, the season when Gerard Houllier’s Reds did the treble, and the 1-0 aggregate victory they recorded over Llorenc Serra Ferrer’s Barcelona in the last four of the UEFA Cup was right up there with the most impressive achievements of the campaign.
The Barca XI selected for the first leg at Camp Nou not only featured some of football’s biggest stars from that era, just after the turn of the millennium, but is a who’s who of prominent thinkers in the game nowadays – from Spanish national team boss Luis Enrique to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Ajax director of football Marc Overmars, not to mention Patrick Kluivert and Rivaldo.
Yet all of that attacking talent was neutralised by a masterful defensive display from Sami Hyypia, Jamie Carragher and co in a goalless first leg where the hosts were limited to half-chances for Kluivert and a 21-year-old Xavi Hernandez.
The return was similarly cagey, decided a minute before half-time with a goal scored by Liverpool’s talisman that season. The lyrics ‘your Barca pen’ are still blasted out in city squares and away ends of European cities to this day, celebrating the moment when Gary McAllister stuck a penalty - awarded for a Kluivert handball - past a young Pepe Reina, only three days after the veteran Scotsman had been the author of another epic moment with his last-gasp free-kick winner against Everton at Goodison Park.
The Reds certainly made up for any lack of semi-final drama in the final against Alaves, a topsy-turvy 5-4 win at Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion finally settled by a Golden Goal.
Champions League group stage (2001-02)
These were the days when the Champions League featured a second group stage, and it was there that Liverpool and Barcelona were reunited seven months later.
Both sides had topped their respective sections in the first group stage but the Catalans, now coached by the aforementioned Rexach, registered a first victory over Liverpool at the fifth attempt that November at Anfield. Michael Owen, who would be awarded the Ballon d’Or a month later, opened the scoring with a nonchalant chip over Roberto Bonano, but the sides went in level at the break after Kluivert got his revenge with a volley from a delightful Rivaldo assist.
Decked out in an eye-catching gold strip, Rexach’s side showed their class in the second half, future Middlesbrough man Fabio Rochemback swerving one into the top corner before Overmars showed his pace to seize on a long pass and round Jerzy Dudek.
The return, played a full four months later in March, was a much more humdrum affair, but the outcome – another 0-0 at Camp Nou – was satisfactory for both parties, as both ultimately progressed ahead of Group B rivals AS Roma and Galatasaray.
Liverpool, taking part in Europe’s premier club competition for the first time since 1985, would be eliminated by Bayer Leverkusen at the quarter-final stage, while Barca fell to arch-rivals Real Madrid in the semis.
Champions League Round of 16 (2006-07)
The fourth chapter of this tale is perhaps the most fondly remembered from a Liverpool perspective, and not simply because the memories of it are fresher.
Back in early 2007, Frank Rijkaard’s Barcelona were the eminent power in European football – Champions League holders, reigning La Liga champions and neutrals’ favourites thanks to their slick style of play and the star power of Xavi, Deco, Ronaldinho plus a 19-year-old Lionel Messi, already distinguishing himself even amongst that stellar company.
Stood in their way were Rafael Benitez’s Reds, the team that had lifted Ol’ Big Ears in sensational circumstances two years prior in Istanbul but saw their first defence of the trophy end with a last-16 defeat by Benfica.
Benitez, a seasoned visitor to Camp Nou from the early years of his coaching career, devised a daring game plan which entailed pushing John Arne Riise into midfield in a 4-4-2 formation, with the right-footed Alvaro Arbeloa shifted to left-back to try to counteract Messi.
The ploy did not appear to be having the desired effect when Deco nodded home a Gianluca Zambrotta cross in the 14th minute, but Craig Bellamy equalised on the cusp of half-time with a header which Victor Valdes caught but couldn’t prevent crossing the line.
With Messi struggling to make any impact due to the close attentions of Arbeloa, Liverpool pushed on in search of their second victory at Europe’s largest football stadium – and got it thanks to another unlikely hero’s intervention with 15 minutes left.
Bellamy gathered a rebound and quickly directed a pass to the wide open Riise for the Norwegian to instinctively slam a shot into the top corner of Valdes’ net with his wrong foot.
The job wasn’t done yet, but after a tense second leg at Anfield – featuring a particularly excruciating 15 minutes for Kopites following Eidur Gudjohnsen’s late goal – Liverpool and Benitez had kick-started another Champions League adventure which would culminate two months later with a narrow defeat against AC Milan in the Athens final.
“I feel this is the greatest victory this club has ever had in Europe,” Carragher commented after the second leg. “Even though we have knocked them out they are still the best club side in the world, so beating them is a remarkable achievement over two legs.”
This wasn’t vintage Liverpool, nor did it need to be. The Reds had done half the job at Anfield and just needed to maintain composure in Portugal, knowing that an away goal would likely be enough to see them through to their second semi-final in two years.VAR Margins
VAR is essentially marmite – you either love it or you hate it. Some football fans will argue it takes away from the spontaneity of the game, the thrilling ecstasy and freneticism while others believe it has become a requirement in a sport riddled with contentious decisions. Tonight may have swayed a few in Red…
It felt like a long 92 seconds between the time the referee had judged Mané’s opener to be offside before VAR overturned the decision; media in attendance were left wondering what was going on, the players on the pitch were scratching there heads and the fans had beady eyes on the officials. Then there was Mo Salah; the Egyptian was celebrating Liverpool’s crucial away goal before anyone else, having caught a glimpse of the VAR screen before uttering to his teammates that the effort had stood. Confusion aside, it was a huge call given the circumstances, sucking the life out of the stem of Porto attacks that had come prior and enabling Liverpool to establish a strong foothold from which they never looked back.Sadio Mané’s at it again
It’s been an unprecedented season from the No.10, with a considerable run of form instrumental in Liverpool’s ongoing title challenge. Bagging another goal at Estadio do Dragao, Mané’s strike couldn’t have been better timed, ending a period of utter dominance from the home side. Porto’s fast start had them in the ascendency for the opening 24 minutes and but for Moussa Marega’s dismal finishing, they could well have taken the lead and given the tie a completely different complexion.
Credit should be given to Mané for being so alert to the situation, with swift counter-attack culminating in cross-shot of sorts from Salah, later to be poked home by the Senegal international. The goal means he has now scored in every round of the Champions League for the past two seasons while netting eight opening goals in the last ten games where Liverpool have taken the lead. A supreme talent, his growing influence on the team has been instrumental to Klopp’s successes this season and will no doubt prove to be for what remains of the Premier League and European run-in.Substitutions make an impact
Just as Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner made a difference against Chelsea at the weekend, offering a calming influence on a frenetic second-half that threatened to let the away side back into the match, Klopp’s substitutions had another telling impact in Portugal.
Originally opting for a Fabinho-Wijnaldum-Milner midfield, fresh legs and an experienced trio were considered the best option to manage Porto’s fast start, Jordan Henderson had to settle for a place on the bench. Yet, it wouldn’t belittle his influence, with a substitute appearance providing energy and dynamism to the engine room alongside another assist. Again, it was a perfectly executed cross into the box, enabling Roberto Firmino to head home and cement Liverpool’s dominance. The captain is thriving in the No.8 role, with three assists and one goal in his last three and a half games – a phenomenal output and an indication of what a catalyst he’s been.
Elsewhere, Firmino’s first-half introduction was also pivotal, causing a tactical switch that brought new life into the attack. While it’s always nice to see him on the scoresheet, the Brazilian’s most impressive involvement was his off-the-ball, showing a tremendous work-rate to track back and help out in defence. Indeed, he was the instigator for Mohamed Salah’s breakaway goal, winning possession deep inside the Reds half before whipping it out to the right-hand-side with Wijnaldum and Trent in space.Exceptional is being the norm under Klopp
Another emphatic Champions League win sees Liverpool reach back-to-back semi-finals, a mark of the huge progress done under Klopp’s tutelage. Taking over a side riddled with deadwood and a lack of consistency under Brendan Rodgers, the German has reconstructed the Reds, bringing in quality recruits with the help of Michael Edwards to instil strong foundations to a frenetic, attacking system. Liverpool are now very much back among the European royalty, sending a clear statement with those they leave in their wake.
It may seem normal, it may have become normal, but what Klopp has done at Liverpool is nothing of the sorts. This has been a phenomenal transformation and one that very much deserves to end in silverware this season.
The Reds have furthered their claim for both trophies over the past five days with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea and a 4-1 win at Porto.
Liverpool are one of the two best sides in England, and one of four standouts in Europe, which highlights the vast progress made under the current manager since his arrival in 2015.
Benitez is certainly familiar with challenging for both domestic and continental honours on Merseyside, coming close to winning the league in 2009 and lifting the Champions League in 2005.
And speaking to Radio MARCA this week, as translated by LFC Transfer Room, he has provided a confident take on his former side’s chances.
“Liverpool are a clear contender to win both titles. They have the potential to do it,” Rafa said.
“Last weekend I watched the game against Chelsea and they play with an intensity and an impressive level.
“Mane, Firmino and Salah made the difference, but the whole team plays with great intensity.
“Klopp is doing a great job at Anfield. They are in that position because they deserve it.”
Rafa’s opinions are always welcome, particularly in this instance as Liverpool continue to convince those outside of Anfield that they can secure silverware.
But the fact remains that Benitez’s Newcastle are one of the final four sides the Reds will face in the Premier League, and victory over the Magpies is paramount.
There is no chance the 59-year-old or his players will go easy on Klopp’s side, though by then they could be safe from relegation, with just two games left to play.
The hope, therefore, is that with nothing to fight for beyond pride, Newcastle will prove relatively comfortable opposition—as they did on the final day of 2013/14, by which time the title challenge had faltered.
LFC Foundation is hosting an open day for its new employability skills course next month.
Foundation staff will be on hand at the Learning Space at Anfield from 2pm BST on Wednesday May 1 to offer information and advice to those interested in joining the Premier League Works programme.
Funded by the Premier League, the initiative supports unemployed young people, aged 18-25, back into education, employment and training as well as providing skills development and mentoring.
The course will run for five weeks from Tuesday May 7 and provides participants with CV and job search support, team-building activities, interview techniques, practical activities and an employability certified qualification. Sessions take place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am-4pm.
A collective effort is required if Liverpool are to restrict Lionel Messi’s influence on their Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, Virgil van Dijk believes.
The Reds must overcome Barca to reach a second successive final in Europe’s top club competition, with the sides having each booked their places in the last four with resounding quarter-final victories this week.
Van Dijk was on the scoresheet to help Jürgen Klopp’s team register a 4-1 win at FC Porto in their second leg on Wednesday - 24 hours after a Messi-inspired Barca had beaten Manchester United 3-0 at Camp Nou.
The fact the Argentinian’s double against United took his goal tally for the season to 45 in just 42 appearances merely underlines the scale of the defensive task awaiting Van Dijk and his teammates over two legs separated by just six days.
But being part of a joint attempt to shackle Barca’s talisman is a challenge the centre-back is looking forward to.
“How are we going to do it? I don’t know, we’ll see,” a smiling Van Dijk said.
“It’s going to be a great match-up for all of us. It’s about doing it all together, it’s never one-v-one, it’s never just me against a particular striker.
“It’s always us against everyone and I think that’s the only way we can defend well.
“It’s going to be very hard [to stop Messi]. I think he’s the best player in the world but we’ll see. We're very happy to be in the semi-final again.”
Liverpool reached a second successive Champions League semi-final after a 4-1 win over FC Porto on Wednesday night.
Goals from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk completed a 6-1 aggregate victory and set up a last-four tie with Barcelona.
Here is what the media match of the match...
James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
Pity poor FC Porto who felt the force of Jürgen Klopp's ruthless, rampant Liverpool once again. The Portuguese champions were ripped to shreds on home turf by the Reds for the second successive season as they were routed 4-1 on the night and 6-1 on aggregate. Having survived an early bombardment at the Estadio do Dragao, Liverpool showcased the array of firepower which has made them feared across the continent. The breathtaking trio of Mane, Salah and substitute Firmino did the damage before van Dijk had the final word late on. Eder Militao's header was scant consolation for Porto who must be sick of the sight of the Reds. The prize is huge. A mouthwatering tie with Barcelona now stands between Liverpool and a final showdown with either Ajax or Tottenham in Madrid on June 1. A first trip to the Camp Nou since 2007 awaits and then the stage will be set for a spine-tingling European night under the lights at Anfield. These are the occasions Kopites live for. There will be a reunion with former Reds duo Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho and the prospect of trying to contain the greatest player of his generation in Lionel Messi. For Liverpool, there will be no sense of trepidation, no inferiority complex. Last season's run to Kiev was a whirlwind as Klopp's men surpassed all expectations. But this time it's different. This time they aren't surprising anyone. Liverpool know they belong among the cream of Europe. They have proved it time and time again.
David Lynch, Evening Standard
This is what it is to be a Reds supporter these days: unbelievable fun. And, courtesy of a 6-1 aggregate victory in this one-sided quarter-final, the party will roll on to Barcelona at the end of this month. Coming as it did after 24 minutes of utter domination from Porto, Mane’s opening goal at Estadio do Dragao could not have been better timed. But the Senegalese’s strike did more than just take the pressure off Liverpool and effectively end the tie as a contest; it also saw him join elite company. Having scored in every Champions League round since the start of last season’s competition, Mane has now clocked up 14 goals for the Reds in Europe. That puts him level with Ian Rush in second place on the club’s all-time list in this tournament, with only Steven Gerrard (21) having netted more. Having provided a fantastic assist for Salah’s goal with his last touch, Trent Alexander-Arnold was given a well-earned rest in the 66th minute. And the sight of Joe Gomez replacing him was certainly a welcome one for Liverpool supporters. The Reds No.12 was making his first appearance since sustaining a broken leg in Burnley back in December, an injury that came after he had deservedly cemented his place as Virgil van Dijk’s main partner at centre-back. Gomez may struggle to earn that status again between now and the end of the season given how little time is left, but he can still play a big part. Klopp is targeting victory on two fronts in May, and he will need all hands on deck if that dream is to become a reality.
Neil Jones, Goal.com
Bring on Barcelona! What a tie, and what an incentive. In a week where Ajax and Tottenham provided the fairy tales, Jürgen Klopp’s side ensured there was to be no such shock in Portugal. The Premier League leaders were far from pretty at times, but they got the job done. Mane’s goal, 26 minutes in, settled Liverpool down after a nervy start. They were grateful to Porto’s wayward finishing and to the Video Assistant Referee, who after a lengthy check confirmed Mane had been onside when tucking Salah’s cross-shot past Iker Casillas at the far post. It was the Senegal star’s 22nd goal of the season, and 14th European Cup strike for Liverpool, equalling Ian Rush’s tally. Only Gerrard has more. And like Rush or Gerrard, he is developing a real knack for scoring important ones too. This was the eighth time he has broken the deadlock in his last 15 games. When Liverpool have needed him, he has repeatedly stepped up to the plate – even if he did miss an absolute sitter after the break. Huge credit must go to Klopp, who has not lost a two-legged European tie since 2014 and who is now preparing for his third semi-final in three years as Liverpool manager. He is yet to grab that elusive first trophy at Anfield, but his team will take some stopping. The Camp Nou, one of the world’s great arenas, should hold no fears for them. Liverpool’s European away form has been a source of concern over the past 12 months, but they have now won twice at the Etihad, the Allianz and the Dragao (twice). They are unbeaten in 17 games in all competitions, winning the last eight, and will surely have seen the chinks in Barcelona’s armoury across the Catalans’ tie with Manchester United. Defensively, the La Liga champions should offer encouragement to Mane, Salah and Co.
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.