Champions League - The Final Four

allstonite

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An away goal there would have helped make the next one more interesting. Just not Liverpool’s night
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
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Messi had a free kick just like that against USA in the expanded Copa America a few years back. Didn't believe it then, don't believe this one.
 

Kliq

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Salah tonight reminds me of Kyrie last night. When he has the ball the skill is obvious, but he doesn’t seem to be reading the game or the movements of his teammates very well.
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
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Salah tonight reminds me of Kyrie last night. When he has the ball the skill is obvious, but he doesn’t seem to be reading the game or the movements of his teammates very well.
he's been off all year if you ask me. Hard to fault a guy who's pole position for PL Golden Boot but he doesn't quite have the special sauce.
 

allstonite

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Barca is really frustrating to watch. It’s like the Rockets-Warriors series in one team. They’re so incredibly talented but the extra curricular stuff is obnoxious
 

Kliq

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Hopefully for you lot Dembele will regret blowing that final chance.

The good news is that Barca blew a similar lead to Roma last year.
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
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I was about to say that Allison should get up for the corner and try to nick an away goal, but then the ref let play go on waaaay too long
 

Kliq

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he's been off all year if you ask me. Hard to fault a guy who's pole position for PL Golden Boot but he doesn't quite have the special sauce.
I mean, healthy Harry Kane wins this Golden Boot going away...

Salah reminds me of a 35 HR hitter who hits 50 one year when he catches lightning in a bottle. A very good attacker but 30+ goals is a high standard to match.
 

pedro1918

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I mean, healthy Harry Kane wins this Golden Boot going away...

Salah reminds me of a 35 HR hitter who hits 50 one year when he catches lightning in a bottle. A very good attacker but 30+ goals is a high standard to match.
What if you only counted the goals when Kane actually touched the ball before it entered the net?
 

SocrManiac

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So, Messi's free kick...

Absolutely incredible. Power, swerve, placement. Inhuman stuff.

I initially didn't want to like Alisson's starting position. From thirty yards out against a guy you know can bypass a wall, you can't really rely on any help. You're starting at a disadvantage. The counterpoint, to some degree, is Messi's free kick against the US a few years back. From a very similar position, he actually put it past Guzan at the far post he was guarding. Granted, that's Guzan, not Alisson.

My gut tells me that I'd like to see Alisson start in the center of the goal. He has the size and speed to get to either corner from there. I genuinely think he gets to it. He becomes harder to get to the far post because the swerve would be tailing away, but that's an even harder shot.

In the end, it doesn't make any real difference. I don't see a way back for Liverpool, though I'd hope to be wrong. It's hard to imagine a player any better than Messi in this moment.
 

CPT Neuron

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Messi is a wizard, not human.....that free kick was beyond out of this world. Millimeter perfect - inch perfect isn't good enough there, yet he does it in the most "ho-hum" manner imaginable. Just another day at the office for a generational talent.

Beyond that, this game was there for the taking and Liverpool were't able to capitalize on some great chances and it cost them - Firmino's and Salah's chances in particular to get that away goal may spell the difference. I can see Liverpool putting 3 on the board at Anfield, even 4 wouldn't be beyond reason.....I just don't see a way that they keep Messi off the score sheet.
 

67YAZ

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With a little bit of perspective now, I do think Klopp's overall strategy was right - press high, prevent Barca from building up, and make Messi come deep to find the ball. Only having Firmino for 20 minutes was a big blow, though Wijnaldum did his best. Henderson filled in very well for Keita, not sure that this unplanned trade off impacted the result much. Gomez for TAA was a bad idea, though, No matter how "fresh" Gomez's legs are, they are never going to move fast enough to track Alba & stay on top of Barca's side-to-side passing. And Fabinho...was it just a bad day? He looked overwhelmed and played a really ugly match. Granted, Klopp left him with a ton of responsibility trying to man the middle while also keeping track of Messi's movement through that space...but Fab was was sloppy with the ball and slow to react in defense. He has to shake it off quickly.

Assuming Keita is out and Firmino is in next week, I'd like to see:

Mane Firmino Salah

Gigi Fabinho Henderson

Roberston VVD Gomez TAA

Alison

Will be interesting to see how much Klopp rotates for Newcastle this weekend.
 

Dummy Hoy

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I kind of thought Henderson coming in cold was an issue for a spell, including that first goal. He settled in nicely after about 10.

I was impressed with the job Wijnaldum did as the sort of linky false 9/10 that Firmino plays to perfection. Tough game to jump in and do that in though.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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So, Messi's free kick...

Absolutely incredible. Power, swerve, placement. Inhuman stuff.

I initially didn't want to like Alisson's starting position. From thirty yards out against a guy you know can bypass a wall, you can't really rely on any help. You're starting at a disadvantage. The counterpoint, to some degree, is Messi's free kick against the US a few years back. From a very similar position, he actually put it past Guzan at the far post he was guarding. Granted, that's Guzan, not Alisson.

My gut tells me that I'd like to see Alisson start in the center of the goal. He has the size and speed to get to either corner from there. I genuinely think he gets to it. He becomes harder to get to the far post because the swerve would be tailing away, but that's an even harder shot.

In the end, it doesn't make any real difference. I don't see a way back for Liverpool, though I'd hope to be wrong. It's hard to imagine a player any better than Messi in this moment.
Agreed .. it was a fabulous strike .. but I don’t think Allison saw it until it cleared the wall .. he was drifting to the right but seemed late moving into full keeper mode. Not sure it would have mattered.

I thought the Reds played very well .. they were dominating the game after the half .. the high press constantly forced turn overs .. but they just couldn’t finish .. missing Firmino was huge. Also agree that Gomez for AA was misguided. I think Klopp opted for defensive stability but it really hurt the offence.

Barca get a 2nd fluke goal against the run of play .. and then the Gallazo
 
I missed the Messi free kick yesterday, but having just watched it on YouTube about a dozen times, I'm pretty sure it just flicked off of the shoulder of the last player on the end of the wall (Gomez, I think?) - the amount and direction of spin noticeably changes after it passes the wall. That would explain how it seemed to bend so much: it just went a little bit wider, and had even more spin added to it, and thereby made Alisson's job that much harder. Has anyone else noticed or mentioned this?
 

Snedds

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I missed the Messi free kick yesterday, but having just watched it on YouTube about a dozen times, I'm pretty sure it just flicked off of the shoulder of the last player on the end of the wall (Gomez, I think?) - the amount and direction of spin noticeably changes after it passes the wall. That would explain how it seemed to bend so much: it just went a little bit wider, and had even more spin added to it, and thereby made Alisson's job that much harder. Has anyone else noticed or mentioned this?
I missed it originally last night, but saw it on Twitter this morning


There is a better camera angle doing the rounds, from pitch level by the Barca goal, but I can't find it right now
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
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Due to their own quality Liverpool aren’t often in the position of playing against a “better” team.

When you’re in that position, especially away, you can boss the game but you absolutely must convert your chances when they come, because over 90 minutes the quality of the opposition will eventually show. Pool didn’t.
 

SocrManiac

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I don't see a way back.

  • Firmino is too important to this team. As he goes, they go. He's out.
  • Salah and Mané, despite their goalscoring records this year, are incredibly wasteful. It's more of a testament to the sheer number of chances the side creates. Against a team like Barca, you have to convert.
  • Without Salah, they'll probably deploy Sturridge. They'd be better off playing with 10.
 

DJnVa

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Brief article talking about potential Champions League changes: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/potential-champions-league-changes-002843910.html

But most controversially, it was proposed that only clubs with historical success should be allowed in, removing the requirement to qualify through the domestic leagues. Some members also requested that this closed system feature a promotion and relegation between divisions, which would mean involvement for more clubs, and more games. It’s essentially a breakaway European Super League.

The changes would come in from the 2024-25 season, when the current agreement with UEFA expires. But don’t get too concerned about this closed system: all 20 Premier League clubs last month unanimously voted against the proposals.
 

allstonite

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There's 1

Edit: As weird as it seems Liverpool need to calm down and collect themselves. Matip and Fabinho are way too wound up. There's still 80+ minutes and Barca are content to sit back.
 
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PedroSpecialK

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It's been a while since I've seen this level of inconsistency in officiating. Cakir is usually a solid ref too