Barcelona and Liverpool go head-to-head in the Champions League semi-finals first leg this evening.
Jurgen Klopp will be gunning for back-to-back European final appearances with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane leading the line in the first leg.
Lionel Messi is the top scorer in the Champions League this season and will no doubt want to prove his worth against another top English side tonight.
RadioTimes.com will keep you informed throughout the day with the latest news, plus live updates during the game.
FT: Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool
- Luis Suarez opens the scoring against his old club at the Nou Camp.
- Liverpool impress for most of the game, but Lionel Messi scores twice to kill the game.
- Argentine star scores 30-yard free-kick to cap off the match.
FULL TIME: Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool
The scoreline flatters Barcelona but they won’t mind as moments of Messi magic sealed the deal.
Liverpool were in charge of the second half but failed to take their chances.
Barca were clinical in the moments that mattered, topped off with a world class free-kick from their Argentine superstar that may have ended the tie before even reaching Anfield.
90+2′ – CHANCE: Barcelona go through three-on-one with the ball at Messi’s feet. Robertson doesn’t faint, collapse or anything else I would have done in that situation and blocks Suarez the squash the attack.
85′ – SUBSTITUTION: James Milner OFF, Divock Origi ON.
84′ – CHANCE(S): Mane should bury his effort but it’s a terrific clearance off the line. The ball falls to Salah who crashes a sitter against the post. All Liverpool’s hard-work has been undone by blunt finishing.
82′ – GOOOOOOOAAAALLLL: BARCELONA 3-0 Liverpool (LIONEL MESSI)
OH. MY. MESSI. FREE. KICK. He’s a thousand yards away from goal and the G.O.A.T. has pinned the ball into the top left corner of the top left corner. Outrageous. Just. Wow.
81′ – YELLOW CARD(S): Fabinho (foul), Luis Suarez (dissent).
79′ – SUBSTITUTION: Georginio Wijnaldum OFF, Roberto Firmino ON.
75′ – GOOOOAAAALLLL: BARCELONA 2-0 Liverpool (LIONEL MESSI)
Against the run of play, Suarez breaks through the Reds’ ranks, lobs Alisson, his shot hits the bar and bounces back for the easiest goal Messi will ever, ever score. The entire tie just shifted massively in Barca’s favour.
71′ – Joel Matip is having a top game – the most impressive defender for Liverpool tonight. He mops up another dangerous attack as the last man.
69′ – Liverpool are playing the Barcelona way in this second half. I’ve barely ever seen a team out-Barca the hosts at the Nou Camp.
They aren’t rushing their attacks, just probing away, knocking the ball sideways on the edge of the final third, waiting for their moment.
63′ – Barcelona aren’t finished yet… Messi slides the ball through to a wide-open Arturo Vidal on the left side of the box but he can’t find a target in the middle. Terrific game in Spain.
60′ – SUBSTITUTION: Phillipe Coutinho OFF, Nelson Semedo ON.
59′ – CHAAAAAANCE: Wijnaldum lets the ball run through his legs on the edge of the box, and Milner charges through with a bullet shot. Either side of Ter Stegen and it’s 1-1, but fortunately for the German, it stings his palms without having to move.
58′ – The Reds are well on top, seeing all of the ball. Barcelona are barely able to gain control of possession at the Nou Camp – a line no live-blogger has ever typed before.
53′ – CHANCE: Liverpool are turning up the heat! They’re on top here. Salah rifles a low shot toward the left of the goal but Ter Stegen nudges it wide of the post.
47′ – CHANCE: Milner forces Ter Stegen into a save with a curling right-footed drive on the left of the box.
46′ – We’re off again, and Suarez has already gone to ground after a nasty injury*.
HALF TIME: Barcelona 1-0 Liverpool
Pheww! It’s been anything but a cagey first leg at the Nou Camp.
Liverpool have enjoyed surging down both wings but have failed to connect with a man in the middle, which is precisely what Barca managed to do.
Tempers began to flare at the end of the half so we could be in for a spicy second 45.
43′ – Messi goes down with more rolls than Greggs after a bull-like shunt off the pitch from Milner.
39′ – YELLOW CARD: Clement Lenglet – Salah has the beating of every defender on his flank. Lenglet desperately drags him back and is happy to pick up the booking.
35′ – CHANCE: Mane lifts his effort over the bar after a world-class wonder pass from Henderson glides over the heads of the Barca team. It wasn’t the easiest of chances for Mane, but given his form, he should be taking those.
32′ – Liverpool aren’t out of this, but they are lacking a final product when they do cut their way forward. The Reds are finding plenty of openings down the flanks without carving out many genuine chances.
31′ – And just like that, Barcelona are ramping up the pressure. Messi is coming into the game, dragging defenders all over the place and simply isn’t losing the ball.
26′ – GOOOOOOOOOALL!! BARCELONA 1-0 Liverpool (LUIS SUAREZ)
Alba pings in a low, deep ball from the left and Suarez emerges from the pack of Liverpool defenders to slam home the finish. LETHAL work from Barcelona who have simmered in the only stages.
And Suarez isn’t exactly the shy, retiring character who wouldn’t celebrate against his old team. He loved that.
24′ – SUBSTITUTION: Naby Keita OFF, Jordan Henderson ON. Keita has been struggling, holding his groin, and that’s his night over. Henderson had a terrific night in Munich, how will he fare in Barcelona?
23′ – Mane is proving himself to be a handful with a couple of surging runs. Liverpool will be very encouraged by their start. They’re yet to make a golden chance, but the Reds have been marching into the Barca box…
19′ – Free-kick to Liverpool in a tasty position, just outside the box on the left. Roberton delivers… but it’s too high for VVD.
16′ – CHANCE(S): Coutinho fires in two drives from the left-hand side – neither particularly troubling, but Barcelona are finding their range.
14′ – And straight away Liverpool shoot away with Salah carrying the ball most of the length of the pitch before running out of options.
14′ – PENALTY SHOUT: Whistles rain down from the stands as the ball rolls up Matip’s leg and clips his hand inside the box. Messi is adamant, but there’s zero intent.
11′ – Salah has started brightly. His final ball has escaped him, but he’s matching Mr Messi in the dribbling department.
6′ – PENALTY SHOUT: Mane goes down following contact from Pique. Nothing given. If only we had an all-powerful, decision-making, technological demi-god in the sky watching over this game…
5′ – Rakitic bursts into the Liverpool box with a terrific touch but Matip is across in time.
4′ – Messi flutters his way into the path of Van Dijk for the first time and certainly not the last. Bigger battle than Winterfell incoming.
KICK OFF: We’re underway! This feels like a final. Could we just say it is…?
Kick-off: 8:00pm / TV channel: BT Sport 2 / Stadium: Nou Camp, Barcelona
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Vidal, Coutinho; Messi, Suárez.
Liverpool XI: Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner, Wijnaldum, Keita; Mane, Salah.
7:57pm: They may be small in number but the Liverpool fans are making a big, big noise inside the Nou Camp. Deafening chorus of Allez Allez Allez ringing out.
7:55pm: …and they’re back out! Here we go. It’s Barcelona v Liverpool. AND IT’S L[wondering whether Martin Tyler has a copyright on this]IVE!
7:44pm: The players have gone back down the tunnel… It’s nearly time for the main event. Buckle up.
7:20pm: Barcelona also boast a flexible line-up. Coutinho is expected to start on the left of a front three alongside Messi and Suarez [gulps]…
However, he could easily drift deeper into the midfield if required.
7:13pm: There are a lot of question marks over Liverpool’s formation this evening.
Salah and Mane are expected to start up front with Keita spearheading a diamond midfield.
7:02pm: You’re Joe Gomez, you’re making your first competitive start since the start of December, you’re tasked with keeping Philippe Coutinho quiet…
It’s a HUGE night for the talented young defender who is capable of huge performances, but he needs to shake off all signs of rust or Barca will target him.
6:43pm: LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS
Big surprises from Jurgen Klopp. Henderson, Firmino and Alexander-Arnold are all on the bench while Joe Gomez starts.
? #UCL TEAM NEWS ?
Our line-up to face @FCBarcelona…
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 1, 2019
6:38pm: BARCELONA TEAM NEWS
Suarez and Coutinho start! The former Reds heroes join Messi in a full-strength line-up.
?? XI Barça
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 1, 2019
5:14pm: BARCELONA V LIVERPOOL: RADIO TIMES PREDICTS…
The attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino won’t be easily silenced.
They’re a match for any front three in world football, and could enjoy a big night in the Nou Camp.
On the other hand, Messi has been the star performer in the tournament so far, and he will readily steal the limelight if given the opportunity.
His battle with Liverpool’s backline will be fascinating. Expect goals…
Prediction: Barcelona 2-2 Liverpool
4:45pm: LIVERPOOL SEND BEST WISHES TO IKER CASILLAS
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 1, 2019
2:31pm: MOURINHO GIVES BARCELONA V LIVERPOOL OPINION
Former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has made his predictions for the Champions League semi-final clash.
He told Russian news outlet RT: “I think if Barcelona plays in Liverpool, the second leg, in the same way they played the first leg at Old Trafford, they will be in trouble.
“I think in the first match Barcelona will go obviously to try to be in front, but as we were saying before, Mane, Salah, Firmino – not so direct, but the way he links the play – they are very dangerous, they can also hurt Barcelona.”
12:31am: KEITA ALMOST SIGNED FOR BARCELONA
Naby Keita was all-set to join Barcelona in 2017, according to reports from Spain.
Mundo Deportivo claim Keita’s representatives had met with the Catalan side many times before the move broke down.
RB Leipzig’s asking price rose at a late stage while Keita had reservations over a potential lack of first-team football at the Nou Camp, leading to Liverpool winning the race to sign him.
11:52am: LIVERPOOL RELEASE STATEMENT
Liverpool have released an official club statement following a viral social media video showing a man being pushed into a fountain in Barcelona.
The club has said: “Liverpool Football Club is working with Merseyside Police and the authorities in Spain, who are endeavouring to identify those involved in the incident.
“Such behaviour is clearly totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further while the situation is ongoing other than to confirm the club will follow due process in any and all cases of this nature.”
10:17am: MESSI CLOSING IN ON THE GOLDEN BOOT
Lionel Messi can tighten his grip on the Champions League Golden Boot this evening.
Champions League top scorers 2018/19:
- Lionel Messi – 10 goals, 3 assists
- Robert Lewandowski – 8 goals, 0 assists
- Dusan Tadic – 6 goals, 3 assists
9:00am: GOOD MORNING!
Welcome to the RadioTimes.com live blog ahead of Barcelona v Liverpool.
We’ll be bringing you the latest news throughout the day, before keeping you updated with LIVE developments from a huge Champions League night at the Nou Camp.
Liverpool are aiming for back-to-back European finals, Lionel Messi is simply aiming for Liverpool…