Liverpool and Barcelona can both consider their domestic campaigns to have been fine ones this season. Having lost just three games between them in their league competitions, the real battle came at the Camp Nou on Wednesday as they clashed in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final in Madrid on 1st June.
After a narrow start, it was Barcelona who broke the deadlock in the first half against the run of play. Luis Suárez got onto the end of a cross to open the scoring and celebrated against his former club.
Liverpool were still in the tie and pinned Barcelona back for much of the second half, but were downed by a rebound from Lionel Messi who then followed up with a magnificent free-kick to decide the tie on the night.
Here, our tactical analysis considers what both managers can take from the game ahead of what is bound to be a hardfought second leg at Anfield. With a substantial lead, Barcelona can be hopeful, but the return of one player, in particular, could give Liverpool hope. Barcelona selected their expected line-up for this tie, adding Arturo Vidal in midfield to add more steel and energy in what was bound to be a high-paced game.