A little observation: As Liverpool took the corner that led to that final Barcelona breakaway, Jurgen Klopp ordered Alisson, a vision in fluorescent pink, to venture up the field and cause some havoc in the penalty area. The Brazilian goalkeeper refused to do so.
While we can’t say for sure what would have happened, had he done so, he almost certainly would not have been on hand to save Dembele’s pathetically feeble shot that turned out to be the last kick of the game.
Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeep! It’s over at the Camp Nou, where Barcelona have left Liverpool with a mountain to climb after spanking them 3-0. Luis Suarez opened the scoring with a deft touch to give Barcelona the lead at half-time. Despite an excellent opening to the second half from Liverpool, Leo Messi took over and grabbed the tie by the scruff of the neck. Leo Messi scored twice, his first a tap-in and his second an incredible free kick from about 35 yards out.
Liverpool had their chances and will rue not coming away from this game with at least one away goal to their name.
90+6 min: Liverpool win a corner, which Salah takes. Barcelona break up the pitch in another three-on-one and Dembele scuffs a weak shot into Alisson’s bread-basket after being teed up by Messi again. How did he miss!?!? He could have put the tie to bed right there.
90+5 min: Teed up by Leo Messi, Ousmane Dembele shoots high over the cross-bar when he perhaps ought to have teed up Ivan Rakitic, who was in a better position. Hark at me telling these fellows how to play football.
90+4 min:Barcelona double-substitution: Sergi Roberto and Luis Suarez off, Carles Alena and Ousmane Dembele on.
90+2 min: Sadio Mane cuffs Arturo Vidal in the face after the Barcelona player had dispossessed him with a brilliant tackle. The ref doesn’t spot the assault and Vidal doesn’t make a big deal of it. Liverpool have a corner, from which Barcelona break up the pitch in a three-on-one. They make a mess of it, with Luis Suarez running down the only blind alley.
90+1 min: Arturo Vidal puts the ball out of play to give Liverpool a throw-in deep in Barcelona territory, down by the corner flag. There’ll be five minutes of added time, if not a little more. Barcelona are about to make two substitutions.
90 min: Gerard Pique hacks clear as Liverpool lay siege to the Barcelona penalty area.
88 min: Alisson saves, getting down at the feet of Sergi Roberto, who had got in behind Liverpool’s defence. The Premier League side are in all sorts of bother, having had Barcelona seriously worried for the first 20 minutes of this second half. Their cause looks doomed, but an away goal would at least give them a sporting chance of turning things around at Anfield next Tuesday.
87 min:Liverpool substitution: James Milner off, Divock Origi on.
84 min:Liverpool miss a sitter. A Sadio Mane shot is blocked on the line by the heel of a Barcelona defender, but the ball ricochets kindly for Mo Salah. With the penalty area crowded but the goal at his mercy, the Egyptian spanks the ball against the upright. Oh, Mo.
83 min: That was an incredible strike. Standing over the dead ball, 35 yards from goal. Messi bends the ball around the left side of the wall and then wheels away in celebration as it arrows in under the angle of crossbar and left upright.
Crikey! Leo Messi scores with an incredible free-kick that sails into the top corner from 35 yards out. That’s his 600th goal for Barcelona.
80 min: Fabinho and Luis Suarez get booked, the latter for dissent, the former for a foul. Barcelona have a free-kick just outside the Liverpool penalty area.
79 min:Liverpool substitution: Gini Wijnaldum makes way for Roberto Firmino, who has been warming up on the touchline for some time.
76 min: Leo Messi makes a surging run through the centre, laying the ball off to Luis Suarez. He knees the ball ball goalwards, clipping the Liverpool cross-bar. Continuing his run, Messi simply controls the rebound with his chest before poking the ball into an unguarded net from about two feet out.
Oops! I may have spoken too soon. Messi doubles Barcelona’s lead.
73 min: Barcelona look fairly rattled and appear to have adopted something of “hold what we have” approach. Liverpool have been very threatening in this second half and Ernesto Valverde has ordered his players to be considerably less gung-ho than they were in the first half.
70 min: More wayward crossing from assorted Liverpool players, with both Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson failing to find their intended targets from the channels.
68 min: Leo Messi picks out Luis Suarez with a ball over the top. The Uruguayan looks offside, but Joel Matip gets back quickly to snuff out the danger before Suarez can cut inside to fire off a shot. Matip has been hugely impressive tonight, doing a lot of last ditch defending when called upon.
66 min: Liverpool give the ball away several times in quick succession, but Barcelona are unable to capitalise. Now Milner keeps a Sadio Mane glancing header in play to the right of the Barcelona goal and Liverpool eventually win a throw-in deep in Barca territory.
62 min: Seven years ago or thereabouts, Andy Robertson was working in a supermarket while playing part-time for Queens Park in Scotland. Now Barcelona are making defensive switches in an attempt to try to contain him in a Champions League semi-final at the Camp Nou. It’s been quite a journey for the young Scot, eh?
60 min: Barcelona substitution: Philippe Coutinho makes way for Nelson Semedo, which means Barcelona are now fielding two right-backs on their right flank. Semedo takes up his normal position, while Sergi Roberto moves into the right side of midfield.
59 min: CHANCE!!! Mo Salah picks out James Milner on the edge of the Barcelona penalty area, his pull-back from the byline finding its way to the midfielder after an excellent Wijnaldum dummy. Milner gets plenty of welly behind the ball, but shoots straight at ter Stegen. Either side of the goalkeeper and he was certain to score.
57 min: Another attack for Liverpool, with Mo Salah and Joe Gomez attacking down the right flank. Joe Gomez’s cross is poor and Barcelona clear. On the touchline, Jurgen Klopp looks visibly frustrated by his side’s inability to pick out team-mates with crosses.
55 min: Joel Matip wins the ball back for Liverpool after a stray pass from Andy Robertson allows Barcelona to break on a counter-attack.
Moments previously, Marc Andre ter Stegen had been called into action, diving low to his right and getting a strong hand behind the ball to prevent a low Mo Salah drive from fizzing into the bottom corner. Liverpool have got off to a great start in this second half.
54 min: Wijnaldum is a mite too slow to react to being teed up by a blisteringly fast short pass to feet by Jordan Henderson and fails to get a shot off from about 12 yards out.
52 min: Wijnaldum goes down holding his shin under a challenge from Pique, but play carries on regardless. The Dutchman returns to his feet and soldiers on.
50 min: Sadio Mane gets in behind Sergi Roberto down the left flank but completely overcooks his cross. Liverpool’s crossing and dead ball delivery has been uncharacteristically poor this evening. Their decision-making in the final third has also been questionable at times, but they’re only a goal behind and still very much in this game. There’s plenty of room for improvement, though.
48 min: Jordan Henderson floats a cross-field ball in the direction of Andy Robertson on the left wing. He doesn’t get enough welly on it and Arturo Vidal intercepts and clears.
47 min: Chance! Marc-Andre ter Stegen dives to his left to save well from James Milner, who’d been teed up by Gini Wijnaldum and shot from about 20 yards out.
46 min: Luiz Suarez goes down under a challenge from Joel Matip, making the most of a fairly innocuous challenge.
46 min: Barcelona get the second half started. In the tunnel for BT Sport, Michael Owen has reported that Luis Suarez was having a go at Andy Robertson on the way in for the break. He also reports that Jordi Alba went in to the Barcelona chapel for “a few seconds”, presumably for a quick word with the Big Man Upstairs.
An excellent first half: More please, gents. That was a massively entertaining first half, even if there hasn’t been too many clear-cut chances. There’s been some heroic defending at both ends of the pitch, with assorted players diving in with well timed blocks and tackles to save their sides.
Peeeeep! Mr Kuipers signals for half-time and Liverpool traipse off a goal down. They were undone by a moment of excellence from Barcelona, with Luis Suarez scoring against his former club with a deft flick after ghosting between Liverpool’s central defenders with a brilliantly timed run to get on the end of a wonderful Sergi Roberto cross.
Liverpool need not be too downcast, mind. They’ve created a couple of decent chances themselves and made life very difficult indeed for their hosts. Sadio Mane spurned one excellent chance to equalise, while Mo Salah has been a constant threat down the right wing.
45+2 min: Fabinho cuts out a Leo Messi pass as Barcelona work their way into a threatening position on the edge of the final third. This match is getting quite bad tempered and it should come as no surprise to learn that Luis Suarez, the goalscorer, is chief antagonist as proceedings threaten to boil over.
45+1 min: Coutinho goes down in the Liverpool penalty area after good defensive work by Joel Matip. Luis Suarez, who had put Coutinho in with a eat one-two, leads the appeals for a penalty but none is forthcoming.
45 min: Leo Messi goes down after being shouldered out over the touchline by James Milner and rolls around theatrically before allowing himself a little grin. Milner gets a stern talking-to from referee Bjorn Kuipers, but the yellow card stays in the Dutchman’s pocket.
42 min: James Milner picks out Mo Salah on the right touchline with a nice, curled pass. The ball finds its way to the opposite touchline, where Andy Robertson takes possession. He subsequently loses it in a tussle with Leo Messi, who seems to be spending quite a lot of his time back helping out his defenders.
41 min: Barcelona get forward after Luis Suarez takes the ball past a Fabinho lunge despite stumbling. Liverpool get back in numbers to clear.
39 min: Clement Lenglet is penalised and booked for a tug on the shirt of Mo Salah in the channel between the right touchline and the edge of the penalty area. Free-kick for Liverpool. James Milner sends in a cross, which is thumped clear by the head of Sergio Busquets.
37 min: Mo Salah spins and shoots from just inside the Barcelona penalty area, but his effort is blocked. The ball richets towards James Milner, who tries his luck. His low, bouncing shot from distance skews harmlessly wide.
36 min: Sadio Mane gets goalside of Pique and Sergi Roberto with only Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to beat after getting on the end of a delightful cross from Jordan Henderson. It’s a wonderful opportunity to equalise, but he lifts the bouncing ball high over the bar from about 12 yards out.
33 min: Joe Gomez, of course, not Joel Matip. I’ve fixed that now.
33 min: Jordi Alba gets another cross from the inside left, but Fabinho is back to prevent Coutinho pulling the trigger from close range. That’s an excellent block, but Liverpool are looking horribly exposed down the flank Joe Gomez is patrolling.
29 min: Barcelona struggle to play the ball out from the back under relentless pressure from Liverpool. They finally get the ball up the field, with Jordan Henderson chasing back in hot pursuit. Suarez finds himself in space with the ball at his feet on the right side of the Liverpool penalty area, but his attempt to square the ball is wayward and Liverpool clear their lines courtesy of Joel Matip.
That goal, incidentally, was Suarez’s first in the Champions League this season. He was clearly delighted with it, too – no non-celebration celebration for him!
27 min: Brilliant from Suarez, who sneaks between Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip to get on the end of an excellent curled cross from Jordi Alba and flick the ball past Alisson from about six yards out. His movement was excellent, as was Jordi Alba’s vision – there wasn’t a huge amount Liverpool’s defenders could do about that, although they were too slow in closing down Alba the provider.