Barcelona lost its first preseason game on Saturday, as the Blaugrana were demolished by Liverpool with a 4-0 result thanks to goals from Sadio Mané, Javier Mascherano (OG), Divock Origi and Grujic. Preseason losses don't matter, but the performance was a little concerning. Still, it's preseason.
We knew this would be a battle of styles, and it was Liverpool's that stood out throughout the first 45 minutes. Jürgen Klopp's men pressed the ball very hard, got plenty of steals and brought danger to the shaky Blaugrana defense in plenty of occasions. And after 15 minutes of dominance, the Reds got a goal. Adam Lallana robbed a ball from Arda Turan, combined with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané finished a great counter-attack to score the goal.
Upon conceding, Barça slowly improved their passing and dealt better with the Reds' pressure. Lionel Messi was active and got the best chance when he hit the post, but Luis Suárez and Arda Turan also had chances thanks to good buildup from the team.
At halftime, an overall mediocre performance from the Catalans, but the last 20 minutes of the first half were encouraging.
Barça had an absolutely terrible start to the second half, with wrong passes all over the place and a hopeless defense trying to stop Liverpool's fast attackers. In a span of two minutes, Liverpool scored twice and secured the victory. The Reds didn't stop pressing and going after the win, and continued to create chances on the counter.
After an insane few minutes, Luis Enrique made changes and Barça got much better. Iniesta and Rakitic came on to keep possession, Lucas Digne made his debut and looked very good on the left side, and the Catalans looked more in control. Unfortunately, no goals came, and Liverpool left Wembley victorious with a fourth goal in injury time, courtesy of Grujic.
In the end, an okay collective performance, some bad showings from key players, and an absolutely meaningless result. Up next, the Joan Gamper Trophy against Sampdoria to open the Camp Nou doors to a new season.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen (Bravo) | Vidal (Roberto), Mascherano (Piqué), Mathieu, Cámara (Digne) | Busquets (Rakitic), Denis (Samper), Arda (Iniesta) | Messi (Alfaro), Suárez (Mujica), Munir
Liverpool: Mignolet | Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner (Moreno) | Can (Henderson), Lallana (Stewart), Wijnaldum (Grujic) | Mané (Markovic), Firmino (Ings), Coutinho (Origi)
Goals: Mané (15'), Mascherano (O.G. 47'), Origi (48'), Grujic (90'+2)