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Three things we learned from Barcelona’s win over Liverpool

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi led the hosts to victory

Barcelona v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Suarez’s goal was worth the wait

Luis Suarez took on former side Liverpool without a Champions League goal to his name this season, and without having found the back of the net in Europe’s top competitions for 838 minutes. It hadn’t been for want of trying, he’d had 35 shots but zero success.

The goal was always going to come though and when it did it was an absolute beauty to break the deadlock. Arturo Vidal sprayed the ball out wide to Philippe Coutinho, and he laid it off to Jordi Alba to deliver an exquisite cross which Suarez brilliantly converted.

The Uruguayan demonstrated his predatory instincts by nipping in between centre-backs Joel Matip and Virgil van Djk and stretching to touch the ball past Alisson.

The goal was Suarez’s 20th in the Champions League for Barcelona. He becomes the fifth Barcelona player to hit the landmark after Messi, Neymar, Rivaldo and Patrick Kluivert.

Suarez had no qualms at all about celebrating his goal against his former team, and who can blame him? Goals are for celebrating, particularly ones as good as that and in such a huge game. It may have taken a while to arrive but it was certainly worth waiting for.

Messi joins the 600 club

Lionel Messi began the day on 598 Barcelona goals, but by the time he had finished with Liverpool he was up to 600.

His first of the night was as simple a finish as he’s ever likely to get. Suarez’s effort came off the post and landed perfectly for Messi to chest down and poke into an empty net.

Yet his second, his 600th strike, was something else entirely. Messi lined up the free-kick which looked an awfully long way out, but that did not prove to be a problem at all for the GOAT. He simply sent his kick over the wall, past a helpless Alisson and into the top corner. It’s no exaggeration to say he could not have hit it sweeter.

The goal capped another brilliant display by the GOAT who is on an absolute mission to win the Champions League this season.

He ran at the Liverpool defence all night long and showed Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, two players who have been rightly lauded this season and last, that he’s simply on another level entirely.

Barcelona are in control of the tie

Three goals and a clean sheet represents a brilliant result for Barcelona, particularly given how Liverpool did have chances to score and gave the hosts an incredibly tough game.

The two teams now head to Anfield for the second leg of their tie on Tuesday night, with the Reds needing to produce a memorable comeback if they are to progress.

Their failure to score an away goal at the Camp Nou is a big handicap. If Barcelona find the back of the net at Anfield, the hosts will need to score five to go through.

Barcelona v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

However, the Champions League is no stranger to crazy comebacks, and Barcelona will need no reminding of that fact after last season’s disaster in Rome.

Ernesto Valverde has already warned his side they had a three-goal advantage last year only to come unstuck, and the Spanish champions will know that while this is a great result and puts them in charge, the job is only half done for now.

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