Liverpool’s task seemed unthinkable: pierce the Barcelona defense four times, keep the ball out of its own net and do it all without one of the world’s preeminent goal scorers, Mohamed Salah.
And then it happened. The Reds played 90 minutes of unimaginably polished soccer. They shut out Barcelona and Lionel Messi, 4-0. Their offense was intense. Their defense was laudable. And now they’ll play for a European Champions league title against either Tottenham or Ajax.
Barcelona led, 3-0, after the first leg at Camp Nou, an effort Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp marveled at.
“I don’t know if we can play much better,” he said.
But Tuesday, they did.
Divock Origi scored on a rebound in the 7th minute. Georginio Wijnaldum scored twice — two minutes apart, in the 54th and 56th minutes. Origi scored again on a sneaky corner kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 79th minute.
Alexander-Arnold went to take the corner, then walked away from the ball. As he did, Barcelona’s defense relaxed, and Alexander-Arnold walked back over the ball and swept a low, hard cross to Wijnaldum.
Barcelona never really had an answer. Messi created several promising offensive beginnings, but none of his teammates were finishers. Keeper Marc-André ter Stegen got his body on one shot, but couldn’t keep it out. He was caught napping on the fourth and decisive goal.
When the clock struck the 95th minute of stoppage time, Anfield Stadium burst into rapturous cheers.
The Reds are in the midst of a stunner and scored their fourth unanswered goal in the 79th minute off a sneaky corner kick.
Trent Alexander-Arnold stood over the ball at the right corner and caught the Barcelona defense napping. Divock Origi stood in the middle of the box and somehow — without the defense noticing — Alexander-Arnold whipped a pass and Origi tapped it in.
Source: Washington Post