Former Bayern Munich and Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has revealed the main reasons why Liverpool can beat Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final.
The Reds booked their place in the Last Four yesterday with an eventually comfortable 4-1 win over Porto, sealing a 6-1 aggregate victory. After reaching the final last year, they will be wanting another chance at glory, but first, a two-legged semi-final with Barcelona stands in their way.
It will be far from easy for Jurgen Klopp’s men to stop the La Liga champions, with defensive linchpin Virgil Van Dijk already admitting he has no idea how to stop Lionel Messi.
However, Hargreaves – who won the Champions League twice as a player, once with Bayern and once with United – has pointed out why he thinks Liverpool might have the upper hand, signalling the significance of the Reds having home advantage for the second leg.
“It’s big, we all know Anfield is a fortress, but I’ve been so impressed with the atmosphere and energy in the ground. They’re a fortress at home,” he said on BT Sport.
“[Gerard] Pique is brilliant and [Clement] Lenglet is a very good defender, but they’re not the quickest and that ball down the channels, Liverpool you can see getting in there.
“If you think it’s [Mohamed] Salah, [Sadio] Mane or [Roberto] Firmino, that ball is in the back of the net.
“Barcelona were brilliant, but for the first 10 minutes – Messi said it after the game – they didn’t start well.
“We know Liverpool are going to start well. If they take their chances and they’re clinical, to go with the brilliant defence they have, I think it could be tough for Barcelona.”
The first leg will take place at Camp Nou on 1st May, with Anfield hosting the return leg on 7th May.
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