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Regardless Of The Result, Liverpool Have Shown Us They Are For Real

Regardless Of The Result, Liverpool Have Shown Us They Are For Real
By Gary Connaughton Updated

The Camp Nou is not an easy place to go. We have countless previous examples from which to draw this conclusion. Heading into tonight, Barcelona had won 28 of their last 31 home games in Europe, with the other three finishing as draws.

It has hardly been the happiest of hunting grounds for English clubs either: 43 games, 29 wins, 12 draws, two defeats. Of course, those two defeats both came at the hands of Liverpool, in 1976 and 2007. The Merseyside club drew on their other two visits to the stadium.

While that undefeated record may no longer stand, this game represents far more than just the final score. As if we needed another one, this served as the final reminder that Liverpool are amongst the elite of the elite in European football. That may sound bizarre, but it's true.

Right from kick-off, this felt like a titanic clash between two incredibly talented sides. While Liverpool may have fallen behind midway through the first half, you couldn't really argue that they weren't the better side for large portions of this game.

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Their quality only became more pronounced in the second half. Barcelona could not get the ball off the visitors. They forced two world class saves out of Ter Stegen early on, reminding Barcelona that they were in a game. The Spanish side may be used to their opposition fading as the game goes on, they soon realised this would not be the case here.

Nelson Semedo was introduced in order to combat their growing dominance, replacing attacker Philippe Coutinho in the type of move we rarely see from the Spanish giants.

Barcelona could hardly escape their own half for the majority of the second half. And then in a blink of an eye, their lead was doubled. What could Liverpool do about it? A deflection off a crossbar could hardly have fallen more perfectly for Messi. 2-0, and an incredibly harsh scoreline.

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What followed was the hallmark of a genius. A free kick that most players wouldn't even dream of having a go from, but Messi pinged it in.

Liverpool had done nothing wrong, even were the better side for much of the game, and yet found themselves 3-0 down.

It's a funny old game isn't it? A three goal defeat, and yet it feels like Liverpool come away with their heads held high. The tie may be all but over, but they showed us tonight that they are a side of real quality.

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Jurgen Klopp has assembled a side that belongs amongst the elite of European football, and they will be back. Were it not for the combined unstoppable forces of the greatest player of all time, and the best side in English football history, they could well be looking at a historic double. Instead, they will likely end up trophyless once again.

We will hear the sneers and cries of bottlers from football fans, but that doesn't tell anything close to the full story. This Liverpool team will be back. Despite the scoreline, tonight's game proved that fact.

SEE ALSO: James McClean Received A Vile, Hate-Filled Birthday Card

 

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