Barcelona took a hugely valuable 3-0 lead from their first leg with Liverpool in their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.
It was a result earned more by fight than football as the Catalan club’s solid defensive display was complimented by goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.
However, there are aspects to improve on for Ernesto Valverde heading into the second leg at Anfield; a place where Jurgen Klopp‘s side are a different animal.
Barcelona conceded possession too many times for the home crowd’s liking at the Camp Nou and allowed their opponents to have the majority of the ball. “We’re not used to not having the ball and it cost us a little bit,” Messi said afterwards.
Valverde and his players cannot afford to be drawn into a Premier League-type match where possession changes hands almost constantly because that’s when Liverpool are at their best.
Giving the ball away
Valverde opted for Arturo Vidal rather than Arthur Melo in his starting line-up and that’s probably where Barcelona’s suffering stemmed from. The hosts failed to complete almost 100 passes during the match and Ivan Rakitic was barely involved in attacking moves.
Liverpool’s high press caused these mistakes and, although Vidal brings the team some bite in the tackle, Arthur would solve this problem.