Barcelona will be playing their first leg of the semi-final match in the on-going UEFA Champions League against Liverpool tonight. Both teams meet for the first time in more than a decade and it’s the teams’ third semifinal contest in Uefa club competition. Barcelona are in the Uefa Champions League semifinals for the first time since winning their fifth European title four seasons ago. Although they have won only two of their last five contests at this stage. Liverpool, meanwhile, have reached successive semifinals and will be seeking to extend an unbeaten sequence at the Camp Nou.
Moving-on, Liverpool are targeting a place in the competition’s final for a second consecutive year. While Barcelona are making their first semi-final appearance in four years. Also in addition to the Liverpool team, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned as a second-half substitute on Friday. Having not played since suffering a serious knee injury in last season’s Uefa Champions League semifinal first leg against Roma on 24 April. His inclusion into the team for this seasons knockout stages is also a big plus to Liverpool..
While Barcelona have won their last two games at Anfield, Liverpool are unbeaten in away games against Barcelona. Recording two wins and two draws on their four previous visits. Both sides come into the tie on the back of encouraging displays in the quarter-finals. Barcelona comfortably dismissed Manchester United with a 4-0 win over two legs while Liverpool thrashed Porto 6-1 on aggregate.
Furthermore, Barcelona team with the likes of the Argentine’s international Lionel Messi. Who currently is the Uefa Champions League highest goal scorer with ten goal to his name. And is also bidding to finish as the leading marksman for the sixth time. Messi last topped the standings jointly with Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar in 2014/15. But has not been first alone since 2011/12, when he won it for the fourth time consecutively.
HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORDS IN LAST FIVE GAMES
Liverpool 0-1 Barcelona, Champions League, March 2007
Barcelona 1-2 Liverpool, Champions League, February 2007
Barcelona 0-0 Liverpool, Champions League, March 2002
Liverpool 1-3 Barcelona, Champions League, November 2001
Liverpool 1-0 Barcelona, UEFA Cup, April 2001.
Although, three of Barcelona’s eight semifinal defeats have therefore come against English opponents, with only one victory. But the are hopeful and optimistic that tonight game will take a total new perspective. Two teams with a lot of history and respect for each other. It will indeed be a match to watch.