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Van Dijk: We will defend as a unit against Messi

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Liverpool can look forward to a mouth-watering semi final Champions League tie against Barcelona after overcoming Porto 4-1 on Wednesday night and 6-1 on aggregate.

The home team came out with all guns blazing with a clear plan to put the Reds on the back foot, looking to shoot at Alisson's goal wherever possible, and with their vocal crowd in full voice it seemed we could be in for quite a second leg.

But while the Liverpool team of old may well have crumbled under the pressure, this team is made of strong stuff, and were able to weather the early storm.

When Sadio Mane put the ball in the net after 26 minutes after some VAR intervention, there was always going to be one winner.

The second half was certainly a less frenetic affair with the visitors well and truly in control.

Jurgen Klopp even saw a opportunity to give Joe Gomez a run-out, the first time he has seen minutes since he sustained his untimely injury against Burnley in early December.

The other members of the front three added their names to the scoresheet in the second half, with Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino now sitting alongside Ian Rush with 14 Champions League goals for the Reds.

The fourth goal was a header by the leader of the defence in Virgil Van Dijk.

The Dutchman was naturally asked after the game about the fixture on the horizon against the Catalan giants, and specifically how are they going to combat arguably the best player in World Football in Lionel Messi.

Metro (via Viasport Futbol) reported Van Dijk as saying:

‘I don’t know, we’ll see. It’s going to be a great match-up for all of us. ‘

 

"Obviously we’re very happy to be in the semi-final again and that’s the only thing I can say.

 

vandijk2_600.jpg

 

Van Dijk said how the Reds defence combat a key attacking threat is through a complete team effort.

‘It’s about doing it all together, it’s never 1 vs 1, it’s never just me against a particular striker. 

"It’s always us against everyone and I think that’s the only way we can defend well.

"And it’s going to be very hard and I think he’s the best player in the world but we’ll see."

Jurgen Klopp is also looking forward to facing one of Europe's elite teams at such an important time of the competition, especially as it will the first time he has come face to face with Barcelona in a competitive fixture.

But first things first  Sky Sports reported the manager as saying his thoughts are firmly focused on Cardiff this Sunday.

"We are in the semi-finals and on Sunday we play Cardiff, that is in my mind and will be in my mind 100 per cent when I wake up tomorrow, not how we play against Barcelona.

"We have time for that. I am looking forward to it and it's brilliant, but not tonight.

"We have to get ourselves ready for another intense football game.

 

"Cardiff are back in the race after the result yesterday (a 2-0 win over Brighton) so they will fight for it and I don't think it will be less intense than tonight. That's the next job to do.

"The fact there is a proper game between Liverpool and Barcelona is really good news. I am really proud of the boys, it is brilliant what they did. I am really happy."

There is sure to be endless questions asked of both Klopp and the members of the squad in the next week or so.

However as they have done all season, you will back them to keep a intense focus at the job at hand.

And for the next two fixtures, that remains the title race in the Premier League.


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Find out what his favourite chocolate is. Mould a replica bar in laxative chocolate. Replace the complementary chocolate in his hotel room.

 

Stylin’ like the IMF.

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Play Milner at left back to counter him cutting inside on his famous left peg.  This post was brought to you by Rafa Benitez in association with Alvaro Arbeloa. 

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1 hour ago, Anubis said:

Find out what his favourite chocolate is. Mould a replica bar in laxative chocolate. Replace the complementary chocolate in his hotel room.

 

Stylin’ like the IMF.

So your cunning plan is to poison Lionel Messi.  hmmmm

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3 hours ago, magicrat said:

So your cunning plan is to poison Lionel Messi.  hmmmm

Not poison him. Just loosen him up a bit. Or loosen part of him, anyway.

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The best chance you have of catching him is in the tunnel before the match - would detail Moreno to go up and do the big hug, see ya next year on the bench monologue and have him stand dead hard on his foot.

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44 minutes ago, TheHowieLama said:

The best chance you have of catching him is in the tunnel before the match - would detail Moreno to go up and do the big hug, see ya next year on the bench monologue and have him stand dead hard on his foot.

Moreno would forget the brief and go and stand on Mo's foot

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1 hour ago, magicrat said:

Moreno would forget the brief and go and stand on Mo's foot

Moreno would miss the hug and end up knocking himself out on the wall 

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Fuck doing anything special. Play our game and press the fuck out of them trying to play it out. Stick Hendo in Busquets and just get at them. 

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16 minutes ago, Lee909 said:

Fuck doing anything special. Play our game and press the fuck out of them trying to play it out. Stick Hendo in Busquets and just get at them. 

Totally agree.  But if Rafa were still here and we were compact, Milly would get the nod.

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10 minutes ago, sir roger said:

To be fair Hendo may feel being in Busquets may be asking a little too much of him.

He's the captain and if he needs to give one for the team so be it

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12 minutes ago, TK421 said:

Totally agree.  But if Rafa were still here and we were compact, Milly would get the nod.

Well yeah if it was Rafa or Ged still here we look for 0-0 away. 

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