Arsene Wenger gives his verdict on FC Barcelona v Liverpool FC
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger felt FC Barcelona 'suffered' until Lionel Messi's second goal in a 3-0 win
Arsene Wenger accused Liverpool FC of “collapsing” after Lionel Messi scored in Wednesday night’s 3-0 loss at FC Barcelona in the Champions League.
The Merseyside outfit had made an assured start to the first leg of their semi-final as Jurgen Klopp’s side dominated possession at the Camp Nou.
However, Sadio Mane wasted an early chance to score when the Senegal international had the goal at his mercy but fired over the crossbar.
Liverpool FC were punished for being wasteful in the 26th minute when their former striker Luis Suarez broke the deadlock with a deft finish.
The Reds managed to regroup and recover a stranglehold on the Champions League tie as FC Barcelona looked threatening on the break.
Lionel Messi extended the home side’s lead but not without an element of good fortune after ricochets off Fabinho and Andy Robertson fell kindly to him with 15 minutes to go.
The FC Barcelona captain left the visitors with a tough task to overturn the deficit when Messi netted a spectacular free-kick to seal a 3-0 win in the 82nd minute.
Mohamed Salah still had a great chance to net an away goal but the Egypt international could only hit the woodwork from less than nine yards out.
Speaking to beIN Sports about Liverpool FC’s resounding defeat, Wenger felt that Jurgen Klopp’s side “collapsed” after Messi’s first goal.
‘It was hard for Liverpool tonight,” Wenger said. “But, I must say, Barcelona suffered in the second half until they scored the second goal, then Liverpool collapsed.
“There was two important things that happened tonight. First, when they suffered Ernesto Valverde made a good change.
“He brought [Nelson] Semedo on and put [Sergi] Roberto in midfield… from that point on that looked more stable defensively.
“The second part of it… something we have seen so many times, is Messi. Mr Messi came in and said: ‘Let me finish the job’.
“Liverpool had a late chance, they should have scored. They will regret this chance but overall it is typical thing I have seen at Barcelona.
“They are better than you in the final third, every pass is great. That makes the difference at the end of the day.”