FC Barcelona to face Liverpool in Champions League semi-final
Ernesto Valverde’s men hope to make it three wins from three trips to England this year
FC Barcelona will face Liverpool in this year’s Champions League semi-finals. The English side reached the last four of the competition after dispatching of Porto in last night’s quarter-final second leg.
The first leg of the tie will be played in the Camp Nou, on Wednesday May 1, at 9pm. The return leg will then be played the following Tuesday, May 7, in Anfield at the same time.
The Catalans qualified for this stage of the Champions League by defeating Manchester United on Tuesday night, winning 3-0 in the Camp Nou and 4-0 on aggregate. This will be Barça’s third trip to England this season, after already beating Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in their grounds this year.
The tie will pit the leaders of La Liga vs the current leaders of the English Premier League, although Manchester City sit just two points behind the Merseysiders with one game fewer played. The winner of this tie will go on to face either Ajax or Tottenham Hotspur in the final.
Liverpool and Barcelona last met in official competition back in the 2006/07 season, when the English side emerged victorious in the knockout stages of the Champions League by virtue of away goals.
Prior to that, the sides went head to head in the second group stage of the 2001/02 edition of Europe’s premier football competition, where the Catalan giants won 1-3 in Anfield and the sides played out a goalless draw in the Camp Nou.
Barça stars Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suárez will likely capture much of the media attention in the build up to the matches as they prepare to face their former side for the first time.
Should the final in Madrid be contested by Barcelona and Ajax, the match will put Ajax’s Frenkie de Jong in the strange situation of playing against the club he will join this summer, after the Catalan club completed the purchase of the midfielder in January.