In terms of Champions League semi-finals, it’s easy to say Barcelona vs Liverpool is the tie of the round.
The competition favourites against last season’s runners up will be the game that everyone will be interested in from fans from both teams to neutrals who just want to see an entertaining match, and it isn’t the first time these two titans of European football will face off against each other in the Champions League knockout stage.
A moment in time – Barcelona vs Liverpool 2007
Despite the two teams being giants of the continental game, winning 10 Champions League titles between them, Barcelona and Liverpool have not played each other as much as you think given their history in Europe, facing off against each other just 10 times since their first encounter in the 1975/76 UEFA Cup.
But it is their most recent meeting we will be looking at when the two teams were drawn against each other in the 2006/07 edition of the Champions League.
Liverpool faced a daunting task in the Round of 16. Having topped their group with relative ease, there was one team the Rafa Benitez’s side didn’t want to face in the next round, Barcelona, who finished second behind Chelsea in their own group, and sure enough, the Reds were drawn against the Catalan giants.
With the likes of Ronaldinho in his prime, Carles Puyol and Rafael Marquez marshalling one of the best defences in Europe and some kid called Lionel Messi making a name for himself, it looked to be a near-impossible task for Liverpool to overcome.
And so the Reds head to the Camp Nou, knowing that coming away with a single away goal might be a good enough result for Liverpool in the away leg, but Benitez and company got a bit more than just that.
It didn’t start off well, though, for the Reds. Deco gave Barcelona the lead 14 minutes in with a header at the near-post and should have really scored more had Pepe Reina not been in such inspired form, and just before half-time, Craig Bellamy silenced the Camp Nou when his diving effort just went over the goal-line, levelling the game.
Barca dominated the first half, and Liverpool did the exact the same after the restart. Steven Gerrard came close with an indirect free-kick inside the penalty area and Dirk Kuyt also tested Victor Valdes on more than one occasion, but it was an unlikely hero who gave the Reds the lead when John Arne Riise thumped in the winning goal 16 minutes from time, sealing the win.
Liverpool would go on to progress after a 1-0 win in the return leg, and the Reds went all the way to the final where they faced AC Milan, who got their revenge on Benitez’s side two years after Istanbul with a comfortable 2-1 win.
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