CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Barcelona lose, Liverpool win, as Valverde rests for Klopp

Ernesto Valverde made 11 changes to the side that played Liverpool on Wednesday and lost to Celta, but his players are fresh for The Reds.

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Barcelona lose, Liverpool win, as Valverde rests for Klopp
Alejandro García EFE

Ernesto Valverde made 11 changes for Barcelona's LaLiga clash with Celta Vigo on Saturday, with one eye on Tuesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Liverpool at Anfield. At St James' Park, Jürgen Klopp didn't have the same luxury and named arguably his strongest side possible.

Fresh Barça to visit Liverpool 

With the Blaugrana having already wrapped up the league, Valverde was able to rest all of the players that started the 3-0 victory over Liverpool at Camp Nou on Wednesday to ensure that they are fresh and ready for Tuesday's crucial game at Anfield. In the end, the Catalan back-up team - which still included Dembélé, Umtiti, Arthur and Malcom - lost 2-0 against the side that until this weekend was close to being relegated. The team's French winger was lost to injury.

Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp, meanwhile, picked most of the side that impressed so much at the Camp Nou as he lined-up against Rafa Benítez' Newcastle United. With a win almost certainly required to keep The Reds' title challenge alive, squad rotation was not a viable option, no matter how important Tuesday second leg is. 

At times the gulf between two Premier League sides, separated by 49 points before kick-off, was clear. But a battling performance from the Magpies had them on the verge of clinching a decisive point. That was until a late header from Origi settled the exciting clash. As well as significantly more tired legs and minds, the sight of star player Mohamed Salah being stretchered off made the Champions League comeback even more challenging.