Ernesto Valverde said that their Champions League semi-final tie with Liverpool is “totally open.”
Valverde said they have not won the game despite Barcelona beating Liverpool 3-0 in the first leg on Wednesday.
Valverde cited a scenario where AS Roma had to upturn Barca’s 3 goals in the quarter final last season, saying that recent history means that the La Liga champions won’t get carried away with their ultimately emphatic victory over the Reds in the Nou Camp.
Barca beat Roma 4-1 at home in the quarter-finals last season but crashed out on away goals after losing the second leg 3-0.
“We had to suffer to keep a clean sheet,” Valverde told press conference.
“We made some minor adjustments at half-time and they really came off in the second half. The game demanded a great fight and we won.
“They are a great team. There are still 90 minutes left and we know what awaits us.
“Last year we were eliminated in the quarter-finals having had a three-goal advantage. So the tie is totally open and Liverpool will make it difficult for us.”
Valverde believes Messi struck fear into Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“We know what Messi can do but he does not stop surprising us,” he added.
“He is the captain, the player who moves the game and sets the rhythm of the game. He has made the difference again and pushed us to victory. He has shown once again that he is the leader of the team.
“Leo is always surprising. The free-kick was from a distance and I did not know if he was going to shoot. I do not know how he does it but he always succeeds and stands up when we need him the most. He transmits a feeling of constant fear in our opponents.
“This was a game we had circled in our diaries against a team with incredible technical and physical ability and Leo was aware of that. We know if Leo goes, everyone follows.”
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