Arsene Wenger pointed the finger at Virgil van Dijk for Barcelona’s opening goal against Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final.
Former Red Luis Suarez lost Van Dijk in the box and deflected Jordi Alba’s cross past Alisson to give Barca the lead at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.
A spirited Liverpool performance was stifled by two late Lionel Messi goals as the Argentine legend reached 600 goals for Barcelona.
Jurgen Klopp’s side now need a miracle to reach a successive Champions League final, trailing by three goals ahead of next week’s return leg at Anfield.
Speaking at half-time, Wenger assessed the opening 45 minutes of the match and highlighted Van Dijk’s error which led to Barcelona’s opener.
The former Arsenal manager told beIN Sports: ‘It was a half of top-quality.
‘We saw a really high intensity from Liverpool. I feel they are unlucky to be 1-0 down because they are dangerous.
‘Physically they are stronger than Barcelona, especially pace-wise. Barcelona made two or three yellow cards because they could not even run with Liverpool’s players.
“van Dijk covers but he should go with Suarez to cover that goal!”
‘But when they get into the final third Barca have that quality. One chance, one goal. ‘It is very interesting because Virgil van Dijk [usually] covers, but he should go with Suarez to cover that goal.
‘Especially from a centre-back with that quality… he lets him go. At the start his position is not bad, but he refuses to respond. ‘It’s a great goal because the cross is fantastic. For a goalscorer it is ideal. It is marvellous football.’
Liverpool wasted a number of promising opening at the Nou Camp, most notably when Mohamed Salah hit the bat after Roberto Firmino’s initial shot was cleared off the line.
Following the defeat, Reds boss Klopp said: ‘Football is like this. It’s about scoring goals, and they scored three and we scored none.
‘Our performance was really good, the boys played a super game. But against Barcelona just a few opportunities can be enough [for them].
‘I was happy with the performance, not too happy with the result. That’s football. It was a hard result but we have to accept it.’