The world was waiting to see Virgil van Dijk battle Leo Messi at the Camp Nou. The best defender in the Premier league against the best attacker in the world. The most impressive player in England against a Messi desperate to win another Champions League medal. The winner turned out to be the Argentinian.
It was a non-stop war which forced Messi too run more than he's used to in order to find space against a relentless Liverpool. He did that by scoring two goals and finished exhausted.
The Dutch defender didn't make it easy for Leo. Van Dijk is fast and aggressive but even he was thankful not to have to play against Messi every week.
"When you come up against Messi and he produces his best form you can't do anything. I'm grateful that I'm not in Spain and I don't have to face him every season. He scored two goals and I leave very disappointed. He won the battle but not the war."
The defender points out it's only 'half time' in the contest and that at Anfield, anything could happen.