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Barcelona’s home defeat by Real Betis could be inspiration for Liverpool

Quique Setién’s side denied Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez the space they need to thrive while winning 4-3 at Camp Nou

Just before the second half began on the day that Barcelona last lost a home game, back in November, Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi sat on the stairway that leads from the dressing room to the Camp Nou pitch trying to work out what had happened. For 45 minutes they had been overwhelmed; they were already 2-0 down and it could have been more. By the final whistle it was. Barcelona were defeated 4-3 by Real Betis.

It did not happen again: they have won 18 of 23 league games since then and are unbeaten in the Champions League. They have not lost a European game at home since 2013. Apart from a Copa del Rey quarter-final first-leg defeat at Sevilla, when they left out Messi, Suárez, Philippe Coutinho and Sergio Busquets, they have lost only twice this season: 2-1 at Leganés and the 4-3 defeat to Betis. If there are lessons for Liverpool from those two matches, they are different ones.

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