Virgil van Dijk reveals how Liverpool plan to stop Lionel Messi after Porto victory

Virgil van Dijk is relishing the challenge of facing Lionel Messi (Picture: Getty)

Virgil van Dijk has revealed that Liverpool will defend ‘together’ as a unit against Lionel Messi when they do battle with Barcelona for a place in the Champions League final.

Liverpool secured their spot in the final four with a 6-1 aggregate victory over Porto on Wednesday night after Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Van Dijk all got on the scoresheet in a one-sided second leg.

The Reds face Barca for the first leg of a mouthwatering semi-final later this month and come up against Messi who is arguably in the form of his life.

Messi produced a mesmeric performance on Tuesday evening, inspiring Barcelona to a 4-0 aggregate win over Manchester United with a first-half brace at the Nou Camp.

Asked how he plans to stop Messi following Liverpool’s defeat of Porto, Van Dijk told Viasport Fotball: ‘I don’t know, we’ll see. It’s going to be a great match-up for all of us.

‘Obviously we’re very happy to be in the semi-final again and that’s the only thing I can say.

Messi ran riot against Manchester United at the Nou Camp (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s about doing it all together, it’s never 1 vs 1, it’s never just me against a particular striker.

‘It’s always us against everyone and I think that’s the only way we can defend well.

‘And it’s going to be very hard and I think he’s the best player in the world but we’ll see.’

Liverpool put four goals past Porto in a comfortable second leg (Picture: Getty)

Klopp has never before managed in a competitive match against Barcelona and the German is ‘looking forward’ to the clash.

‘We played better this season. It was always going to be a whirlwind here and that was what it was. Second half the energy level dropped for Porto and we could control the game and score the goals,’ he said following Liverpool’s win over Porto.

‘We are more experienced, that is clear. We had difficult away games and we knew it would be the same as at City and Roma last year. It is all good. A difficult game but we go to the semi-finals.

‘It is first time for me to play Barcelona, apart from in friendlies. I am looking forward to that.’

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