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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 17, 2007

Cruyff warns Barcelona of Liverpool aerial threat

Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff has warned his old team that they must stifle Liverpool's aerial threat if they are beat Rafael Benitez's side.

Liverpool meet the reigning European champions in the Nou Camp on Wednesday in the first leg of their last-16 encounter and Cruyff, who managed the Catalonian side to a European Cup win in 1992, believes their forward line could cause Barca problems.

'Barcelona against Liverpool is the absolute top match in the Champions League and, normally speaking, it shouldn't be a problem for Barca,' Cruyff told The Sun.

'But the last time I saw Liverpool playing, I have to say that with [Dirk] Kuyt and [Peter] Crouch up front, they played some excellent stuff.

'The two of them form an enormously good partnership.'

'Crouch is better technically than folk think and Kuyt is good in positional play.

'And in the air nobody wins anything against them.'

But despite Cruyff's admiration for the Anfield club's strike pairing, he still believes Frank Rijkaard's side have the necessary talent to secure victory.

'The Barcelona trademark is a high-speed game which could break down the Liverpool lines,' he told the Daily Star.

'Then the middle line, with dangerous men like Steven Gerrard, cannot link up with Kuyt or Crouch.

'By doing that you take the sting out of the English.'