Defying all odds, Liverpool managed to come back from a three-goal deficit and progressed to their second consecutive UCL final.
Champions League nights at Anfield never disappoint and yesterday’s game between Liverpool and Barcelona once again proved it. After taking a comfortable 3-0 lead in the first leg at Camp Nou, Barcelona were on cloud nine and required just one away goal to take complete charge of the fixture.
However, a depleted Reds’ side was simply in no mood to give up and two spectacular braces from Divock Origi and super-sub Georginio Wijnaldum, saw them catch the Catalans by surprise. There was no stopping this resilient Liverpool side and they completed an emphatic 4-0 victory, knocking out Barcelona and sending the fans berserk.
After the game, Jurgen Klopp was almost caught out of words as the result was simply unbelievable. “Winning was already difficult but winning with a clean sheet was incredible. I don’t know how the boys did it.”
“It’s ten plus ten, most of the children must be in bed but these boys are just unbelievable. They have an unbelievable mentality,” said Klopp.
“I saw James Milner crying after the game, it means a lot for us and I mean for all of us.”
The boss was naturally overwhelmed by the result as went on to praise the ‘emotional atmosphere’ that the team created on the night, citing it as a pretty special one. Speaking about Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ‘cheeky’ corner which was lashed into the back of the net by Origi, the German agreed that it was just a moment of genius. “We needed to be unpredictable against Barcelona.”
Moving on towards the manager of the losing side, Ernesto Valverde lambasted his side for their lacklustre performance saying, “ How can I explain what happened out there and how we were knocked out. It happened last year and it has happened again.”
“We reacted well after their first goal and in the second part of the first half we had our chances too. However, after we conceded two quickfire goals in the second half, they really went on top of us. They kind of rolled us over, really”
The Spaniard went on praise the opponents saying they performed really well and that we need to congratulate them for it. He continued to express his disappointment with his side’s performance saying, “It is a terrible result for us and our fans. We gave the ball away too close from the box and couldn’t stop them from taking the rare opportunities they got to score.”
Valverde admitted that the fourth goal ended that tie and they couldn’t respond to it. “Everyone was surprised by the speed with which the corner was taken and there was a lack of attention from the defence and even the players themselves were surprised.”
“For the moment, we are really blown away. We still have the Cup to play and would be looking to finish the season on a high after this.”