Champions League semifinal return leg

Liverpool completed one of the greatest comebacks in football’s history coming back from a 3-0 deficit conceded during the Champions League semifinals first leg. Liverpool completed an unlikely miracle against against FC Barcelona and the world’s best player Leo Messi by winning 4-0! 

The Reds will play a second Champions League Final [lost last season to Real Madrid] and they aim to win the trophy for 6th time in club’s history, with the last one being in 2005. It was a magical night an Anfield Road stadium. Liverpool were missing their two best players in Salah (head injury) and Firmino (muscular injury).

Belief

The Reds believed in their chances. They put the heart and pressure on FC Barcelona from the get-go scoring a goal in the first 7 minutes. At the break the score was at 1-0 and Barcelona had very much the game under control. Then in just 3 minutes Wijnaldum scored 2 goals [54′,56′] to level the tie at 3-0 sending the whole stadium in frenzy. The game then settled and FC Barcelona could have scored the away goal they needed. But it did not come… Origi came, the unexpected hero,  who only plays pieces of games, would then scored the 4th [79′] and qualifying goal to complete, arguably, the greatest night ever at Anfield…. Liverpool never walk alone!

Coach Klopp on an amazing performance:

“It’s a special night, very special. Winning against Barcelona is obviously one of the most difficult things in the world of football; winning against Barcelona when you are actually 3-0 down makes it not easier. We had to score four goals and it was not allowed to concede pretty much. That made it, again, more difficult. So we didn’t really think about it, to be 100 per cent honest. We tried to build on the performance at Barcelona, all the good things we did there, and tried to win the game step by step. We have the ball, we attack with whatever we have. They have the ball, we defend with whatever we have. And that made it a really special game. It was really difficult to play against us tonight.

What the boys did – this mix, again, of big heart and football skills – is unbelievable. But then, how we know – and we didn’t learn it in the first game, we knew it before already – if you have chances you have to score because otherwise you get punished. Tonight we scored, in different ways. I said it so often now, the thing that made it really possible – and I said to the boys before the game, ‘I don’t think it’s possible but because it’s you I think we have a chance’ – is because they are really mentality giants.

I thought we were really difficult to play tonight. We had one or two nights like this before. We thought our performance was better than 3-0 at Barca, and tonight probably Barca’s performance was better than the 4-0 here – but it’s a competition where you have to score the goals. They didn’t, we did tonight, we scored one more.

We all know you need luck in this situation, or a genius moment like Trent Alexander-Arnold [for the fourth goal]. I saw the ball flying into the net and I had no idea who took the corner and who scored because it was too quick for me. Now I saw it back and it’s just incredibly smart, two players connected – in this moment it was enough. My God, genius.