Sometimes there are nights in football that just go behind explanation, and beyond comprehension. You aren’t able to describe what happened or even why it happened, but just that it actually did happen. Tonight was one of those nights as against all odds, Liverpool came from 3-0 down on aggregate to defeat Barcelona 4-3 and progress to their second consecutive UEFA Champions League final.
In its purest form, this is one of the best nights in the history of Liverpool Football Club. In the first leg, they seemed pretty unlucky to lose by the scoreline that they did, but there was always the glimmer of hope that they could pull off one of those famous Anfield European nights once again. Many thought it was impossible, but then again, that word doesn’t really come into the vocabulary of the Merseyside men.
Liverpool kept a high tempo in the early stages of the game, and within less than ten minutes, they had the lead on the night. Divock Origi tapped the ball in after ter Stegen failed to control Jordan Henderson’s shot, as Anfield erupted. From that point on the Reds continued to force the ball forward, with Messi and Suarez struggling to get into the game for Barca. At half time, though, there was still a lot of work to do.
The Anfield special
Despite missing Salah and Firmino, the Reds were able to get the second goal they needed after the break to really kickstart the comeback. The substitution of Georginio Wijnadlum proved vital as he scored the second with a nice low drive, and then just moments later, he sent the home fans into a state of shock and pandemonium with a magnificent header than pulled them level.
It seemed as if the game was heading towards extra time, when suddenly, Trent Alexander-Arnold caught Barca off guard by taking a quick corner that was turned home by Origi once more. Stunning. Magnificent. Unbelievable. Take your pick.
Liverpool will face either Ajax or Tottenham Hotspur in the final of the UEFA Champions League, and you really couldn’t write it. This is one of their greatest nights.
Liverpool: Alisson (8.5), Roberston (7), van Dijk (7.5), Matip (7.5), Alexander-Arnold (8), Milner (7), Fabinho (7.5), Henderson (7.5), Mane (7.5), Origi (9), Shaqiri (7), Gomez (6), Sturridge (6), Wijnadlum (9)
Barcelona: ter Stegen (6), Roberto (6.5), Pique (6.5), Lenglet (5.5), Alba (5.5), Vidal (7), Busquets (6), Rakitic (6), Coutinho (6), Messi (7), Suarez (6), Semedo (6), Arthur (6), Malcom (6)
Referee: Cüneyt Çakir
Goals: Origi x2, Wijnaldum
Yellow Cards: Fabinho, Matip, Busquets, Rakitic, Nelson Semedo
Red Cards: N/A
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