So the first thing I thought when I saw the scores was ‘No way’. And then I saw the scorers and I said ‘No way’ again. And then the realisation hit, but even now it doesn’t feel real that Liverpool could make Barcelona bow like that – but they did.
In last night’s epic match, (possibly the biggest comeback match in European Cup/Champions League recent history), a seemingly disadvantaged Liverpool destroyed the 3-0 lead advantage that Barcelona had going into the second leg match.
Two unlikely players which a lot of mainstream football fans probably won’t know of: Divok Origi (Belgian born son of Kenyan footballer Mike Origi) and Georginio Wjinaldum (pronounced whine-al-dum) were in the spotlight.
Origi has become sort of a Liverpool cult hero among fans now considering he made the Spanish Giants look like a mismatched bag of limbs and scored two very important goals.
He scored the first goal in the 7th minute, after Barcelona keeper Ter Stegen blocked an attempt on goal by pushing the ball right back to him. There was a penalty call when Sadio Mané went down and many other fouls during the first half. Barca was still trying to score at this time.
But it was still obvious they were not great. Messi, whom everyone seems to be hounding at the moment, looked like he had weights tied on him and was moving much slower than a person who wanted to get his team to the finals of the Champions League.
At half-time, there was still hope, as Liverpool had to score at least 2 goals to even have a chance and although they were playing better, no one could have thought the visitors wouldn’t fight back. But we were mistaken. So very mistaken.
Not only did they retreat and release Alisson Becker from stress by shooting at the air, their defending was porous and sad. The Scousers took good advantage of this and half-time substitute Wjinaldum actually scored 2 goals.
He came on in the 46th minute for Andy Robertson who was unable to continue and with help from Xherdan Shaqiri, he scored 2 goals in 2 minutes less than 10 minutes later.
At this point, Liverpool had already levelled; their future was secure. Thanks to youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold’s daring confidence and quick thinking, Divok Origi scored again thereby effectively sealing the fate of their Spanish visitors.
As is expected, everyone had something to say, even people who don’t like football or even properly understood what exactly went down. However, there were also comments from the actual authorities in the sport.
Former Manchester United and Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho compared Barcelona to an under-14 team, focusing on the goal which Alexander-Arnold set up.
He said if that had happened to an under-14 team, everyone would have said, “The kids are sleeping. They are not playing well.” And now we have a team like this playing like that.
Divok Origi chose to describe last night as “special and unbelievable” and one he surely won’t forget in a hurry.
Manager Jürgen Klopp who had said 4 goals were needed to advance, got what he asked for and thanked the fans as well after the game.
“We know this club is the mix of atmosphere, emotion, desire and football quality. Cut off one and it doesn’t work – we know that.
I’ve said it before. If I have to describe this club then it’s a big heart and tonight it was obviously like crazy, pounding like crazy. You could hear it and probably feel it all over the world.
I’m so happy we could give the people this experience and I’m really happy about having another chance to get things right from our point of view.”
– Jürgen Klopp
This makes Liverpool the second English club to consecutively reach the Champions League finals, after only Manchester United in 2008 and 2009.
Honestly they shouldn’t be asked to play that last Premier League game. They should just be given the trophy based on this performance.