Champions League: The Anfield faithful turn 12th man for Liverpool
When you are 3-0 up and go into the second leg with the opposition missing two of their best players, it should be a walk in the park for a team like Barcelona? The Catalan giants though were in for a rude awakening, as the Liverpool fans were up for another European classic and were roaring their players on before a ball was kicked.
Not many gave Liverpool a chance today, and especially without Salah and Firminho, one couldn't really see them overturn a 3-0 deficit. The one thing we forgot to factor in though is the Anfield crowd, it does not matter if Liverpool is 1-0 up or 3-0 down, they will back their team till the last whistle.
Here again today the game started with "You Never Walk Alone" chants which sent shivers down spines of everyone involved in the match. This doesn't just pump up your own players but it can have an intimidating effect on the opposition team as well.
Barcelona entered Anfield with red flares clouding their bus and thousands of fans presenting them with a hostile welcome. The likes of Messi, Suarez, Pique, Busquets are heavily strapped with experience and have played in tons of Champions league games, but this is Anfield and the atmosphere is overwhelming and difficult to cope with for away teams.
One could see the impact the fans had with Liverpool dominating the game initially and scoring the all-important early goal to get them back into the tie. Barca had a few chances in the first half but some quality defending denied the Catalunya side an away goal. In the second half, it was all Liverpool with Wijnaldum and Origi completing their braces to send Liverpool to the Champions League Final for a second year running.
Anfield has witnessed some special European nights but today was probably the best Champions league night in Liverpool. Credit goes to the Anfield faithful for building up an electric atmosphere and maintaining it throughout the game.
On the final whistle, the frenzy at Anfield reached a crescendo and it was surreal to see the players, ex-players and the fans singing in tandem. It was a fantastic spectacle and a night that will be remembered down the years, the fans did their job and they will be at it again on the 1st of June in Madrid.
This is not the first time Liverpool have overcome a 3-0 defeat in a Champions League game, roll the clock back to Istanbul in 2005 where they came back against AC Milan to win the final on penalties. Even during that night, the crowd was sensational, while 3-0 down Gerrard recalled in many interviews over the years that the fans kept singing and that gave them the boost to perform in the second half.
Barcelona will be shattered, this is the second year in a row where they have discarded a 3-0 first-leg lead, and it seems they haven't learnt from their mistakes in Rome last year. The team is overly reliant on Messi and the likes of Coutinho and Suarez, who should have been hyped returning to their old club, were a shadow of themselves.
Messi is the best player in the world, but he still only human and tonight was the night where he needed his teams mates to play in sync but unfortunately apart from a few chances it was a poor performance from Barcelona.
Liverpool's fairytale run under Klopp continues and it will be extremely harsh if they don't win a title this season. They are playing their heart out in the league and now have overcome a miracle against the Spanish giants, Klopp has done everything possible and now it is just about crossing the line.Modified 20 Dec 2019, 22:58 IST