There’s no opening line that does that game justice. There’s no second line that does that game justice either. There’s no opening paragraph that’s good enough for an article about Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona. It does not exist.
I’m glad we’ve got that out of the way. If Liverpool win a Champions League semi-final in a somewhat normal, matter-of-fact fashion, as either Spurs or Ajax probably will tonight, you can write words like ‘incredible’, ‘great’, ‘magnificent’ and ‘unbelieveable’. But there are no words for Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona. Zero.
It had everything. The odds stacked against the Reds as player after player fell victim to injury in the lead up to game, against a side that possessed the greatest player to have ever walked the earth.
Don’t forget that. Liverpool shouldn’t win the game. It wasn’t a pack of duds that we put out. There was no start for a Le Tallec as there was in 2005 versus Juventus, but don’t ever allow yourself to think that beating Barcelona in a Champions League semi-final should happen. It shouldn’t.
I’ll always go back to the Thomas Tuchel line on this.
“This is Anfield, this is what they do”
Imagine trying to explain it to someone who doesn’t like football. Where would you start?
People talk about the atmosphere on a European night at Anfield, but it can’t just be that. It can’t just be as simple as volume, as decibels. It’s something you can’t measure. It’s something inside the soul of the football club that makes things like this possible.
There’s an amazing moment about thirty seconds after Wijnaldum’s first goal. After the celebrations end, the camera cuts to Messi walking back to the halfway line. The look on his face tells you everything, He knows it’s over. Barcelona are 3-2 up on aggregate still, but he knows what happens next.
He’s the best player to have ever played the game. He doesn’t need to carry his team, he’s got ten superb footballers around him. It doesn’t matter, he knows what happens next.
It shouldn’t feel like this. It’s literally 22 lads kicking a ball around a field in the northwest of England. But that’s the football, the physical game itself. That’s not what this was about.
Somehow, it’s about everything else in life. Love, emotion, moments, belief, doubt, courage. All the cringey stuff, but all the stuff that matters.
You can learn so much about life from last night’s game and everything that went on around it. The ultimate success story.
It’s mad that this season now doesn’t end for another four weeks. Lord knows what we’re all going to do in the 20 days between Wolves and the final. But as it approaches the conclusion, you can’t help but feel it’s all fate.
Sturridge’s worldie against Chelsea, Origi’s header against the Ev, Shaqiri coming on against the Mancs, the drop-off in January, Sissoko’s miss, Salah’s thunderbolt versus Sarri’s blues, Trent’s handball on the line at St. James Park, Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona.
It’s all part of the story, dare I say a fairytale. A fairytale that ends with silverware, but so much more than just that.
Last night might well have changed the psyche of the club forever, or certainly while Jurgen Klopp is still manager.
People talked about ‘doubters to believers’ in the past tense, but for me it’s only this morning that we’re all believers. There was always hope, but genuine belief is different.
Imagine ever going into a match thinking we can’t win it after last night. Imagine not thinking we’re going to win the league on Sunday.
Jurgen’s men are possibly two wins away from completing football.
It shouldn’t mean this much, but it does. It always will.