Klopp and Liverpool Seek the Power of Anfield
As the dust settles following a a 3-0 defeat for Liverpool in Barcelona, it might be hard to find any positives in the immediate aftermath but on another night, had the finishing been there, it could easily have been 3-3 ahead of Tuesday’s 2nd leg. Barcelona won’t think the job is done.. they took a 3 goal lead from the Nou Camp to Rome in last year’s quarter final and ended up out of the competition and missing out on a semi-final meeting with Liverpool.
It has been highlighted many times of the fantastic European nights hosted at Anfield over the last 50+ years and Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp will be wanting to etch another chapter into history. I could spend this article going back over all of these nights over the years but I only have to hark back to last year’s road to Kiev where the majority of the current squad produced a couple of fantastic nights for supporters. Victories, with 3 goal margins and a style of football that has become a staple in the Jurgen Klopp regime.
Against a back-drop of pre-match red smoke, jubilant chanting and all 4 sides of Anfield bouncing, Liverpool faced Manchester City in the Quarter Final stage of the competition and as City cantered to the league title with a century of points, it was widely expected that it would be them progressing towards Kiev but Liverpool came out of the blocks firing with goals from Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane putting Liverpool 3-0 up inside 31 minutes. If Liverpool can replicate a similar sort of performance next week then there is every chance for them to complete a turnaround.
In the following round, Liverpool were slower to come out of the blocks but still amassed 5 goals against the Roma side who had completed that unbelievable comeback at the previous stage of the competition. 2 goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half from Mo Salah set Liverpool on course for victory where Sadio Mane and a brace from Firmino had Liverpool sitting 5-0 up with 20 minutes to play. Unfortunately Liverpool didn’t keep the clean sheet and the final score was 5-2, a repeat of which result would see Liverpool head out on away goals.
Now is not the time to be despondent and resigned to exiting the Champions League. Football, to use a cliché, is a funny old game and anything can happen 11 v 11 over 90 minutes. The match last night showed Liverpool could create chances and cause Barcelona problems, add in the Anfield factor and anything can happen. The road to Madrid has hit a pothole but the wheels are not completely off and the 90 or more minutes that await in L4 could be one of those stories supporters will tell their children and grandchildren, akin in the way that you hear stories of St Etienne and Rome.