Reds' joyous bedlam!
It is nights like these that make or break a team. It is nights like these that teach us to dream. It is nights like these that make us believe that football truly is an emotion! Barcelona was frozen. They were made to look like callow, pigeon-chested schoolboys by a local lad who is just 20 years old, a product of down the road who managed to out-think a team like Barcelona. His name: Alexander-Arnold, one of the world's best full-backs. And his team: Liverpool. Jürgen Klopp's 'Red army' avenged their first leg defeat at Camp Nou in style. The men were in tears after the incredible 4-0 second leg victory over the Spanish champions, who led 3-0 heading into the return leg at Anfield, with the victory being described as "the greatest comeback in Liverpool's illustrious European history". They took responsibility to see their team through and how overwhelmingly could they do that than what they have just achieved. Klopp had told his boys: "Actually, it's impossible, but because it's you, you have a chance." His 'talented giants' delivered — holding aloft a legacy of passion, grit, determination and their indomitable fighting spirit. The victory was all the more astonishing because Liverpool was playing with the injured Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita. Klopp turned to Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri to fill in for Salah and Firmino and the German was delighted that both seized their rare chances to shine. Liverpool delivered the greatest in a long line of famous comebacks to reach the Champions League final. Divock Origi scored twice, either side of goals by half-time substitute Georginio Wijnaldum early in the second half, to send an elated Liverpool side into its second straight final and set up a meeting with either Ajax or Tottenham on June 1 in Madrid.
Mo Salah, who was ruled out of Tuesday's semi-final due to concussion, watched from the sidelines. He wore a T-shirt with 'Never give up' phrase as his Liverpool teammates defied all odds to demolish Barcelona. He sent a fitting message to his teammates without saying a word and they found full support in divine providence as they surged ahead with impeccable resolute, superb co-ordination that made Barcelona players quake and gulp in cold breaths of air. There may have been or may be more such gloriously unbound nights in English football's European history but this will always remain as an occasion that stands out from the rest, the night when the exuberance over trophies and cups seemed to fade and what twinkled under the dark sky was Liverpool's moment of pure bedlam.