A visibly overwhelmed and emotional Jurgen Klopp praised Liverpool‘s mentality after one of the all-time great Champions League comebacks, having beaten Barcelona 4-0 to a set a new benchmark for famous European nights at Anfield.
Trailing by three goals from the first leg, no-one gave the Reds much hope but two goals apiece from Divock Origi and game-changing half-time substitute Georginio Wijnaldum saw them progress 4-3 on aggregate, all the more impressive with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino sidelined.
“The whole game was too much. It was overwhelming,” said Klopp after the match, speaking to BT Sport.
“We played against maybe the best team in world. Winning is difficult but winning with a clean sheet, I don’t know they did it. It’s unbelievable.
“I saw James Milner crying on the pitch after the game. It means so much to all of us. It’s the best phase of football. There are more important things in the world. But creating this emotional atmosphere together is so special. It’s all about the players.”
It’s now the second year in a row that the club has reached the Champions League final, and the German remains unbeaten in two-legged European ties at Liverpool.
The decisive fourth goal came as Trent Alexander-Arnold showed quick thinking to catch out the Barcelona backline, sending in a quick corner for Origi to sweep home his second of the night.
“The mix of potential and unbelievable heart is just a mix I never saw before,” he continued. “You have to be confident in a game like this. Divock and Shaq didn’t play a lot. Putting a performance in like that, it was so important. It shows what’s possible in football. It’s so nice. It’s really nice.
“We had to be serious. But we needed to be cheeky as well. It was necessary. Barcelona defend predictable things well. But you need to be unpredictable at moments. I saw the ball flying in the goal, I didn’t see the corner. I didn’t see who took the corner. Ben Woodburn said ‘what happened?’”
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