No lengthy preamble needed.
Mo Salah‘s shirt in the stands said it all though for the Reds and their fans: Never Give Up.
Liverpool entered the half up 1-0 but arguable were outplayed after the opening 10 minutes. The two squads were even on shots on target, Barca held a possession advantage (55-45%), had more passes (301-248), and pass accuracy.
Picking self up off the floor…
Ok, the second half saw Liverpool tirelessly chip away at the aggregate. Gini Wijnaldum was subbed in for an injured Andy Robertson and obv scored two goals, bringing the aggregate level 3-3.
Then in a moment of brilliance, Trent Alexander-Arnold took advantage of sloppy Barcelona defending on a corner, setting DIVOCK ORIGI up for the semifinal winner.
Liverpool advance 4-3 on aggregate. Unbelievable. What a team.
They’re now odds-on favorites at -270 on FanDuel Sportsbook NJ to win the Champions League. Unreal.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (10) – MUCH better line-up selection. Every decision was the right one. The subs, the tactics, well done, Klopp.
Alisson (10) – Strong and confident, challenged more early than Liverpool fans would like to see. Great save on Coutinho in the 18th. Came up HUGE on a Jordi Alba attempt at the end of the first half.
Came up big early in the second half on a Suarez attempt. Saved everything in sight. Amazing.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (10) – Would’ve been a mini-riot had he not gotten the start. Quiet first half. In second half, made a poor pass that was intercepted, then he gengenpressed the fuck out of it and fed the first Gini goal.
Then, just brilliant defending and what he saw on the corner to Origi was wise well beyond his years.
Virgil van Dijk (8) – Strong on ball and aerials early. A menace on Luis Suarez. Great clearances. Great game.
Joel Matip (8) – Is he just improving by osmosis from being in close contact to VVD, or was he always this good? Brilliantly brought Messi down to stifle a penetrating dribble in the 66th minute. Matip is awesome.
Andy Robertson (8) – Let’s just say had anyone on Barcelona done to him what he did to Messi early on this recapper WOULD NOT BE HAPPY. But it’s Robbo, and he can do no wrong. Except going for assists instead of shots. Missed a chance to take a touch and shot in the box in the 22nd. Then he apparently immediately read this because he WENT FOR GOAL in the 23rd with a solid on target shot that was deflected out. Was literally everywhere, making a brilliant touch to stifle a lob into the box in the 25th minute. Went for it again in the 43rd with a daring shot. We’re not even at HT and I’ve already written more about Robbo than the rest of the team combined. He’s having a good game.
And oh ffs, he’s out at half. Of course he is. That’ll hurt distribution and basically everything else. Great game, Robbo. On track for another Man of the Match had he finished. He’s getting it along with everyone else though so all good.
James Milner (7) – Solid first half before getting shifted to LB when Robbo went out. Gini Wijnaldum takes his midfield spot.
Fabinho (8) – Chippy af from the opening whistle. Just seems to magically appear where he needs to be all of the time.
Jordan Henderson (8) – Definitely was out on his front foot early. Went down in the 31st with either just a dinger on his knee that he needed to walk off or he has no ACL left. (Came back on so just a ding) Kept fighting all game until the end.
Xherdan Shaqiri (6.5) – Was equal parts nervous and confident early on if that makes sense. Or maybe the word I’m looking for is “inconsistent.” Still, wanted to attack and did. Became less steady as the first half went on, particularly on his passes.
Sadio Mane (8) – He fast. Seriously, looks a step faster lately which seems almost impossible given he’s top 25 in field player minutes in the Premier League. Wonderful read and interception to lead to the opening opportunity. No goals but kept fighting hard until the final whistle.
DIVOCK ORIGI (9.5) – DIVOCK ORIGI HAPPENED. Yep, the Belgium netted one in the 8th minute to give Anfield a boost of adrenaline. He might lead the known world–including U10 7vs7 youth soccer–in goals per minutes played. So strong on ball all game…then in the 79th minute on a TAA corner…DIVOCK ORIGI HAPPENED AGAIN. He gave Liverpool the aggregate 4-3 lead.
Subbed off for Joe Gomez in the 85th.
Georginio Wijnaldum (9) – Came on at midfield when Milner had to shift to LB for Robbo. AND THEN HE PROMPTLY SCORED TO PUT LIVERPOOL UP 2-0. AND THEN HE SCORED AGAIN ON A HEADER IT’S LEVEL 3-3.
Joe Gomez (NR) – On late to provide extra defense for DIVOCK ORIGI.
Daniel Sturridge (NR) – In late for Shaqiri.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Literally everyone. All of Anfield. All the players. Klopp. The whole organization. That was wonderful.