The shirt Mohamed Salah wore read, “Never Give Up.” It seemed he was the only Liverpool fan who expected the Reds to do the impossible: overturn a 3-0 deficit against almighty Barcelona.
Maybe this is true.
However, Liverpool’s task on Tuesday night was ‘Mission Impossible.’ How do you score four goals against Barcelona while keeping a clean sheet at the same time? It was supposed to be impossible.
The days leading to Tuesday night were filled with doubts, silent hopes and fear of the inevitable: Liverpool missing out on the Champions League final. Anfield gave the Reds faithfuls hope. It had been a fortress all season long (except when Wolves and Chelsea came visiting in Cup games).
However, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi triggered fear. He seemed to be the only player most Liverpool fans were afraid of. Ernesto Valverde’s side did nothing in the first leg, yet Messi managed to score two goals. The Liverpool fans were wary of a repeat performance: do all the playing while Barcelona does the scoring.
What was supposed to be a dark night has turned out to be the most glorious night Anfield has ever witnessed.
The comeback has been described as ‘the mother of all comebacks.’ Liverpool needed to score four unreplied goals against Barcelona.
And they did exactly that.
For Liverpool, the impossible dream has come true. For Barcelona, their worst nightmare has become reality. For the neutrals, it was a night of great football, one for the history books. It was also a game that was quickly followed by a lot of questions, one of which is:
What’s it all about Liverpool’s brilliance or Barcelona’s stupidity or just luck?
Just like yesterday’s post, the answer is relative. At the same time, the question seems to answer itself.
Putting four past Barcelona takes brilliance. It’s a feat that only a few sides can pull off. To do that in the manner which they did is nothing short of brilliant. Furthermore, all the players involved have etched their names into Liverpool’s history books.
They did exactly what needed to be done: score an early goal and play the game of their lives. They will never be forgotten.
While this is important, the most important has to be Barcelona’s stupidity. It may sound harsh but it’s the perfect description of a side that has refused to learn for past errors.
Barcelona found themselves in a similar position last season against AS Roma. Despite going into the second leg with an advantage, they bottled it. Fast-forward to a few months later, the Catalan giants have suffered the same fate.
Barcelona’s woes started off in the first leg. Liverpool were unlucky to have left Camp Nou without a goal. Barcelona were unfortunate, via Ousmane Dembele, to have not scored more than the three they did.
Suarez was guilty of wasting a few chances in this second leg. Lionel Messi too. They proved that the first leg performance was not a fluke: Barcelona is not as clinical as they’re projected to be. All their five attempts on goal were saved by Alisson – who did enough to be the Man of the Match.
Barcelona’s midfield was non-existent. Their defense was in shambles, thereby exposing Ter Stegen. This is not an excuse. It’s a confirmation of Barcelona’s hard luck on the night and thus, an extension of their stupidity.
Liverpool, not Barcelona, will now play in the Champions League final in Madrid. Barcelona have to settle for local trophies and Lionel Messi’s G.O.A.T status hangs in the balance, for the umpteenth time.
Can you answer the question? Which one did you think played a more pivotal role in how events of the game played out: Liverpool’s brilliance or Barcelona’s stupidity? Leave us your comments and share your thoughts with us.
Author: For The Goal
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