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Liverpool 4 Barcelona 0 (May 7 2019)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

How do I even begin to describe that? Some will say it’s the greatest comeback in our history. Not for me. Istanbul is the greatest comeback because it was a final and because we only had 45 minutes to turn it around. Also, that team (with all due respect to them) were massively outgunned.

 

That Liverpool team were vastly inferior to AC Milan. Hell, that 2005 team finished below Everton in the table. What they did was a miracle. This wasn’t a miracle, it was just the best performance in the club’s illustrious 127 history. It wasn’t a miracle because these boys are so good. They’re better than Barcelona and they should be beating them.  

 

They proved it last week, despite the scoreline. And they put that injustice right at Anfield with a performance that, for me, blows away anything else I’ve seen. To win 4-0 without Bobby and Mo and with absolutely no margin for error just makes it even more of an accomplishment. Seriously, tell me a performance better than this? I'll wait.

 

You can come up with some heroic against the odds wins (we’ve had plenty) but you can’t tell me that the team has ever played better than this, against world class opposition, while needing to score four goals without reply to win. 

 

The best player in the world, perhaps of all time, came to Anfield and was kept quiet. An away goal might have killed us off but it didn’t come because the entire team defended like heroes. The entire team attacked like heroes too. This was a complete performance and it was as close to perfection as you’re ever likely to see.

 

Honestly though, I wasn’t surprised. That’s not to say I expected the lads would do it, but it didn’t shock me that they did. Klopp’s pre-match rallying cry to them summed it up. “It’s impossible, but because it’s you, there’s a chance”. And also because it’s Anfield.

 

My expectations prior to the game were that we’d win and that we’d score at least three or four. I was just as convinced that we wouldn’t be able to keep them out though, so whether we would go through would depend on if we could get five, which I saw as probably being a bridge too far.

 

Going into the game I’d have given us a 20% of going through. After the early goal, it was up to 50%. By the time it went to 3-0 it was up to 85% and when the fourth went in I’d have put it at 95%.

 

How could I be that confident with a 3-0 deficit and Messi and Suarez in opposition? It sounds corny, it sounds like a cliché and everyone who isn’t us absolutely hates it being mentioned, but it’s proven fact that there is nowhere in the world quite like Anfield on a European night. Nothing is impossible. We've seen the impossible before, so why would we not think it could (though not necessarily 'would') happen again?

 

If we’d needed to score five to win this game we probably would have. Maybe even six. No Salah or Firmino? No problem. You could have taken Mané out to and started Rhian Brewster, and the outcome would still have been the same because it’s us, at Anfield.

 

Barcelona will get stick for collapsing, but the Spanish media shouldn’t be too harsh on them. They played as well as they were allowed to. This wasn’t about them and their ‘failings’. It was about our lads. These incredible players who are doing superhuman things. Remember when we thought they were mentally weak? Not any more. There's no-one like these lads. To quote Klopp they're 'fucking unbelievable'.

 

There seems to be no hurdle they can't overcome. I’ve genuinely never seen anything like this. 94 points with a game to go and they’re in second place. They saw City scrape a spawny win the night before thanks to a one in a million pot shot from a player who normally couldn’t hit Romelu Lukaku’s arse with a cricket bat. It knocked the stuffing right out of me, so it has to be demoralising for them.

 

Yet 24 hours later they take to the field, 3-0 down against Messi’s Barcelona, and they do THAT?? No wonder Klopp can’t stop dropping F bombs everywhere whenever a microphone is put in front of him. How do you describe these lads without swearing? Somehow ‘they’re unbelievable’ or ‘I love them’ just doesn’t cut it. It needs a ‘fucking’ thrown in there for added emphasis.

 

Ask the Pope what he thinks of this team and I expect his response will be “yeah they’re fuckin’ boss aren’t they?”.

 

Barca rested all eleven starters at the weekend in preparation for this game. Good job they did, imagine how many they’d have lost by if they didn’t have fresh legs.

 

 

This is just a teaser, click to view the full report

 

Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 

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We seem to be back to like it was under Rafa when every team in Europe would think 'oh shit' if they drew us in a two legged tie. Manchester City are probably the only team I wouldn't be entirely confident of beating over 2 legs these days. I'd probably make it 50-50 with them. Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus, PSG … we'd batter the lot of them. Barcelona had an incredibly jammy first leg and it still wasn't enough for them. I fancy us for the final whoever we get, but I'd feel a lot happier if it was being played over 2 legs.

 

Weird one with the ref. He was driving me potty in the first half. Seemed to fall for it every time one of their players went down but theatrically wave away any fouls on our players. But in the second half I can't recall even noticing him - usually a good sign for a ref. 

 

Impossible to pick a motm. Was reading some of the newspaper ratings earlier and ridiculously one of them awarded Milner a 6 and Fabinho a 7 (they gave a lot of the Barcelona players a 6 as well, so it's not like they'd just set a ridiculously high scoring scale). I'd love to know what game they were watching.

 

 

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sat here with a lump in my trousers and tears in my eyes, i've gone all very emotional reading your excellent report dave, i'll be singing my favourite hymn on sunday, "all things brighton beautiful"  c'mon you redmen ynwa 

 

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I'm not sure which is more impressive. The match or the fact that you've managed to capture the moment in 6,274 words when everybody else has spent the day at work blabbing to anyone who will listen and watching the highlights over and over and over....

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1 minute ago, frankie said:

I'm not sure which is more impressive. The match or the fact that you've managed to capture the moment in 6,274 words when everybody else has spent the day at work blabbing to anyone who will listen and watching the highlights over and over and over....

 

Oh I did that too, only I work from home, so I've just been blabbing to myself.

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Something I forgot to put in the report. The ball boy on the 4th goal did a hell of a job. Trent should give him a signed shirt or something for that.

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Great report Dave, hard to put last night into words but you’ve done it. Henderson, kinnel, I’ve doubted him as much as anyone, but what a man and captain he’s become. You can’t give more than 100% but somehow he did. Trent, cheeky Scouse penalty, just incredible. Origi, just fucking fairy tale stuff. I’d better shut up. All of them, every single one including the subs, the bench, the walking wounded all invested in the match. Imagine not supporting Liverpool, it’d be like not rating the Beatles. Stunning game.

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18 minutes ago, dave u said:

Something I forgot to put in the report. The ball boy on the 4th goal did a hell of a job. Trent should give him a signed shirt or something for that.

Especially as he was doing his job about four years ago.

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This match was ridiculous and honestly the revenge we needed for last weeks result.

 

We know this Liverpool team is amazing but this was the result we needed to let the rest of the world take notice I thought it was gonna come last year in the final but Madrid's snide took that away and then I thought last week was gonna be our moment but Barcelona's snide took that away.

 

This week though we were unstoppable and there was nothing they could do to take this away from us and you're right Dave this is not as miraculous as Istanbul or our game against Dortmund as those were victories against teams who were better than us, this was a victory that was deserved we outplayed that Barcelona team and we showed the world we are better than them.

 

Onto the final we go to right the wrongs of last season 

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Great report as usual, Dave. I’m a dye hard believer but I was not expected from the game so was pretty relaxed. Then I got stressed out as the game went and we were about to do it. I could not watch the par five minutes.  Good to read it was relaxed.

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I had tears flowing last night as I watched the post match love-in. That was chicken soup for the soul. Unreal. 

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