Courtesy Reuters

(BBC)Liverpool are into their second successive Champions League final after overcoming Barcelona with a stunning second-leg fightback on an epic night at Anfield.

Roared on relentlessly by their fans, the Reds produced an incredible all-action display to claw back and then ultimately overturn their 3-0 deficit from the Nou Camp with an unanswered four-goal salvo in thrilling style.

It is the first time since 1986 – when Barcelona knocked out Gothenburg in the old European Cup – that a team have recovered a three-goal first-leg deficit to win a semi-final in this competition.

Divock Origi started the unlikely revival, tapping home from close range after seven minutes, but it was only when substitute Georginio Wijnaldum scored twice in the space of 122 seconds after the break that the tie truly swung in Liverpool’s favour.

Barcelona were rattled, and even Lionel Messi was unable to steady the ship before Origi struck again with the goal that would decide the tie on aggregate, after Trent Alexander-Arnold caught the visitors’ defence napping from a corner.

By now Anfield was rocking and the home fans stayed on their feet to cheer their side home in the closing minutes, with a shell-shocked Barca side unable to fashion any serious response.

The final whistle brought delirious celebrations on the pitch and in the stands, where the Reds supporters had played their part in an unforgettable match.

Liverpool have managed famous European fightbacks before, notably when they won this competition for the fifth time in Istanbul in 2005, but this was arguably the greatest in their glittering history.

They will go for a sixth triumph in Madrid on 1 June, where they will meet either Ajax or Tottenham in the final.

Barca have been here before, being beaten 3-0 by Roma in the quarter-finals last year to go out after winning the first leg 4-1, and their wait for a first final since 2015 continues.

They were comprehensively out-fought and out-thought here, and although they did have chances they cannot argue they deserved anything but a defeat.

There was only a brief spell in the first half when La Liga’s champions threatened to find their rhythm but, in the space of five minutes, Alisson denied Messi and Philippe Coutinho, and Jordi Alba inexplicably chose to pass the ball with only the Liverpool keeper to beat.

Messi, so electric a week ago, would go on to have a rare night to forget – especially in the second half when Wijnaldum’s goals put the tie back in the balance.

Suarez too, was anonymous, with his only notable role coming as the pantomime villain as he was booed relentlessly by the fans who used to worship him.

He had his side’s best opportunity of the second half, when Messi slid him clear with the score still 1-0 on the night, but Alisson was alert and that was pretty much the last time the visitors threatened.

[Read 2,133 times, 1 reads today]
Loading...

15 COMMENTS

    • As a Liverpool fan, I had hope. This is stuff made of dreams. Write Liverpool off at your own peril. History does not lie.

      This team will only get stronger and dominate Europe for years.

      4

      4
  1. The question I have is why doesn’t Messi play well outside Spain. He tends to lose that authority he exhibits week in and out in Spain. Since the departure of Iniesta and Xavi Barcelona finds it difficult to reach Champions league finals. I know Champions league is quiet difficulty but with a player of Messi’s quality in their ranks its quiet strange. So people argue that the Great Pele was overrated, is Messi also overrated? What constitutes a Great Of All Time (GOAT)?

    4

    0
    • But his team keeps losing the same way three times in a row. The other year they had a 4-1 lead only to lose 3-0 in Italy

      0

      0
  2. As staunch Madridsta i can’t believe I felt sorry for Barca for the first time in my life, that corner that led to the 4th goal was typical of that Turkish referee strange way of handling certain games , Barcelona should have learnt from the man city vs Tottenham champion’s league game , i think on another day, another referee would order for the corner to be retaken,taking into mind that another ball was rolling out of the pitch. Tough luck barca i don’t think any club in Europea will catch real Madrid 13 times champion’s league titles.

    1

    2
  3. Lusaka Times, please sort out your ads issue, it has become very annoying. The ads pop-up anyhow. Is this your new source of revenue?L

    1

    0
    • If they expect me to pay attention it’s actually the opposite cos they are too irritating one just wants to flee from the page if not the website

      0

      0
  4. The lesson that can be learnt here is that never charge a man by his first round. Hichilema has had several rounds

    0

    2
    • We don’t even need European sports. I ve never seen Europeans swooning over African or even American sport the Way Africans do. So drawing Zambian politicians into this perhaps makes it relevant

      1

      2
  5. I was on cloud 9 n still on it…Liverpool dismantled Barcelona without Salah n Firmino and as Klopp said as long as we have 11 players on the pitch, we’ll always give it our best shot and what a game it turned out to be. YNWA !

    1

    0
  6. Instabul 2005
    54 minutes Gerrard scores
    56” Smicer scores

    Anfield 2019
    54 minutes Wijnaldum scores
    56 minutes Gini scores again.
    WHAT A COINCIDENCE

    2

    0

Comments are closed.