Liverpool stun Barcelona with incredible comeback
Two doubles, from Origi and Wijnaldum, saw Liverpool produce a night of European magic at Anfield to knock a stunned Barcelona out.
Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona: match report
Liverpool stunned Barcelona at Anfield on Tuesday night conceding two in either half to seal a historic comeback after losing 3-0 in the first leg at Camp Nou. Klopp said they were happy with their performance in the first leg and just needed another display like that and they'd be happy.
"We will have to be perfect," said the German before the game, admitting that without Firmino and Mo Salah it would be an almost impossible task. With two of the world's top striker out, Liverpool were given scant chance by everyone including their own players.
"We're not stupid," said Henderson. "We know we will need a miracle."
They got just that as Divock Origi scored after Ter Stegen palmed a Henderson shot into his path after six minutes to make it 1-0. The belief that Liverpool fans tend to have even in the worst situations was starting to blossom albeit tentatively.
Barcelona got to grips with the task at hand and had chances with Coutinho forcing a save from Alisson and Alba putting one on a plate for Messi before Van Dijk intervened. The left-back might have gone for it himself but opted to look for the Argentine, who was surprised himself to receive the ball.
The second half started and Andy Robertson was replaced by Wijnaldum after turning his ankle in a tangle with Luis Suárez.
The replacement needed just nine minutes to make his mark. He drove a shot under Ter Stegen after Jordi Alba was dispossessed by the Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Two minutes later and he had Liverpool level. He looped a header beyond a statued Ter Stegen and Liverpool's hope was starting to seep into every corner of the stadium. It hung like humidity in the air.
Barcelona still just needed one goal but with Anfield behind them and a whole city behind them beyond the confines of the stadium, Liverpool looked more likely and Barcelona knew the momentum was gone against them.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was good for the second goal and he was excellent for the fourth. He waited and waited and won a corner of Jordi Alba on the right-hand side. With Barcelona getting ready for the cross, he sent it in quickly to Origi, who turned it home as a shell-shocked Barcelona looked around at each other wondering what happened.
A tired and weary Liverpool had 12 minutes to hold on, and five minutes of added time. But Barcelona barely threatened. They sent a couple of miserable crosses into the box but aside from that, they never looked like scoring.
For the second year in a row, they collapse from a dominant position in the second leg. For the second year, Liverpool are going to the Champions League final.
There will be fall-out at Camp Nou after this and it's difficult to see how some of the older players pick themselves back up for another season after they had pledged themselves to the cause of winning the Champions League this season.
For Liverpool, however, their season is at it's most critical point. One night after Vincent Kompany all but ended their Premier League title challenge, they picked themselves up and put on one of their finest European displays. And for Liverpool, a club whose history is pocked memorable mid-week nights, that's saying something.
Liverpool vs Barcelona live online: minute-by-minute
Liverpool vs Barcelona live online: preview
It's mission highly improbable for Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night as they welcome Barcelona after being shredded apart by Lionel Messi and co. last week in the first leg. Their former hero, Luis Suárez, scored the opener before Messi scored a quick brace to leave the Reds' hopes of making a second consecutive final hanging by a thread.
Klopp says Liverpool will have to be perfect but admits that to beat Barcelona by three goals is a huge task especially given the absence of Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, who suffered a concussion at the weekend. Jordan Henderson also admits that Liverpool are not stupid and knows they need a miracle. Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri could replace the pair and if anyone can rattle off a couple of quick goals, it is Klopp's team, but to keep Barcelona scoreless with Messi in such fine form does feel like a bridge too far even for a side as good as this Liverpool one. Virgil Van Dijk is another injury doubt having missed training on Monday as Klopp's outlook ahead of the game is grim. It also gives them a 'nothing to lose' outlook as the German says it will be a festival filled with fighting spirit on Tuesday night.
Barcelona are without Ousmane Dembele, who will likely miss the rest of the season, after suffering a muscle injury against Celta Vigo. He was unlikely to start but his speed could have really hurt Liverpool on the counter. Instead, Valverde is likely to go with Coutinho on the left. That will mean two former Anfield fan favourites will start in attack for Barcelona although Suarez says he won't celebrate if he scores on the night having wheeled away in delight after his first at Camp Nou. From the get go, they have been intent on winning the Champions League having endured watching Real Madrid pick up the trophy for the last three years in a row. They have a chance to move one step closer to recapturing the title for the first time since 2014-15 when they beat Juventus in the final.