José Mourinho gave an insight into what it is like to be out on the pitch at Anfield during a big European night, like last night's semi-final against Barcelona.
Anfield is a fairly imposing stadium when it's empty but on a big European night, it generates an aura which is very difficult to describe - and impossible to experience just by watching games on television. José Mourinho knows how visiting teams can be affected once the Kop gets into full voice - when he took his Chelsea side to Anfield for the 2005 Champions League semi-final, sound level meters peaked at 130 decibels - the crowd could reportedly be heard in the city centre. To give you an idea of how loud that is, the noisest game in this season's Premier League registered 85 decibels...
In reviewing Liverpool's epic comeback against Barcelona in last night's Champions League semi-final, Mourinho explained that Barça fell to pieces as the atmosphere changed, with Jürgen Klopp's team sensing blood and attacking the Kop end - the fabled terrace which Bill Shankly claimed "could suck a goal in" when the team was against the ropes.
Barcelona in disarray
Being met with an incessant wall of noise for 90 minutes was one of the factors which disoriented the Blaugranas, says Mourinho: “To concede a goal like the fourth one really shows you Barça’s state of mind. At half-time, I said that if Liverpool score a second goal, the atmosphere will be very difficult to cope with. And the atmosphere is very difficult to cope with especially when Liverpool attacks that end of the ground, the Kop end – their end. That’s the goal where they love to finish matches and the goal they love to attack in the second half. But Barcelona has some of the best players in the world, playing at the highest level is natural for them, it’s their natural habitat – Barcelona-Real Madrid, Real Madrid-Barcelona, Champions League final, semi-final… every season. It’s difficult for me to understand how a team like that can win the first leg 3-0 and lose the return leg 4-0… it’s very difficult to justify that. I’d like to see [Ernesto] Valverde explain what happened but I think it will be very difficult for him to explain it".