2019 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Runners-up last season, Liverpool have already given supporters a victory for the ages on their return to the final, writes Simon Hughes
Whatever happens in Madrid, the scenes at Anfield on Tuesday 7 May 2019 will always be remembered. Liverpool’s performance against Barcelona in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final was among the club’s greatest in modern times.
Trailing 3-0 after a humbling experience at the Camp Nou, Liverpool were missing four key players for the return on Merseyside. Worse, Jürgen Klopp was forced to withdraw another vital member of his team at half-time following an injury to Andy Robertson.
Liverpool were leading 1-0 by that point but still required at least another two goals to have a chance of going through – on penalties. They would need another three to avoid that nail-biting scenario or, perhaps most realistically, as many as four given Barcelona’s persistent menace.
The first half had been breathless and Liverpool’s lead was merited, but Barcelona continued to whip up danger on the break. Thanks to the shot-stopping ability of Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Liverpool were still in with a chance…
It had been Alisson who saved Liverpool during the group stage. Needing victory against Napoli in their final fixture, Liverpool were 1-0 up thanks to Mohamed Salah but ought to have been comfortably clear. Chance after chance had been spurned. Then, in added time, came Alisson’s big moment: a cross from José Callejón fell to Arkadiusz Milik. Napoli were now surely going through. Yet Alisson stood tall and Milik’s shot cannoned off his shoulder. Liverpool had qualified, but only just.
Full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold