Liverpool produced one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history to beat Barcelona 4-0 on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, overturning a three-goal first-leg deficit and advancing to the final with a 4-3 aggregate victory. They will play Tottenham Hotspur, who beat Ajax in the semi-final. The final is expected to be played on the 1st of June, 2019.
In the first leg in Spain, Liverpool went behind to a goal from former striker Luis Suarez and a double from Lionel Messi put Barcelona in the driving seat. Klopp had delivered a stirring speech on the eve of the game, telling his players to “fail in a beautiful way” if they were to get eliminated. They took that to heart.
Liverpool, without injured strikers Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, took a seventh-minute lead from Jordan Henderson and eventually an extraordinary fourth goal from a quickly-taken corner. Salah, Liverpool’s top scorer, following protocol, entered the stadium before kickoff wearing a T-shirt bearing the message: “Never Give Up.”
Liverpool’s players had their hands on their heads, seemingly unable to comprehend their achievement. One of them, James Milner, was in tears. When he wasn’t punching the air, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp stood in front of The Kop in full voice and just took it all in.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, a 20-year-old right back, put the ball down in the quadrant and then turned around as if he was about to leave the kick to a teammate. In an instant, he spun round again and whipped in a low cross that Barcelona’s players weren’t prepared for. Divock Origi was ready, though, and he swept home a finish from eight meters (yards) into the top corner for his second goal of the game. Wijnaldum, who replaced Robertson, made an almost instant impact, making it 2-0 by sweeping home a low cross from Alexander-Arnold. Two minutes later, the Dutch midfielder made another run into the area and met a cross from Xherdan Shaqiri with a firm header into the corner past a flat-footed Ter Stegen. Euphoria had engulfed Anfield when Liverpool, leading 3-0 and smothering Barcelona with its intensity, was awarded a corner in the 79th minute. A goal was needed to really give Barca the jitters and it arrived after seven minutes, with Origi tapping into an empty net after goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen parried a shot by Jordan Henderson, Barcelona had no answer, with Messi — the star of the first leg with two goals — largely snuffed out.
“We know this club is a mix of atmosphere, emotion, desire and footballing quality,” Klopp said. “For me, this club has a big heart and tonight the heart was pounding like crazy. You could feel it all over the world.”
“When you have a collapse of this nature,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said, “we will have a few horrible days ahead.”