Liverpool are into their second successive Champions League final after overcoming Barcelona with a stunning second-leg fightback on an epic night at Anfield.
José Mourinho on Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona: "This is not about tactics, this is not about philosophy. This is about heart and soul" pic.twitter.com/e4TaCXfbqY
— Cory (@Cory55957321) May 8, 2019
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.
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.
Twitter was on fire yesterday, see some of the reactions: #LIVBAR
I love comeback stories, rising from despair, unexpected victories, shocking successes & underdog triumphs because these stories show us that hard work plus a little good luck can change situations. Another life lesson in support of hard work tonight. #LIVBAR
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) May 7, 2019
Dressing room after the game,Amazing performance from all the boys! Stands side by side with Istanbul! Them lads have wrote themselves into Liverpool's history books & became legends! 1 win away from CL Champions & 1 win away from 97 & hopefully a title
— JayLFC1 (@Jasonbranagan11) May 8, 2019
Even superstar Teni TheEntertainer Predicted it!
LIVERPOOL WILL RISE AGAIN!!!! pic.twitter.com/eijztfoTnW
— OBA ORIN (@TeniEntertainer) May 1, 2019
- Liverpool have reached their ninth European Cup/Champions League final – only Real Madrid (16), Milan (11) and Bayern Munich (10) have reached more.
- They are the first English side to reach back-to-back Champions League finals since Manchester United (2008 and 2009).
- This was just the fourth time a team has overturned a three-or-more goal deficit from the first leg of a Champions League (not European Cup) knockout tie to progress. Barcelona were also on the receiving end the last time (against Roma last season).
- Barcelona have now been eliminated from three of their past four Champions League semi-final ties.
- La Liga’s current champions suffered their heaviest-ever defeat against an English side in all European competitions.
- Full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has provided 14 assists in all competitions this season, more than any other Liverpool player.
- Divock Origi scored his first Champions League goals, and in doing so became the 50th different player to score in the competition for Liverpool (excluding own goals).
- Georginio Wijnaldum is the first Liverpool player to score twice from the bench in a Champions League game since Ryan Babel against Besiktas in 2007. He is also the first substitute to score twice in a single game against Barcelona in the competition.
- Lionel Messi either attempted (five) or created (three) all eight of Barcelona’s shots against Liverpool in this match.