I’M gonna have to apologise.
Firstly, I apologise that Neil Atkinson can’t bring you these words. That you don’t get to read the absolute poetry he could conjure up in the aftermath of a whirlwind of football like that.
I apologise if these words don’t do that for you. Don’t have the Joni Mitchell and Lorde lyrics effect. I’m sorry.
I’m also sorry because when Jürgen Klopp joined Liverpool he spoke of turning doubters to believers. Until this week I had put myself firmly in the camp of the latter. I thought Klopp’s lads could do anything. That they were able of winning a deserved league and European Cup double.
And then this week happened.
We went to the Nou Camp bouncing, full of beans, confident that no matter what Lionel Messi could create this Liverpool team could deal with it and give it back tenfold.
You know the rest. You know that Lionel Messi happened. It was the influence of something otherworldly. A player whose talents may never be replicated – certainly not in my lifetime.
This Liverpool side have gone again and again for months. They’ve been pegged back every single time. Tonight though, we saw the influence of something otherworldly. Something that I have to apologise for because I was convinced it couldn’t happen.
I doubted. I no longer believed Liverpool could finish this season with a trophy to hoist above their heads in May. They deserve it so much. More than anything in the world. It seemed so cruel. Fate had dealt The Reds a shit hand.
Well fate can absolutely get to fucking fuck.
Another apology goes to Anfield. That homogenous mass of 53,000 Reds that gather every other week, and so regularly on a midweek, to worship this football team.
I apologise because I didn’t think worship was enough. I didn’t think that even a higher power could save this Liverpool side tonight.
But Anfield created another magical setting tonight. It provided the platform which allowed these magnificent lads to go on and achieve their dreams, and our dreams.
I want to make sure I don’t do down what those lads on the pitch achieved tonight. I don’t want to have to make another apology.
I saw Fabinho run his actual legs off. He looked as though he could barely stand in front of the crowd.
I saw Trent Alexander-Arnold channel the spirit of every Scouser in our team who came before him. Who dragged a team to victory. If you still doubt Trent you can fuck off. He stood up on the big stage once again. He’ll absolutely do for me.
I saw Virgil van Dijk marshall. Joel Matip tackle everything that came near him. James Milner experience the absolute shit out of the game. Jordan Henderson be a LIVERPOOL CAPTAIN. Sadio Mane do the work of his missing mates and more. Alisson do exactly what he was bought to do.
Andy Robbo gave so much for the cause that he had to be hooked on half time. Little did we know how much that sub would change our destiny. Gini Wijnaldum came on and absolutely boxed everything off. His goals, among others, have taken Liverpool to another Champions League final.
The others are Divock Origi, to whom my final apology goes to. I, and I’m sure I’m not alone, had completely written him off this season. I didn’t believe he could do any of what he has done. Didn’t believe he had the determination to score that goal against Everton. Didn’t have the presence to score that goal against Newcastle. Didn’t have the ability to run absolute rings around that Barca defence.
Liverpool Football Club went again tonight. Anfield rose again. The lads who we’ve loved all season stood up to the task. The lads who we (or I) wrote off did the same. Everybody at Liverpool Football Club should bask in the glory of tonight.
The abyss has been stared into today. Liverpool were staring at another trophyless season and it hurt. The doubt hurt.
I promise I’ll never doubt this team again.
I hope you have the best night out of your lives. You deserve it and these lads deserve it.
See you in Madrid.
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I’m in total shock. For some reason it seemed like too big a margin. 3-0 at Barca. The team with Messi. The team where our exes go to gather silver and gold. Without the Egyptian king. Without Bobbys beautiful teeth. 3-0 didn’t reflect the first game or the effort of our lads. It felt unjust, an injustice with a consequence too large to overcome. Fortunately the reds don’t pay attention to the rule book. Thank fuck these lads have more bottle than me. How naive I was to think anfield would not deliver again. One more time lads and that’s all we need.
Atko could not have penned anything better. Fucking belter of a piece that.
Absolutely agree, well done Josh
100%. We love all you lads.
Great stuff Josh, cometh the hour …. What a night, been watching them nearly 50 years and that was special, as good as it gets.
Well done, Josh – but even more important: Travel down to the Moulinex (or whatever it is called) and support Brighton!
Was a bit bemused when you put Moulinex, as Wolves play at the Molineux Stadium and the game we play with Wolves this Sunday is at Anfield… There is though a Molineux Road off Sheil Rd that leads from Kenny to Anfield, but not sure you’d want to get there to support Brighton.
Well said Josh, like our beautiful boys tonight, perfectly put. I’m 54 in October was at Anfield on the Olympiacos night, and all the consequent Anfield knockout out games including Chelsea and tben on to Insta bul. I lierally thougbt I had seen it all, the absolute lot!! But no, put into the context of the season and with currently 94 points on the board and then looking like the Premier League Title has finally slipped from our 1 handed grasp on Monday night, this truly wonderful bunch of players somehow managed to put all that disappointment behind them a mere 24 hours later and produce an almighty victorious performance to conquer the mighty Barcelona with a 4 goal deficit and March LFC onto another glittering star studded UCL Cup Final in Madrid.
Like I was saying before I progressed, I thought I had seen everything until night. Up the victorious glorious Reds. I won’t tempt fate by claiming the Cup is already won but my God, the opposition are in for 1 he’ll of a fight if they are to deny us victory in Madrid on 1 June. YNWA
No other English Club has amassed 94pts and reached a Champions league Final EVER
You’ll do for me Josh.
That’ll do. Good work. Its truly a challenge to take the primal animal energies in our bodies and put them into words. I used every good luck trick I could think of (position of coach, blankets, et.). By the end though, I was a quivering bowl of jelly. Had to resort to my ultimate in same management – nealing I’m on all fours praying for the whistle to blow. UP THE FUCKING RE
Hi TSR, You say, “nealing I’m on all fours praying for the whistle to blow. UP THE FUCKING RE…
Is this a case of filling in (no pun intended) the missing letter(s) for you???
Let’s go with an A and the letter R shall we :D
Well done Josh. TAW keep us all sane when things go against us. You did it last week, 2-0 after 60 mins Neil said is all we need. You are all part of this. Never give up. I struggled but you knew, you knew it was still on.
I can’t help but think of Suarez Coutinho and Messi on that coach out of Anfield last night. Trying to understand what hit them, our patched up team, their recovery weekend off in a Catalan spa, Suarez talking pre match bollox about respect ( fuck off Suarez), Messi being Messi thinking his free kick completed the job. Seeing Salah’s face in the crowd, Robbo getting the last laugh, that Barca coach home, show them the way to go home, Jesus Christ what is it about Liverpool Football Club. What is it about Liverpool.
Good write up Josh,
I’m still buzzing and had too much wine, so I might have missed something here, but you did not mention Shaqiri’s name.
He provided that superb cross for Gini to head in the 3rd that broke their back and deserves just as much credit on here.
Please add him in your brilliant write-up of this historic win.
Great stuff but where’s Neil? We are worried about him…
Well done for even putting pen to paper after what we all just witnessed. Anfield tonight transcended football into some other dimension where faith, character, heart and belief pulls you out of this world into another Otherworldly describes it exactly Josh. No other word comes close.
I cried last night not believing what I witnessed. My processing neurons went into overdrive in time to my heartbeat. Praying to some unknown god to keep a clean sheet. Today we are still high.
To overturn a three-nil lead against, arguably, Europe’s best side this season, with unarguably the greatest player of all time in their ranks is one thing. To do it without a pair of strikers who scored 70 goals last season, and with perhaps the world’s best full-back kicked lame by Suarez, is another. And to manage all of this 24 hours after being smashed in the balls by a Belgian missile, makes this truly the most astonishing achievement. One for the ages.
Just when you think you have a handle on them, when you understand what they are capable of, so that you can calibrate your head and heart accordingly, they redefine reality.
Felt Suarez had a blinder for us again tonight, we couldn’t have done this without him… If he hadn’t sneekily fouled Robbo, then Gini would not be on the pitch scoring 2 in quick succession.
Anyways Suarez was true to his word, he said he wouldn’t celebrate at Anfield and he didn’t. No where’s Robbo to go over to him and tell Luis to keep his chin up???
BTW, I am not going to apologise. This lot got lucky at the Nou Camp and I believed we would fuck them as there was fuck all to be scared of, as we are better than them.
Great Team, World Class manager and we have some truly fantastic players in our ranks. Anyone saying anything else can get the FUCK.
*This lot, the shower of shithousery C U Next Tuesday lot that play for Barca… just in case you wonder who I meant by this lot. I feckin detest them with a passion and hated losing to them. So I could only imagine how are lot felt and how they would tear them a new one.
A triumph over circumstance. Nothing could have stopped us winning that game last night. It was simply happening. This season refuses to die. We didn’t have a chance after last week. We were buried. It genuinely was over. And then it wasn’t. You can stick your Messi and Suarez. Messi happened last week but Divock Origi and Gini Wijnaldum happened last night. We came back from the dead. Couldn’t even celebrate when Divock scored the fourth. I’d celebrated myself to death with those first three.
Football are about moments and how many moments have this team given us? Outlets like Sky Sports will continue to pursue their simplified narratives, with talk of slips and bottling and defining all success by trophies won, but they can stick it. This Liverpool side are a joy. An absolute marvel.
On full-time I immediately thought of those scenes when Jurgen and the players stood in front of The Kop after that 2-2 draw with West Brom. Oh the stick he got for that. How opposition fans enjoyed pretending not to understand the point he was making. Now look at us. The guts and spirit on and in this Liverpool side owe their origins to that moment. He said he’d make us believers.
Love the post Dan, apart from us being dead… we were never dead, NEVER!
Nothing is over until it is OVER and I felt even last week, as I argued with many around me that we’d do this. Funny enough, I did the same throughout the whole of the 2004/05 Season, even arguing with Aldridge on the radio after the 1 vs 0 derby defeat at Woodison that we would win the CL that season. Somehow I just felt it would happen and after being 3 vs 0 down last week I got this feeling we would do Barca.
Quite right. We were dead by any other team’s standards but these lads weren’t going quietly into that good night.
Wouldn’t trade any of those lads for anyone else in world football!
Sat in work, biggest smile on me grid. Listening to some serious hardcore old skool House music and reading some amazing articles, including this on TTT https://tomkinstimes.com/2019/05/the-greatest-of-the-great-european-anfield-nights-liverpool-blow-the-living-shit-out-of-barcelona/
This is what European nights are all about, so go feck ya-self one Gary Neville and any other fecker that says we should have not focused on the CL this season.
94pts and in a CL Final. No other English Club has EVER done this.
i am with Jurgen and his HEAVY METAL FOOTY all the way, even if mine would be more feckin EDM and the hardcore version at that.
Mönchengladbach fan here, just wanted to wish you all the best for the final and say thanks – nice touch playing our song first thing after the halftime whistle against Barca at Anfield. This did not go unnoticed over here. The tie against Barca were probably the most entertaining 2 football matches i’ve seen in a while. Go for it now on June 1st !!