THE day after the night before it is still hard to comprehend what we saw last night.
That Liverpool came back from a three-goal deficit from the Nou Camp to knock out the mighty Barcelona.
That a cobbled together side and a few walking wounded destroyed one of the greatest teams in the world in 90 minutes. That Liverpool are going to the Champions League final in Madrid.
I’m so pleased for them and us. Made up that whatever Manchester City do on Sunday, this side gets to win a game with a big shiny trophy at the end of it. They deserve it. And you don’t always get what you deserve in football.
Many fine sides at different periods in history inspire their supporter base, but are ultimately left with nothing to show for it but stories. Often hard-luck ones. Or tales of so close yet so far.
I’m delighted for Divock Origi. If this is his Liverpool swan song, then what a beautiful tune it was. His career was very much looking what might have been in 2018. After a failed loan spell and a Liverpool return not so much welcomed as “Oh yeah, you”.
Of course, he gets Everton in December. But that’s just a laugh really, isn’t it? Part of a joke at a small-armed goalie’s expense. This was his big night. A big night he deserves after all the hard work and lack of complaining. He’ll always have a brace against Barcelona in a Champions League semi final.
I’m thrilled for Xherdan Shaqiri. Who has seen a promising start to his Liverpool career fizzle out due to a lack of opportunity. Whatever the reason for that, you were starting to wonder what would happen to Shaqiri in the summer.
Whether one party or both would decide to cut their losses and move on. That still might happen, but if it does then he’ll have the game against Barcelona as a memory. An assist to the third goal.
I’m chuffed for the midfield. For James Milner, the tough Yorkshireman who has seen it all but was still reduced to tears at the end by the magnitude of the atmosphere and the occasion.
For the captain, Jordan Henderson, who played through the pain barrier and needed painkillers at half time, but was determined to see it through for his team.
For Fabinho, booked after 10 minutes yet continuing to play like a warrior throughout.
For Gini Wjinaldum, so disappointed to be left out, yet coming off the bench to score twice.
For Virgil van Dijk, who has somehow managed to reach two Champions League finals despite only playing for us for 16 months, completely justifying his decision to join Liverpool ahead of other suitors.
For Andy Robertson, squaring up to Lionel Messi after a minute and showing we wouldn’t be pushed about.
For Trent Alexander-Arnold, left out at the Nou Camp, but bouncing back with two assists in the return leg.
I’m ecstatic for them but also me, and also all of you. We’ve had the season and now we get the payoff.
Two games. Two chances to win two trophies.
What a season this could be.
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"It's one that will live with you forever.
"It was incredible. We're not going to see anything like it ever again." 💥
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) May 8, 2019