Match preview ahead of Liverpool v Villarreal in the Champions League semi final first leg at Anfield, one of the last chances to adore them…
I’VE found myself reflecting a lot about this season recently.
Casting my mind back over the campaign to my favourite memories following The Reds — some which now feel a lifetime ago — and getting all emotional about the journey we’ve been on with them.
Thinking back to the start of each of the trophy pursuits we’ve undertaken, the wins that set us on our way and how they could become immortalised if we get our way in May.
Just look at our last few trophy wins. The win against Paris Saint-Germain at Anfield that kicked off our successful road to Madrid in 2018-19. The opening day thrashing of Norwich City that followed and kickstarted a 19th league title win. Both now hold a special place in the history books.
There’ll be countless personal highlights for each of us in between those moments too. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had more than my fair share this season, and I hope Reds all over the land have been able to experience those same highs in whatever capacity.
I say all this because there are just three home games left now. Three more chances for Anfield to whip itself up into a frenzy and provide the backdrop for more memorable days and nights. Three more chances for our home support to celebrate the greatness we’re witnessing and have witnessed all year.
I feel as though we’ve all said season upon season under Jurgen Klopp that it won’t get any better than this, but if we manage to do the unthinkable then I genuinely don’t know how you move up from there. These lads and their leader have made that a very real possibility for us once again. I, for one, will never count them out of being able to trump it somehow though.
Tonight we get another chance to adore them.
We get to marvel at the masculinity of Alisson Becker and remember how his efforts — in front of both goals — got us here. We’ll be able to celebrate two of the world’s greatest pure football talents in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk. We’ll similarly let Andy Robertson know just how much he means to us, as he forces us forward onto our opponents. We’ll salute Ibrahima Konate’s emergence as an excellent footballer meant for the biggest stages.
We’ll scream in sync with our captain Jordan Henderson as he wills his teammates on, remembering his heroics against AC Milan back in September. We’ll cheer every Fabinho interception like it’s a goal, and remember that he’s even bagged a few of them this season too. We’ll belly laugh at the brilliance of Thiago and how he makes this game look so easy, while he makes more of his markers look daft.
We’ll let Mo Salah know that he’s the best player in the world, and simultaneously the king of Egypt and Liverpool. We’ll rise to our feet for more Sadio Mane magic, as he runs another defence ragged. We’ll roar after another Luis Diaz tackle or piece of skill that confirms his immediate impact on our football club.
There will be more of them to get behind tonight, more excellence to appreciate and remember. It has been some ride so far, and it is still absolutely all to play for.
Enjoy yourselves, Reds. It’s later than you think.
Predicted 11: Alisson; Trent, Konate, Virgil, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Mane, Diaz
“All of us in the ground are going to be important tonight. We will have to remind Villarreal why we are this bastion, this great feared team.”
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— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) April 27, 2022