We were promised Anfield’s most memorable night in 20 years, and boy, we weren’t left wanting. It was difficult not to get caught up in the atmosphere. It’s the kind of support that no amount of Abramovich’s billions can buy.
Ian Doyle, Daily Post
The Liverpool crowd had done an astonishing thing. They made Chelsea play worse than they can, they made Liverpool play better than they can, they made the referee turn a crucial decision their way. That’s 23 people all behaving in the way that the Liverpool crowd wished. It was, in the most literal sense, a triumph of hope over expectation. There’s a lot of guff written about football crowds, particularly Liverpool’s. But the fact is, the tradition of a club is not in the hands or even the feet of players, or managers, hirelings all, who will be off the minute a better offer comes along. No one in football has loyalty to anyone, or is expected to. Only supporters have loyalty. They are not loyal to persons or institutions so much as loyal to loyalty itself. And with Liverpool, the loyalty passed the test of time.
Simon Barnes, The Times
Like Jose Mourinho himself, Liverpool fans are good and they know it. A walk down Anfield Road late on Tuesday night was a walk down memory lane. The locals celebrated reaching another European Cup final as if their last one had been months rather than decades ago. Once a champion of Europe, always a champion of Europe. The current generation of supporters may have tired of listening to their fathers’ fireside stories about the Paisley years, but they never lost the taste for world domination or shed their superiority complex. They all volunteered noisily for selection as Liverpool’s 12th man. The heady atmosphere inside the stadium provided the oxygen for their tireless resistance but the players won the game. They just did it with the pride and passion that their supporters demand of them.
Clive Tyldesley, Daily Telegraph
When 40,000 supporters stood as one and held their scaves up and belted out the most rousing rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ some of us have ever heard, it felt humbling to feel such passion. One of the great sights in world football right there in front of you. People stared at each other in awe.
Oliver Holt, Daily Mirror
Anfield has exploded down the years but surely this was volume to rival anything heard before. Part joy, part tension, part release, the stadium erupted. As Jose Mourinho said afterwards: “The power of Anfield Road, I felt it. Anfield was as manic as everyone said it would be.’
Michael Walker, The Guardian
The occasion, with its cyclonic passion and raw desire, ranked alongside the Anfield nights of the 1970s and 1980s when Liverpool won the European Cup an imperious four times.
Jason Burt, The Independent
For older supporters and ex-players, this night revived images of a distant past. For their sons and daughters, these events meant more than those forefathers can ever imagine. Liverpool Football Club has undergone an era of immense change in the last 20 years. Last night proved some things will never change.
Chris Bascombe, Liverpool Echo
A new Anfield era has begun. Fate, fairytale, whatever, Liverpool are in the European Cup final. Anfield had surpassed the noise level of Stamford Bridge half an hour before kick-off and the Kop was only a quarter full. Packed, it proved an awesome 12th man.
Andy Hunter, Daily Post
The people’s club, clad in red, have shattered the biggest, blue-blooded ambitions of the most wealthy power-broker the game has ever known. They did it in an epic, defiant way too. Truly, there has not been a racket like it since, well, since they closed the old, standing-room only Spion Kop end of Anfield in 1994. It was not just a wall of bulging, stretching, moving red shirts upon which Chelsea had to mount a long, fruitless and toothless assault here. It was a wall of noise too.
John Dillon, Daily Express
Here were the Saints of Etienne, the burgomasters of Moenchengladbach and the Borgias of Rome rolled into a single semi-final for the new ages. Tinnitus night on the Mersey. This was the European Cup revisited in all its old sound and fury. This was Liverpool throwing themselves back through time. This was a journey down memory lane.
Jeff Powell, Daily Mail
The night – and maybe the football year – belonged to Benitez. As the Kop sang so passionately, it could not have been in better hands.
James Lawton, The Independent
I think for Liverpool supporters Tuesday night’s victory is the best. They have tremendous memories of the great days but that was a long time ago. The atmosphere at Anfield on Tuesday night and for the quarter-final against Juventus was sensational – better than anything I experienced in my time as a player. Those people who said the supporters would be a 12th man were spot on.
Alan Hansen, Daily Telegraph
The scenes at the end were incredible. Gerrard was last off the pitch having gone to all four sides in ecstatic celebration. For this particular observer, Anfield will always remain special. Of all Liverpool’s momentous results down the years, this one could prove one of the most crucial.
Alan Smith, Daily Telegraph
It was a night that will be remembered by Liverpool on a par with St-Etienne in 1977 and the thrilling defeat of Roma three years ago.
Sam Wallace, The Independent
Chelsea and their billionaire owner learnt last night that there are some things money cannot buy. Mourinho had shaken his head when asked whether the Kop could be the opposition’s twelfth man, but instead they proved to be Liverpool’s ninth, tenth and eleventh, inspiring players to play like the immortals that they might now become.
Oliver Kay, The Times
It had been a start from the manual of Anfield dreams, ferocious, cyclonic, and there were, of course, those vast layers of keening noise with more than a taste of the old glory. This was a place practised in grabbing you by the throat and, and if you are not utterly attuned, somewhere in rather lower regions. Chelsea were far from acclimatised.
James Lawton, The Independent