Liverpool players shared their sheer delight at progressing to a second successive Champions League following a famous 4-0 win over Barcelona.
The Reds returned to Anfield on Tuesday with key players missing and the odds stacked against them after a 3-0 defeat in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with Barcelona.
But, it only served as motivation as Liverpool made sure another famous European night was etched into the history books.
Jurgen Klopp’s side took Barcelona on like a team possessed and were duly rewarded as a brace for both Divock Origi and Gini Wijnaldum, and a clean sheet to match, ensured Liverpool booked their place in the Champions League final.
It was a performance laced with passion, grit and an inability to comprehend the thought of backing down – qualities mirrored by the Anfield faithful.
And for Origi, who clinched the match winning goal, it was an “unbelievable” night which was inspired by the absence of a host of injured players, and the Reds’ unwavering belief and hard work.
“I think It was more about the team. We did so well, we fought and we knew it was going to be a special night. We wanted to also fight for the injured players.
“It’s just special. It’s hard to describe with words. You can feel it, you can hear it. Unbelievable.
“We fought so hard. Robbo’s a fighter and we knew it could have an impact of the players.
“Even me at the end, I had some cramps. We did it. It shows we have a good mix of talent and hard work. It’s special for us because we go to the final this time.”
For Virgil van Dijk there was no doubting Liverpool’s ability to turn the tie in their favour as the first leg of the semi-final clash proved the Reds could “make it very difficult” for Barcelona.
After the game the Dutch defender lauded the quality in the Liverpool squad as he sung their praises following the “amazing” win.
“[Asked what just happened] We go to the final.
“It was well deserved. We showed today and showed over there as well—only we kept it a bit tighter at the back as well and limited their chances—and we scored great goals, it’s amazing.
“I said it after the game [that he believed Liverpool could progress]. We obviously needed a bit of luck as well, but we showed we can make it very difficult for them.
“We pressed them with a lot of risk, we took a lot of risk with that and it paid off.
“In the media everyone was writing us off before the game, saying ‘we’re not going to do it’ and I knew before the game that we definitely had a good chance to make it very difficult for them.
“I saw today a team that I’ve been seeing every day, obviously in training, and I know the potential and today everything clicked, and the goals were great – but there’s so much potential and quality in the squad as well.
“We don’t need to forget that in the league we’ve only lost one game, Champions League we lost a couple – for different reasons – but, we make it very difficult for opponents and today as well against one of the best teams in the world.
“Last year was a good experience, we learned a lot and obviously you want to lift that trophy -unlucky that we didn’t – but, this year we have another chance and we will now see who we will face.”
The result and the manner in which Liverpool secured their passage to the final in Madrid meant the players had a lot of love to share and plenty to celebrate after the game.
Taking to Instagram in the aftermath of the win, Fabinho, Mohamed Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri and Joe Gomez were all in awe of the “special night” and how Liverpool “never give up” and “always believe”:
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What a special night! We promised each other that we couldn't give up. That we'd fight until the end. We did it together. Thank you, Anfield! We're in the final. And we're gonna keep fighting. YNWA! . Que noite especial! Prometemos um ao outro que não poderíamos desistir. Que iríamos lutar por essa final. Conseguimos isso juntos com vocês. Obrigado, Anfield! Estamos na final. Nós vamos lutar até o fim. YNWA!
Meanwhile, Daniel Sturridge, Dejan Lovren and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shared their unbridled joy in the aftermath of some “unbelievable scenes” which will “go down in history”:
And while Andy Robertson, Wijnaldum and Trent Alexander-Arnold may have been “running out of words,” they were sure to remind us all that “we’re going to Madrid!”:
The stunning victory will see the Reds take their place in their second successive Champions League final on June 1, against either Ajax or Tottenham.
But, there remains a crucial Premier League fixture against Wolves on Sunday to turn our attention to—where the final destination of the title remains in the balance.