James Milner opens up on what Jurgen Klopp told his players before epic comeback
Liverpool star James Milner has revealed what manager Jurgen Klopp told his players before their epic comeback against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League semifinals. This is according to a report by the BBC Radio5 Live (h/t Liverpool Echo).
The Reds looked to have their work cut out going into the second leg. Not only did they have to contend with a three-goal deficit but also make do sans Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
And they did it in some style. It took less than an hour for a side further robbed of Andy Robertson to draw level against the Catalan giants. A Divock Origi winner ensured scenes never before seen in the legendary stadium.
The power of belief!
In an emotional yo-yo of a week, the German manager ensured he did what was required to keep his players focused.
The Reds were still in contention for the Premier League title and were keen to see Manchester City drop points. They looked to have got their wish on the eve of the Barcelona tie as a dogged Leicester City side kept City at bay.
In the end, it was not to be as a Vincent Kompany wonder strike gave City all three points. Milner believes the disappointment of that result followed by the determination to set matter right with Barcelona added to the effort (h/t Liverpool Echo).
Klopp took account of his team’s psyche the following morning and talked about the difficulty of the situation. However, he added that if anyone can turn the tie around it’s Liverpool (h/t Liverpool Echo).
“It’s pretty impossible but if anyone can do it, we can”
Prophetic words if any. His players rose to the occasion and made a soothsayer of the German. A brace from Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi made the difference on the night as Liverpool won the match 4-0 to take the tie 4-3 on aggregate.
The ghosts of heroes past!
The match also marked a competitive return to Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho to Anfield. The former had tried to appeal to the Liverpool faithful prior to the tie but was reminded he belonged to the other side now by a raucous Anfield crowd.
Milner reveals the fans did their bit for the game, especially in their efforts to heckle the Uruguayan. Fabinho set the ball rolling with a crunching tackle as the former Liverpool number seven could only watch on in horror as his former side did the impossible (h/t Liverpool Echo).
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Liverpool’s victory is now steeped in the club and European folklore. It must not be forgotten that it was made possible not by a miracle, but rather a set of players who were given the necessary belief by their prophetic manager.