‘Mentality of giants’ spurred miracle rally, says Liverpool boss Klopp - GulfToday

‘Mentality of giants’ spurred miracle rally, says Liverpool boss Klopp

Liverpool

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (left), coach Jurgen Klopp (centre) and Virgil van Dijk celebrate after their Champions League semi-final second-leg win against Barcelona on Tuesday. Agence France-Presse

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his team had the “mentality of giants” after they pulled off one of the most remarkable turnarounds in Champions League history, thrashing Lionel Messi’s Barcelona 4-0 to reach the final for the second year running.

Liverpool went into the match deprived of two of their most potent attacking weapons in Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino due to injury.

However, Origi and Wijnaldum stepped up magnificently, leaving Klopp to marvel at his players in a joyous outburst laced with profanities.

“It’s 10 past 10, most of your children are probably in bed but these boys are f*****g talented giants. It’s unbelievable,” he told BT Sport.

“The whole game was too much. Winning is difficult but with a clean sheet, I don’t know how they did it.

“It means so much to all of us. There are more important things in the world. But creating this emotional atmosphere together is so special. It’s all about the players.

“It shows what’s possible in football. It’s so nice.”

Wijnaldum admitted he had been smarting at being forced to start on the bench and felt he had a point to prove.

“Once again we showed that everything is possible in football,” the Dutchman said. “I was really angry at the manager that he put me on the bench but I had to do something to help the team when I came on.

“We believe it from the start. People from outside (the club), they thought it was not possible, but we still managed to do this.”

“There have been glorious, entirely improbable games in Liverpool’s European history, including the mind-bending highs of Istanbul,” the Guardian newspaper said.

“But this was something else, an effort of will that, frankly, took the breath away.

“With 79 minutes gone, the most celebrated team of the modern age had been reduced to bunch of mooching, stumbling yellow-shirted spectators.”

For the Daily Mail‘s Martin Samuel, it was better even that Liverpool’s comeback in Istanbul from 3-0 down against AC Milan to win the Champions League final in 2005.

“At the end of this wonderful, unbelievable, fantastical game, Jurgen Klopp linked arms with his players, facing The Kop as the whole of Anfield, including some among the bereft Catalan enclave, sung ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’,” he said.

“One had the feeling this was the moment he had been working towards since the day he set foot on Merseyside. This spirit. This togetherness. This performance. This passion, this emotion: it was all here, every last drop of what he wanted to achieve. And yet, there is still such a long way to go.”

The Telegraph said Liverpool’s success could be written in the stars.

“No team does this in the second leg of a Champions League semi-final without wondering if the hand of destiny is not ushering them down an alternative path to glory to the one they have chased all season.

“On Monday night, Manchester City edged the Premier League just a little further from Liverpool’s grasp which felt monumental -- and then came Tuesday night when the response at Anfield was, quite frankly, stupendous.”

And the Independent said Liverpool had produced a night of pure fantasy.

“When the curtain comes down on this season, and for many years to come, Liverpool fans will bond over the belief and the disbelief of this night.

“’The Barcelona game’, they’ll say, and that’ll be all they need to say. A night when Anfield heaved with the heft of the impossible, when a crowd of thousands and an audience of millions lost itself in the mad, dangerous intoxication of football.”

Agence-France-Presse