Miracles do happen and Liverpool have just confirmed this in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League against Spanish giants Barcelona, overturning the latter’s massive advantage in the first leg and qualifying against all odds for the final.
Barcelona came to Anfield with a 3-0 advantage, but a 7th minute goal by David Origi and a rapid double by Georginio Wijnaldum in the second half cancelled Barcelona’s lead and unsettled them.
Then in the 79th minute, Origi scored his brace of the night following a cross by Trent Alexander-Armold to make the scoreline 4-0 and 4-3 aggregate, sending the Liverpool into the UEFA cup finals against either Ajax or fellow English team Tottenham Hotspurs..
The final will be played in Madrid on June 1.
Liverpool played without their hitman Mohamed Salah, who was injured last week. Also out was Brazilian Firmino.
With little expected from Liverpool, it was Barcelona, parading Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez that imploded at Anfield, in a game watched by over 54,000 people, including former captain Steven Gerrard.
By overwhelming Barcelona, Liverpool have only behaved true to their records, according to statistics provided by UEFA.
Liverpool’s form guide according to UEFA:
The Reds’ record in European Cup semi-finals is W8 L2:
1964/65: L 3-4 Internazionale Milano (3-1 h, 0-3 a)
1976/77: W 6-1 Zürich (3-1 a, 3-0 h)
1977/78: W 4-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach (1-2 a, 3-0 h)
1980/81: W 1-1 Bayern München, away goals (0-0 h, 1-1 a)
1983/84: W 3-1 Dinamo Bucureşti (1-0 h, 2-1 a)
1984/85: W 5-0 Panathinaikos (4-0 h, 1-0 a)
2004/05: W 1-0 Chelsea (0-0 a, 1-0 h)
2006/07: W 1-1 Chelsea, 4-1 on pens (0-1 a, 1-0 h)
2007/08: L 3-4 aet Chelsea (1-1 h, 2-3 a)
2017/18: W 7-6 Roma (5-2 h, 2-4 a)
• Liverpool have therefore never lost at Anfield at this stage of the European Cup, winning eight of their ten matches (D2) and conceding just four goals, two of those last season to Roma.
• Victories against Bayern München in the round of 16 (3-1 aggregate) and Porto in the quarter-finals (6-1) this season mean Liverpool have won their last ten two-legged European ties, qualifying included. Their last defeat was on penalties in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 32 against Beşiktaş (1-0 home, 0-1 away).
• Liverpool have won seven of the eight UEFA Champions League knockout phase ties in which they have played the second leg at home, including the last six.
• This is Liverpool’s first two-legged tie against a Spanish club since a 3-1 aggregate defeat of Villarreal in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League semi-finals (0-1 away, 3-0 home). That gave the Reds the record W8 D2 in two-legged UEFA knockout ties with Spanish sides; it is three wins out of three in the European Cup.
• Liverpool’s last contest against a Liga club before this tie came in last season’s UEFA Champions League final, a 3-1 loss against Real Madrid in Kyiv.
• That win against Villarreal in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League semi-final is Liverpool’s only success in their last nine fixtures against Spanish clubs (D2 L6) – a sequence that also includes the 2016 UEFA Europa League final loss to Sevilla.