‘Never give up’

At 4.55am grown men cried. At least those of us in our Liverpool WhatsApp chat group did.

We had just witnessed a magnificent comeback or as some would call it a ‘miracle’.

Some pundits have even said it was better than the miracle of Istanbul in 2005.

Then, the Reds came back from a 3-0 halftime deficit to draw 3-3 with AC Milan before winning the Champions League trophy 3-2 on penalties.

Last night or rather early this morning for those of us in Asia … Liverpool fans got ready for the semifinal against Barcelona “with hopes in our hearts” praying for another victory despite a first leg 3-0 deficit.

Not many expected Barcelona, with the world’s best player Lionel Messi, in the side to capitulate, but boy did Jurgen Klopp and his merry men deliver.

With two-thirds of his deadly strike force on the sidelines due to injury, up stepped Divock Origi and Georginio Gregion Emile ‘Gini’ Wijnaldum to take their place among the legends with a brace each as Barcelona was swept away at football’s grandest stage – Anfield.

The 4-0 victory taught many of us to ‘Never give up’ – bold words which the injured Mohamed Salah proudly had on his T-shirt as he watched from the sidelines.

The Liverpool players, coaches and staff celebrated with gusto at the end singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” along with the fans.

Cast your mind back to December 2015. Klopp was in the job for only a couple of months.

The German had proudly promised to turn doubters into believers in his first press conference.

But the team he inherited was poor. They stumbled early on and when they scraped to a 2-2 draw versus West Bromwich Albion, he did the unthinkable … he led the players to celebrate the result in front of the Kop.

The team and Klopp were mocked for their ‘celebration’ but in actual fact, Jordan Henderson later explained it was them paying tribute to its 12th man – the faithful fans who have always stood by the team.

Klopp was sowing the seeds of support and resilience. Play for the badge and never give up and his Liverpool team does not know when to quit.

As he said after last night’s match “These boys are f**king mentality giants”.

They were certainly helped by their 12th man, who played a big part yesterday as the noise they made once again transformed Anfield into a fortress.

 

It was a fact old rivals Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger acknowledged in their roles as pundits.

So now, the Anfield Avengers have vanished Thanos aka Messi and are marching on the Madrid for the final on June 1 (3am, June 2, in Malaysia).

They will face either Ajax or Tottenham Hotspur who play today/early tomorrow morning.

Liverpool could end the season empty-handed – it is second in the English Premier League with one match remaining despite collecting the third highest points in the competition’s history.

And anything can happen in a one-off match in Madrid.

Come what may, it has been a helluva ride this season unlike several previous false dawns, this looks like a team which is here to stay.

Walk on, walk on.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.