Liverpool entered the second leg of the Champions League semifinal on Tuesday facing what was viewed as an improbable 3-0 deficit. The Reds had the support of the Anfield crowd but were without the services of Mohamed Salah (head) and Roberto Firmino (muscular) due to injuries. The Reds somehow overcame the long odds and pulled off an incredible 4-0 victory to advance to the Champions League final on June 1 in Madrid, Spain against the winner of Tottenham vs. Ajax. Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum both scored twice, with three of Liverpool's goals coming in the second half.
Barcelona, meanwhile, crashed out of the Champions League by blowing an enormous lead for the second consecutive season in unbelievable fashion.
After Origi's first goal in the opening minutes, Liverpool's dominance continued. The team was stronger on the ball, looked more confident and never gave up, and in the second half everything went right.
Minutes after coming on, Wijnaldum finished this ball inside the box to make it 2-0, leaving Liverpool a goal away from potentially forcing extra time:
2-0 LIVERPOOL 😨— Bleacher Report Live (@brlive) May 7, 2019
Watch now on #BRLive: https://t.co/2AEu63xVD2 pic.twitter.com/KgmRssQIP3
Then just three minutes later, Wijnaldum did it again with a header goal:
LIVERPOOL HAS THREE 😱— Bleacher Report Live (@brlive) May 7, 2019
Watch now on #BRLive: https://t.co/2AEu63xVD2 pic.twitter.com/PGGGGqwXab
As the match seemed destined for extra time, Liverpool caught Barcelona napping with a corner kick incoming. Trent Alexander-Arnold walked away from the ball as if he was giving up the set piece, but then he quickly saw Origi all alone and took it, setting up an absolutely jaw-dropping fourth goal:
TRICKERY FROM ALEXANDER-ARNOLD TO GIVE @LFCUSA THE LEAD 🤯— Bleacher Report Live (@brlive) May 7, 2019
Watch now on #BRLive: https://t.co/2AEu63xVD2 pic.twitter.com/Q7FgEWLNW8
With that, the comeback was complete and Barca fell short of its goal, as it has done each of the last four UCL seasons.
⚽ Liverpool - Origi (7')
⚽ Liverpool - Wijnaldum (54')
⚽ Liverpool - Wijnaldum (56')
⚽ Liverpool - Origi (79')
It's the last goal because of how sleek it was. Alexander-Arnold, who just reached double-digit assists in the Premier League, had two more tonight. The goal caught every Barcelona player off guard and it was the difference in the end.
Player of the game
Alisson in goal for Barca. He had five saves, including a huge one at the end of the first half on Jordi Alba that could have put the game away. The goals will get all the credit, but the Brazilian star deserves plenty of it for being a sure thing in goal in this one:
The most telling statistic
11 games. That's how many matches Barca had gone unbeaten in the Champions League. They scored 26 goals and conceded just six in those matches, yet in this one they score zero and concede four.
Key coaching decision
How about putting Wijnaldum in for the second half? Aside from his goals, he was also so good in the middle on the ball. He also showed a bit of flair, but his passing was crisp and allowed his team to control the ball and the pace.
The second semifinalist will be known on Wednesday when Ajax hosts Tottenham with the Dutch side leading 1-0. The final is on June 1 in Madrid, and both remaining matches can be watched on fuboTV (Try for free).
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