The biggest game of the season came and went. It did not, however, pass without incident. A day has passed where the wounded and disappointed may have found soothing comfort in strange and familiar places. Liverpool will have to wait for the first trophy of the Jürgen Klopp era but are fortunate to have a manager in charge who represents much of the ideals Bill Shankly cherished.
Liverpool is the type of club that seems at ease with the concept of a spiritual leader, a figurehead of sorts who can be relied upon to project a certain spirit in victory or defeat. When fans connect with such a manager, his words often carry greater importance on days such as Sunday. If Liverpool triumphed on penalties, Klopp's words would have rang through the hearts of an entire fanbase. He may have preached patience and caution yet promulgated the virtues of togetherness and fighting spirit.
In an agonising loss on penalties, Klopp's words were needed more than ever. Spirits seemed battered, possibly broken. 120 minutes was more than enough. Going behind in such fashion impaled any remaining patience for an increasingly forlorn and disastrous figure. Raheem Sterling twice toyed with any remaining hope of a comeback by missing a pair of gifts against his old club. Liverpool found a way back in the game. Lucas Leiva stood tall. Mignolet found redemption within his own gloves and reflexes. Origi's boot nearly stole everything on offer. After two hours of attrition and the opening two penalties of the shootout, Liverpool were ahead. Leading. For the first time in the game.
What transpired is best forgotten. Klopp, however, might just remember it. He may ask his players to move forward with the rest of the season, starting with Manchester City on Wednesday in an intriguing and peculiar quirk of fate. Manchester United lie in wait in the last 16 of the Europa League. Clawing back whatever remains in the Premier League should not be disregarded either. Usually, this column finds many scrambled thoughts and tries to make sense of them, but verbosity is best served elsewhere. Whatever changes may come this summer and beyond, Jürgen Klopp will be there. All we need to do is trust him, listen, and possibly bear witness to a red revival.
Whatever success comes in the future, days like Sunday will ensure that we will savour every morsel and scrap that comes our way. If you believe in the shepherd, trust that the journey is necessary.